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February 05, 2007



Hmmm....instead of thinking "big," would it work to think smaller? What about sending a press release to the major media in each of finalists' (and winners') home towns?

Have you gone beyond the book blogs to the "mom" (and dad) blogs and news sites? I'm guessing you've already contacted libraries and teacher organizations? (like the NEA)

I wish I had some bigger ideas!


Would the publishers of the winners be able to get the word out somehow? The International Reading Association conference is coming up in late April. Publishers might be able to take advantage of this at their booths. Maybe there is a press release that we can all try to ge to our local papers--as part of the nominating and judging. Is there something we can all get to hand to local news people that we know? Somehow it would be great to collect all of the article links too.

Mitali Perkins

An award like this takes time to build steam, but I am hopeful. Much depends on the publishers' response to their book winning this year. I think they will be watching with interest to see how much impact this award makes on sales. If a Cybils win sells books this year, they will send out press releases, etc. and next year will be an even bigger hoopla. So our focus should be to try and sell the books that win via our blogs. If the Amazon sales rankings of the winners go as bonkers like the Newbery winners do, believe me, word will spread.

Bottom Line: We have to reveal the POWER OF THE BLOGOSPHERE, my peeps! The Cybils is our big chance to show off how cyber-buzz has the muscle to define the bestsellers of the future. EVERY Cybil judge and nominating panel member should participate on 2/14 with a big-mega-announcement and links to Amazon.com (the indies will benefit later, but those sales rankings are watched by the publishers). Use all your networks, flex your blog muscles, and in three to five years, winning a Cybils award will be a coveted prize for every publisher/author.

Patty Cryan

I'd be more than happy to send something to Diane Roback at Children's Bookshelf and to Heidi MacDonald at THE BEAT; both are online subdivisions of Publishers Weekly.

Please e-mail me what content you'd like me to send them!


Lauri Berkenkamp

SLJ just had a great article about book blogging. I think it's worth following up with them and PW about the Cybils. Publishers are just beginning to realize the grassroots strength of book bloggers, and an announcement about the award, the judging process, and the results would make good press.


Fantastic suggestions, all. I will post the press release announcing the winners on Feb. 14th. You can cut and paste it and pass it along.

I'll also be sending it out via a free press-release site, and individually to several book review editors I know.

Mitali is right, however, that word-of-blog is our strongest asset. I think the fancy business term is "viral marketing." I hope everyone who reads this will considering posting a link to Cybils on 2/14.

If you don't already have an Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Powell's account, I highly recommend them. It's very easy to add links to your blog and give readers a way to buy the great books you're recommending.

Please keep the suggestions coming! More more more!


I would also suggest contacting the listservs, such as LM_NET (librarians), the ALA, and also state library organizations. This reminds me to contact my own state and the neighboring state which I live in.


Well, I'm not sure how to get the word out to the big guys but I did make an announcement on AmoxCalli and La Bloga. I've added The Cybils link to my signature on email with a note that says check out the Cybils! Eventually, maybe I'll email enough people who will notice.


Excellent, Gina. That's a great example of that whole "viral marketing" phenom. That's the only kind of virus I'd ever hope to catch, of course, so long as it doesn't make me sneeze.


Thanks, all, for your wonderful advice and support! We'll be seeking you out soon when the Cybils are announced.

Cynthia Leitich Smith

I'd suggest making a little noise of your own. Having judgees/highly involved folks write articles for the various children's literature publications with the history, inspiration, purpose, and results of the award. Start local, think global. In any case, thanks for all the hard work!

Elaine Magliaro

On Thursday, I told the students in my children's literature course about the Cybils.

I'm president of the PAS North Shore Council, a local affiliate of the Massachusetts Reading Association and IRA. Our next membership meeting is scheduled for March 7th. (Joseph Bruchac will be our speaker.) We usually have about 100 members attend our dinner meetings. I'll write a short article about the Cybils for the newsletter we'll distribute
that evening.

I'll also get out word to board members of MRA via email.

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