I started this blog because when I wanted to find signings and literary festivals close to where I lived I'd have to spend hours searching for them on the net. Even sites that claimed to be the most comprehensive on the web didn't list more than like Barnes and Noble Signings when so many other book stores offer signings and festivals as well. Originally it was only going to be a calendar. The issue is that without real posts the idea of getting that calendar out to enough people to have other also searching for these types of events and helping post them was pretty much impossible.
I know the best way to get into the circle and get help with this project is a book review blog, but I've done one of those before and gave it up a couple of years ago because it was just more work than I want to put into this project. I love to read and I read fairly quickly, but when I did a review blog it got to the point where I was reading two or three books a day, always behind on my reviews even when I wrote them months in advance because I received so many requests and never getting to choose what I actually wanted to read anymore. I read for escape, not for employment. I don't want my whole life to be my blog. Now I know there are a ton of bloggers who manage a book blog and have lives but I just didn't have the time management skills to do that. On top of that I'm a glass half empty kind of person and that translates into some harsh reviews, feeling constantly rush translated into reviews filled with typos and neither of those things are really the right sort of qualities for a successful book blog that helps promote authors that you want to be seen. I want to be able to read what I want, when I want and as little or much as I want. I couldn't do that while running a review blog partially because I'm just plain horrible at saying no to people. It didn't matter if I said nonfiction is not my thing, I'd have ebook upon ebook of nonfiction flooding my inbox, same with other genres that really weren't my thing either. I didn't know how to say no, I'm miserable trudging through books that just don't mesh with my personality and giving bad reviews because I was getting sent books where not even the premise appealed to me. I'm an escapist reader, I'm not comfortable reading true accounts of real life tragedies. I can't escape into those, I can just spend a lot of time feeling awful for real people. My point being that while I have the utmost admiration and respect for book review bloggers, I just don't have the type of personality that's suited to doing that. And finally as pathetic as it might be, like a good percentage of the other readers out there, I've always dreamed of writing the great American novel and while it's unlikely that I'll ever do that, if I ever should manage it I don't want to step into the field with a list of enemies a mile long because I'm not good at writing nice reviews and while most people don't I consider three stars a good rating because from me it is a good rating. I rarely give a five star rating because to me five stars is the equivalent of perfection. There's no such thing as perfection so I don't hand out a five star rating lightly. So my thoughts are if I tried to do a review blog again and then actually accomplished writing a book someday there would be a whole ton of writers who already hated me because they thought I was bashing on their hard work. Over all none of this sounds like a good mix or the right fit for me. So while I applaud all of those awesome book review bloggers this is not going to be a book review blog.
Instead this blog is going to be completely about book related events. Photos and write ups of in person festivals and signings that I've actually attended. The Upcoming Event Calendar currently lists what I can find of signing within reasonable driving distance of North Carolina. I'm not planning to attend them all but I'll post photos and write ups of what I do attend. I am ALWAYS looking for someone to help with the project and eventually, ideally I'd like to expand the idea of the blog. If I could find enough people, I'd like to have calendars for all the different areas of the world where there's a comprehensive list of all the different bookish things you can attend where you live. I live in North Carolina and it's time consuming enough just to find that so without help that's all this blog will cover and I'm not sure it will even cover that well. The calendar is through Tockify so it will update wherever it's posted and I'd gladly share it with anyone who wants to help with the project and possibly add it as a feature of their own blog. My only thing is if you want the calendar you need to help update the calendar. I'd also love to have people that would make posts about what they've attended with photos, basically making the blog into an online yearbook of bookish things.
If I had the right group of people adding online events would be awesome too, but right now it's just in person events to make this into a blog that hopefully people will find. I'm sure you can imagine where a project like this, focused solely on events where people can interact with the writers they love, could lead. It's just I'm one person and I'm not willing to devote my entire life to a blog so until I can find the right team of people to contribute to this blog, it's not going to be much, but it's going to be my effort to help people connect with the writers who bring them amazing stories on their bookshelves and ereaders.
If you're interested in contributing tweet me on twitter at @jscarpa14