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Over the summer I won about forty books in a raffle through a publishing company. The books ranged from erotica (which I don’t read) to children’s books. Some were paperbacks and some were eBooks. However, one of the packages I received was above and beyond. My middle child waited expectantly for it in the mail and was delighted when she opened the package.

The sender was Janice Clark, a children’s author. Her books have illustrated pictures within them and are very artistic. Not only did she send her book, but the package contained bookmarks and notecards my daughter could use, and she loved the entire package.
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This week I signed my daughter up for Goodreads and told her she should start rating and reviewing the books she reads, as this is the biggest way to support authors. After she gave some reviews, I contacted the middle grade authors over at Clean Indie Reads and told them I need a list of all the books they’ve written in her age range. That way I could add them to my daughter’s “To Read” list.

During this process, one of the authors noticed the five-star rating and review my daughter gave for her book, and since I know the author from social media, she decided to personally send a message thanking my daughter for the review. (Authors usually do not contact their reviewers from Goodreads or Amazon, as that is the last thing we are supposed to do. However, since I’m a fellow author, these rules don’t really concern my family. Authors contact me all the time.)

Anyways, when my daughter read the message, excitement filled her. I’ve never seen fandom from her until that moment. She could not believe the author of one of her favorite books contacted her. She rambled on for a moment about how happy she was, but then she turned to me and said,”No offense to you, Mom, but you haven’t let me read your books.” I guess she’s not yet a fan of my writing.

Where am I going with this post? I’m trying to show you how young readers react to the personal touch from an author. My daughter has an author for a mom, yet she still gets excited over getting signed copies and notes from other authors.

It’s not the same as going to the bookstore and buying a paperback to read or an eBook for their Kindle. I compare this to Walmart shopping versus a small gift store. When you walk into a gift store, you find specialty items that aren’t mass marketed and everyone has. The same goes for getting a signed copy or package from a great children’s author. Your child will be excited that he/she received something rare and special.

With that said, how are you supposed to get a gift package from an author? That’s easy! You contact them. The publishing industry has changed drastically in the past ten years, and even authors from big publishing companies are now having to do their own marketing. This means they’re more involved with their readers than in the past. However, famous authors hire people to do their marketing, so don’t expect the same personal touch as most other authors.

There are many authors that will send you signed copies of their books, and some of them will even go to the extreme of having cute gift packages. My advice is to go to Clean Indie Reads, check out some of the children’s authors over there, and then contact one of them. The site is in the process of being converted from a blogspot, so many of the authors are not yet listed. You can also go to the Facebook page and ask a question on the page. I personally recommend Ben the Dragonborn by Dianne Astle as a middle grade fantasy read.

There’s also a site called Kidtales Adventures in Reading, where you can find many children’s authors.

Also, check out my recent posts titled Why Kindles Make the Perfect Gifts for Children–Better than iPads and Youtube Video Review of Various eReaders. If you have a young reader in your life, give the gift of reading!