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Beyond Her Book Celebrates 5th Anniversary with Weeklong Bash
Six Days of Virtual Partying Planned for Publishers Weekly Blog Focused on Women
New York, NY – March 1, 2012 – Beyond Her Book, the popular blog penned by Milwaukee writer Barbara Vey, is celebrating its fifth anniversary with a weeklong virtual party. Seeking to top last year’s festivities—when the blog received 22,600 comments over the course of the week—Vey has once again structured this year’s party day by day, each day devoted to different literary genres, and plans about 50 giveaways per day. The party begins on Monday, March 5, 2012, at midnight, and runs through Saturday, March 10, 2012.
“It all started with our first anniversary, when I thought we should have a party with some dancing cabana boys,” Vey says from her home in South Milwaukee, where in addition to writing three blog postings per week at Beyond Her Book, she reads approximately 12 books per month, writes speeches to give at upcoming writers’ conferences, tweets several times per day, maintains a Facebook fan page for Beyond Her Book, and dreams up new “drive-by videos” to post on the Beyond Her Book channel on YouTube.
During the festivities, Vey sets the scene each day, posting a blog piece that incorporates authors’ and community members’ ideas for celebrating. Vey not only assigns different genres for different days of the week, she also selects virtual venues where the parties take place, and the venues inform the tenor of the parties. In 2011, for instance, Vey set the Young Adult (YA), inspirational and nonfiction genres at a mall. Scene contributions ranged from the everyday (pizza, balloons, and ice cream sundaes) to the eclectic (crawfish and bread pudding from a Louisiana contributor) to the fantastic (a Justin Bieber appearance for the YA group).
“The virtual celebration has become somewhat of a tradition for the Beyond Her Book community,” Vey says. After the first anniversary, when the site garnered 745 comments and strained the Web servers, Vey decided to spread the celebration over the period of a week. Now, fans of 16 various genres get their respective days in the sun. On Wednesday, the spotlight falls on publishers, bloggers, and editors, whom Vey has relegated to Iceland this year. Why Iceland? “Where else are you going to put publishers?” Vey quips.
Fans of horror, paranormal, and fantasy books celebrate in Transylvania on Monday; the thriller/suspense/mystery/adventure crowd gathers at Stonehenge on Tuesday. Thursday belongs to the inspirational, YA, graphic novels, and nonfiction genres—to be held in an amusement park. Friday makes way for aficionados and writers of contemporary fiction, historical fiction, erotica, e-books, and audiobooks, to be held in Buckingham Palace. To top off the week, a “Romance Blowout,” to be held in Venice, honors Vey’s substantial audience of romance fans and writers.
Readers who comment on the posts are automatically eligible for giveaways, which are donated by publishers as well as by individual authors. Authors form an integral part of the community and participate just as fully as writers and readers during the blog’s anniversary week as well as year-round. Gifts include Kindle Fires, gift certificates, print books, e-books, T-shirts, and a variety of gift baskets. A friend of Vey’s runs a random-number generator to select times and instances when gifts will be given away. Authors who donate can select a day of the week they’d like to participate by adding to the comments section. Vey solicits their involvement well in advance, inviting “decorations, entertainment, and refreshments...all virtual, of course,” and asking them to bring their creativity, “because the commenters love getting into the spirit.”
New York Times bestselling author Dianna Love, who with Sherrilyn Kenyon wrote the urban fantasy Alterant (Pocket Books, 2011), is a longtime fan of Beyond Her Book. Love says, “Barbara Vey has created a community that is positive and fun. We all enjoy hanging out there, and I check in at least several times a week. During anniversary week I spend as much of my day as possible there. Barbara has really opened up a platform that everyone enjoys writing on.” She adds, “The blog connects authors with readers in a new way, and because of Barbara, a lot of authors have been exposed for the first time to Publishers Weekly. They keep up on the industry and book-publishing news.”
Like many of Vey’s readers, Love first learned of Beyond Her Book at a book conference, and indeed Vey is tireless in her pursuit of book-related activities. In 2012 alone, she plans to attend at least six conferences, including Book Expo America. At each one she participates on panels or in workshops; gives talks; and presents her “Social Media for Authors” seminar. Because of the seminar’s popularity, she wrote a self-help manual, with Sheila Clover English, titled Book Marketing, Book Trailers® and Author Etiquette in a Nutshell. Her first short story, “Listen with Your Heart,” is scheduled for publication in the forthcoming anthology Family Caregivers:101 Stories of Love, Sacrifice, and Bonding (Chicken Soup for the Soul, March 2012).
On April 10, 2012, Vey is hosting the Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Luncheon at the Oak Creek Community Center in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Author Heather Graham will provide the keynote address. Thirty-eight authors and 250 readers are to participate, with proceeds benefitting four local Milwaukee libraries.
Vey says, “I love writing Beyond Her Book. My circles are growing everywhere I go. I talk to everyone, and I’m doing things I’ve never done. I got my eyebrows waxed; I went up in an experimental airplane. I even got to interview the actor Jason Isaacs in Los Angeles. I’ve never been so happy in my life.”
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For more information, or to schedule an interview with Barbara Vey, contact Christi Cassidy,
+1-505-986-1142 or +1-917-217-4269, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly is the international newsmagazine of the book publishing industry. Founded in 1872 and published continuously since then, the weekly trade magazine publishes six newsletters, including PW Daily and PW Tip Sheet; five blogs, including Beyond Her Book; and a robust Web site. The magazine has also launched a mobile edition, digital editions and an app. Publishers Weekly reviews more than 8,000 books each year, in addition to featuring author interviews and news about bookselling, marketing, merchandising and the publishing trade, along with regular columns on rights, people in publishing and bestsellers.
Beyond Her Book Blog – http://blogs.publishersweekly.com/blogs/beyondherbook/
Publishers Weekly – www.publishersweekly.com
Beyond Her Book YA Day 2011 – http://blogs.publishersweekly.com/blogs/beyondherbook/?p=3148
Barbara Vey on The Morning Blend, Milwaukee, February 15, 2012 – http://www.themorningblend.com/videos/139103634.html