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UPDATE: 2/5/2013 #Bedtimepicks hasn’t caught on, so I’m changing the hashtag to #BedtimeReads, which is more appropriate and easily understandable. Please join in! Just Tweet the hashtag with the titles of the books you’re reading to your children each night.

For two years I’ve been Tweeting the hashtag #bedtimepicks to share the picture books I’m reading to my kids that night. For two years some folks have joined in, yet all have dropped out.

Then I realized: YOU HAVEN’T BLOGGED ABOUT THIS FOR TWO YEARS?

What is wrong with me? (Don’t answer that!)

So I now triumphantly propose we get moving with this hashtag! It’s a simple way to share and discover great picture books for parent-child bonding. (And if you read chapter books or middle grade novels to your kids, of course, those count, too!)

In the evening, tweet something like this:

Then click on the hashtag to see what other parents and caregivers are reading.

VOILA!

TWO YEARS IN THE MAKING!

If you’re in, let me know in the comments. And please blog about it to spread the word.

Now quick, let’s all play catch-up!

Kidlit Book Trailers

Bookselling is changing rapidly with advances in technology and the belt-tightening economy. Publishers and authors are having an ongoing discussion of electronic rights, trying to anticipate the future of digital books.

But the forces of technology aren’t all daunting. Heck, authors are having a blast creating book trailers to promote their titles. What better way to capture the attention of an increasingly online, plugged-in audience?

Award-winning storyteller Dianne de Las Casas has created a Ning community for sharing and discussing kidlit book trailers. Authors are invited to post their trailers and other videos (like a school visit). Bibliophiles can browse the selections to discover great reads.

http://kidlitbooktrailers.ning.com

Haven’t seen a book trailer? Here’s a gorgeous one from the site: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by author/illustrator Grace Lin.

The Unread

Here’s where you cover your ears because I’m gonna toot my own horn. Picture book author Heather Ayris Burnell (Bedtime Monster, Raven Tree Press 2010) interviewed me for her Unread series of aspiring authors. As you may have guessed, there’s almost as much talk about food as there is about books.

Besides Unread, Heather’s blog is dedicated to author interviews, book reviews and being a writer and librarian. So there’s lots of reasons to visit regularly.

http://frolickingthroughcyberspace.blogspot.com/2009/08/unread-interview-with-tara-lazar.html

Mitali Perkins’ Fire Escape

I am in awe of this woman. Not only is Mitali Perkins an amazing novelist, she shares the most compelling kidlit news and information via Twitter and her blog, with special emphasis on multi-cultural issues. If you haven’t visited, you really need to.

http://www.mitaliblog.com
http://twitter.com/mitaliperkins

Meet Eric Carle

August 23, 2009 marks Eric Carle’s 80th birthday and there’s a big bash at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. Crayola will unveil “The Very Hungry Caterpillar Green” crayon as part of the celebration. Wow, getting a crayon named after your work. Now that’s iconic.

http://www.carlemuseum.org/Programs_Events/Upcoming/Meet_Eric_Carle/

Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen’s Picture Book Intensive

On November 15, picture book author Sudipta (yes, she has earned one-name status) will lead a four-hour picture book intensive workshop in Princeton, NJ for the NJ-SCBWI.

Some topics she’ll cover:

  • Choosing Timeless Themes
  • Ebb & Flow of Tension
  • Creating Emotional Attachment to the Main Character
  • Finding Ways to Make Your Book Re-Readable
  • Humor and Heart
  • Query Letters
  • Marketing

I know I’ll be there!

For more info:
http://sudiptabq.wordpress.com/2009/08/10/picture-book-writing-intensive-workshop/

To Register:
http://www.newjerseyscbwi.com/events/091115-pbintensive.shtml

Do you have any can’t-miss kidlit links to share?

dragonwoodIf you love children’s books, please participate in a new weekly blog meme:

Write a Review Wednesday!

Parents, teachers and librarians are relying on online reviews more than ever to help them decide upon book purchases. Your opinion counts! Praise a picture book. Marvel over a middle grade novel. Tell everyone that young adult isn’t just for young adults!

