On April 24, 2011 Cathy and I posted our first review on this blog. It was a very momentous occasion for us. When we decided to create our blog, we both wanted other's to see it as a valued and reliable resource. We were consistent in our postings, at least two a week, and used social media to get the word out. That June both of us attended the annual American Library Association Conference where we introduced ourselves to every publisher of nonfiction, told them our mission while handing out our business card, all the while keeping our fingers crossed that they would send us review copies. They did!
That initial kernel of an idea was a good one. Our audience has been primarily librarians, both working in school and public libraries, but also teachers and parents. Now, a year later, we are pleased with the positive response we receive weekly from our faithful readers. Publishers have been very supportive sending us books, and authors and illustrators have begun asking us if we would be interested in reviewing their new books.
We have learned a lot over the past year. Finding our voice has been one of our biggest challenges. We've had to learn how to balance the review with just enough personal anecdotes to keep the entry interesting. Even though we promote books to children and parents all day long, putting that enthusiasm in writing, for me at least, has been a challenge.
On Sunday, May 20, Cathy and I were asked to talk about our blog at the Maine Library Association's Libraries United Conference held in Orono. We shared our story with an attentive audience who also asked some great questions. We received a positive response from those attending the conference, and we're looking forward to continuing our search for quality nonfiction books for children.