The Alibris Blog: What the Heck Is This About?

whatsinabookSince Alibris relaunched the blog, we’ve been making improvements every day. There are always kinks to be worked out, and we’re excited to get your feedback not just on what Alibris is, but what you think it should be. To that end I want to introduce myself, and the vision I have for this space.

There are many blogs out there on books and movies, so why should you follow this one? What makes us different?

Original Content

First, a commitment to original content. We are reaching out to publishers to build posts you can’t find anywhere else. Original content takes many forms.

Excerpts

quote from A Spy in the House of Love by Anais Nin
A graphic we made for our excerpt from Anais Nin’s classic A Spy in the House of Love

Of course the excerpts aren’t original, or they wouldn’t be excerpts. But we are looking to share not only the same first chapters that can be found elsewhere, but the snatches of beauty that got us hooked on these writers. Recently we offered excerpts from YA bestseller Catherynne M. Valente, and recipes from bestselling vegan author Terry Hope Romero. Our excerpt from Anais Nin’s A Spy in the House of Love included not only the first chapter, but some juicy quotes that highlight Nin’s sensual prose.

Interviews

So far we’ve interviewed debut authors and best-sellers alike. Award-winning debut YA author Corina Vacco talked to us about writing environmental fiction. Dr. Karl Knopf, author of 24 fitness books, gave us fitness tips on conquering our New Year’s Resolutions (though I must confess—one of his tips was to stop making New Year’s resolutions). Recently we were honored to interview TC Boyle before he won a lifetime achievement award at the LA Times Festival of Books.

Guest Posts

As you can see, we are eager to share info about fiction and nonfiction. We may get literary from time to time, but we’re not going to be shy about fantastic books that will make you healthier or more productive. We may even help you get a date. But alas, we are only two writers, and we can’t be experts on everything.

That’s when I look to the blogging community to find out what others have to say. When we wanted to find the best romance books, we asked a terrific writer from one of the leading romance blogs. This month Jazz Daddy will bring us a guest post on Duke Ellington and we’ll hear from environmental experts on the best climate change books.

Giveaways

We are partnering with publishers to host giveaways. Recently we hosted giveaways of pulp fiction writer Duane Swierczynski and Quirk’s bestseller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  We have plans to raise our game by giving away whole batches of books so if you love contests and freebies, stay tuned.

Crate Digging: Music and Movies

I’ve focused primarily on books here, but we know not everyone comes to Alibris for books. It’s a great place to build your media collection, whether it’s the romantic comedies you grew up with, classical DVDs or the latest EDM on vinyl to support your DJ habit. For one example, check out this post on great stand up comedy albums.

I’m as passionate about music as I am about a good book. Maybe it’s time I introduced myself.

Who Are We?

Karma Bennett at St. Francis Fountain in San Francisco
Yours truly, enjoying a shake at St. Francis Fountain in San Francisco

Hi there, I’m Karma Bennett. Albris has brought me in to run this blog and I couldn’t be more excited. My first goal is to build trust. When we endorse a book, I want you to trust my honesty even if you disagree with my assessment. Second, I want to build community. That means reading each and every comment, as well as taking an active presence in our forums. Finally I want to spread the word on some terrific authors, musicians and filmmakers.

I have been writing as long as I can remember, and have worked in the publishing industry for nine years. I also love music. I have more than 42,000 followers who listen to my daily song picks. I live in Oakland and I enjoy photographing graffiti art. I blog about music, writing, and Bay Area life at Future Is Fiction. This week I’ll share a post about indie music, so you can get to know my tastes a little better.

You’ll also be seeing posts from Steve Cianfichi. Steve has been working for Alibris for over seven years doing seller recruitment and other sales and marketing tasks. Steve used to contribute to the old blog, and thought it was a lot of fun, so no one was surprised when he volunteered to write for our relaunch. Steve has a love for all things retro, from pulp fiction new and old, to cookbooks that capture 1950s Americana. In the future we can expect posts from Steve on science fiction books and movies, and all types of topics, as nothing describes him better than the word “eclectic.”

This week we’re going to share posts that will help you get to know Steve and I a little better. I’m going to write about indie music genres that are flying under the radar and Steve will introduce you to the surprisingly wide world of space stamps.

Moving forward, we may not be focusing on the bestsellers. We may feature a book that has only a handful of copies, if it is great and deserves more attention. Or I may feature a classic book, but take a new angle on it. While Alibris may be about linking indie booksellers with readers, this blog is not a sales page. This blog will simply be about the love of reading a good book while a great album tickles your ears. Every person who works for Alibris shares this love, or they wouldn’t be here. Let this blog be a voice for that love.

If that sounds like the kind of blog you can get behind, subscribe via RSS, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.