BookNet Fest Excitement and Nerves!
On September 2nd on a Saturday, I was full of giddiness because I was about to be a part of the most anticipated event that I have been waiting for since Samantha from Thoughts on Tomes YouTube vlogger announced it in January! The event is called BookNet Fest and it was a free conference that catered to the book community! If you are a book blogger, vlogger, or if you just love being a part of the book community then this was the place to be!
I was full of nerves and lack of sleep since my husband drove me to the event from Miami to Orlando and we got to Caribe hotel at midnight due to the fact that I was determined to stop at Office Depot to make my last minute blog business cards! lol. My husband was “thrilled” by this last minute errand. lol.
Not perfect but good enough to hand out at the event!
My BookNet Fest Badge by OwlCrate! #LoveThisSoFreakingMuch
The event started at 10 am and the two awesome ladies Marines and Samantha who organized the event gave their Opening Keynote speech and all I wanted to do was jump for joy for the excitement of it all! (Since jumping around during the Keynote Speech would not have been the greatest choice I took selfies of my excitement instead! lol. See above.)
One of the things I just loooved about the event was how small and intimate everything was! The event consisted of two different rooms where two different conferences were being held at the same time and you had to pick and choose what you would be interested in hearing.
US + The Industry
I loved that I had a choice of picking the conference I wanted to go to and decided to chose “US + The Industry”! The panel was about ways to promote yourself in the book community and I was particularly interested in their topic about how to get a sponsorship! One of the main messages that I took away from this conference was to be true to who you are in the book community whether you’re a blogger or vlogger etc. and how you “have power over your own platform!”
Keynote Speech from Marines and Samantha!
This book panel basically consisted of how to review books and helpful tips/advice on it. One of the things I loved the most about this conference was that they encourage book reviewers to be as honest as possible to the author and to make sure to include any trigger warnings in the book reviews for our lovely readers out there! The part that really resonated with me about this book conference is how to navigate around picking and choosing the books that I want to read and being honest about the ones I don’t want to read.
Fangirling over the fact that Clockwork Reader was in this book panel!
And of course, the highlight of my day was actually getting to meet the BookTubers that came to speak at this event! I met Zoe Herdt from readbyzoe, Hannah from Clockwork Reader, Christine Riccio from PolandbananasBooks, Jesse from jessethereader, and Katy from Katytastic! My favorite YouTuber of all is Zoe Herdt and I was thrilled to meet her! She was super personable and was one of the sweetest people I have ever met despite the fact that I word vomited all over her! Meeting all these Booktubers was an experience I will never forget and I loved how chill and approachable they were!
This was the book panel that I was looking forward to the most because it was a one on one setting where we actually got to talk to bloggers, bookstagramers, and vloggers like jessethereader! They were each at a roundtable and we all rotated and ask questions about our blog/vlog/Instagram etc. This event was perfect for me because being a newbie at blogging this was something I desperately needed to take advantage of! I want to thank Marines for answering many of book blogging questions! She was so helpful to me and I am so grateful for her patience in answering all of my questions!
Love, Shipping, and OTPs
This was the most intriguing workshop of the day because it focused more on romance in YA books which is something that doesn’t seem to get a lot of attention these days. I am a huuuge contemporary romance fan and I noticed right now the books that get the most attention in the YA world is the fantasy genre like ACOTAR, Mortal Instruments, and anything from Leigh Bardugo. (Confession! I haven’t read any of these books! I know! Don’t judge me! I desperately want to read these books already because they get so much attention in the YA community and I feel a little left out. lol.) In the book panel, they discussed their thoughts on romance and how romance doesn’t get taken seriously enough in the book community. Jessica from Book Crack said, “The relationships are complex and there is a lot to say about that.” One of the interesting questions that were asked in the book panel was, “What are the things you would like to see in romance/shipping books?” Jessica from Book Crack stated that she would like to see “fewer alpha men and more beta men!” I couldn’t agree more with Jessica. I am so tired of seeing the strong and possessive alpha male stereotype and I want to see more beta males who are just regular guys because they can be just as sexy or even sexier! Beta males make up most of our population and we need to represent them! I find the whole alpha male trope so overdone and unrealistic already!
Diversity in the Book Community
This was the final panel of the day and it was the perfect end to the day! The topics that were discussed were intense and the ladies that were speaking were nothing but articulate, eloquent, and personal. Listening to them talk about their experiences of diversity in book community was so touching and refreshing to hear. One of my favorite speakers of the book panel was Cam from @justabookeater. She was so honest about her experiences growing up Puerto Rican. She spoke about the negative images of Puerto Ricans in the media and that the book community needs to showcase different representations of Puerto Rican culture. They also discussed how critical trigger warnings are in book reviews and Cam made a good point that we shouldn’t avoid TW because it can hurt other people and how relapsing isn’t something to be taken lightly. One of the most fundamental things that stayed with me was when Marines said, “You don’t have to write a book about being a latina or a black person. It could just be a story about someone Dominican slaying dragons so the person could see themselves in the stories.”
BookNet Fest Aftermath
There was an amazing raffle once BookNet Fest was over! I won this baby right here from Nerdy Post! I am going to frame this in my office/library and cherish this forever!
I cannot rave enough about BookNet Fest and how amazing an event it is! The knowledge and advice that I received are only going to help me grow as a book reviewer and blogger! This event pushed me to connect with so many people! After the event was over I had a chat with the extremely nice Sarah Viehmann who gave a compelling discussion about how she is part of the asexual community and how there needs to be more asexual representation in books.
Later on, I had a drink with my husband at the hotel bar and met a blogger named Madalyn Hardwick from Novel Ink and vlogger Possibly Literate! Madalyn’s blog and Possibly Literate’s book reviews are amazing platforms and I look forward to continuing to interact with them online and hopefully again IRL!
The next day I went to City Walk with my husband and just enjoyed the day walking around and taking your typical touristy silly pictures!
City Walk brings a lot of nostalgic memories for me because as a college student I used to work for Hard Rock Cafe and was amazed to see how much City Walk has changed over the years!
I will never forget my first experience in BookNet Fest and I am soooo looking forward to being a part of BookNet Fest next year in 2018!
Enter my giveaway and win an Epic Reads Lookbook, bookish pins, and a cute little notebook with autographs from all the famous BookTubers Read by Zoe, Jesse the Reader, A Clockwork Reader, Xtinemay (polandbanansBooks), and Katytastic!
The rules to enter my giveaway are to subscribe to my blog, like my Facebook page, follow my Instagram, follow me on Twitter, and comment below about a bookish event that you have been to or would love to go to! The winner will be chosen at random and the giveaway will end on September 23rd! Only lower 48 states apply.
Do you like this post?