Friday, August 24, 2007

The Internet: An Introvert’s Best Friend

And if you ever doubted that, just look at how close those two words are: INTRovErT/INTeRnET.

At the recent SCBWI National Conference, children’s author and Blog Guru Extraordinaire Cynthia Leitich Smith gave a HUGELY instructive, information packed workshop on Using the Web to Build Craft and Career. Cynthia, truly one of the most generous people EVER, has graciously posted the reference list from her workshop here, so if any of you are interested, you can check it out.

But as I was listening to her talk, I was struck by the fact that, for an introverted author, working in the age of the Internet is a huge blessing. There are just so many ways available for us to connect with our readers, without having to venture into the Real World of Energy Sucking Aliens (aka extroverts). Cynthia’s workshop highlighted so many of these options! If you’re not taking advantage of them, perhaps it’s a good time to reconsider.

In addition to the basics of your author website, here are some other ways to consider reaching out to your readers, both the kids themselves and the gatekeepers who help guide kids to books that might be of interest to them. Note that very few of these suggestions fall into the category of networking or schmoozing or even marketing. But they are all ways you can connect with your readers, which is the whole purpose of networking and marketing in the end.

  • Featuring teachers’ or readers’ guides for your book on your website
  • A short readers theater
  • Research Bibliographies, especially for books that feature elements that kids might want to explore more on their own
  • Interior Illustrations – to help pull readers into the world of your book
  • A Media Kit – have a small variety of bios and pictures that can be downloaded when the media is interested in knowing more about you
  • Secondary Resource Info – Perhaps, like Cynthia, you want to highlight other authors in your state (Cynthia focuses on Texas children’s authors) or you’d like to highlight writer’s tips that help pre-published writers work toward their dreams, or perhaps you’d like to include a resource for Asian literature for kids, or historical novels, or graphic novels.
Whatever interest calls to you, there will be some of your readers who share that interest. Use that to build a connection, which in turn helps you build a community based on interests you and your audience share. It’s not about shoving your book down their throat, but about coming together over your common interest in Egyptology or Challenged Athletes or, you know, Introverts.

(And yes, profuse apologies for being a day late with my post but I'm on a deadline and here at SVP, deadlines take precedence over blogging. Sad but true.)


Anonymous said...

Such great info here! Note to self: Get a media kit on website!

And, I love the idea of the Secondary Resource Info. I contacted Ellen Wittinger earlier today to ask if I could link her great reading list of novels with gay characters.

Graci, Robin!

Anonymous said...

May I just say that even we aforementioned Energy Sucking Aliens (extroverts) can find this blog to be full of pertinent information?! You have such wonderful ideas, you Vis, and I thank you for sharing them in what ever shrinking way you can. Thanks for your wisdom, from ALL of us!
~Thalia Chaltas