I'm the owner of the blog Inspired-Quill, and I noticed not long ago that although there's a BEA and a BBC in New York annually, there are no conventions in the UK, for British Book Bloggers / Authors / Publishing Houses to meet up, attend panels and just generally network.
I was wondering as to whether there would be enough interest in this for me to go ahead and begin to secure sponsorship/funding/etc for such a convention.
What are people's views on this? Nothing is set in stone, so I'm open to suggestions. I know of one or two small groups who have been talking about setting up such a convention, but those discussion boards seem either dead, or a little too optimistic about the scale of potential for such a project.
I think it's a great idea, Sara!
Please feel free to keep me informed. Sassy.Brit@gmail.com I'd be more than happy to help you promote it. There was a one off UK meeting arranged once. But I didn't get to hear about it until it was too late and couldn't go on the date scheduled as it clashed with a birthday, so I have no idea how many people joined in, and I cannot even remember who organised it. Not a lot of help I know, but maybe someone who went will read this and chip in with some useful information.
Good luck with your great idea!
There are quite a few UK bloggers, the main question is where the event would be held, how long it would be for etc. I know a lot of the UK publishers are London based and as such would want the event to be held near by so that they can attend, they do invite bloggers to HQ from time to time but an event to not only help us network with each other but also build stronger relationships would be a big bonus.
Great idea and I look forward to seeing how it would develop.
This is a great idea!! If I could help I'd love too. I agree with Gareth Wilson that we might have to set up a group so everyone could keep up to date with where, how, when, etc.
If there's anything I could do or more information let me now at email@example.com!
Thanks for the positive replies!
I know that a lot of publishers are based down in London, but I thought that it might be better to have the meetup somewhere more central. Okay, so the travel cost from Londoners might reach the lost £30 by train, but everything else would be cheaper, it's central for everyone, and t'be completely selfish, I'd quite like to help my local (ish) community with something like this. Plus, being a University student here in the Midlands might mean that I can get better deals and helpers to organise things.
I was also thinking a 2-day convention. Since it's a brand new idea, there would be no point in making it any longer than that the first time around. It might even turn into an 'every-6-month' thing to run over a weekend, rather than a yearly thing to happen over a week. The book/blogger market is changing so constantly that the former might actually be the best idea.
I'll be making a UK Bloggers group some point soon, but I think this Forum Thread can continue to be a great soundingboard for ideas and proposals.
The first thing that you want to do before you look at setting up is finding out about what the publishers do for thier own blog parties, also what they'd like to see available before asking the bloggers. The main reason that you ask them first is to find out your info as without the publishers the thing may have trouble getting the legs to initially stand. Midlands could be an interesting venue.
Probably the most likely place to pick would be Birmingham due to the good rail links as well as being quite central for a lot of others although Nottingham does have some publishers based there. The major problem once you've gotten the publishers on board would be the venue as well as accomodation. The best solution could be perhaps to see about arranging a hotel as you could haggle a deal for venue and accomodation in one price. Once you have some figures that might help you work out where to go.
Hope it helps and please sign me up to keep me in the loop.
I would definitely be interested in something like this, sounds a fab idea!!
That's one of my main thoughts. London already has things going on, and since I want to set up Inspired-Quill as a social enterprise later on this year/early next year, I have to promote things like this in areas which don't already have such things. The midlands would be the perfect place. It's well connected, (Airport, Trains, Coaches, etc), the costs are reasonable (Between £30 and £80 a night for a hotel room, a lot less for a hostel, etc) and there are /so many/ different venues which could be used.
In terms of venus, it would depend on whether we wanted the convention to be held around one area or building (think DragonCon without the parade, they're just in hotels), or whether we want a number of different venus for things.
If people think the single venue is a good idea, I might already have a place in mind which won't cost the earth, and could accomodate (sleep) probably up to 100 people at the same time.
Personally for the first year I'd say make it a singular venue. That way you can haggle a good price for everything to be self contained in a similar way that Writing Retreats are arranged. That way, other than what you're drinking, all costs are met prior to arriving.
One of the other things that I'd suggest is seminars including how to make the most of your blog, what the publishers are looking for etc. Likewise having writer seminars so that the new guys get chance to introduce themselves alongside the established pro's and I think it could be a real winner.
I would suggest setting up the group asap so that you can start to get numbers and a positive vibe started now so that when the works done you've got a market ready to roll for alongside being able to check the numbers.
Ooohhh and when you have a chance see about asking for help when you have a better idea as otherwise things can overwhelm you pretty quickly.