books on the radio


Sitting in with the BC Booksellers Association

A month or so ago I was sitting in the office of Boxcar Marketing with Monique Trottier.  We were sitting around and discussing our usual panoply of concerns about the state – if not stasis – of the book publishing industry as well as BookCamp Toronto when she received an email from Rob ‘President for Life’ Wiersma.  He was looking for someone to speak to booksellers about using social media to get the word out and build communities online.  Monique would be on tour at the time so she recommended me.  Rob, clearly out of options, agreed.

When I arrived at the Marriott Hotel downtown and walked into that conference room I felt an immediate tingle of trepidation.  Wait a minute… who are all these people?  I recognize Rob, Ria from Duthie Books, a few others but I had never seen so many booksellers in one room before.  It was crazy.

Luckily I snuck in quietly as they tore the representative from some government retail agency apart over a number of cryptic issues involving credit card transactions.  Then Lee Trentedue of Galiano Island Bookstore spoke very eloquently about cats and building and supporting communities through a Buy Locally program.

Steve Osgoode, Director of Digital Marketing and Business Development for Harper Collins Canada, was up next.  Minor wardrobe malfunction aside he did an excellent job of speaking to new developments in the digital book world – from electronic galleys, to ebook sales to the ongoing improvements to digital catalogs.

I was up next and spoke for about 30 minutes on social media – blogging, Facebook, Twitter, etc… – and managed to do well enough that no one passed out from boredom.

In the afternoon there were several roundtable discussions focusing on issues specific to the BC book trade and every bookseller participated.  The discussions were lively, everyone was engaged and Rob Wiersma deserves a lot of credit for putting it all together.  I look forward to more of it next year.

Over the next few days I will start to post links to various booksellers whom I met over the weekend and provide some thoughts on what and how to bring independent bookselling into the present with eyes to the future.  I was really excited by all the people that I met over the weekend and look forward to getting to know them more.

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Amazon Kindle 2 is following me on Twitter!
May 9, 2009, 4:36 PM
Filed under: Enthusiasms | Tags: , ,

If I wasn’t so scatterbrained I would be all over this already – a smooth operating social networking multi-platforming mixologist in command of the various technologies that deliver and receive all of the transcendent ideas floating or twittering in the aether.  A kind of human radar.

As I wrote the above sentences my blackberry vibrated, indicating that someone somewhere was tugging on my coat about something.  Reaching over to pick up the blackberry I toggled the rollerball and brought the screen to life.

And what news appeared?  Well, apparently Amazon Kindle 2 is now following me on Twitter.

Sigh.

I am always looking for a reliable light source in the permanent dusk of the new media environment.

Chris Webb’s blog on publishing and technology is an excellent source of illumination. Chris works as an Associate Publisher for Wiley in the states and tackles a lot of questions and ideas that I find interesting.  Great style and I’m looking forward to devouring all of it.

That’s today’s recommendation.