Monday, November 06, 2006

Promoting Local Authors, Part I

Within WriterWorld there's lots of talk about how difficult it is to connect books with readers, in large part because general interest newspapers and magazines have cut back on their book coverage while the number of books published each year sky rockets. And it's true.

Some organizations have stepped into the void to try to get more attention for authors and their books. One of them is the Connecticut Educational Media Association, which held a Connecticut Author Reception yesterday as part of its pre-conference events. Over thirty Connecticut children's and YA authors attended and met with school librarians. It was a very classy event.

Among the authors attending (besides myself, of course) were:

Victoria Kann, who is the co-author (with her sister) of Pinkalicious, a very attractive and very pink picture book. Pinkalicious is Victoria's first book, and it was just published in June, so this was her first time at what you might call a "herd" author event. I was a little worried about her because these kinds of affairs have the potential to be disappointing. But she was sitting right next to me and seemed to be getting plenty of attention from the crowd. Of course, now she may think that all author gatherings include waiting staff coming by with scallops on sticks and a chocolate fountain in the middle of the room, so there's still potential for her to be disappointed.

Sitting on the other side of me was Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, an author and illustrator who has a number of picture books out. She is excellent company, by the way. I'll sit next to her at an author event any time.

I also saw Patricia Hubbell, who I keep running into at these kinds of things. She also writes picture books. And I had Suzy Kline autograph some Horrible Harry books for me to give to young relatives.

Finally, in the parking lot, I met Spring Hermann who writes primarily nonfiction.

CEMA took the initiative to bring these people to the attention of people who might be interested in their work. As a kidlit blogger, I am doing the same.

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