Tag Archives: publishers

Middle Grade ARCs I Picked Up At PLA

29 Mar

PLA Middle Grade ARCs to Read.png

I talked yesterday about the awesome experience I had at PLA this past weekend. What I didn’t get to finish talking about is that I picked up so many great ARCs that I’m having a hard time deciding what to start reading first.

If you’re unfamiliar with a large library conference or BookExpo America, let me try and explain it to you. Imagine a large convention center room filled with exhibits – furniture, supply companies and so much more. These exhibits also include many publishing houses with full displays set up promoting previously published titles and new titles recently published. The most exciting part is that they often have ARCs (advanced reader copies) for you to pick up. These are titles that are often slated to be published over the next year and depending on what book and what publisher it is you, the book may or may not be finished, may have significant editing still need to done, illustrations may not be placed in the book yet, etc. Basically, the book has been pre-published to promote it to librarians, booksellers and bloggers in the hopes of getting some strong sales.

Imagine an exhibit floor filled with books that you can just pick up for free! It’s overwhelming and amazing and so much fun! A few points to remember about ARCs:

  1. Make sure you talk to the reps that are working these booths – the conference days are long and people can get pushy. I often ask, “What are you most excited about coming out?” This often gets you chatting about books you like and they are often more willing to go search for a title you’re looking for or are willing to send you something from the office if it’s not available at the conference.
  2. ARCs cannot be sold, every once in a while you’ll see them for “re-sale” which is illegal (and says so on every ARC I’ve ever received). Don’t do it – it’s not fair to the the people who work so hard on the finished copy. Just buy a new copy and support your favorite authors and illustrators.
  3. Some publishers will give you strict instructions on how, what, and when you can review the title. Double-check the book’s first few pages or the publisher’s website for more information.
  4. Make sure you use the ARCs for good – don’t pick up every title available. Try to pick up the titles you’ll actually read and find great ways to promote the book – social media, talk it up at work and make sure your organization or you personally buy a copy when it comes out.

These are the middle grade titles I picked up at PLA (and they all look so good!)

  1. The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle by Christina Uss (2018, no specific date)
  2. Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed (May 8, 2018)
  3. The Ambrose Deception by Emily Ecton (February 13, 2018)
  4. Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead (May 1, 2018)
  5. The Boy, The Bird and The Coffin Maker by Matilda Woods (May 1, 2018)
  6. Breakout by Kate Messner (June 5, 2018)
  7. Charlie & Frog by Karen Kane (April 10, 2018)
  8. The Frame-Up by Wendy McLeod MacKnight (June 5, 2018)
  9. Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake (March 6, 2018)
  10. The Jigsaw Jungle by Kristin Levine (June 19, 2018)
  11. Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish by Pablo Cartaya (August 21, 2018)
  12. A Possibility of Whales by Karen Rivers (March 13, 2018)
  13. So Done by Paula Chase (August 14, 2018)
  14. You Go First by Erin Entrada Kelly (April 10, 2018)

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.
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