Feature Article: What New Authors Do Once Their Books Are Born
Publishing a book in today's competitive marketplace and weak economic climate isn't for the faint of heart.
New authors are learning of creative ways to market their work through group promotion. The first example of this to hit the middle grade and young adult scene was the Class of 2k7.
Founder Greg Fishbone started the Class of 2k7 "after realizing that signing [his] first book contract wasn't the finish line [he'd] always thought it would be. Instead [it was] the start of a new process with a steep learning curve that required a whole new set of skills."
His idea "was that a group of debut authors would be able to accomplish things together better than any of [them] would be able to do on [their] own." The group would "share knowledge and resources along the way." That first Class had a great year and drew a lot of attention to their books. There have been 2k Classes every year since and "a number of other collective [promotional] groups inspired by" this initial group, as well.
The focus of the 2k Classes is marketing to Booksellers, Librarians, and Teachers--the BLTs who have the power to put books in front of readers. The Classes use a variety of tools including a class website, blog, social networking, group signings, school and library postcard mailings, newsletters, giveaways, and group swag, such as bookmarks, pens and buttons. Members are required to pay dues into the Class budget and provide a fair share of the work necessary to make the group a success. Each 2k Class so far has included members with a wide range of amazing talents and useful experience.
Here are some previous Class members you might recognize:
New York Times bestselling author, Carrie Jones
National Book Award Finalist, Sara Zarr
New York Times bestselling author, Jay Asher
Newbery Award winner, Rebecca Stead
New York Times bestselling author, Cassandra Clare
Winner of the 2002 Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Work in Process grant, Jo Knowles
This Year's Group:
The Class of 2k12 is a group of twenty middle-grade and young adult debut novelists working in concert to promote their books and reading. Their titles include historical fiction, paranormal, steampunk, verse novels, fantasy, and contemporary stories.
Each month, the Class of 2k12 gives away two copies of their novels through their Facebook page. Monthly newsletters and weekly blog posts cover everything from authors' favorite writing resources to downloadable study guides and book talks. Throughout the year, there will be opportunities for classrooms and libraries to win gift certificates toward building their own libraries. At the end of the year, teachers and librarians will be able to enter to win a basket of all twenty 2k12 books.
There are so many ways to connect your young readers to new stories! Be sure to visit the links below to find out about 2k12 books, authors, and events:
Caroline Starr Rose spent her childhood in the deserts of Saudi Arabia and New Mexico, camping at the Red Sea in one and eating red chile in the other. She's taught English and social studies to upper elementary and middle-school students in New Mexico, Florida, Virginia, and Louisiana. Back in New
Mexico, Caroline now writes middle-grade novels and picture books full time.
Carolee Dean has made numerous appearances as a guest poet/author at schools, libraries, poetry events, and teacher/library conferences. She holds a bachelor's degree in music therapy and a master's degree in communicative disorders, and she has spent over a decade working in the public schools as a speech-language pathologist. Her first novel, Comfort,was nominated as a Best Book for Young Adults, was named the Best YA Novel of 2002 by the Texas Institute of Letters, and was on the TAYSHAS (Texas Library Association) reading list. She conducts teacher trainings on inspiring reluctant writers including "The Secret Language of Stories" and "Random Acts of Haiku."
To find teacher's guides, writing activities, and information about author visits, go to my website.
Kimberley Griffiths Little is the recipient of the Southwest Book Award, The Whitney Award for Best Youth Novel of 2010, and the author of the highly acclaimed, The Healing Spell and Circle of Secrets, published by Scholastic Press. Look for her books at the Scholastic Book Fairs, as well as two more forthcoming novels in 2012 and 2013. She lives on a dirt road in a small town by the Rio Grande with her husband, a robotics engineer and their three sons. Kimberley is a favorite speaker at schools around the country, presenting "The Creative Diary", a highly successful writing workshop and has been a speaker at many conferences. Please visit her website to download free Teacher's Guides and Book Club Guides.
Upcoming Author Events
Sunday, March 11
Kimberley presents at the
Tucson Book Festival
12:30 -1:30 Panel with Author Will Hobbs: "Opening Minds Across Borders: Characters in Conflict"
2:30 - 3:30 "Breaking into Children's Novels through Magazine Writing"
Each session followed by autographing
Saturday, March 17
UNM Continuing Ed
Young Writers Conference
Kimberley is presenting "The Creative Diary" - a hands-on Writing Workshop for kids and teens
Sunday, April 29th
9-5 Preconference Session
Author's Panel at the
International Reading Association Conference
"Rekindling the Reading and Writing Fire"
Join us for this all day session
featuring 11 authors including
all 3 Spellbinders
Kimberley Griffiths Little
Caroline Starr Rose
Tuesday, May 1
3 p.m. - 4 p.m.
International Reading Association Conference
"The Secret Language of Stories: Beyond Story Grammar"