Jun 7, 2012

Armchair BEA: Beyond Your Blog






Today's Armchair BEA topic is writing opportunities beyond your blog. It's about writing freelance, monetizing your blog, and what opportunities blogging can lead to.

I have written freelance, but nothing that is in any way applicable to this book blogging! I am a translator and I feel that the biggest part of that is actually the writing part, rather than the comprehension part. Writing, editing, and translating make up the bulk of my day, and I love it. Which is why I can come home and write for fun at Perogies & Gyoza. (If you have a project I could help with, feel free to email me!)

But other than this blog and reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, I don't write about books. That's what I want to do. I'm a little nervous doing this, but I'm going to share my dream with you. It might be silly but I'll put it out there anyway.

I want to write reviews of children's books for an English-language newspaper in Japan.

I think I can do it. I know the style will be different than the one I use on the blog (I don't think all of Japan wants to know how my son is doing in soccer!). But I could adapt!

With a growing number of international parents, Japanese parents who send their children to English conversation school, and a large number of English teachers, I am positive there is an audience for reviews of children's books in Japan. The Japan Times has a really great book page, and the Asahi Shimbun has the Asahi Haikuist Network, and I think a children's book column could fit in with either. Or how about the Mainichi Daily News or Daily Yomiuri - they would work too!

This will take more work, and I will need to put together a portfolio, but I am going to try for a kidlit review column in Japan. Any advice? If you live in Japan is that something you'd like to see in your newspaper?

10 comments:

  1. I love to read reviews of children's books. Now that my children are getting older I am mostly interested in books that work well for teaching. I use picture books in almost all my classes and they are the highlight for most of the kids. There are many great books which are not written specifically for ESL, but which you can work into the cirriculum easily. I have shelves full of them, but am always looking for more! I think your dream is a great one and I look forward to seeing your name in print soon!

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    1. Thanks Jo! I would love to hear from you about what books work well too. Please share!

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  2. That's a wonderful dream! Go for it!

    Just a suggestion, however, that there is no need (especially in this day and age) to limit yourself to Japan. My mother was a professor of Canadian lit (poetry mainly) and regularly did reviews for the Journal of Canadian Literature. They had trouble finding people to do kid lit reviews and a few times begged my mum to do them, who in turn got me to help her. They don't normally publish unsolicited reviews but you could always try sending them a few examples in the hope they might contact you next time they have something.

    GOOD LUCK!

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    1. Oh I have never even thought of that, despite looking Canadian Literature up online (http://canlit.ca/). I don't know if I am academic enough, but I will definitely keep this in mind. Thanks Sarah!

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  3. I have no advice to offer since this is all outside of my knowledge, however I wish you all the luck possible and I'm sure you can do it. Ganbatte!

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    1. Thanks Kirstie, that means a lot!

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  4. So... I was BORN in Japan! I had no idea you lived there, but I guess that's because I just met you. Haha! But yay! I'm an American... and have no Japanese in me, but I was born there! On an American military base. My mom taught English to Japanese-speakers. I love Japan. :) Anyway...

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and cheering for me to get on a publisher's design team! You're so sweet to be so encouraging!

    I love children's books! I have no kids, but I own about 700 books that are in my "future kidlets" collection. I've actually started reviewing some on my blog! I've received one from a publisher, and am about to get another. It's so much fun, but way different than reviewing a novel! What a fun idea you have, reviewing them for a newspaper! You could always start out on your blog and see how well-received they are. You could figure out the best way to review them, get feedback, re-work them, and build a really nice portfolio. :) Good luck! I know you can do it. :)

    - Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl

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    1. How cool that we have that connection!

      Children's books are totally not just for kids. Some of the best books I have read this year have been picture books!

      Thanks so much for the advice.

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  5. Woderful idea! I wish you a good luck! By the way, I've been written for foreign newspaper too, but for sports column, and it's a great challenge, I should say! But don't give up!

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    1. How great that you have a sports writing gig. Let me know if you have any tips!

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