Community Over Competition in Kidlit? Why yes!
Have you heard of the phrase “Community Over Competition”? Well, it’s one that creatives use on Instagram to say they would rather support one another than compete.
When I saw it as a hashtag, I immediately became a fan. I even adopted #communityovercompetition for many of my posts to promote the idea to authors and illustrators. However, I quickly realized most children’s lit on Instagram were already practicing this phrase.
Speaking of hashtags, did you happen to read the post about the 3 Biggest Hashtag Mistakes to Avoid on Instagram? I promise it’s a good one for you to quickly read during a drawing or writing break!
Now back to my thought… over the last year I’ve connected with numerous children’s lit on Instagram. I’ve always been amazed at how supportive this community is towards one another.
In my opinion, the children’s lit community of illustrators are the best example of #communityovercompetition.
Maybe I’m biased because my best friend is an illustrator and she encouraged me to work in this niche. She even introduced me to her tribe of local Portland children’s lit and they welcomed me with open arms.
Oh yeah, I wrote a blog post about my start as a children’s lit book business coach! Have you read How A Mommy Friend Encouraged Me To Teach Kidlit Marketing Strategies? It’ll provide insight to who I am!
Anyway, once I sat and thought about these unique groups from a business perspective, I was impressed.
These illustrators created unique group names, built a website, set up an Instagram account, took turns blogging, took turns posting on Instagram, and collaborated on illustration projects.
In essence, these groups were building a platform that would boost their individual brands. And what agent or publisher doesn’t love to consider strong platforms when selecting an illustrator for a project? The answer, they all do since a big following equals large book sales.
I’m not sure these illustrators realized it, but they are taking a page out of branding 101. They are marketing one another while distributing the daunting task among the group members. It’s such a clever way to market each person while instilling a sense of #communityovercompetition.
Now I shouldn’t leave out children’s lit authors. They too have adopted #communityovercompetition by doing similar things. It just might be on a different social platform.
I know there are secret Facebook groups that offer insights to all authors no matter where they are in their writing journey. Perhaps you know of kidlit411?
It’s a website and Facebook group that was started by two authors who just wanted to help out other authors. They share insight into how to land an agent, to marketing your books, to contract knowledge, etc.
They are such an inclusive community even if you are just starting out. Someone is always present to answer your questions, give you an uplifting comments for bad days, and to celebrate your wins.
Below is a short list of kidlit illustrator Instagram groups I admire who are stellar examples of #communityovercompetition. Go take a look and if you are so inclined, give them a follow. It will definitely give you a good feeling!
1 | Puddle Jump Collective
This was the first group of children’s lit illustrators that I found on Instagram. At first, I was a little confused because I thought they were an agency due to their size (15 to be exact).
But then one of the illustrators cross promoted Puddle Jump Collective on their own Instagram page and I quickly realized it WAS a community.
I’ve connected with quite a few of these illustrators and it’s been so fun interacting with them on their posts.
2 | Brigadeiros Collective
This is a fairly new group of illustrators that started at the end of summer. Its members are from all over the world and they call themselves a rainbow family. I suspect it’s because their logo represents different countries.
3 | Hello Small Empire
This illustrator group is near and dear to my heart. All of these lovely ladies are part of the kidlit illustrator community here in Portland and I’m lucky enough to call them all my friends.
They also just launched this fall and I’m excited to see all the things they will share with their fans.
I hope you’ll take the time to either join one or create a community yourself to find that support that we all thrive so much for! #communityovercompetition
Let me know below if there is a writer or illustrator community you like to follow on Facebook, Instagram or any other media outlet. I’d love to take a look and give them a follow.