Guest Post by Dianne Bates
It’s a new year. Time to plan your goals and schedule your bookish events. Get yourself well-immersed in the industry and keep abreast of all the current news. For anyone involved in the Australian children’s book world, one service you might consider is subscribing to the popular Buzz Words online magazine. Thanks to Di Bates for filling us in with all Buzz Words has to offer. 🙂
In 2006 I started a subscriber-based twice-monthly online magazine exclusively for people in the Australian children’s book industry, such as writers (new, mid-career and experienced), illustrators, librarians and publishers – in fact, anyone interested in children’s books. As the Buzz Words’ compiler, I gather material from many sources and sometimes commission material.
Buzz Words aims to keep readers abreast of what’s currently happening in the children’s book industry and to give them as many opportunities as possible to advance their career and/or to keep them informed. Every issue contains markets, competitions and awards, publisher profiles, profiles of people in the industry, industry news, an interview (editors, publishers, designers, etc), opportunities, festivals and conferences, workshops and article/s. Links are frequently provided to help readers.
Recent additions are ‘Who’s Who in Children’s Books’ (profiles of publishers, editors, agents and packagers), ‘Book Creators’ (featuring famous and outstanding children’s authors and illustrators of the past such as Enid Blyton, Dorothy Wall and Eve Pownall) and ‘Resources’ such as Australian children’s book publishers (an up-to-date comprehensive list), writing tips, income for writers, children’s bookshops, popular Facebook groups for children’s book creators and so on.
Buzz Words is as subscriber-friendly as possible. Preference for interviews, articles, profiles, etc is always given to subscribers. They are also given the opportunity to advertise for free if they have a product and/or service they wish to promote. Often publishers take up this offer as it’s a very inexpensive way of promoting their latest titles.
There are many ways readers can show-case their books and/or their writing or editing services: Buzz Words interviews both commercially and self-published authors for ‘The inside Scoop’. Questions are generally directed in such a way as readers can learn about how to get feet past publishers’ locked doors, or which resources (such as designer, editor, printer and distributor) that self-published authors used and how effective they were. Subscribers are also invited to submit samples of their writing or illustrating to be showcased on the Buzz Words website. Twice a month there’s also an ‘Achievements’ section on this website and reviews of current children’s books. There is a team of 15 reviewers, all of whom are subscribers. And, too, the website is available for subscribers to post material, such as a blog tour, book launch or forthcoming title.
Articles are often commissioned (payment is offered) and have included ‘My Experiences with Literary Agents’, ‘How to Crowd-Fund to Publish Your Book’ and ‘The Art of Picture Books.’
Buzz Words is exactly the kind of resource which I wish was available when I first started writing for children. And it’s ideal for anyone in the industry who wants to place their work and/or learn what the latest trends in writing for children are and/or what’s happening in the industry here in Australia or overseas.
If you’d like to check out the latest issue of Buzz Words, I’m only too happy to send you a complimentary, obligation-free copy; go to the website and click on ‘Contact’. Cost is $48 per year (for 24 issues). The magazine is distributed on the 1st and 15th of every month.
Dianne (Di) Bates has been in the industry for decades. She has published over 130 books for children, some of which have won state and national awards, including two children’s choice book awards (WAYRBA and KOALA). She is a recipient of the Lady Cutler Award for distinguished services to children’s book. Di is married to award-winning children’s author Bill Condon; they live in the Wollongong area, NSW.