There is a question I get often: "Where can I find your books?" It's a fair thing to ask, considering I am terrible at updating my website. – Wait… What? I am actually updating my website right NOW!
Cheers! Claps! Standing ovation! (Yes, I am that excited.)
Okay, seriously… It has taken me 4 years to start updating my website. I’ve been working on it for the last couple of weeks and I’m only half-way done. But that’s okay… These last few years have been complicated, full of work and full of life. An outdated website is a small price to pay for that.
Now my website has a new & shiny BOOKS section, so finding my books will be easy-peasy! However, I am still writing this post because I want you to be able to find ANY book you want, not just mine (although, please… buy my books!). So these are some options:
1. Independent Book Stores
Booksellers love being asked for book recommendations. Also, if you want a book and they don’t have it… they will order it for you! If you don’t feel like talking, walk around and pick up a couple of books from the shelves. Don’t underestimate the power of chance!
Independent book stores are my favorite place to find and buy books… They do a fantastic job creating community, promoting literacy and giving writers and illustrators opportunities to meet their audience. – Please support your local independent book store!
If you live in the US and don’t feel like leaving your couch, you can buy your books online from independent book stores through IndieBound.org.
I also like AbeBooks to buy books online since it’s a market for independent sellers. It’s specially useful for older books that are more difficult to find.
Librarians are wise… Get them to help you! Librarians are fantastic at matching the right book with the right reader. They will know where you can find a book about a particular topic, and they will point you to similar books to the one you love.
Also, if your public library doesn’t own a book you want to read, ask your librarian to buy it! Sure, libraries have very tight budgets… but when it’s time for librarians to buy new books, they might remember the one you begged them for.
3. Author’s Website
When you read a book you love, write down who made it. Chances are you will love other books created by the same people! Most authors have their own website with links to their books. Some authors (like me) don't update their websites often enough, so their newest works might be missing. If that's the case you can try the next suggestion.
4. Amazon Author Central
When you find a book you like in Amazon, click on the author's name and it will take you to their Author Page. You don't have to buy the books through Amazon, but this a good way to discover more about the authors you like. You can even follow them to get updates about their new releases!
Also, if you want to support your favorite authors so they keep making books: write a review on Amazon! Book reviews help readers find books to love and cherish. I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate it when someone writes an honest review about my books… It means the world to me! Be careful about spoilers, though. 😉
Do you use Goodreads? I love looking for my favorite authors there. I can see not only which books they wrote or illustrated, but also the books they've read! I’ve discovered some fantastic books that way.
Again, please give authors some love by reviewing their books! And of course, recommend your favorite books to your friends!
5. Publisher’s Website
Look at your book shelves... Do many of your books share the same logo? Each publisher has their own “book style", so you probably have a favorite publisher, even if you’ve never noticed before. I recommend you to check out the publisher’s website, you will find many book to love. Also, most publishers have an online shop!
6. Children’s Books Blogs
There are many excellent blogs reviewing children’s books! Some of them offer crafts activities to complement the reading process, others share interviews with authors. These are some of my favorites: Design of the picture book, This Picture Book Life, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast and Avery & Augustine.
7. Awards and Industry News
Great books win award!. So one way to find extraordinary children’s books is to scour the lists of awards. For example: Caldecott Medals, BoloniaRagazzi Awards, Pura Belpré Award, and Premios Fundación Cuatro Gatos (for books in Spanish).
I hope this helps! I want you to discover your new favorite book (or your kid’s new favorite book!). Will you please tell me if you do?
Do you have other tips to find great books? Do you know a fantastic KidLit blog that I didn’t mention? Leave them in the comments!