It's true, the world of book blogging is amazingly huge now. It's been interesting to watch it grow over the years. This week marks four and half years since I've been doing it and wow, it's changed A LOT. Thumbs up to the new bloggers who seem totally undaunted and just jump in there and make a name for themselves! You guys are amazing! It's lucky I didn't have such a huge amount of bloggers to deal with because I don't know that I could have done it!
I've come up with these few tips for connecting to a book blogging community (and I know there are several circles within the larger community and I think each of us just sort of ends up in one or two of them. Not sure exactly how that happens!) Hopefully they make sense. I look forward to what you all have to say on this subject!
Comment! We all know how important this is to connect. Bottom line, connecting WILL NOT happen if you are scared (or don't take time) to comment. Both on other blogs and back to commenters on your own blog. It's hard and I have been extremely lousy at this myself lately and I always feel so bad about that. But the only thing to do is, keep trying and if you have something to say, just say it!
Get Organized.Use Google Reader or some other way to organize the blogs you read. Keep it organized and visit your favorites often. They will learn to look for you and start visiting you back. Also, you can keep track of blogs that aren't really participating in things, and you can file them away in a "non active" folder, or unsubsribe, so you aren't wasting time there.
Participate. I think if you want to feel part of the community it's pretty important to participate in events such as BBAW. There's many of them. (Other examples that I know of are Armchair BEA, Dewey's Readathon and other spin off readathons, Bloggiesta, challenges, group reads, etc.) It really helps to let people know you exist just by participating in these events.
Twitter. I know I know, what does Twitter have to do with book blogging? The answer is, I don't know, but it sure seems like so much talk happens over there, and again, if you want to connect, Twitter is an awesome way to do it! Lots of book talk going on, lots of authors to follow, lots of conversations happening. It's a fun place, even if you are a bit quiet like me, you can still eavesdrop and sort of know what's going on. (If you want to find me there, I'm @SueySays.)
Don't Stress. We all have to not worry about trying to connect with everyone. There's just too many. Like for instance, this week and all the new and wonderful blogs we are seeing! I say, pick just a handful that you really seem to have a gut feeling about and then go for it with them, and don't worry about all the ones you are missing.
Stay Strong! I find that there are ups and downs with this issue of feeling connected. Sometimes you feel so good and wonderful and everyone is commenting and people like you and blogging is a happy thing! Then there are times when you feel like you are the only one out there, nobody seem to care about what you are saying, and you begin to wonder why you are doing this and if you disappeared would anyone notice. Yeah, it's the blogging blues. I feel it regularly. But the point is to just push through that when it happens and don't give up. Maybe take a break and start strong and fresh afterwards.
So there you have it! I hope it helps for those trying to find a place here with this crazy fun hobby! And if you still need a place, come on over and let's talk! :)