Cashing in on School Reading Lists

One of the most popular school reading lists is the Accelerated Reading (AR) list publisher program through Renaissance Learning, Inc. For all transactions surrounding quiz production, a Title Selection Coordinator works closely with publishers to coordinate the move from a contractual relationship to one of title selection. They are committed to working with each publisher to maintain relationships and provide their mutual customers with the quizzes needed and expected.

How does Renaissance Learning™ choose books for Accelerated Reader™ quizzes?

Renaissance Learning’s goal is to meet the needs of numerous AR schools. Fiction and Nonfiction titles are chosen across all grade levels, and use resource publications, recommended reading lists, reviews, and customer suggestions that school librarians use in book selection.

Titles considered:

  • Books that are national award winners
  • Books that have been reviewed by national review sources (see list below)
  • Books with a strong curriculum tie-in
  • Books in content areas that have been most often requested by customers
  • Books in series or from publishers that have high quiz usage
  • Books written by popular authors
  • Books that have been requested by multiple schools across the country

Recommended Reading Lists and Review Sources:

Customer Suggestions

  • Quiz suggestions from Accelerated Reader™ customers and encourage use of Suggest Quiz functionality through AR BookFinder™ or the quiz store.
What gives a title Quizzability?

The Quizzability is the Accelerated Reader™ program’s outline how they assess a text for inclusion into their AR Quiz production schedule. Accelerated Reader quizzes are carefully constructed and conform to well-established guidelines based on research, standardization, and consistency.

A sufficient plot- or fact-driven text is necessary to produce a valid, reliable 3-, 5-, 10-, or 20-question reading practice quiz. Content developers select the number of questions to represent the text in the fairest manner for the reader.  Accelerated Reader quizzes do not “sample” a text but deal with the main topics of a text of any given length. After review, some books are tagged nonquizzable.

To help Renaissance Learning™ gain a better understanding of a publisher and how to submit a title selection, an initial submission form serves for new title submissions going forward. It has specific information to help them form a base from which to select titles in future seasons. For example, knowing your print run for each title and which review sources you have or plan to submit your titles to will help us understand market exposure. The submission process happens within a one to two-week timeframe, at that time titles selected are included for quiz production.

The direct monetary benefit to publishers and authors is through indirect book sales. Many consumers base book purchases on reading lists for approved reading points and approved school reading. Book Lists are a great relationship for publishers to established titles in educational markets. Should your titles not meet the criteria above, consider either tailoring future titles or submit to alternate independent lists.

Additional resources are Schools: A Niche Market for Authors, Mark’s YouTube Channel, or these educational related posts:
Advertisements

“What advice would you give yourself fresh out of college?”—Anna Faktorovich, PhD Interview

Faktorovich: If the young you, fresh out of a BFA program, strolled into your office today and asked you for advice on managing his coming illustration, animation, and writing career, what advice would you give him? What has been the biggest problem on your path you wish you could have avoided? Has there been an opportunity you now wish you had taken?

How to Win Friends & Influence PeopleAdams: I’d give him the best advice I’ve ever received from a stranger. I met her on a flight returning from Los Angeles. She recommended I read these three books: The Greatest Salesman in the World, because we all want to give up. Love is Letting Go of Fear, we all have a personal obstacles to overcome. How to Win Friends and Influence People, because you’re not a people person until you learn to listen.

When the student returns after reading these, I’d recommend, The Graphic Artist’s Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines. And I’d recommend he select two fields of illustration. The first being his focus; the second an alternate income stream. Next I’d recommend seeking out the ugly books in the world and being a better illustrator than the publisher’s existing illustrator.

My greatest problems were not understanding my value and not having a mentor/support system. My first illustration clients took advantage of my inexperience by underpaying and not sharing profits through royalties. I also invested thousands of dollars displaying my portfolio along with hundreds of other illustrators. I also joined organizations that charged to critique my portfolio.

IMG_2307Through trial and error, I learned good clients want to share their success; hanging with publishers is more profitable than hanging with illustrators; and non-paid critiques from professionals are genuine. The opportunities I would have taken sooner, are joining a publishing organization like IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association); cultivating a professional mentor relationship with an illustrator—not as a crutch; and starting my business fresh after graduation.

If I started again from college graduation, I would purchase a building with two storefronts in a small town for the price of a house. One unit’s rent would cover the mortgage. The second unit would serve as my business/studio. The upstairs would be converted to my loft/home. My clients would be found at large conferences where publishers and authors congregate. Technology makes small businesses into global business.

Who says being 20-something is a requirement to start a business. I might retire at 50 and start something new!

Read the complete interview with Mark Adams, Award-Winning IllustratorAdams-Author Bio Photo-mwa.company-template with Anna Faktorovich, PhD