I did enter the blog world several years ago thanks to this esteemed blog. And I’m making progress: on my recent author trip to Africa I finally abandoned my old acetate overheads for powerpoint. I now trust the software and hardware not to fail, and they didn’t.
But my publisher wants more for my new book, due out April 1. [Full disclosure: it’s middle grade fiction: All the Worlds’ a Stage: A Novel in Five Acts (Holiday House.)] Their Author Appearance Questionnaire asks for the old-fashioned contact information, like email and websites, but also wants my facebook, twitter, and personal blog addresses. Their Note About Social Networking is actually a whole page of information about things like book trailers and linking all the abovementioned data to all those accounts, both mine and the publishers’.
I signed up for facebook a while ago but have ignored it. Until now. I don’t have a personal blog. And I don’t tweet. But I do have a film editor friend who has offered to help me create a book trailer as an upcoming birthday present.
So here’s where I stop telling you stuff, and ask questions to you authors, editors, librarians, teachers, and general readers. I would love to know your habits and preferences for using social networking to find out about children’s books and authors.
• Where do you look first to get information about authors and their books – their websites or facebook pages?
• Do you friend authors to find out more about their books?
• Do you prefer to look at an author’s general facebook page, or would you prefer a page dedicated to each of his/her books?
• Do you use twitter to give and receive information about books?
• Do you look at book trailers and do they influence what books you will read?
• Do you read more group blogs or individual blogs?
This month I traveled to ALA in San Diego where I attended a Holiday House reception, and roamed the exhibits, meeting and greeting editors and authors, and filling a wheelie suitcase with ARCs (advance reading copies.) In the evening I met fellow INK blogger Sue Macy (see left) and we talked shop, until Nancy Feresten, VP of Children's Books at National Geographic, showed up whereupon we shouted shop over salsa and chips in a noisy Mexican restaurant.
The following weekend I attended an SCBWI writing retreat at the Santa Barbara Mission. Four grateful editors from the frozen north talked more shop for two days in the warm California sunshine. I spent a day in workshops with Brenda Murray, Senior Nonfiction Editor at Scholastic, and her message to every writer was the same. And it was the message I had gotten the night before from Nancy Feresten at Nat Geo.
To sell these days, nonfiction books must be tied to curricula. So check the state curriculum standards, (e.g. http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/) and be sure your content is written for the appropriate level. Perhaps things will ease up in the future, and we can write whatever we like for whatever level we like, but the economy dictates the boundaries these days.
Now, please take my quiz (above) and leave comments, not on facebook or twitter, but right here.