Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Kidlitosphere Conference '08

If you are a writer of children's books and you want to learn how to connect with other writers, reviewers, librarians, and booklovers online, if you want to build an online community before your book is published and learn how to spread the word about it, or if you just love children's books and blogging and want to meet like-minded souls, come to the Kidlitosphere Conference '08!

It's September 27 in Portland, Oregon and will be really fun (as well as informative). Last year, the lovely Robin Brande kicked off the first one on a whim -- she just wanted to meet face-to-face all the awesome booklovers she'd gotten to know online. So we all convened in Chicago and it was a blast. This year, the city being Portland, the organization has fallen to Jone Rush McCulloch and myself. We've booked a great hotel for the event, and have plans for a friday night Powell's Books spree too, followed by dinner and fun -- the conference and official dinner to follow on Saturday.

Many attendees will be book reviewers, many will be authors. From the author's perspective, I want to put this out there to writers: if you're not already blogging and doing online promotion for your books (published or not-yet published): you should be. And the only way it can be effective is if you genuinely connect with the spirit of the online community. It's not enough to just put up a blog that periodically announces your bookstore events. That won't get you anywhere. You have to take an interest, get to know your kindred spirits, and really become a blogger. (Take it from me: it's incredibly rewarding!)

At last year's conference, I learned about such things as "blog blast book tours" and "search engine optimization," and "podcasting," and I got to meet wonderful reviewers like Jen Robinson, Betsy Bird (who I'd been lucky to meet before), and Jules & Eisha of 7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast (who, by the way, did a lovely piece on Laini's Ladies last weekend!). There were terrific writers in attendance too, like Ysabeau Wilce and Sara Lewis Holmes.

So, join us. Portland is beautiful in September. You can go see some waterfalls, shop at Powell's, and talk kidlit with awesome people. Come, come. (click HERE for more info and to register.)

Cheers!

13 comments:

Jehsyka said...

Thank-you so much for posting this 'cause it really made me realize that I'm going to need connections if I want my book published! I'm so going to check this stuff out and become a more serious blogger. If that's what it takes, I'll do it, and besides, it's sounds fun!
^_^

Laini Taylor said...

Jehsyka, you're definitely on the right track. One thing you might consider is posting book reviews on your blog -- check out this site by teen book reviewer Miss Erin (if you don't already know it):

http://www.misserinmarie.blogspot.com/

There are so many great people to connect with out there while you grow as a writer.

:-)

Jehsyka said...

Thank-you so much! :-D
You so deserve a chocolate muffin!!!

tone almhjell said...

Oh, I would really love to go. I think it might be too expensive, though. Almost out of funds, but still hanging in there.

Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog, Laini. There is much comfort in the momentary electronic alignment of kindred spirits.

Alysa said...

I would SO love to come to this. Sadly, there is no way I can make it with a three-month old. I think it should have been in Portland last year (because then I was closer to Portland) and Chicago this year (because I'm about to move to IL. Maybe next year...

Rhymes With Carrot said...

Are aspiring/unpublished authors welcome? I'm working on my first book (YA Fantasy), and this sounds like a lot of fun. I'm just starting to think seriously about publishing, and I'd like to learn as much as I can about the process and the community.

Book said...

Some handy links there, thanks. I'm always on the hunt for great children's books and have recently discovered Bayard and their series of StoryBoxBooks, AdventureBoxBooks, DiscoveryBoxBooks They have work by acclaimed children's books illustrator Helen Oxenbury appearing in the Storybox series for September. In addition to this, they also have some great activities for rainy days: http://www.storyboxbooks.com/potatoprinting.php, http://www.adventureboxbooks.com/macaroni-picture-frames.php, http://www.discoveryboxbooks.com/skittles.php Enjoy!

Laini Taylor said...

This is kind of funny -- I was going to delete the above message, but it's such a good example of what not to do when promoting one's book to other bloggers, that I'm going to leave it. Spams aren't good! Kidlit blogging is about community and participation (which, granted, I am not that good at, not having nearly the time to read and comment on other blogs that I would like!) -- not blatant self-promotion!

Laini Taylor said...

Rhymes With Carrot: Yes, absolutely, aspiring/unpublished writers are welcome. The best time to start a blog is before you are published, I think -- and you don't have to be published to love kid's books and write about them, and help spread the word about them to other readers! I hope you will come :-)

Enna Isilee said...

Laini, are you ever going to come to Utah? There are a TON of people here (including me) who just can't get out to Portland but are DYING to meet you (especially to see that pink hair in person!).

Longtime reader, not-so-constant poster:

~Enna Isilee

tinker said...

Wish I could be there - it sounds wonderful, and I bet it will be!

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