February 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

KidLitCon 2012: Expanding the World of KidLit Blogs

Kidlit blogs are huge with librarians, but can they reach fans beyond our world? Greg Pincus, whose blog GottaBook features poetry and perspectives on children’s literature, shared his advice on using social media to find new audiences during KidLitCon 2012 at the New York Public Library on September 29.

Pincus, who spoke at the lecture, “Avoiding the Echo,” encouraged bloggers to explore other passions outside of children’s and YA literature. He mentioned Susan Taylor Brown, who blogs about poetry, but who’s also attracted a larger following by sharing her love of photography on her Facebook page. He also suggested that bloggers visit seemingly unrelated sites, explaining that once he stumbled upon a crafting site that drove traffic to his blog by linking to one of his posts. Although Pincus’s own blog isn’t craft-related, he spent time posting on the site and recommends doing the same because new fans can turn up in unlikely places.

Pincus advised bloggers to turn into trustworthy experts in their fields by publishing high-quality content and establishing a reliable online presence. Pincus brought up Lee Wind, whose blog I’m Here, I’m Queer, What the Hell Do I Read, which examines books with LGBTQ themes geared toward young people. Wind often moderates comments for hateful speech and provides a safe space for teens. Since his site is often used as a resource for young adults questioning their sexuality, Pincus also cited him as a blogger who’s succeeded in reaching audiences far beyond fans of children’s literature.

Pincus also advocates blogging about niche topics, rather than just writing about children’s books in general. For example, the popular blog, The Children’s War, also explores historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II.

Above all, Pincus urged bloggers to share their love of children’s literature with others.

“Bring your love of the world of children’s literature to the rest of the world because they do want to hear it. They just don’t know it yet.”

Mahnaz Dar About Mahnaz Dar

Mahnaz Dar (mdar@mediasourceinc.com) is Assistant Managing Editor for Library Journal and School Library Journal and can be found on Twitter @DibblyFresh.

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