Tag Archives: publishers

Response to Anne Ursu’s Piece on “Sexual Harassment in the Children’s Book Industry”

12 Feb

Last week, children and young adult author, Anne Ursu, published a piece on Sexual Harassment in the Children’s Book Industry and it’s had people talking all weekend long about what can be done, what should be done and a call to action from authors, illustrators, bloggers and librarians to make it known that this type of behavior is unwelcome, unwanted, and unequivocally wrong in our industry.

I’m not a confrontational blogger, for the most part, I try to promote the books I like and be respectful of books that weren’t my favorite or didn’t work for me. But, in the past year or so, I’ve been thinking more and more about the platform I have and where I stand. And although it’s never going to get crazy here, it is going to get real and my posts will reflect the world we live in today, whether that’s creating a booklist for kids who have immigrated to the U.S., a list of books that show diversity in its’ many forms, or standing up for what I believe in, while being conscientious and respectful.

After reading the piece, I have to say that it’s not surprising, which in and of itself is a sad statement – that I expected that this happened, and that I just didn’t know the details. But, what makes me more sad, angry, upset, and frustrated is for all the people who have been sexually harassed who feel helpless. What a horrible feeling to have and then realizing that even if you did say something, nothing might come of it.

So where do we, the children’s book industry, and we as a nation go from here? This behavior, sadly, is not going to change overnight and I think, as many have pointed out, that it is time for the innocent bystander to take a stand and become an ally – to speak up when a casually sexual comment is made and say outright, that the type of talk/behavior is not acceptable. If someone is doing or saying something that you don’t like or is unwanted attention, speak up – be straightforward and make sure the other person understands that “no means no.” We need conferences, workshops, and conventions to have a strict sexual harassment policy in place and that when a complaint is filed, it follows procedure every time – no matter who it’s against. People in power need to learn that this is not the way they stay in power, that this is far from unacceptable and that there will be consequences.

If you want to learn more about the conversation happening, check out Gwenda Bond‘s tweets as well as Shannon Hale‘s, among so many others ready to stand up for what is right and just and good. The children’s book industry, although we want to believe is all sunshines, rainbows, and unicorns, is just like other industries and I think it’s important to remember to be realistic, but to also be hopeful that we have the power to make a change.


ARCS, What Are They and What Do You Do With Them?

8 Jul

ARCs have been discussed on Twitter over the past few days because a blogger grabbed an over-abundance of ARCs at a conference (multiple copies of each title) and are now trying to send them to people for $20 and up.  The cost to send books through media mail is under $5 and supplies definitely do not cost $15, so they are clearly making a profit.  This is not right and not legal – these books are illegal to sell and blogger’s who pick up ARCs to sell are creating a bad environment for bloggers, librarians, and parents who are promoting these books to kids they know who will absolutely love these books.

What are ARCs?

I’ve mentioned ARCs, here on my blog a number of times.  ARCs, or Advanced Reader Copies, (also known as galleys) are books that have been pre-published as a part of a marketing campaign to promote the title, author and publisher.  ARCs can be physical books or available as an eBook through Netgalley and Edelweiss.  ARCs are also considered uncorrected proofs, which means that many times they have editorial mistakes (spelling punctuation), sometimes they’re missing illustrations, and sometimes they’re missing chapters or pages, depending on the book.  But, usually the books are complete and only have minor mistakes.

Where do you find them?

ARCs are usually found at large conference and conventions – American Library Association conferences, Book Expo America, through the publishers directly and as I said before online through Netgalley and Edelweiss.

What do you do with ARCs?

I pick up ARCs at conferences to read (obviously).  It’s a great way for librarians and bloggers to read and promote authors’ works.  I usually read a book and then know instantly a kid who needs to read the story.  I also try and review the new books coming out to promote them to other librarians and parents through my blog and on Twitter.

What do you do after you finish reading them?

Here’s the most important thing to know: you CAN’T sell these books.  (It says so write on the book cover) I keep a stock pile at my desk for the kids looking for something specific to read and I happen to have an extra copy or for the kids who needs a book at home.  We use them for prizes and drawing at the library too.  What we don’t do is sell them in our used book sale – it’s illegal!

You can also donate these books to classroom teachers, school libraries (for prizes), shelters, prisons or even laundromats or doctor’s offices where there are often kids sitting and waiting.

The Dos and Don’ts of ARCs:

  • Don’t sell them!
  • Don’t grab 8 copies of your favorite author’s book at a conference or expo (it’s rude).
  • Try hard not to take too many ARCs (especially if you aren’t going to do anything with them!)
  • Talk with publishers – they love to hear what you’ve liked that they published recently and what you’re looking forward to.  If you strike up a conversation, a lot of times they’ll go the extra mile to find something that they are excited to share with you!
  • Review those ARCs – they cost money to publish and send to you, personally or to conferences, so make it worth the publishers’ while.

Children’s Book Council Resources

16 Mar

“The Children’s Book Council (CBC) is the nonprofit trade association of children’s book publishers in North America, dedicated to supporting and informing the industry and fostering literacy.”  I am currently an ALA intern serving a two-year term with the CBC meeting in New York twice a year to talk about what they’re doing to support literacy.  The CBC has some great resources for families as well as librarians to encourage literacy.

Building a Home Library  – every two years a new list comes out with classics as well as newly published material perfect for different age groups.

The Children’s Choice Book Awards – the only national book award where winners are voted for by kids and teens

Diverse Kids’ and YA Lit – an extensive list of children’s literature that deals in some part with diversity

Mathical: Books for Kids from Tots to Teens – recognizes popular, math-related fiction and nonfiction for very young children through teenagers, with a view toward inspiring children of all ages to cultivate a love of mathematics in the world around them.

The CBC offers a lot of other resources as well including a new section with information pertaining to the Common Core.  The CBC also assists in sponsoring Children’s Book Week (celebrating it’s 96th year – May 4 – 10, 2015) administered by Every Child A Reader.

Definitely take the time to visit CBC online to find out more about what this nonprofit does to promote children’s literature!

Hey Authors, Wanna Hear a Secret?

6 Sep

I just recently read an article from American Libraries Direct written by Christopher Harris, entitled “Hey Authors, Wanna Hear a Secret?” about the love librarians have for authors.

“Librarians love you [authors]; authors are our rock stars. And it isn’t just us. We have shared our love with so many people that they have built whole museums to hold your works. These edifices, let’s call them ‘libraries’ perhaps, showcase your talents and share your writing with millions of readers each year.”

Harris’s main point is that librarians and authors need to work together to show publishers that we do indeed need each other to make it work.  Librarians want to buy books to allow patrons access to their favorite authors and authors realize the importance of libraries.  The entire point of a library is to get books to readers, which in turn helps authors.  Unfortunately, and I’ve commented on this in the past, publishers are only concerned about the bottom line – money.

So, publishers let’s figure something out… libraries are willing to pay for a physical copy of a book or an e-book, but we want a fair price.  Authors understand the importance of libraries and you should too!

To read Christopher Harris’s article, click here.

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