Viva la Webolution!

-This post comes from our inventory manager Jan

Online Creators and Their Communities Are Our People, Too

I’m in no way overstating when I say that here at BookPeople, we care about community. We love serving communities that are built from the ground-up. And the most visible ground-up communities these days are happening online.

The Internet is a big place. Really, really big. And, being designed by hippies, the web, of course, has no hierarchical structure. Everything is (somewhat) equal on this massive web that just keeps growing by the nanosecond (YouTube has over a billion unique users who generate over a billion views daily [source]). And yet, humans–being the amazing, social wizards that we are–have found ways to not only interact with one another, but connect.  These online communities consist of membership based on anything from identity to shared interest and are mediated on access to technology–close geographic proximity not required.

The leaders of these virtual communities share a special relationship with their followers who are more “members” than “fans.” They ask for feedback and respond. Their relationship is more one of engagement than of passive production-consumption. So when the content creators and leaders of these virtual communities cross media and publish books–actual, physical books that we put on our shelves (that I can hold in my hands!)–I can cross the line between bookseller and bookpusher…just a bit.

When we host these authors, we get to personally interact with the communities they’ve built, and we’ve had the pleasure of hosting quite a few (with no plans to slow down now). I always think that my favorite part will be interacting with the creator, but I’m always wrong. My favorite part is just standing back and watching creator and fan–community leader and community member. Authors who are just as excited as the hundreds of fans waiting in line to meet each other face-to-face. (These are the authors who are the most willing to abandon the traditional signing table in order to accept gifts, hugs, high-fives, and selfies). We love hosting these authors and their fans because they remind us of the values we’ve built here with our own community in Austin: true community is built on authentic, enthusiastic connections!

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From the Blogosphere

A Hot Glue Gun Mess: Funny Stories, Pretty DIY Projects by Mr. Kate (blog)

How to Tell if Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You by The Oatmeal (blog)

Hyperbole and a Half (hardcover and paperback) by Allie Brosh (blog)

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson (blog)

Rookie Yearbook One, Two, and Three by Tavi Gevinson (blog)

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan (of Go Fug Yourself)

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe (comics)

You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost): A Memoir by Felicia Day (website)

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Animals of Instagram

Find Momo and Find Momo Coast to Coast: A Photography Book by Andrew Knapp (@andrewknapp)

A Dog Named Jimmy (@rafaelmantesso)

The Dogist: Photographic Encounters with 1,000 Dogs by Elias Weiss Friedman (@thedogist)

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YouTube

Girl Online: The First Novel by Zoella by Zoe Sugg (channel)

Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown-Up by Grace Helbig (channel)

I, Justine: An Analog Memoir by Justine Ezarik (channel)

Make Up: Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style, and Success–Online and Off by Michelle Phan (channel)

My Drunk Kitchen: A Guide to Eating, Drinking, and Going with Your Gut by Hannah Hart (channel)

Self-help by Miranda Sings (channel)

You Deserve a Drink: Boozy Misadventrues and Tales of Debauchery by Mamrie Hart (channel)

The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook by Rosana Pansino (channel)

Really Professional Internet Person by Jennxpenn (channel)

Which community are you a member of? Who are your favorite creators? We appreciate your continued support and I’m sure these creators will appreciate your support as well.
-Jan

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