This week the rumours were confirmed that the sponsors of the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards, our national book awards are finishing after 18 years.
It is a long time to have such dedicated sponsors for Children’s Books and although we in the New Zealand children’s writing community are very sad that the sponsorship has come to an end we are also very mindful that we have been so lucky to have such a wonderful sponsor promoting and encouraging children’s books. Thank you New Zealand Post for being our champion!
Book Awards and their publicity are an easy way for the general public to find out what is being published every year. NZ Post also sponsored the traveling road show of finalists visiting schools in far flung areas of the country in the lead up to the awards. Schools enjoyed the visits...authors enjoyed the schools... positive publicity all round for literacy. Book discovery did not have to rest on a chance encounter with a book on a back shelf in a small chain store, the harassed book rep at school or book club flyers. We may have to get more creative in our visibility in future.
Barnes and Noble (very big chain store in the US) is having some problems and Agent Rachel Gardner looks at what might happen if they follow Borders into liquidation.... It is not all doom and gloom.
Mark Coker, of Smashwords, shares an interesting publishing project that librarians, teachers and students have been working on with him. The poetry book the students wrote designed and uploaded with Smashwords has become a best seller. Mark would like to encourage other schools to try out this form of publishing with their students.
Jane Friedman was the Keynote Speaker at the Boston Muse and the Marketplace writers event which was held last week. A lot of erudite people came together to look at the changing nature of the marketplace for writers. Jane shares the reactions and expands on her very good keynote address -Be Optimistic About Publishing. Take some time to read this.
Last month I linked to an article about writers and game developers meeting at the London Book Fair. Publishing Perspectives talks to a UK publisher who is exploring this new path of collaboration.
Agent Janet Reid shares a cautionary tale on beta copies... be careful of your friends...
Porter Anderson takes a look at the cost of ISBN’s (they’ve gone up in the US) and why you need them (it’s all about metadata visibility.) Just a reminder if you are a Kiwi author you can get them free from National Library... but you have to lodge copies with them for reference.
In the Craft Section,
Janice Hardy – on fixing episodic mistakes
Story-a-day – creative writing prompts
from the fab team of Ackerman and Puglisi
Agent Donald Mass on Plot vs Heart
Jami Gold - Raising the stakes
In the Marketing Section,
When the agent rejects a MS (which was subbed for their MSWL) Why?
Interviews with two writers which may be of interest Jo Nesbo who talks about his children’s books...the ones he writes when he is not writing hard boiled detective stories... and Scott Nicholson whom KOBO recently profiled as one of their self publishing success stories.
I have been thinking about Keynote Speakers for our conference next year and the criteria I need to evaluate who would be of most value to the average attendee. (KSWL) On my Wish List. Children’s author... who is doing new and exciting stuff... is available... can inspire and teach across the newbie and professional spectrum... is cheap... (factor in flights to NZ etcetcetc) Or can get up in the middle of the night for Skype.... Susan Kaye Quinn ticks a lot of these boxes. Check out this little webinar… drop me a line and tell me what you think (and she is a rocket scientist... of course that wasn’t a deciding factor…:)
Pic: Discovery Shuttle
Photo Credit: NASA/GSFC/ Rebecca Roth