My greatest hope tomorrow – when we announce the finalists in the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards – is that people will want to share that information, comment on it and publish it.
Traditionally, we’ve announced the finalists on our website, Facebook and Twitter channels and through a release to mainstream and book media – the ones you’d expect like Radio NZ, The New Zealand Herald, The Dominion Post and Beattie’s Book Blog amongst others. We’ll still be doing this but we’re also adding another options.
A couple of months ago I watched an evening of live-tweeting from a ballet performance. The intention was for invited attendees to share the performance online to garner interest and new audiences. It was a great idea and something that I understand is being increasingly trialed around the world in various theaters.
I find live-tweeting can be rather annoying (yeah I know we do it too) and so the following morning on my train ride I considered what the intentions of the exercise were and how we could learn from it for the New Zealand Post Book Awards.
Clearly both we and NZ Ballet want to engage social media users – to have third-party users share our content in order to promote what we’re doing without our involvement; the ultimate soft sell. We already live-tweet the awards but I realised what we really needed to do was provide access to a source of correct, raw content online – where anyone can come to the website, take what they need and use it. To get academic about it we want to ‘democratise our information’- make it available for people to use as they want and where they want.
So this year we’ve created a media page on the website, which will go live at 6am (or shortly after) tomorrow morning when we announce the finalists. My intention is that people who are active online – in whatever form that takes – and love children’s books will be able to create their own content for their readers.
Our media page will have the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards logo, cover images for all finalists book information (title, author, publisher, ISBN, RRP, reading age) and author and illustrator photos and information. Anyone that wants to use our information will be able to access it without asking us.
They can blog, tweet, Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr to their heart’s content in a way that best suits their audiences/friends/readers.
Hopefully they’ll tell us about it. But if they don’t it’s no great shakes because what I truely desire is not a return on investment that I can measure, chart and report on but a wider, more engaged online audience who is talking about our best children’s books how and when they want to.
Here’s the link to our media page.
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by Emma McCleary, web editor at Booksellers NZ