I’ve found over the years that many of the writers I meet share a common way of thinking and speaking about books. It’s really easy, therefore, to fall into the habit of marketing my own books to other writers. After all, I hardly have to say a thing, and they get it!
However, I’ve also discovered that teachers and school librarians often have different ways of thinking and speaking about books. I’ve met many of them who are passionate advocates for reading, but they sometimes seem to view books through a slightly different lens than I do as a book creator. I’m guessing that’s because educators always have to think about how books will be used: how they will incorporate them into their classrooms, or link them to their curriculum, or make them appealing to sometimes reluctant readers.
So outside of what I post here on the Mentors for Rent blog, most of my blogging efforts focus on educators—rather than on appealing to other writers—because it’s one of the ways I can try to connect with these important book advocates. Two of my blogs are carried by Bookology—a free online magazine that works to build connections between book authors and illustrators and the educators who use those books in their schools. You may want to check out the magazine yourself to get some ideas for ways you can reach out to educators.
One of my blogs is called “Writing Road Trip,” where I offer tips to teachers about how to teach writing. The other is called “Middle Kingdom,” where I interview middle school librarians about their work with readers in that transitional age range of grades 6-8. If you aren’t familiar with the joys and challenges facing school librarians, I especially encourage you to check out a few of those interviews.
This past week was also my turn to be featured in “Knock Knock,” Bookology’s blog that features a variety of writers. I used my space to talk about the meandering path I took to finally become a children’s book writer—answering many of the questions that students ask me when I do school visits, and hoping that educators might see the piece as a way to encourage their own students to dream big.
Wherever you are on your writing path, I encourage you to think about how you can reach out to teachers and librarians. They will be some of the biggest advocates for your published books—and I’ve learned an enormous amount trying to see the world of children’s books through their different perspectives.