On Wednesdays, write an online book review for a book that you love. The review could be posted on your blog,  Amazon, B&N, GoodReads, or you could tweet your book bravos on Twitter. It doesn’t matter WHERE you do it. The goal is to get more people who are passionate about kidlit talking about their recent, fabulous reads.

(The extraordinary podcast Just One More Book encourages you to phone your book review into their hotline. They will include your review in one of their shows!)

Don’t forget to link to information on where the book can be purchased–the publisher’s site, the author/illustrator’s site, Indiebound.org or a retailer.

If you’re participating via Twitter, link to your online review and use the hashtag #warw, which I’ve defined on Tagalus.

And if you don’t have the time to write a review, simply link to a review that you appreciated. There are many prolific book bloggers (like Maw Books and Write for a Reader), so let’s give them our thanks.

Ideas for “Write a Review Wednesday”? Please leave a comment!

Now let the reviewing begin!

twitterFirst there was Mitali Perkins’ list of young adult authors on Twitter. Then came the picture book author and illustrator list.

And now–finally–middle grade authors have a list to call their own.

Below you’ll find authors of published books (or soon-to-be-released titles) for middle grade readers. Chapter book and tween authors have been included as well.

If you know of others who should be on this list, please leave a comment and I’ll update the list periodically.

Enjoy! Discover talented writers; make new connections.

  1. R.J. Anderson @RJ_Anderson
  2. Elizabeth Atkinson @tWeenBooks
  3. Susan Taylor Brown @SusanWrites
  4. Meg Cabot @MegCabot
  5. RJ Clarken @LightVerse
  6. Bonnie Doerr @BonnieDoerr
  7. Michelle Knudsen @MichelleKnudsen
  8. Adrienne Kress @AdrienneKress
  9. Cynthea Liu @Cynthea
  10. Lauren Baratz Logsted @LaurenBaratzL
  11. Anne Mazer @AnneMazer
  12. Kate Messner @KateMessner
  13. Lauren Myracle @LaurenMyracle
  14. Nicole O’Dell @Nicole_Odell
  15. Ellen Potter @EllenPotter
  16. Sarah Prineas @SPrineas
  17. Karen Rivers @KarenRivers
  18. Christine Rose @ChristineRose
  19. Laurel Snyder @LaurelSnyder
  20. Cynthia Chapman Willis @CynthiaCWillis

I’ve pulled together some questions and answers from yesterday’s QueryDay on Twitter. I’ve edited this slightly to make it more readable (there’s more room than 140 characters here). The questions are in no particular order and may not include every response. In fact, I’ve removed answers by writing peers to concentrate on agent advice.

I hope this helps you with your query process. Thanks to all the agents and writers who participated!

Will an agent overlook a title she doesn’t like to request proposal/chapters for a query that otherwise caught her eye?

Rachelle Gardner: It’s all about the writing. The story. Yeah, a title can help or hurt your chances, but not make or break.

What are the rules for resubmitting after lots of revision? (We’re talking years since the original sub.)

Rachelle Gardner: Most important rule on resubmitting after revision: Be honest, say it up front.

Is it best to send a query to a few agents at once or just send them one by one?

Rachelle Gardner: I don’t know of any agents who expect or even want exclusivity on queries. On requested partials, yes.

Scenario: Big publisher has full manuscript. They offer contract. How can one query an agent to represent you in this situation? Is it proper?

Colleen Lindsay: It will depend on the offer. Agents are in it for $$$ too, so if the offer isn’t big enough, we won’t care. It takes as much time to work on a $2000 deal as a $20,000 deal. Not every deal created equally. But you should always have a publishing lawyer look over the contract even if an agent won’t rep you.

Greg Daniel: If I were a writer trying to find the right agent, I’d pay for access to Publishers Marketplace.com.

Regarding requested material: What is it that ultimately kills the YES when you read a partial or full that had potential?

Lauren MacLeod: Actually, it goes the other way. I start with probably no & you can move to yes with great voice & writing.

