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March 19, 2007



Just a ponder...I know here in Texas, the Bluebonnet committee members serve a 3 year term, with new and old people rotating on and off each year.

I never understood the length of service until I served on the Cybils this year.

It does take some time to get up to speed and learn how to think about and discuss the books. It might be worth considering to keep some "experience" on the commitees each year as new members come on.


Thanks, Camille, for your comments!!


Okay since I wasn't a judge or anything I won't comment on that, and I like the site. This is more of a marketing thing. Do you have medal stickers for the books that win? It's an excellent way to advertise the award. The book gets to look important on the shelf, and people can see the award. Also, at B&N at least, we have lists of all the major awards and who has won them. We use it for staff recs and general ordering. Is there a way you can make the list available to the chains so that they always have it on hand? B&N uses something called BookMaster. I have no idea who you would contact to get it added, but it's an idea.


Oh, and I like the idea of something computer oriented for on the medal. Have you considered a mouse? It's silhouette would be more pen-like and not as bulky as keyboard.


Hey Madeline:

Excellent suggestions. We have folks looking into the sticker thing and we should have a definite answer soon. Thanks!


A couple of thoughts:

1. As soon as you have your short lists, fire off interviw questions to every author and illustrator. Just have the same five questions or something about how they wrote the book, what research they did - whatever you come up with. I suggest making the questions the same so you don't have to try and come up with them on the spot. Anyway, you would then have a ton of responses and new content to put up as the short lists are being considered by the final judges. That will increase your traffice around here.

2. This was mentioned in the post Cybils discussion - I think you need to split the picture book category. You need to have books for early readers vs the very young. Do it for both fiction and non I think - I just reviewed Perfect Timing which is a picture book bio of Isaac Murphy and there's no way it would be really read and enjoyed by anyone under the age of 9 or so. (And it's a great resource for any elementary age kid on African Amer history.)

3. This might be out there, but any way to have a mystery category for at least YA or middle grade? They just seem to get lost a lot and plus it is very very hard to judge a fun mystery like Kiki Strike or Gilda Joyce against a major drama like in Margo Rabb's new one, Cures for Heartbreak. It's not really something any other awards folks do (other than the Edgars) so you guys would be trailblazers! ha!

4. Finally (I swear!), how about a fan favorite? After the short lists are determined and things are kinda slow around here until the winner announcement you could open up the voting to fan favorites in either some or all categories. These don't need to be books that made it to the short lists - just make it wide open and every vote counts. That might be fun and would bring more attention to your awards and to some more great books.

Thanks for the chance to give my two cents, guys!

Jennifer, Snapshot

I guess this would go under organization--it seems that books for young readers get left out. If it's not a picture book, there's no place for it to "compete," because middle grade books are an entirely different animal, so a well-written non-picture book for a first or second grader has nowhere to go.

Also, I think that this was addressed in the nominating section, but likewise the nonfiction genre is SO broad that it's sometimes hard to compare--age range, biography, how-to etc.


Dividing the Sci-Fi/Fantasy category into two age groups like you did with Graphic Novels might be a good idea. :)


Thanks, all! As usual, Colleen, your suggestions are spot on. It's very easy to add a survey or straw poll to the blog, so that will be a feature next year for fans.

As for categories ... there will be many more, and existing ones will indeed be split. We'll know more as the feedback comes in.

So keep the suggestions coming, all!


I like the idea of a category for early readers Those books do get overlooked. Would it be duplicating the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award?


First of all, congratulations on doing such a good job with the 2006 Cybils!

I think that keeping some of the same judges is a good idea, but so is getting new people involved (I'm definitely interested in helping out next year, but didn't learn about it in time this year!). My suggestion is to pick new judges every, say, three years, but to change the nominating committees every year (and some of the same people could still stay on, but it wouldn't be guaranteed or anything). You could have people apply to be on the nominating committees, and maybe have the old judges, after their time is over, pick the new ones.


My comment is in marketing, I just came from BEA and every publisher I spoke that had had a nominated or winning title to was so pleased with the award, with the fact the it was an online award, etc. I heard things like "these awards mean so much, they help get people interested in the book, get them talking about it." The Cybils were very well thought of by everyone I spoke to.


Thanks, Gina. That's good to know! We'll be back in September with a revamped website and even more Cybils fun.

I wish I could've gone to BEA, but maybe next year. In fact, I think we'll probably have to have a booth!

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