Sunday, 1 October 2017

All the Buzz about Children's Books

© Dianne Bates

In 2004 I started Buzz Words, 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, recommended books and websites/blogs, festivals and conferences, workshops, article/s, subscribers’ achievements, letters to the editor and children’s book reviews. Links are frequently provided to help readers.

Two recent additions are ‘Who’s Who in Children’s Books’ (profiles of publishers, editors, agents and packagers), and ‘Book Creators’ (featuring famous and outstanding children’s authors and illustrators of the past such as Enid Blyton, Dorothy Wall and Eve Pownall).

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’ and ‘A Foot in the Door’. 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 to ‘Have Your Say’ and to present samples of their writing or illustrating.

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.’ There’s an ‘Achievements’ section as well as ‘Classifieds’ which is free for those who support Buzz Words.

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.

The magazine also has a children’s book review blog where books by subscribers are reviewed. And, too, the blog is available for subscribers to post material, such as a blog tour, book launch or forthcoming title.

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; contact dibates@outlook.comCost 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 married to award-winning children’s author Bill Condon; they share a website

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