September 17, 2009

"Sitting at the Popular Kids' Table"

I read kids' booksWow, have I heard that phrase a few times this week!
Here and now I think I should say: I've never been a popular kid. (Can't say for sure about Aquafortis; but I think she was at least approachable, if still popular...) You can still come and sit with us in the kidlitosphere cafeteria. We don't throw food.

Well, not too often.

"If you really want to promote your books most effectively then you have to become part of the blogosphere, plain and simple. You have to spend the time to cultivate a readership which means regular posts on interesting topics."
Chasing Ray writes this week a nice letter welcoming authors to the kidlitosphere table, and explaining a few things about blog tours. Authors unsure about blog tours and under pressure from publicists to have one, please read; it's just a few simple rules for success.

Linda Joy @ The Spectacle points us to a recent great article from Strange Horizons YA SFF blogger Karen Healey, reporting on the Melbourne Writer's Festival. The panel titled, "Taking Over The Grown-ups Table" made me wince a bit, but Karen's fresh-breath-of-air perspective on the lovely collusion of young adult and speculative fiction was great. Here's a snippet from her column, which she writes to for "criticism, examination, and, most definitely, celebration" of YA speculative fiction:

"Speculative works aimed at young people don't just dominate young adult literature sales; they dominate fiction sales. The Harry Potter series famously prompted the split of the New York Times bestseller lists into Adult and Children's, and then further split Children's into "series" and "individual" titles. The Twilight saga took four of the top ten positions in most bestseller lists last year, and Stephenie Meyer actually made book tours cool, speaking to lecture halls packed with teenage fans.

SF fandom isn't graying. SF fandom is young. It's writing fanfic, climbing into cosplay, and getting favourite characters and quotes tattooed on its unwrinkled skin. It may come to regret the last, but the sincerity of that devotion cannot be doubted.

YA speculative fiction isn't going anywhere. Hopefully some adult SFF lovers will come over to the Dark Side and join us. Or the kids' table. Or wherever the heck we are.

The ever-awesome Debbie Ridpath Ohi blogs, cartoons at twitters


Sarah Stevenson said...

Popular? ME?? Excuse me while I ROFLMAO!! :D

If you count as popular, being the freaky kid two years younger than everybody else and therefore noticeably midgetlike for most of my school years, then, maybe. Perhaps I was nerd-popular. :)

Liked, sure, I think so. Popular in the "cool kids" sense? Meh. Definitely not. We're talking about Southern California suburbia at a school of over 2000 kids. I was sort of a migratory element, anyway, one of those "fringes of lots of groups but not quite belonging anywhere" sorts.

High school was not my scene. College treated me much better. :)

Saints and Spinners said...

I did a lot better in college, too! There, loyalty and quirkiness were viewed as attributes. The funny thing is, a number of people I talked to as adults who were popular in high school didn't necessarily feel accepted. As Cherry says in The Outsiders, "Things are rough all over."

Oh, and I look forward to more speculative SF. As you know, I really enjoyed The Empress Of Mars.

tanita✿davis said...

Well, A.F., you never know: you went to Cal. There might have been more popularity in your past than I knew!

Meanwhile, Farida and I KNOW we're quirky... it IS an attribute, I'll have you know!