Tuesday, December 31, 2013

KID LIT CON Tip: How Do You Know Which Blogs To Tell About Your Book?

This year's conference of bloggers of children's and teen literature, KidLitCon13, happened in Austin, Texas in November.

While I went to present and meet my fellow kid-lit-obsessed blogger peers, I also learned a lot from the sessions I attended.   One tip I'm especially excited about was from MotherReader, a.k.a. Pam Coughlan, in her session "Beyond the Blog for Authors and Illustrators."

A little bit of set up:  The Cybils Awards are annual book blogger awards for children's and teen literature.

Problem: How do you figure out which blogs to aim for in promoting your book?

Solution: Pam suggested that the annual lists of Cybils awards judges is a great place to start.  They list their panelists and judges by category:

Book Apps
Easy Readers/Short Chapter Books
Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction
Young Adult Speculative Fiction
Fiction Picture Books
Middle Grade Fiction
Young Adult Nonfiction
Elementary/Middle-Grade Nonfiction
Young Adult Fiction

Let's say you write MG nonfiction - just in 2013 you can see the seven round one judges (who read everything and come up with the short list) and the five round two judges (who choose a winner from the short list.) That's twelve dedicated and respected bloggers who focus on YOUR genre/age category, who should absolutely know about your book.  And the list was different last year! (And the Cybils started back in 2006!)

It's an awesome tip.

Thanks, Pam!

Illustrate and Write On, and Happy New Year!


Kim Batchelor said...

This is a great list, but unfortunately when I've checked the reviewing policies of many kidlit bloggers, they don't review books from self-published authors. Any suggestions?

Charlotte said...

I'm one of those bloggers who says in my review policy that I don't accept books from self published authors...but yet every year I do take some that seem like they would be a good fit for me. A few things that make the difference between yes and no for me--make your email a polite request, and not an overly enthusiastic gush, include a sample of the book, and make sure the blogger really does review your type of book. Check and make sure the blogger will take an ebook, if that's what you're offering. It can help if you've visited the blog before hand--a few comments here and there, or following the blog in someway, will mean the blogger knows in advance who you are, and will feel friendlier. You can mention that you are a blog reader, and say something nice about the blog if you wish--doesn't hurt, and shows you aren't just mass emailing every blog under the sun.

But do keep in mind that even bloggers who say they "aren't accepting review copies at this time" are inundated with many, many requests, often too many to even respond to each one (I try, but fail, to do so myself). And even if you do get a yes, most bloggers can't promise to actually review the book if it doesn't work for them....

Good luck!

Kim Batchelor said...

Thanks, Charlotte. I had considered doing something like that (and thanks for the reminder to be an active participant and not just someone hanging out to get noticed). I appreciate the feedback! Kim