The Rootlets are four fun-loving and adventurous kids, with veggie hair and healthy habits – whose lives, up until now, were undoubtedly ordinary. In their very first adventure, Brocc, Carrotina, Cornelius and Kaley overhear shocking news that’s most definitely NOT ordinary, and that’s sure to change life as they know it…forever! Could it be that the Rootlets are in fact superheroes with real super powers called Rootabilities? Using clues from an old legend book, The Rootlets get to work, determined to solve the biggest mystery of their lives.
David Hoobler is both the author and illustrator of the Zonk the Dreaming Tortoise series. In the post below he shares his creative process when it comes to writing, illustrating, and publishing his own books.
My process… What the heck is my process. First I hit myself on the head with a hammer until an idea falls out of my ear. Then I pick up a pencil and start to write or draw. It’s a mess.
I am the author and illustrator of three children’s picture books, the Zonk the Dreaming Tortoise series. It has taken many years to get the three books created and self-published, partly because they are based on my personal experiences of living and exploring the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and Mexico, specifically Baja, and partly because I had to learn publishing along the way.Continue reading →
The children’s book market is expanding. According to IBISWorld, “e-readers and other popular devices, like tablets and smartphones, make books easier to buy, read and store. Animation and other extra features made possible by these and other devices are making e-books particularly attractive to children.”
Jane Friedman also reported that “Children are starting to read e-books at a younger age, and the e-book format is growing as a percentage share of all books purchased. (It increased to 21% in 2014, up from 14% in 2013.)” She shared a great chart from Nielsen on where books rank for different age groups. You can see it here.
It may still be easier to go the traditional route to publish children’s books (and by children’s books I mean heavily illustrated books, not YA), but more options are popping up for those who want to self-publish. To get a better feel for how it all works, I self-published my first picture ebook, called Apple’s Adventures. I’m also in the process of editing the second book in my How to Make Ebooks series, which will focus on how to create picture ebooks, also known as fixed format ebooks. Continue reading →
Now that more and more people self-publishing, it can be hard for new books to get noticed. With that in mind, Louisa Clarkson, founder of Indicated, a promotional resource for indie authors and small presses, has shared three helpful tips on how to promote children’s books, the genre with arguably the most gatekeepers.
Boy, I thought writing for children was tough. Keeping things exciting enough to entertain kids. Maintaining a fast pace to hold their short attention spans. Being sneaky and sprinkling in lessons so that the kid’s didn’t run a mile.
But then when I self-published, I also learned I had to get past the gatekeepers so children could read my book. Gatekeepers (parents, grandparents, friends and family, guardians, librarians and teachers) sometimes choose books on behalf of children to ensure a book will be suitable to read. Here’s 3 tips to promote your children’s books to gatekeepers, and get them into the hands of children. Continue reading →
To be completely honest, I was excited to get The Goat Who Ate Everything, just because it sounded like the cutest of the four book options–the bite mark in the upper right hand corner helps. The book is small and a little flimsy, but easy to carry around. And it comes with an encouraging bookmark.
All the books are meant to help show that McDonald’s cares about healthy eating, and in The Goat we meet a kid (heh) who doesn’t feel good until he eats the right foods. Continue reading →
Jason Edwards, award-winning author and ‘edutainer’, kindly took the time for an interview about Rogue Bear Press. Rogue Bear Press publishes children’s books, including The Chronicles of the Monster Detective Agency, which won the Mom’s Choice Awards in 2011. The press currently has four employees, who all work part-time. In addition to publishing children’s books, Rogue Bear Press offers programs for libraries and schools. Continue reading →
Storybird is a fun, relatively new, platform that, according to the website, “lets anyone make visual stories in seconds.” Artists have created a lot of images especially for the site, and writers then use those images to inspire new stories. Continue reading →
BookStats, the annual survey conducted by BISG that captures the size and scope of the publishing industry, was released today. See the press release below; there are some interesting factoids, particularly for anyone working with ebooks. Continue reading →
Since it’s Thanksgiving in a couple days, thought I’d post the publishing news early this week.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m taking a Writing for Children’s class, but I keep noticing the topic of children’s books in my classes. Anyway, today the Association of Booksellers for Children approved a merger with the American Booksellers Association. ABC executive director Kristen McLean said, “We are in a time of unprecedented industry evolution, and I believe the independent booksellers of the ABC are sending a message that they can also evolve to meet the demands of the changing industry positively.” It’s interesting, just last night (and in many of my classes this semester) I heard very similar phrases, that included the key words “evolution” and “evolve.” I guess everyone’s thinking the same way.
Again, on the topic of children’s books–RosettaBooks (not to be confused with Rosetta Stone) has an exclusive agreement to release the series, “Rainbow Magic” to Kindle. This is their first deal with children’s books. Rainbow Magic is a series for girls 4-9, and has sold 20 million copies worldwide.