Thanks to my wonderful agent, Marlene, I’ve come to a conclusion: I’m good at something! Okay, so she didn’t actually say I was good at this particular thing, but she got me to focus, and that’s what really made this all fall into place. And I’m re-focusing this blog because of it!
Last year was a big experiment for me. I’d been writing a blog for my library for almost seven years, and it’s done well. It has a pretty good mix of library events and all things books. I generally scour the internet for interesting items that I think our readers will want to know about, and also do op-ed pieces and book reviews. In our first year, we had about 15 visitors per day, and, honestly, I thought that was great! But we’ve slowly been gaining a great following so that now we have anywhere from 250 – 1500 views per day, and for a library blog, I’m over the moon with those stats.
I just couldn’t come up with a real focus for this blog. I spent last year doing videos, making infographics, writing book reviews, drawing pictures…anything I could think of to try to find out which readers were visiting my site, and what I should be talking about. I’d have some success, and then it would languish, even though I was posting regularly. To be honest, I didn’t know what would set my author’s page apart from all the rest out there, which always seemed to be way more interesting and focused, than mine. Why would someone keep coming back to read about what I’m doing, if all I posted were personal interest stories (did you really want to know about my Christmas decorations, or my trip to Winnipeg last May?), and book reviews that were already piling up around the web?
So when I was tasked with continuing this year, I didn’t know where to start. Until today. As I was standing over a pot of boiling turnip, it hit me. (No, it not the turnip—-an idea!) I am good at something! I’m good at giving presentations to kids! It might not be exactly the same as doing a book reading with my own book, but it’s got to be great preparation, right? Right.
In my other life, I’m a full-time Children’s Librarian. Each week, I do two storytimes, and a babytime. And it seems like every other week, I’m going to schools to do book talks either about reading programs, or just to get kids into reading (there aren’t a lot of librarians in schools anymore). Plus, I have several classes that come to my library and I’ve been reading to them since September. This month alone, I’ll have done six storytimes, four school presentations and two library presentations. Next month, I’ll add to that with a Cub Scout book talk, a family storytime for Winter Carnival, and several more storytimes, library visits and a literacy talk at our local Health Unit.
Believe me when I say I’ve done terrible presentations, and great ones. If you’re not used to talking to kids, going into a school to talk about your own book could be incredibly difficult, so I’m going to start a series here about talking to kids in schools and how to help improve your presentations when you go. It’s a learning process, for sure, but I’m hoping through my experiences, I can help someone else figure out how to do an interesting and engaging book talk with kids of any age.
So, here we go, 2014! Let’s talk to young people about books!