Blogging and the Kidlitosphere

Today I got a big disappointment. I had applied to be a judge or panelist for the Cybil Awards. They’ve been announcing the selectees since last Friday, and finally today posted the panels I had most wanted to be part of.

During the week, I’d really gotten my hopes up. I love blogging, and love fantasy and science fiction and kids’ books, and I’ve written these reviews since 2000 — probably longer than anyone else in the Kidlitosphere.

Is that, perhaps, the problem?

I’m not well-known in the Kidlitosphere. Probably partly because I don’t exclusively review children’s books. But I don’t think that’s the whole answer.

I don’t think I’ve really adapted with the times. I started Sonderbooks as an e-mail newsletter, with nearly weekly posts of the books I’d read that week, trying to have a balance of genres in each issue. Before long, I made it into a website. But I still posted in “issues,” with links between reviews for each issue but also a page for each genre.

Eventually, I decided it would be good to make it a blog. If I’d heard of blogs and an easy blog tool in 2000, that would have been how I made Sonderbooks in the first place.

But I’ve kept the Sonderbooks blog mainly to book reviews. I decided to post more personal things and pictures on my Sonderjourneys blog, quotations that uplift me on Sonderquotes, and personal reminders to be grateful on Sonderblessings.

Now, mind you, on Facebook, I’ve been posting articles about budget cuts to libraries, the value of reading, great things about authors. What if I started posting some of those things on my blog? I have so many opinions about libraries, reading, reading with kids, writing, and so many other things. I’ve been to author talks this week, and have some exciting book-related events coming up. I’ve been posting about ALA, but I did it on Sonderjourneys.

Mind you, I’m also way behind on posting reviews. I have a stack of 14 books here that I really really want to get reviewed, and I have 18 reviews which I have written, but haven’t yet posted. Or downloaded the cover picture or gotten the ISBN or made the links on

I’d also like to get going with my Twitter account. I made an account, but I’ve never posted anything. That could be a good way to consolidate my different blogs and my Facebook links and posts.

But having so much I want to do is making me fall into the Perfectionist’s trap of Not Doing Anything.

So, not getting chosen for the Cybils is making me re-evaluate. I want to be a valued part of the Kidlitosphere, without losing the people who enjoy my other reviews.

Therefore, I’m making a resolution: I will post more on this blog, not confining it just to reviews. Anything related to books and authors and libraries and writing and learning — I’ll post those links and thoughts here. When I go to the National Book Festival this weekend, I’ll post about it here. When I go to the Horn Book Colloquium the weekend after next, I’ll post about it here.

I’ll still keep posts about my spiritual journey and my divorce and pictures of hiking and old pictures of castles over on Sonderjourneys. Actually, that gives me an idea. I’ve been posting old pictures on Facebook, in a cycle of Cute Pictures, Castle Pictures, The Good Ol’ Days, and Pretty Pictures. I’ve been scanning in pictures from our ten years in Europe, and there are some stunning ones. The Good Ol’ Days and Cute Pictures are about people, so Facebook is a good place for them. But it might be fun to post the Castle Pictures and Pretty Pictures on Sonderjourneys, since it relates to my travels. I could make each one a weekly feature.

I’ll also try to start using Tags. I’ve got categories, but I haven’t really been using tags. Time to get more adept at this social media!

So, my faithful readers, any ideas about other changes I should make?