Rachelle Gardner: TOP reason I say “no” to queries is the story doesn’t sound unique, fresh, exciting. The problem isn’t the query, it’s the book. What kills the YES? That’s where it gets difficult and subjective. Does the story grab me and not let go, or not? What about being told “your writing is good” but still no? Remember–dozens of queries in the pile. Can only say yes to a few.

I’d think it’s better not to compare your book to other books and just let it stand on it’s own, meself.

Rachelle Gardner: Listing comparable books is important, it puts yours in context, shows you know your market, helps agent “get” your book.

Would this put you off – if someone spends years perfecting one novel? Would output be a concern?

Lauren MacLeod: No need to tell me in the first place (nothing to gain), but I expect first novels to have had more polish than 2nd.

Greg Daniel: No, wouldn’t concern me.

Why do publishers/agents even bother with email partials? Why not just take the whole manuscript and stop reading if it’s a dud?

Lauren MacLeod: I ask for email partials to manage expectations. I try and write longer & more involved rejections for fulls.

Having a hard time deciding what genre my novel is, should I leave that part out of query or can you suggest a way to help decide?

Rachelle Gardner: You must include the genre. Publisher, bookstore, consumer all need to know! Find books/websites that discuss genre.

How much of it is really who you know? How much of the process relies on you receiving recommendations?

Rachelle Gardner: Referrals definitely help. That’s why you go to conferences and network like crazy. I appreciate referrals from my current clients, editors I trust, and other friends in the industry.

Elana Roth: Connections help. Half my list is from referral, but the other half is from queries.

Greg Daniel: The only recommendations that make much difference to me are writers who are referred to me by my current clients.

Are most agents from NY or CA? Is it okay to query agents in other places? Are they for real?

Lauren MacLeod: With email and phones agents anywhere can get in contact with editors. First and foremost, pick someone you connect with.

Rachelle Gardner: It’s a good point about agent location. The Internet has made it easier for publishing folks to live anywhere.

Should a fiction writer ever mention their education or academic publications?

Lauren MacLeod: It should be mentioned in your bio, certainly, esp. if you are planning on doing more, but it should be a CV.

I’m worried about being relevant to the market…will the super hero novel I’m writing now still be relevant six months from now?

Lauren MacLeod: A great story with dynamic writing will always be relevant. Write good books, don’t worry about trends.

Do I need an agent to get a great book published?

Lauren MacLeod: Not necessarily, but probably to get it in the hands of the editors at the big houses & to negotiate a fair contract.

What are you looking for when it comes to voice?

Colleen Lindsay: Authenticity.

In my YA query, would you want to know if I’ve been mentored by famous YA author?

Kate Sullivan (editor): YES, I would LOVE to know if you were mentored by a famous, accomplished or great YA author in a query/pitch.

queryfailIn early March, several literary agents, organized by Colleen Lindsay and Lauren E. MacLeod, participated in QueryFail on Twitter. They sat at their desks, inboxes open, a pile of envelopes at their side, and then read queries one-by-one, Tweeting examples from undesirable letters: “I know that I have attached a file, but please have a read even though it’s against your policy.”

Lesson #1: follow submission guidelines.

Lesson #2? Even though many writers felt QueryFail was interesting and helpful, there was a considerable backlash from those who felt it was unfair to share query letters meant only for the agents’ eyes. But listen, if you’re an aspiring author, that means you want your words to go into print someday. You have to be ready for the criticism. If you’re not confident about sharing your query letter, perhaps you should try writing another one.

QueryFail2 was all set for yesterday, but it didn’t happen. Instead, we got QueryDay. The guidelines were supposedly the same, but the tone was decidedly different. Agents opened the floor to questions from writers, making QueryDay an interactive event. And because writers became participators, I doubt that anyone who witnessed QueryDay had anything negative to say about it.

Several positive spins emerged. Elana Roth of Caren Johnson Literary Agency announced her first QueryWin of the day early on. She requested “a YA light sci-fi novel. Strong query. Good voice in sample pages.” She was also impressed with a “Smart cookie author/illustrator: did not attach art to email, but pointed me to link of her art online. Win.”

