And here we are at the last Filipino ReaderCon-related Filipino Friday. This meme is going to be taking a break (ha!) after this week, I just wanted to say, so I could go and give Fridays back to posting about a book, or a movie, or a television show. Well, maybe not a television show as I’m still doing Doctor Who for four more Sundays. Anyway, moving on.
This week’s question is: “What do you hope will happen in the Filipino ReaderCon? What are you expecting from the event?”
To be quite honest, I have no idea what’s going to happen in the first ever Filipino Reader Conference. I have no expectations either. What I do hope the event will achieve is awareness that Filipino readers do exists in the Philippines. We are not an imagined public, as some would say. Though, having said that, most Filipino readers online tend to gravitate to novels published abroad. I wish I could say this isn’t true, and that the tides are changing–but I don’t really know the statistics do I?
I am proud that my most read posts here have to do with Filipino books. And movies too, but yeah–books. Let’s focus on that. Now, while it is true that two of the books in my blog’s top ten most read are ghost stories compilation–but it’s still literature! Though, this might not be a great defense against publishers when they say where are the readers of original Filipino content.
What will make for a good argument though is the interest shown in Karen Francisco’s Naermyth and Paolo Fabregas’s The Filipino Heroes League. I was thinking of including Bob Ong’s Mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan and Lourd de Verya’s This is a Crazy Planets–but those two have a huge internet following. Just mentioning their names will already (probably) generate hits for any blog. Maybe.
Now, I don’t hold the statistics for other Filipino book blogs, so I don’t know if the same holds true for them. For all I know, my blog’s the only one getting a lot of hits for Filipino books because no one really likes my posts about other things. And they don’t really have a lot of online options when it comes to Filipino books.
I hope that that changes after the first Filipino Reader Conference. I hope that with the authors, the publishers and the bloggers working in cooperation, we can succeed in getting more attention for Filipino books online. And I also hope that after the conference, the publishers will realize that there is a market for original Filipino books that aren’t anthologies or collections.
The first Filipino Readers Conference will be held next week, September 14 at the SMX Mall of Asia from 1 pm to 6 pm. It’s co-presented by Vibal Publishing House; and sponsored by the following: Scholastic, Flipside Digital Content, Primetrade Asia, OMF Lit Bookshop, Hachette Book Group, and Tie Me Up Buttercup. It’s part of the (almost) week-long Manila International Book Fair that will run until September 18.
See you there!