Updated FAQs

Okay, it took a while, but I finally updated our FAQs. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please put it in the comments and I’ll answer them. –Anne Levy, editor.

1. Which books are eligible?
Any children’s or YA book published in English in 2007, including translated and bilingual books.

2. How do I nominate a book?

First, look through the categories listed here or in the center column. Click on a category and read the description. Got the right one? Great!

You can leave your nomination as a comment, just like on a regular blog. Click "comment."

3. How many books can I nominate?

No more than one in a category. If you list a bunch, we’ll email you and ask you to pick your favorite.

4. What if I don’t know which category it belongs in?

Make your best guess. If you’re mistaken, the organizers will do some horse swapping to find its true home.

5. If a book gets more than one nomination, does that help its chances?

Sorry, no.

6. Will the panelists really be reading all the books?

No, but we insist that all nominated books will get at least one full read by somebody. Otherwise, we have a "50 page" rule — if a book isn’t gripping by page 50, the panelist should feel free to stop reading. They don’t get paid to do this, and time and sanity are precious.

7. How will the panelists get all the books?

Publishers send the review copies to the panelists and later to the judges.
Last year, one publisher didn’t do so and panelists and judges had to hunt down the book in stores and libraries. It won anyway.

8. What about books published in November or December, after the nominations close?

If a book will carry a 2008 copyright, it must wait until the 2008 competition. If it’s carrying a 2007 copyright but isn’t bound yet, the publishers can send galleys.

9. How do I get in touch with one of the category organizers?

All the organizers are listed in the center column, under "Cybils team." Click on their names and it takes you to their blogs, where you’ll find their contact information.

10. What’s the idea behind the contest?
We wanted a literary competition that combined the freewheeling democracy of the Internet with the thoughtfulness of a book club. Cybils lets the public nominate books here on our Cybils blog, but then bloggers team up to pick the finalists and winners. The winning books must combine quality and "kid appeal."

11. What exactly is "kid appeal"?
We’ve had some lively discussions on that. Here’s our latest take. Ultimately, it’s something our panelists and judges must decide in each genre and for each age group.

12. What’s the difference between a panelist and a judge?
The panels are for Round 1, and they pick 5-7 finalists in each category. Then it goes to the judges for Round 2.

13. When do you expect to announce the winners?
We’ll announce the finalists on Jan. 1 and the winners on Feb. 14.

14. Yeah, but won’t Harry Potter win in Fantasy/SF? It has more "kid appeal" than any kid’s book in history.

Judging strictly by sales, that’s true. But there were several hundred other fantasy books published in 2007, and they deserve their shot at a literary award too. Our panelists and judges have been asked to set aside any biases for or against any book, including HP7, and they’ll be weighing both popularity and the quality of the writing.

15. So you’re saying HP7 isn’t a quality book? Isn’t that biased?
Its literary merits are something for the panelists and judges to decide. Try to relax. It’ll get its shot like every other book.

More questions? Problems? Gripes? We want the Cybils to be as transparent as possible. Email me at anne (at) bookbuds (dot) net.

–Anne Levy, Editor

Comments 9

  1. bookbk

    Thanks for the FAQs! I wouldn’t get too worked up about HP one way or another, even factoring kid appeal in. Five or six years ago, HP #1 was up against Holes and several other books on the Young Readers’ Choice Award ballot. The kids of the Pacific Northwest cast their votes–and Holes won.

  2. Mary Katherine

    So do you send out requests to the publishers for review copies after the nominations come in?
    Mary Katherine

  3. Anne

    Yes, Mary Katherine, we definitely do. This year, however, we submitted them just in time to get caught up in the Christmas mail. Whoops!
    We’re looking at changing our judging period to allow publishers more time to get the books to us, and more time for our judges to consider them.
    Thanks for asking!
    -Anne the editor

  4. Marcus Riedner

    Out of curiosity, how is ‘published’ being defined for entrance into this competition? I work for an online book publisher that deals mainly in digital distribution, and would be interested in submitting some of our books for next year’s competition. But I know in the past I have met a great deal of resistance because our books are not ‘printed’ to paper in a traditional manner. We have a number of works that are quite lovely, with solid kid appeal, but they are all published online only. Does this disqualify our books?

  5. Sheila Ruth

    Hi Kristine,
    I’m sorry, but we put out a call for volunteers about a month ago, and we’re currently finalizing the panels for this year. But keep an eye out for next year’s call for panelist volunteers in late summer. You might want to add the Cybils blog to your blog readers so that you don’t miss it. For future reference, here are some posts with information about being a panelist:

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