One Writer’s Journey

December 15, 2014

Readers Choice Awards

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:50 am
Tags: ,

Study the award winners.

If you’ve been writing for any length of time, you’ve heard that advice.  But to truly benefit from it, you need to know who selects each of these awards.  Let me explain.

The ALA (American Library Association) gives a wide variety of awards — The Caldecott to an illustrated book, the Newbery for the text, The Siebert for nonfiction and much, much more.  These books are chosen by a panel of librarians.  Its good to know what librarians love because they by books — lots of books.  But pay attention — these awards are chosen by a panel. That means that everyone has to vote for that particular book.  If one person objects or the book just doesn’t click, no award.

Then there are the readers choice awards.  I like these because they are selected by “every reader.”  These may not be the people with library science degrees or educational degrees, but that’s cool.  These are the readers.  One of the latest to be announced is the Goodreads Choice Awards for 2014.  With 3,317,504 members voting, these are the books that they liked best.  Two or three dozen people could object to a book, but it if got enough votes — WINNER.  That’s something to know because that’s how the market for our books works.

The winners most of interest to writers for teens and children are:

Comic books and Graphic novels:  Serenity: Leaves on the Wind by Zack Weadon

Young Adult Fiction:  We Were Liars by e. lockhart

Young Adult Fantasy: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

Middle Grade and Children’s:  Rick Riordan’s The Blood of Olympus

Picture Books:  The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems

NOTE:  These are just the winners in each of these categories.  You can see the entire list of nominees as well as how many votes each got here.  Just click on the winning title in that category and it will take you to the complete list of twenty titles for that particular category. Read as many of these books as you can and, as you read each one, consider why it won.  This is especially important if you don’t like the book because we are inclined to dismiss books that we don’t enjoy.  Instead, think it over and try to see what makes it popular.  Not an easy exercise but worthwhile to someone who wants to sell in a similar market.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some books to request from the library.

–SueBE

 

 

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