Today was a great day but a busy one. You might have guessed by now that I'm not a morning person--not at all--I love to read books until the wee morning hours. But today was a special day that required getting up about two hours earlier than usual. It was our second meeting for Librarians' Choices 2008. Fortunately, I had packed up all my books--most of which I had reviewed just this past weekend for MotherReader's 48 Hour Readathon (there was a method to my madness) yesterday.
Discussion was fun. I met a couple of new people which was great. :) I always love meeting people who are just as passionate about books as I am. And it's looking to be a really good group to work with this year. It was also super-fun to pick out new books to take home with me. To borrow. It's weird. I receive review copies of my own. TWU receives review copies as well. Yet we don't get the same books. TWU is missing a good many of the ones I've gotten, but yet they always have a dozen or so titles that I'm missing. So it all works out. Especially when I round it all out by going to my local library every week. It really does take all three sources to get a well-rounded picture of what's out there and being published.
Which reminds me, if you're an author and you want to make sure that your book (ONLY 2008 books please) is being read and considered, you might want to contact your publicist to see if they've sent a copy to Texas Woman's University's SLIS review center. (Or prompt them to send a copy.) You can contact me for more information. Of course, I'm willing (and able) to accept review copies as well. So please, if you're a new author and you want a chance to compete with the big names, make sure your book is made available! We're not trying to be snobbish or elitist. We like diversity, and embrace fresh, new voices. Last year when the list was released, the Brown Bookshelf wrote a post about how only well-known African Americans were highlighted in our choices. And her post did make me think. We can only select from what we have access to through our local libraries and the TWU review center and our personal libraries. After reading that post and following the 28 Days Later tour, I found a few great books that I would have certainly argued for if I'd read them in time.
Important update: While titles we consider do not have to come from a large (well-known, established) publishing house in order to be considered (we receive review copies from smaller presses as well), I'll be honest in admitting that we probably won't have the time and energy (as a group) to take self-published (vanity press) titles into consideration. (We have a difficult enough task as it is reading the books we already receive.) So I wouldn't advise sending copies to TWU. If you think that your book is something that I would personally enjoy (Becky, the reviewer) then you may email me with a brief description, and I might be willing to take a look. If I really really fell-in-love with your book I might talk about it to the Librarians Choices group. But no promises, no guarantees.
2008 titles only. January to December 2008. I know that late fall entries November/December are so close that you want to try to sneak them in. But no 2007 titles are eligible. No matter how good they are.
They must be children's and young adult titles. No adult books.
Fiction, nonfiction, poetry. The fiction includes picture books, chapter books, middle grade fiction, and young adult fiction. All genres. Looking for quality. But special attention is given to make sure our list reflects the world's diversity. We're looking for interesting titles that will appeal to a wide variety of readers ranging from pre-K through 12th.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews