Book Releases, Books!, Calendar Girls, Discussion, Manga, NetGalley, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

Discussion: Supporting the Book Community

Hey all, Dani here.

Obviously we all know that there is so much going on in the world right now, so I don’t really need to get into that aspect of today’s post, but now more than ever is the time to support artists, support writers, support bloggers, support vloggers, support indie bookstores, support big stores like Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million, support Instagrammers/Bookstagrammers, follow your favorite authors/publishers/etc on all the social media platforms, and support your friends online and off–just do it safely.

I have been scrolling through Twitter and looking at so many posts from book bloggers and writers and publishers and editors and all sorts of members from the online book community. I have been trying to respond and retweet where I can. When I see authors asking for book bloggers to help promote an upcoming release, I respond to say I would be glad to help.

My reading schedule has exploded recently. I am pushing myself to read more so I can spotlight and signal boost and promote more. I’m buckling down on writing posts and reviews, leading to a whole lot more content on my blog. I know I’m just a small voice in the cacophony of the online world, but I’m trying to do my part to support the community I love.

Now, I should definitely caveat all of this by saying that I get that not everyone is in the position I am in, and obviously you should only take on what you can reasonably and sanely handle right now. If all you can do is like posts on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook/etc and share them to your friends/followers, then that is still a big help.

I’ll come out and somewhat book shame myself right now. This week–from Monday until today, Friday–I have spent about 300 US dollars on books and other bookish goodies. I felt very happy and lucky to be able to do so, but not everyone is in the same financial situation as me. My employer gave all of us who maintained perfect attendance last week a $300 bonus as a thank you…and I decided to funnel all of that money into buying books.

One of the local indies around me, The Book Loft in German Village of Columbus, Ohio, is doing a Malamarkus Mystery Box, so you pay for the box, give them genre suggestions, and the Skeleton Lord himself, Malamarkus, will select a few handpicked books, and a tote bag, and sometimes some small items like pins or stickers. I ordered one and I’m hoping to get it sometime next week. The genres I listed were Epic Fantasy (like Brandon Sanderson and N.K. Jemison), Paranormal Romance (like J.R. Ward or Gena Showalter), and Manga (like Black Clover, My Hero Academia, and Fairy Tail). I have no idea what books they will be sending me, but I will definitely be sharing the experience on my social medias.

I should also use this time to suggest supporting your local library. Most libraries have access to a large selection of digital options (e-books and audiobooks). Mine uses a couple different apps, including OverDrive and Libby–I personally use Libby, and it is a great way to continue to use your library resources to borrow and read books while also being gentle on your wallet, aka free. I’ve actually borrowed a few books recently and it has been great.

I’ve also been hitting up NetGalley quite a bit. I’ve been working on improving my approval ratio, though it seems like every time I finish up a few reviews for them, I get approved for another few books so my ratio doesn’t really change at all. Anyway, places like NetGalley or Edelweiss are a great resource to find new and upcoming releases, and if approved then you will get a digital copy early, all with the hopes that you’ll read and review it so more people will be encouraged to check out those releases. I’ll be completely honest; this is also great if you are on a strict budget. You can still keep up with newer releases and if you like the books but can’t buy them right now, you can write up reviews all over, and then maybe make a buy later list for when you are in a position to buy.

Oh, and there are so many reading challenges going on right now, and so many getting ready to start. If you’re looking to join in with other readers around the world to talk books, one of these challenges is a great way to do it.

Plus different authors are hosting online book talks or online book tour panels or online Q&As with other authors. And publishers are getting in on the action too. Since Y’allWest was canceled, they decided to go for an online event instead, and it looks like it will be pretty great. Wednesday Books is also hosting a ReaderFest online, and both events include book giveaways.

These times are strange and concerning and trying and difficult, but we are adaptable, and we are finding ways to band together as a community. Being able to operate online is helping us all stay connected, and that’s a wonderful thing.

I hope you are able to take the time to check out and support your book community in this time of COVID-19.

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog today. If you know of any reading challenges or readathons, or online bookish convention like events happening, feel free to share the details in the comments. Let’s share the bookish news with everyone.

That is all from me for today, but I will be back soon with more bookish content.

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