More importantly, parents, educators, librarians, and merchants around the world trust that seal when they are making choices for books, educational products and software; gear and accessories; personal use items; toys, games, and puzzles, to name a few of the broad categories.
Our proprietary methodology integrates and weighs industry and consumer assessments. Panelists measure products and services in a number of categories, including production quality, design, educational value, entertainment value, originality, appeal, and cost.
The organization is based in the United States and has reviewed thousands of entries from 20 countries.
Honorees are considered “alumni,” and carry all of the privileges that term generally carries. As I often tell authors and publicists that I meet, we offer the same marketing opportunities to our 2005 Honorees that we do for the newest Honorees this year. There is no “sorry, you are a 2010 winner, we are focused on the 2012 cycle now.”
Whether it is participating in an industry event like BookExpo America to display or sign books, a filmed interview to add to your Media Kit, one-on-one consulting, or attending one of our training classes in the Mom’s Choice Awards Academy … if you are an Honoree, we are here to help you leverage your marketing opportunities.
My favorite part of the job is meeting Honorees. Although I follow all of the announcements and provide distance learning classes, it isn’t the same as shaking someone’s hand and hearing their story.
Cutting through the noise is my biggest challenge. There isn’t a platform that isn’t arcing under the weight of information overload. My job is to cull through all of that to identify data points that fit within our strategic plan, as well as support and educate our community.
Entries that are a good fit for our program are products that help families grow emotionally, physically and spiritually; are morally sound and promote good will; and are inspirational and uplifting. That said, we understand that there are many important works that deal with disturbing themes or contain what some may see as “objectionable” content. We evaluate that content using educational criteria, and assess that content in the context of the work as a whole.
Ironically, I would have to say that we are “over serving” our youth. Helping kids find the best book for them is JUST - if not more - difficult as the challenge I have in cutting through the noise to help our Honorees with information of value.
There is often a lot of talk about reaching boys to improve reading, but recent trends suggest that the stereotype that girls read more than boys is also showing some cracks. The key is reaching kids where they are in their interests and as readers. In a recent article on my Family Bookshelf blog, I highlighted an article from the National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance about not doing enough for boys in young people’s publishing.
I would add, though, that it could help authors tremendously if they took some time drilling down through bookseller sites searching for books that are “just like” theirs … maybe even go to the library and borrow some. It is so important that they can articulate how their children’s book about [pick your topic] distinguishes itself from the pack in a succinct, specific manner.
Our seal matters. You can find our Honoring Excellence seal on the covers of books that have earned a Mom’s Choice Award in stores and libraries, on websites and banners, as well as in displays at trade shows. On a day-to-day basis, we have two robust channels for promoting our Honorees and their award-winning products.
Through Mom’s Choice Matters (blog) and Facebook page, and Twitter (@MCAmatters), and our Pinterest boards we connect with our Honorees’ demographic: parents and families … many of whom are moms, educators, librarians, and merchants.
We have a parallel series of platforms to help our Honorees promote their award-winning products. You’ll find interviews and trailers on our YouTube Channel; Honoree announcements and interviews on Celebrating Mom’s Choice (blog), our Mom’s Choice Awards Facebook page, and @MomsChoiceAward on Twitter.