Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist: Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Heat: Mike Lupica

A Cybilized Request

As you no doubt know, if you're been following along at all, the winners of the Cybils will be announced later today have just been announced. There will be winners in eight categories, one with two sub-categories. You can find the most excellent short lists here. And even apart from the short lists, the long lists are filled with great, great titles. Books that are well-written, but also have that "can't put it down factor." You can find all of the long lists here.

It's been quite an accomplishment selecting the winners from the hundreds of nominated titles. The publishers have been wonderful, providing book after book as the nominations poured in. The nominating committee members worked incredibly hard, reading their way through many, many titles, winnowing each category list down to five. The judging committee members had fewer books to read, but had the difficult task of choosing one winner from five wonderful books. Other bloggers and journalists who aren't directly involved have helped by publicizing and supporting the awards. And I, as a member of the Cybils admin committee, am grateful.

But now I have a request. The Cybils are a democratic series of book awards, given out by bloggers, with a focus on well-written books that are exciting and engaging for kids to read. If you think that this is a good idea, and you would like to support the Cybils awards of the future, I ask that you consider, if it's not a financial burden for you, buying one or more of the winning titles this week. Preferably from Amazon or Barnes and Noble online, where your purchase will be rapidly reflected in sales rankings. (Though of course in the slightly longer term, we hope to see all of these books flying off the shelves of independent booksellers, too).

You've probably seen how, when a book wins a Newbery Award or Honor, that it jumps immediately to the top of the New York Times Bestseller list. This is unlikely to happen with the Cybils, at least this year. But we would love to be able to demonstrate, in a quantitative, undeniable manner, that the Cybils can make a difference to book sales.

This will help us in getting continued publisher support in future years. It will help us to publicize the award, and increase the number of people who learn about it, and take time to nominate titles. And, it will help us to achieve our primary goal, which is to get wonderful books into the hands of children everywhere. (It will also, if you click through from the Cybils site, or from a blogger's site, probably cause a small commission to be paid either to the Cybils organization or to the blogger in question. That money will only be used for good - mostly for award statues or buying more books. No one is getting rich out of any of this. We do it because we love the books.)

So, if you support the above-described goals at all, please think about buying one of the winning titles this week. You can get a gift for yourself. You can get a gift for a child you know. You can buy all of the titles and donate them to your local library. You can do whatever pleases you. But buy the books. And watch with us as the popularity statistics on Amazon soar! Thanks for your support!

p.s. The idea behind this post stemmed from a brainstorming discussion on the Cybils site, and was particularly inspired by suggestions from Mitali Perkins. Thanks!