I hope some of you signed up for the SCBWI Winter conference. It was this past weekend. I attended three sessions on Saturday and am looking forward to the viewing the Zoom links of those remaining. One of the sessions I’ve already seen was Jean Feiwel’s State-of-the-industry interview., she is Senior Vice President and Publisher, Feiwel & Friends, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, Swoon Reads, Square Fish. At Scholastic, she oversaw the development of Animorphs and the Baby Sitters Club as well as the acquisition of the first four Harry Potter books.
She was an amazing speaker. I was impressed by her willingness to tell it like she sees it. She had some amazing news for publishing. As she pointed out, 2020 was the best year that children’s publishing has had in a while. Backlist titles especially sold well.
But she had other news that some people may consider a negative. Me? I’m not so sure.
She said that we definitely need to be active in social media. Yes, your book matters. And you obviously aren’t going to sell it if you don’t write it. But social media is a must.
She emphasized not only that it puts us in touch with our readers and/or those who buy books for them but there was more. It puts us in touch with the vast publishing community. And we need these people. They are, after all, our people. But they are also our support system and one of our greatest assets.
The good news is that this is something we can each control. We know who we are. We know what our strengths are. And we can find a way to utilize these strengths online. I don’t remember exactly what Feiwel said but it was soemthing to the effect of “not everyone wants to give interviews but there are so many other possibilities.”
Social media is changing all the time. What is your favorite type of social media? How can you use it to reach out to potential readers and/or book buyers? The possibilities are endless.