Later on Ms. Roth passed on “a 3,000 word picture book” and a “YA novel set in college. Still on the fence about that. And only 39,000 words.” Writers, you need to know the proper word counts for your genre.

Agents also provided tips. Rachelle Gardner offered, “This may be hard to hear, but I suggest you avoid being in a rush to get published. Take TIME to develop your craft.” Later she confessed, “A query that makes me laugh is a great thing! Whether or not the book is for me, it definitely gets my attention.”

Agent Lauren MacLeod shared information on her preferences: “For the record, I prefer not published to self-published. For me, self-published has to try harder. Others feel differently.” She then explained, “Why my self-pubbed position? 1) I assume it has already been widely rejected by agents, 2) might have already exhausted the market.”

Some themes and suggestions emerged repeatedly, like submitting polished work. Lauren MacLeod announced, “I assume you have edited your work, have a writers group and have shown this to someone who likes it.” Later on, Colleen Lindsay said, “A writer needs to get the manuscript into the best shape possible before querying. An agent’s job is not to handhold or coddle or boost a writer’s self-esteem. An agent’s job is to sell the manuscript.” Editor Kate Sullivan presented this caveat, “Remain open-minded and be ready to revise. You need to be open to changes every step of the way.” Even a polished manuscript can be improved.

The most important thing learned from QueryDay is really quite basic: write a sharp query and follow guidelines.

And just how much time does an agent devote to your query? Lauren MacLeod answered, “A query that is to our guidelines, within normal word count range and my genre? About 5 minutes. These are rare.”

She then summed it up: “More important than anything: WRITE A GOOD BOOK. Good writing, good plot & good voice trump all.” Rachel Gardner agreed, “Fiction writers…it’s ALL about the writing. Nothing’s as important as what’s on the page. If it rocks, nothing else matters.”

Got that? Now if only the word “good” weren’t so subjective…

I collected a number of questions and answers from QueryDay that other writers may find useful. I’ll post separately…coming very soon.

twitterbirdA few weeks ago, YA author Mitali Perkins put together a list of young adult authors on Twitter.

In the same spirit of connecting children’s authors with fans and other publishing professionals, here’s a list of published picture book authors and illustrators who maintain a Twitter presence. Also included are debut authors with books due for release in the coming year or two.

UPDATE AUGUST 2013: It’s been eons since I’ve updated this list, but I see it’s been referenced online in several places and has become a popular resource. Unfortunately, I can no longer take the time to update this list–there are just too many changes to keep up with. But if you want to be included, simply add a comment with your Twitter handle and you’ll be seen there. Thank you!

Enjoy! Make new connections; discover talented people!

