A note to publishers

This morning, I sent out an email to all the publisher contacts in our database. If you didn't receive that email, please contact Sheila Ruth, sruth at WandsAndWorlds dot com, to make sure I have the correct contact information for your company. (This also applies to self-publishers, if you have an eligible book this year.)

For those who didn't get my email, here is some information that I hope will be helpful for publishers:

The Cybils awards are getting ready to start our fifth year of honoring the best books for children and teens, as selected by the children's literature bloggers. In past years, Cybils nominees and winners have received considerable online exposure on blogs and industry news sites. This year, nearly 200 bloggers volunteered to participate in the Cybils. Many others have been blogging and tweeting about the awards already. We expect this to be the Cybils’ biggest year yet.

Nominations open tomorrow, Friday, October 1, (actually tonight at midnight EST!) and will stay open through October 15. Books published anywhere in the world between October 16, 2009 and October 15, 2010 are eligible. Books must be published in English (or bilingual with English) for a child or teen audience; although we recognize the importance of good crossover books, our award is intended to honor those books published specifically for children or young adults.

Nominations are open to the public, and anyone can nominate, even the publisher. The rule is one nomination per person, per category, and we ask that publishers nominate only your best books, not your entire list.

A list of our past years’ winners can be found on the Cybils Awards' Wikipedia page.

What you can expect

Round 1:

  • Starting October 1 at 12:01am EST, a nomination form will be available on our web site at www.cybils.com. Feel free to nominate your best books, subject to the eligibility rules above.
  • Nomination lists will also be available on our web site, and you can see the books nominated in each category in real time, as the nominations come in.
  • First round panelists will start reading books as soon as nominations start coming in, using their libraries and inter-library loan to obtain copies where possible.
  • About a week after nominations close on October 15, I’ll send you a list of your nominated titles, along with a request for review copies. Sending review copies is not required for a title to be considered, but it’s helpful, especially for titles not widely available in libraries.
  • The first round runs from October 1 through December 31, and shortlists of finalists will be announced on January 1.
  • First round panelists attempt to make sure every book is read by at least one, and preferably two, readers. Books which the initial readers consider to be shortlist candidates will be read by all panelists, if possible.
  • First round panelists are encouraged to post about books on their blogs, but given the quantity of books nominated and the independence of the panelists as reviewers, reviews of any particular book are not guaranteed. Panelists may review books, but not reveal anything about the voting or process until after the January 1 shortlist announcements. Some of the panelist reviews will be selected to be featured on the Cybils blog at www.cybils.com.

Round 2:

  1. The second round runs from January 1 to February 14, and a new panel of judges will read the shortlisted books to select a winner. A second panel is used to avoid any bias carried over from the shortlist deliberations.
  2. I will contact you after January 1 to notify you of any shortlisted books, and to request review copies for the second round of judges.
  3. Shortlisted books will be read by all of the second round judges.
  4. Due to the small pool of books which would make it easer to guess the outcome, second round judges are not allowed to post reviews of the finalists until after the winners announced.
  5. Winners will be announced on February 14.
  6. After the February 14 announcement, second round judges are allowed to review books, but it’s each judge’s choice whether to post reviews. Reviews are not guaranteed.

What you can do:

  • Nominate your best titles of the year at www.cybils.com between October 1 and October 15.
  • Provide review copies for panelists if possible. We accept digital or physical review copies. Keep in mind there are two rounds of panelists.
  • Advertise on the Cybils site. Advertising is handled through Blogads; see link in the middle sidebar on the site at www.cybils.com for more information.
  • Spread the word!  Let your authors and illustrators know when their books are nominees/finalists/winners. Add the award to your publicity releases & catalog when releasing paperback editions. Post on your blog/Facebook/Twitter.
  • Please do not contact panelists directly about Cybils books! If you have any questions or need anything, or would like to offer review copies, please contact Sheila Ruth, Publisher Liaison, at sruth at wandsandworlds dot com, or Anne Levy, Co-founder and Executive Director, at cybils09 at gmail dot com. (Yes, that address still works even though it is now 2010).

Sheila Ruth, Publisher Liaison
Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Awards (Cybils)