Saturday, February 11, 2017

Panel: Children's Books and the Social Media World: Matthew Winner

Matthew Winner, an elementary library media specialist, is the co-founder and content director of All The Wonders, a popular children’s literature website. It hosts the weekly All The Wonders podcasts, which features engaging interviews of authors, illustrators, and more.

What drew you to social media? 
I started in 2010 witht a blog called The Busy Librarian. I spent most of my day alone doing busy work, which drove me to the internet. I found community and collaboration there. After that, I started doing more projects, including podcasting.

Is social media necessary? Who should and who should not?
Depends upon your goals. Community and resource sharing is important. I like posting and getting an immediate response from my readers.

What are some standout things authors and illustrators are doing to engage online? How can authors use social media well?
I love connecting with people on social networks. Josh Funk is an example of someone using social media right. He's a picture book author,  a good person online. He not only talks about his own books, but he helps to promote other people. Being a good person goes a long way. I like talking about books and knowing that there are good people behind them.

What do you think of individual social media platforms? 
Don't be afraid to try out new platforms, even though they may go away (Vine, MySpace). Personally, however, I like to stick to one platform and do it well. Occasionally, I do use Instagram, and I lurk on Twitter. Think about what it is you are creating online. There are places where your readers exist. Find them where ever they are . . . whatever the platform.

Who is your audience? How are you reaching out?
With my social networking, I intend to recreate experiences between friends, and then share those conversations with others. At All The Wonders, we want to engage parents to be as enthusiastic about books as we are in class. I connect with those parents on Facebook, because that's where they are.

How do authors with new books to promote begin to interact with you?
My six-year-old son has a T-shirt that reads: "Being Nice Makes Me Cool." I receive a lot of promotional things from publishers. But I pay more attention to people online who are nice and have something to share with the world, without wanting something back.

Who are people to follow on social networking?
I love following hashtags, I discover a lot of good people that way. #kidlitart is a good one.

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