I am starting to love all these bookish weekends. It’s probably because I’ve never really had them before. Sure, NaNoWriMo weekends are also times where we discuss books, but we discuss writing and our plots more than we discuss our books, plus my Wrimos and I only see each other a lot during November, so for the rest of the year, I’m pretty much dry with book talk. Thank goodness for making bookish friends. :)
Last Saturday was the first Filipino Book Bloggers meet-up, organized by Chachic who is also the admin of the site. I’m not one to pass up an event like this, and I even dragged some of my friends over to join us (who weren’t really as big of a reader as I am and they don’t keep a book blog…so they were really just there so they could meet and accompany me — my friends are sweet haha). When I got to Starbucks at Shang, I was already a bit late, so there were already three tables of people talking. Pretty soon, more people came, including some of the new bloggers from our Goodreads group. I guess existing bloggers in the group can be pretty influential. ;)
There were lots of discussions everywhere, and as expected, people broke into little groups based on who sat with who. I mostly talked with the people around my side: Aaron, Ace, Jason (nice to finally meet you!), Rezel, Aldrin and Celina. Like what everyone else who’s blogged about the event, there was a major concern/brainstorming done at the other side of the table about publishers and local books and how bloggers can be involved. I didn’t get to hear all of them, but from what I gathered, it was pretty interesting.
I’m no expert with how the local publishing business works or how they market their books, I do have the same woes about not having enough local stuff that I’d want to read. It’s the same woes we have in NaNoWriMo — there just doesn’t seem to be enough local works to read for us to write about local stuff. If there were, then I’d probably have more than 10 in my Project 20:10 list. I hardly read anything local because I feel like they’re all too serious, or in the case of our chick lit, they’re too thin and not worth the price. Most of the Filipino books I see are about dysfunctional families, revolutions, and some socio-political whatever issue that I could read in the newspaper. Thanks, but no thanks. They’re the kind of stuff I’d read in school because it was required of me, but I’m not in school anymore. :|
Why not submit the stuff that I write, then? Well, I would, if they were finished. ^^; Okay, that’s my fault, then, but I know from some friends who have tried to submit their works here from what I hear, it’s kind of hard. I don’t think there is much room for the stuff that my Wrimos usually write here, at least, not that I know of. So if no one’s accepting (or at least, even looking at) the things Filipinos dare to write, what else would we read, right?
I’m not sure I made sense there, and it may need another post to fully clarify. But the idea goes the same for book bloggers. In the US and UK, book bloggers get their share of advanced copies because of the buzz they create before the book is officially out in the market. Based from experience, I think only Summit Books do the same thing, since their marketing person (sorry, I forgot the exact position!) is a blogger, as well. The proof is in the press release I received for Table for Two. Of course I already read and reviewed the book when I received the package, but it’s the thought that counts, right?
Like Michelle, though, I also believe that “good books will promote themselves“. The most recent example I could think of is Mina V. Esguerra‘s My Imaginary Ex. It started with Mina just saying hi to our Filipino Goodreads group, and some reviews of her book and then a lot more people are reading her book from our group. It may not seem big, but it’s a start, right?
Anyway, off with the serious stuff. The other posts I linked below were far more articulate with this issue. It was still a fun afternoon that extended all the way up to night because we had some bookstore hopping to do. This is why I ended up with such a big stash of books yesterday — I was in the presence of very effective book pushers. ;)
Dinner at Sango -- me with the bloggers and my two friends, Toni and Cors
I missed meeting Jasper of Avalon.ph and Carl Javier, author of The Kobayashi Maru of Love, because I was late, but I did win a Php 500 GC from Avalon.ph, which means I can still buy the Carl’s book from them. :)
It was a fun Saturday, and a pretty successful meet up. I think everyone would agree. :)