Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?
My name is Deborah Carney and I have been on the internet since 1980. There wasn’t blogging back then, or even the World Wide Web. There was just text on a green screen, no pretty pictures. I worked at a University and learned early on about the net, using Lynx and email with arcane clients that you had to use to connect. I used the internet for research, I had children diagnosed with a rare form of muscular dystrophy that the doctor was hesitant to tell us much about. By the second meeting with the doctor I had a stack of research that blew his mind that he asked if he could copy.
I’ve had websites since the first website building online sites were available. Since by now you know I am a dinosaur so I will skip the rest and fast forward to today and my book blog that I run with Karen Garcia and my daughter, Liz Fogg. Our blog is BookGoodies.com and it has had many iterations through the years. It started as BookGoodies.net with the .com being held hostage by a domainer. The .net site ended up hacked and we were surprised to find the .com available.
I’ve been podcasting since 2005 and one day I decided to put out a call for guests to start a podcast on BookGoodies. Within 24 hours I had more requests than I dreamed and spent July 2012 recording 4 – 5 podcasts a day, 5 days a week! I thought I needed to do them quickly or the authors would forget and not want to. Well I was wrong! Authors love to talk, and I loved talking to them. We have over 150 podcasts with mostly authors, but some author services and a publisher or two. People loved the podcasts, and through talking to authors I realized things that were missing that authors needed. We started to provide options for authors to post their book information, free book days, their bargain books and since I couldn’t interview them all in podcasts we started “self-service” author interviews. We’ve also added the ability for authors to post book excerpts, audiobook samples and even short stories for readers to enjoy.
Have you previously participated in Armchair BEA? If you have not previously participated, what drew you to the event?
Thanks to another blogger, Kriss Morton, I am excited to have discovered Armchair BEA. I was hoping to attend BEA in NYC this week but it didn’t work out. Finding out that I could network with others that couldn’t attend is a great surprise, I may not have time to be in all the activities but will sure try! I’m basically a night owl in Arizona, which puts me going to bed as the East Coast starts getting up.
Where in the world are you blogging from? Tell a random fact or something special about your current location. Feel free to share pictures.
I’m a Superstorm Sandy refugee living south of Phoenix where I came with my cats 3 weeks after the storm. My daughter lives in this area and found me a house to rent while our home in NYC was demolished and rebuilt. I would love to stay in the Southwest, I love it here. I am close to one of my favorite places on earth, Sedona, Arizona, where I feel peace and strength.
What is your favorite part about the book blogging community?
Book bloggers and authors are very supportive of each other. While podcasting, which has stopped since the Hurricane and I hope to start again later in the year, I learned so much about authors and bloggers that I spoke with and heard them share ideas freely for others to benefit from. Even in our author and blogger interviews on the BookGoodies site, everyone shares a bit of advice. We don’t charge for our book posts and our interviews, but the “cost” is that who ever is writing the post has to share something of value to the readers. Same with the podcasts. We don’t charge our guests for promoting their books or services, but every podcast has tidbits of information for authors or readers.
Is there anything that you would like to see change in the coming years?
I see more indie authors and would like to see more collaboration between authors and reviewers. Right now it is like they are in two separate camps, each afraid to reach out to the other for fear of being taken advantage of. Authors need reviews, reviewers want good books to read, and there needs to be better ways for them to find each other. We are working on hopefully helping with that with our new Review Matchmaker service.
The other thing I would like to see change is authors taking more control over their marketing and not relying on Amazon to do their marketing for them. Book Bloggers can be a big part of this change by being open to having authors on their blogs that are selling independently of Amazon, and by not only reviewing books on their own sites, but posting reviews on the author’s sites as well so that the authors can build a name for themselves outside of Amazon. One of my mantras from being an internet marketer for a very long time is to not build your business on the back of another company. Be in control of your blogs, be in control of your books, be in control of your marketing. You can outsource your marketing of course, but don’t rely on Google or Amazon or any other single company to provide your future income. They care about their own bottom line, not yours.