Monday, April 18, 2011

Young Adult (YA) Conference

This past weekend, I attended the Writers’ League of Texas YA “A to Z” conference in Austin. It was the first one of its kind that the League had put on. The WLT staff did a fantastic job. The faculty that attended (editors, agents, authors) was easily accessible. The workshops were well organized and the topics varied from blogs, tips on finding agents, author interviews, agent and editor panels, marketing, graphic novels, craft of writing, etc.

Austin, Texas

I’ll share some of my notes: Marketing – Librarians are critical to your book because they are the ones who read and pitch them to the kids. Librarians transmit the culture of literature. As an author, make connections with librarians and with schools, i.e., school visits. Your book could become supplemental reading. Getting your book selected for the State Reading List is big; let your publisher know that you want your book considered for this.

One workshop that I found very interesting was the Do-It-Yourself Publicity: Tips for Authors. Their website reads: “PR by the Book is a boutique publicity firm specializing in literary media relations campaigns, publishing consultation, small business publicity, and publicity tours for authors and experts.” Marika Platt, the moderator, offered tips for authors such as hooks and angles and media wish list to publicize a book.

I keep hearing this over and over again -- there are not enough books out there for boys. There is a big demand for books that appeal to boys, i.e., fantasy, authenticity, and action. Address those issues that are important to boys. Books give them reassurance.  

More notes to come. Will keep you posted.

"Each time a child opens a book, he pushes open the gate that separates him from Elsewhere. It gives him choices. It gives him freedom. These are magnificent, wonderfully unsafe things." -- Lois Lowry

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