Following the SPN Conference 2018

Suzie Eisfelder

As you should know by now I love attending or volunteering at conventions and conferences, while it makes little difference what the subject matter is I do prefer the topic to be about books in some way. In November I was invited to volunteer at the Small Press Network Conference. I spent a few words on that here and the previous year here. It was awesome.

People there don’t care if you’re volunteering they treat you as if you’re attending on your own behalf. They want to know who you are and what you do, the reasons you’re there and then the conversation continues on from that. I had so many wonderful conversations about books and publishing and only one conversation over the whole weekend about other subjects. I did actually do some volunteering there, I made myself useful despite talking a lot.

One of the conversations involved me being told off. Why? I didn’t speak up with something I do that would be an invaluable support for the book publishing industry. Something I didn’t start but I am the current custodian.

Book Bloggers Australia is a directory for book bloggers in Australia. Started by my friend, Marg, it came to me almost by accident.

Following the National Book Bloggers Forum in 2014 (#NBBF) I found the Aussie Book Bloggers group on Facebook growing very quickly. It wasn’t my group and I was very quick to tell people I have no admin privileges there. We had a discussion about the way forward as a group. Part of this was to start up a directory, knowing Marg already had a neglected directory I negotiated with her and we transferred it to me. Not just me as I have a team of two other people from the Facebook group but I do the bulk of the work. I get to call on the team when I have issues of policy.

We do very little publicity as it’s not very high on our agenda. I do have lots of ideas for the future but little time to consider putting them into practice.

This directory is something I mentioned in conversation to one person who promptly told me off for not speaking up during a session upstairs. I’m really not good at speaking up about these things. But she told people and when they spoke to me I was able to hand out business cards.

One of the cards made its way into the hands of a Books+Publishing person. The end result is an interview which you can read here.

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