Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Teaser Tuesday & Why The Lack of POC Contests?

As always thanks to MizB for this meme!

"Now my clunky clogs come in handy-because I kick Zeus on his left Adidas under the dining room table. After a few seconds of silence, Caterina realizes that we aren't going to break away from twenty years of covert tradition, not even for our five minutes of fashion footage, so she continues probing with supa-catty questions."
-Catwalk by Deborah Gregory pg. 155

Now for my question. It's the same as a question I posted on my No New Crayons post but there was so much information in that post and I was being random so I decided to ask it again because I really do want to know people's thoughts about this and I'm basically just thinking out loud (or typing out loud!)

Question: Why are there very few (I can think of one right now and it's a challenge!) contests for YA books about people of color? In my case it's due to a sad lack of funds and I don't receive ARCs or anything like that (although from what I've read/seen there don't seem to be a whole lot of ARCS being sent to teens about people of color) so I'm way limited (my contest ends at midnight!). Am I missing something or has anyone else noticed this?

So I got to thinking, what can I do? And I realized I have no idea. I'm very shy about contacting authors/publishing companies because I don't want to seem too rude or forward. I'm certainly not blogging for the free books and I'd be giving them away so it's not so bad, but I just don't know. So authors or my more experienced fellow bloggers is that the way to go? Should I email the authors or the publishing companies or both?

Here's what I was thinking. My birthday is in September and I would love to throw a huge contest with YA books that are ONLY about poc. Ideally I would have at least one book or two books from each culture (Asian, Native American, Latina, African American). It'd be great if I could do multiple packs (like a historical fiction pack, realistic fiction, sci-fi, etc.) or a different culture a week kind of thing. So either I can try to contact authors or publishing companies and if that fails (or even if it succeeds) I can reach out to my fellow bloggers and see if they'd be willing to add a book to the giveaway or offer another idea or something.


  1. Ari,

    Our Summer Madness Giveaway was all multicultural and it went very well. We've heard that POC writers don't get equal support from publishers which in my mind would mean there aren't an abundance of ARCs being distributed. I think some publishers would consder your request for books if you explained you're teen of color who is interested in promoting books with poc characters and would gladly host contests promoting these authors if the publishers would send you the books. Be sure to share how responsive readers have been to your blog since you've began blogging. And you know you have a handful of aunties/godmothers happy to review your letter if you'd like.

    Good idea.

  2. I hope somebody responds to you that can actually answer your questions...cause I'd like to know their response too.

  3. I would suggest beginning with publishers. A lot of authors don't get many copies, so I would suggest starting at the publishing house. The publishers may have ARCs remaining that they would like to get rid of, or you may get lucky and get some final copies!!!

    I think the thing to remember is that most bloggers are giving away books from their own shelves. For example, there are several blogs hosting contests right now. Most of the ARCs they are giving away are those they had received for review, from conferences, or remaining copies from the publishers.

    Hope this helps!

  4. Susan- Good idea and yeah your summer giveaway went really well! It'd be nice if my blog did half as well.
    Mitali-Thanks! I'll contact you with more details shortly :)
    Shalonda-Thanks for the advice. I do realize that a lot of bloggers give away books they already own, but in my case I get most of my books from the library. Publishers it shall be.
    Zetta-I'm asking the publishers!
    Evelyn-I'll keep you posted. Keep reading the comments too

  5. A great idea--and I think publishing houses would think so too. I used to work for an education organization that reviewed books. The publishers would send us anything, multiple copies if we asked, merely because they loved the publicity. It's not the same field, but I really think forwarding this blog post to a few publishing houses and asking if they would be interested would work.

  6. Ari, unfortunately the business of books doesn't allow much room for shyness. And the longer you blog, the more willing you'll be to approach authors and publishers.

    Publishers are band wagon hoppers. In other words, the more traction/attention your blog receives, the more likely they are to put you on their auto-receive list for ARCs and such. Until then, definitely ask!

    At some point, you'll probably get more books than you ever wanted.

  7. I'm all for donating (but yeah go and ask the publishers, I did it last year for a charity thing and had a few great responses). I'm always sad that all the really cool giveaways seem to be US only (and me in little old England).

  8. Just contact authors and let them know what you're doing and see if they want to donate. The worst they can say is no but I highly doubt it!

  9. i can donate three silver phoenix ARCs as prizes. and would love to send a signed copy to you as well, if you haven't read silver phoenix yet?

    i can mail to prize winners personally--if this would help you on cost. just let me know addresses when they are chosen?

    my email is pon.cindy@gmail.com

    i found out about this via shveta via zetta.
    a wonderful idea!! my hub's bday is in sep
    as well. mine is 8/29. are you a virgo too? =D

  10. I'm new to your blog, but what I've read so far is awesome!!! I would love to participate in your birthday contest.

    I'm with Cindy: I can also donate three books and mail them to the winners if that helps save you a few $$$.

  11. Great idea! I can see if my pub will send along an ARC, if you're interested. And, like Cindy, I can do the sending to the winner...

  12. This is a great idea! I hadn't noticed the lack of POC YA challenges until it was mentioned here and in hte Color Me Brown Challenge.

    I agree that reaching out to publishers with a brief spiel about yourself and your blog is likely to be very productive.

    Good luck!


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