Jen: a first-timer’s thoughts of kidlitcon
- wear comfortable shoes
- bring business cards. or knitting. Both will help you make connections with other bloggers.
- do start your day with a large, sturdy and most importantly, empty, tote bag. It will most certainly be full to bursting with new ARCs by the end of the day
- if you have traveled from afar, swing by the post office to mail your ARCs. Flat rate shipping is great.
- or, hawk them to a blogger who is willing to love them more and, more importantly, will carry them home.
- don’t feel overwhelmed by all the bloggers who are way more prolific reviewers and well-read than you. They possess a wealth of information and are incredibly witty and nice about sharing it.
- thanks to Maureen Johnson, I’ll probably think of insecure authors every time “werewolf cages” are mentioned in conversation
- after the panel Critical Reviewing and “Niceness,” I am itching to write a review that’s more critical and not merely nice. At the same time, I can only say what worked for me, what didn’t, and why.
- this was my second KidLitCon, and I agree with everything Jen said about ARCs and tote bags. ARCs are great, until they start to feel like bricks dragging your shoulders towards your toes. Hence the miracle of post offices, and the handy ARCs exchange cart. A hearty thank you to all the bloggers who wanted to read (and carry away) my donated ARCs
- publisher previews: the ones I went to were Random House and Penguin, where panels of editors talked about current and upcoming books. There are too many to list them here, but the ones that intrigue me are:
- A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff (Feb. 2013)
- Eighth Grade is Making Me Sick by Jennifer L. Holm (Aug. 2012)
- One Year in Coal Harbor by Polly Horvath (Sept. 2012)
- I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King (text) and Kadir Nelson (illustrations). Pub. Oct. 9, 2012
- The Misadventures of Edgar & Allan Poe: The Tell-Tale Start by Gordon McAlpine (Jan. 2013)
- Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys (Feb. 2013)
- Grace Lin has an uncanny ability to speak to a crowded room while making you feel like you’re part of a one-on-one conversation. She even makes PowerPoint presentations interesting.
- roommate Sondy Eklund (Sonderbooks): together we navigated the labyrinthian subways and debated What Came from the Stars ad nauseum–in a good way
- Sheila Ruth of Wands and Worlds is the queen of social media. She has it all plotted out like an elaborate battle strategy.
- Marcia Lerner at The Diamond in the Window gives good advice about how to make blogs more interactive. Lesson #1: respond to comments to show you’re engaged. #2: don’t be afraid to blog about off-topic things once in a while. #3: the most important factor is the quality of your posts. Make them interesting, and you won’t have to rely on tricks (like giveaways) to encourage comments.
- the post-lunch panel on critical reviewing should have gone on all day. I remember a similar panel from last year’s KidLitCon, but the topic never gets old.
- Maureen Johnson has an incredibly expressive face. She could be a mime, or silent movie star. She did say she has a theater background, so that explains it…
- and finally, a huge thank you to everyone who organized and attended the event. I think our raging debates at the Houndstooth Pub confused the bartender. She probably overheard enough book recommendations to last for years.