  1. Bonnie Adamson @BonnieAdamson
  2. Laurie Halse Anderson @HalseAnderson
  3. Boni Ashburn @BoniAshburn
  4. Carin Berger @CarinBerger
  5. Phil Bildner @PhilBildner
  6. Deborah Blumenthal @DeborahBlu
  7. Susan Taylor Brown @Susanwrites
  8. James Burks @JamesBurksArt
  9. Heather Ayris Burnell @HeatherAyris
  10. Clay Carmichael @ClayCarmichael
  11. Tara Larsen Chang @TLCillustration
  12. Susan Chodakiewitz @SusanChodak
  13. Rob Christianson @RobChristianson
  14. Peggy Collins @PeggysBooks
  15. Susan Crites @SusanCrites
  16. Kristy Dempsey @KristyDempsey
  17. Sarah Dillard @SWDillard
  18. Brandi Dougherty @BrandiDougherty
  19. Elizabeth Dulemba @Dulemba
  20. Ame Dyckman @AmeDyckman
  21. Wendy Edelson @WendyEdelson
  22. Carol Gordon Ekster @CEkster
  23. Claudia Golden @Claudiamm37 (Account deleted)
  24. Gus Gordon @IllustratorGus
  25. Jean Fischer @JeanFischer1
  26. Kakie Fitzsimmons @KakieF
  27. Alison Ashley Formento @AFormento
  28. Roz Fulcher @Rozzieland
  29. Neil Gaiman @NeilHimself
  30. K.L. Going @KLGoing
  31. Lorie Ann Grover @LorieAnnGrover
  32. Diane Dawson Hearn @DDHearn
  33. Anette Heiberg @AnetteHeiberg
  34. Leeza Hernandez @leezaworks
  35. Ryan Hipp @HippHop
  36. Lisa Horstman @LisaHorstman
  37. Oliver Jeffers @OliverJeffers
  38. Ward Jenkins @wardomatic
  39. Dani Jones @danidraws
  40. Cathy June @CathyJuneArt
  41. Michelle Knudsen @MichelleKnudsen
  42. Kara LaReau @KaraLaReau
  43. Tara Lazar (me!) @taralazar
  44. John Lechner @JohnLechner
  45. Kelly Light @KellyLight
  46. Grace Lin @pacylin
  47. Wendy Martin @wendymartinart
  48. Anne Mazer @AnneMazer
  49. Rich McCoy @McCoyDigital
  50. Kate Messner @KateMessner
  51. Jennifer L. Meyer @JenniferLMeyer
  52. Jamie Michalak @JamieMichalak
  53. Amy Moreno @EarthenVessel
  54. Cyn Narsisi @CynDraws
  55. Jeannine Norris @JeannineNorris
  56. Neil Numberman @NeilNumberman
  57. Dianne Ochiltree @WriterDi
  58. Eric Orchard @EricOrchard
  59. Alicia Padrón @AliciaPadrón
  60. Todd Parr @ToddParr
  61. The Pigeon @The_Pigeon
  62. Jamie Pogue @JamiePogue
  63. Jean Reidy @JeanReidy
  64. Peter H. Reynolds @PeterHReynolds
  65. Jacqui Robbins @JacquiRobbins
  66. Shelly L. Rogers @KidsIllustrator
  67. Candace Ryan @CandaceRyan
  68. Tammi Sauer @SauerTammi
  69. Niki Schoenfeldt @NikiofWare
  70. Corey Rosen Schwartz @CoreyPBNinja
  71. Jon Scieszka @GuysRead
  72. Diana Scimone @DianaScimone
  73. Cynthia Leitich Smith @CynLeitichSmith
  74. Kim Sponaugle @PictureKitchen
  75. Laurel Snyder @LaurelSnyder
  76. Ruth Spiro @RuthSpiro
  77. Patricia Storms @stormsy
  78. Susan Marie Swanson @Susan_Marie
  79. Don Tate @Devas_T
  80. Nikki Tate @WriterGrrrl
  81. Jennifer Therms @JenThermes
  82. Holly Thompson @HatBooks
  83. Renee Ting @ReneeAtShens
  84. Joyce Wan @wanart
  85. Kathy Weller @wellerwishes
  86. Leah Wiedemer @RoamingArtist
  87. Karma Wilson @KarmaWilson
  88. Paula Yoo @PaulaYoo
  89. Laura Zarrin @CreativeGirl
  90. Paul O. Zelinsky @PaulOZelinsky

Today literary agents Lauren E. MacLeod and Colleen Lindsay hosted “QueryFail” on Twitter. Several agents and editors joined in by sharing the worst query lines from their slush piles.

The intention wasn’t to mock writers, but to educate them. “I know writing and querying are hard,” wrote Ms. MacLeod. “So my queryfails have been chosen from people who did not follow submission guidelines.”

Originally I had reposted many of the QueryFail examples here. But after hearing from several writers who were upset by the event, I have removed the specific entries. Instead, I’ll focus on what I learned by following QueryFail.

I apologize to those writers who felt disrespected. My intention in reposting was to share what I thought was good information. I still think it’s good information. But if you know me personally, you know I’m an empathetic soul and I don’t wish to cause another writer distress. Frankly, we’re distressed enough.

