I congratulated Christine, then asked how she got nominated: "I'm assuming it's because you reached out to teen bloggers. Please tell me more."
Here's her response. Take notes!
I found out about the Cybils from a YA blogger conference I went to last September. I never would have heard about it otherwise. Initial nominations were made by the public; once the books were nominated, a panel of judges from the YA blogging world chose the finalists. Winner will be announced Feb 14.
One thing I learned at the conference: There are teen YA bloggers, and then there are adult YA bloggers (librarians, many of them, although some just love kidlit). The conference was by and for the adults. Before that, I wasn't aware of them (they don't seek out authors on MySpace and Facebook, like teens do), and I think many weren't aware of me.
At the end of the conference was an authors' hour in which attendees could browse our titles. Many authors sold their books, but I gave mine away because I wanted to get copies into as many hands as I could. There I met one of the bloggers and conference speakers, Jen Robinson. [Check out her EXTENSIVE blog roll.] After we chatted a bit, and I promised I wouldn't hassle her for a review, she took a copy of my first novel, TALLULAH FALLS. A few months later, she posted a lovely review on her blog. I offered to send her the second novel, she accepted, and she gave that a great review, too.
So between meeting people passionate about kidlit, learning about the Cybils, and having the chance to raise awareness of my books, it was a Saturday very well spent.
As far as the teen reviewers, I sent Ten Cents a Dance to five or six, hoping I could get some online buzz going. It did get picked up by others and so far, they've all given the book great reviews. One blogger, Reviewer X, invited me to participate in a week-long celebration of strong heroines on her blog. I wrote a guest post, which went up the same day as Reviewer X's interview with Libba Bray (she of A Great and Terrible Beauty trilogy NYT bestsellerdom.) It was fabulous exposure--lots of comments on my guest post, lots of hits on my website, tons of people entering the contest for my book.
Long story short: When it comes to YA, I am a BIG believer in online promotion.