Putting New England’s Children’s Booksellers on the Map

Alison Morris - November 10, 2008

As an active member of the New England Children’s Booksellers Advisory Council, I can tell you we’ve had a many a meeting in which the topic of conversation has come around to author events: how to attract the big ones, how to get on publicists’ radars, how to remind the book world that there are (believe it or not) a LOT of active bookstores in New England that could draw a sizeable crowd to children’s or YA author events.

For a long time our little corner of the country has been bypassed by many publishers when drawing up touring grids for their children’s and YA authors and illustrators. When they do send these folks north, they typically send them just to the Boston area (which is why our store doesn’t suffer from a lack of big-name visitors like others who are farther flung generally do). The fact is there are a LOT of stores in New England that are hungry to host events, and they’re in closer proximity to each another than they would be in almost any other part of the country, simply because New England isn’t all that big. A situation like this should make our region a touring dream, so why is it so often bypassed?

Over the years we’ve tried to come up with a map we could send to publicists that would show where stores are located, some point of contact at that store, maybe even some sense of what types of events a store can, will, and does host. Doing this on paper, though, always got too complicated. A paper map would have to be updated and re-sent too often. A paper map would get filed away and potentially lost to the frequent changes of staff in publicity departments. 

Hello, Modern Age! In more recent conversations it’s become clear that putting such a map online would eliminate all of the aforementioned problems. The information on the map could easily be changed or updated or added to. The map could provide direct links to stores’ contact information and homepages. The map would be accessible to anyone who could find it online — no more papers to keep track of! What a handy resource!

And now, what a handy REALITY! Kenny Brechner of Devaney, Doak & Garrett Booksellers in Farmington, Maine, with the help of Carol Chittenden of Eight Cousins in Falmouth, Mass., have put together NECBA’s Interactive Author Touring Map! They’s also written a very funny FAQ that tells you a bit about this resource and explains how additional stores can be added.

Finally some great bookstores are on the map! Authors, start your engines.

4 thoughts on “Putting New England’s Children’s Booksellers on the Map

  1. Donna Marie Merritt

    Helpful sites for NE indies looking for children’s/YA authors: North East Digital Village (nedv.net/library); Author School Visits by State (authorbystate.blogspot.com); Connecticut Children’s and YA Authors and Illustrators (ct.webjunction.org/223/articles/content/434307); America Writes for Kids (usawrites4kids.drury.edu); and the NE SCBWI Connections database (www.nescbwi.org/connections/home_state/massachusetts).

  2. Pnina Moed Kass

    As the author of REAL TIME (Clarion/hardcover&paperback/Natl Jewish Book Award,Sydney Taylor,Social Studies Teachers,ALA recommendation)my apologies that in my 3 tours of the U.S. I did not get to your bookstore.Was my publisher aware of your venue? Your opinion? Pnina Moed Kass


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