So onto what I learned, sans examples… 

1. Failure to follow directions is an automatic rejection.

Agents receive hundreds of queries a week. Their submission guidelines help them work efficiently. If you don’t follow those guidelines, it takes more time to read and respond to your query. The easiest solution is therefore not to bother.

2.  Don’t include anything in your query other than what is requested. (Typically a one-page letter and first page(s) writing sample.)

What sells a book? The writing. The same goes true for your query. The writing sample’s the thing. Don’t include food, photos, scented paper, stickers, alcohol or anything else. This distracts from your writing, the one thing that will win the agent’s attention.

3.  An agent makes a living by selling books. If you don’t have a book available to sell, you shouldn’t be querying.

Do not query until your book is finished, polished and ready for sale. Agents do not write for you, so don’t send ideas you want them to complete. Don’t contact an agent if you have something already published but nothing new to sell.

4.  Only include relevant, professional publishing credentials in your query.

If you are writing a middle grade novel, your articles for a food packaging trade magazine aren’t relevant. Neither is adult fiction, unfortunately. And if you don’t have any credentials, don’t apologize. Simply list your membership in a writer’s organization, like SCBWI. Remember, your writing is what matters. Experience is good, but not a requirement.

5.  Submit a novel with a unique idea, not a bizarre one.

You may write well, but is your book marketable? Remember, an agent’s job is to sell books.

6. Don’t toot your own horn.

Confidence is an attractive quality. Arrogance is not. Know the difference.

7. Remember correct punctuation and grammar.

If your one-page query contains mistakes, the agent can assume that your manuscript is flawed, too.

8. Use the correct salutation.

Call the agent by their name. They want to know that you know who they are! If they are agent #47 in an email blast, they know you haven’t done your research. Don’t call a female agent “sir.” And don’t address your query “to whom it may concern.”

After all those fails you may be wondering, what is a Query Win?

  • First sentence hook
  • Wordcount/genre
  • One- or two-paragraph blurb
  • Relevant writing credits/background
  • Polite closing
  • Solid writing sample

If you want to read more, search TweetGrid.com for #queryfail.

One last tip from Query Fail: “If you must scream about your rejection, do so into a pillow, not on your blog.”

steveouchI met author-illustrator Steve Ouch on Twitter several weeks ago and was immediately impressed by his 5,000 followers. (Which has now topped 10,000.) Just who is this guy? Why had I never heard of his book SteamPotVille?

The easy answer is that Steve wrote, illustrated, and published SteamPotVille himself. And now he’s a one-man marketing juggernaut, making connections with parents, teachers and fellow writers through social media.

Smart? You bet. His book, released in early January, already garnered 19 five-star reviews on Amazon. The word-of-mouth is spreading…and spreading fast.

Fascinated by his approach, I had to learn more about Steve and his creation.

SteamPotVille is a topsy-turvy romp through a fantastical dreamland. The  illustrations feature animals in impossible situations–a lion riding a pony, a monkey swinging from a straw–created by photomontage. Steve, one has to wonder, what came first? The pictures or the text?

The text came first. Just as in the development of a movie, I changed some of the script as images came to life. Each page has about 150 hours of illustration time. When you spend that much time on one piece, the characters start their improvisations. Adjusting the text to express this phenomena makes the book a better read. That’s a flexibility that comes with being the author and the illustrator.

steampotvillecoverWow! 150 hours! Truly a labor of love. And that shows not only through your elaborate, whimsical illustrations, but in the way you’re marketing SteamPotVille via social media.

Can you tell us why you decided to release your book as an independent title? Did you have a viral marketing campaign in mind all along?

I did a logic problem and this is what I discovered:

a. I shouldn’t spend all my time looking for an agent and a publisher when I could be trying to make money selling books.

b. By enacting my own campaign and getting the book viewed, I’m doing a service to a publisher by testing how the product will be received on the market.

c. Once SteamPotVille is established then I can meet with publishers for wider/deeper distribution. I like the idea of getting things done. It’s really taxing to forge new paths all the time, but that’s life. As far as a viral campaign: I don’t see it as a campaign but more of an ongoing experiment. 

And you’re definitely getting things done. How did you attract so many Twitter followers? What other kind of online promotion have you been involved in?

twitterfollowTwitter is parallel to human society. All of the general rules of socializing apply to this medium, so I get out there and socialize. The more I do it, the more popular I become.

Online I’m trying to get in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most cousins on FaceBook (add me as a friend and I will make you my cousin). That’s a slow and long term promotion. The other promotions happening at the moment are my inefficiency campaign and sending bottles of the Internet to people who can’t get access.

Ha! And let’s not forget about blog interviews!

Some may call you brilliant and yet others might be cynical about your publisher-come-to-Mohammed approach. What do you have to say to the skeptics?

:chuckle: I wonder if Mohammad had a hard time finding a publisher? That would be a fun story.

I never place judgment on what others choose to do for themselves. Each of us have our own path to go down. I am not saying that mine is the best nor is it right. I am just doing what seems to be right for me for the time. Whether it works to deliver SteamPotVille in the right hands will be like a bad mini-series (to be continued). For now though, I am enjoying the opportunities to chit-chat with people like you and that makes me happy enough.

Thanks, Steve. No wonder you’re so popular!

Can you tell us a little about your photomontage process? How do you start illustrating a spread? Do you make a rough sketch first, or does it all come together on the computer screen?

I spend time breaking apart a scene I have developed in my head, then I rough it out on paper. Next, I take pictures and apply them to the layout on my Mac, over and over, until I feel like the image is strong enough to stand on its own. 

Are you working on another book now?

I finished writing my next work. I hope to get started on the montage at the end of the year.

Have you approached traditional booksellers about carrying your title? Will be you making any appearances to promote your book?

I have yet to approach any traditional booksellers, know any buyers? Speaking of, anyone who would like to get my book into any store or chain, I would offer a commission of the sale.

I plan on doing a book tour this summer/fall! If it happens, it will be pretty interactive from a web perspective. 😉 

What advice do you have for other authors who are interested in publishing and marketing their own title? Is there anything you know now that you wish you knew when you started?

I would advise anyone who is going to setup their book “indie style” to begin marketing your book before you are done. I wish I knew that one.

I think that’s good advice for any author. Thanks, Steve! Good luck with your books!

Check out SteamPotVille and follow Steve Ouch on Twitter for his book updates.

toolsofchangeThis week, leading-edge technologists, social media gurus and publishers discussed the future of publishing at the O’Reilly Tools for Change for Publishing conference.

I just read a wrap-up from Publishing Trends that blew my mind. Chris Brogan, President of New Marketing Labs, suggested that publishers put their slush piles online, as a way to determine if the public would want to read it before it gets published (or rejected)!

Brogan also said that “Twitter is THE social media tool publishers should learn how to use…it’s a better marketing tool than MySpace or Facebook.” Why? It encourages discussion and allows users to develop genuine relationships.

The publishing industry has to be very careful that books don’t go the way of music before they’re ready for it. Can you imagine a Napster for literature? The Kindle 2 was just released–and its sleeker, magazine-slim design is appealing (there’s a waiting list). Publishers must embrace technology now, before clever programmers enable the public to make their own decisions about how they’ll purchase books.

I’m eager for your thoughts. What do you think about social media and publishing? How will it change the game?

7ate9
Winner of the 2018 Irma S. Black Award and the SCBWI Crystal Kite!
black kite

As a children's book author and mother of two, I'm pushing a stroller along the path to publication. I collect shiny doodads on the journey and share them here. You've found a kidlit treasure box.

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My Picture Books

COMING SOON:

THE WHIZBANG WORDBOOK
illustrator TBA
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Early 2019

YOUR FIRST DAY OF (CIRCUS) SCHOOL
illus by Melissa Crowton
Tundra/PRH Canada
Summer 2019

THE UPPER CASE:
TROUBLE IN CAPITAL CITY
illus by Ross MacDonald
Disney*Hyperion
Fall 2019

FOUR WAYS TO TRAP A LEPRECHAUN
illus by Vivienne To
HarperCollins
Spring 2020

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