Saturday, August 26, 2006

Cold Calls

Dani Sneed and I had a hint that a store in our area might
be interested in a book signing for our books. Since we have
one "just out" it only made sense to try for a book launch.

What a great surprise to have an enthusiastic reception
to my visit to the store and proposal packet. The owner thought
the quality of Sylvan Dell books was superb...which of course
I knew! He was impressed by how long Dani and I have lived in
this area and checked his calendar for a date.

We will be mailing postcards to celebrate the book launch of
One Odd Day on September 23. And Happy Birthday to Whooo?
will also be available. The owner didn't even know how many
copies to order. And this becomes Happy Birthday to Me!
since the book launch is on my birthday.

The next day I contacted a Barnes and Noble close to where
my brother lives - which is 50 miles from me, and yet we both
live in the Houston area. Once again the CRM was extremely
interested after I gave her the ISBN number and she looked up
Happy Birthday to Whooo? in the Barnes and Noble network.

She scheduled me for Dec 2 for a book fair at the store. This is a new
idea to me, but makes much sense compared to taking books to school.
Invite the parents and students to the store where the books are!

And now I've met my three deadlines this past summer. Once I get through
submitting and do a bit of organizing, I'll actually be starting a new
picture book again. Imagine that!


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Books to go

Yesterday I had another book signing. This time I also
got to read my book and was introduced to the audience.
Wow...that was pretty neat.

This was at a Barnes and Noble bookstore. The storytime
helper picked up birth announcements and discussed them
before introducing my book with baby animal birth announcements.

The children listening were very involved with Happy Birthday
to Whooo?
They guessed appropriate names and amazed me with
their answers. It was much fun.

I sold enough books to make everyone happy and enjoyed the
crowd of friends and family who were able to come.

My next reading is in my local library. And while I am not
allowed to sell books, I can definitely pass out postcards
with the cover of each on the front.

This upcoming week is website updates and rewriting a few
paragraphs for my editor with Gareth Stevens. Always great to
reach the rewriting stage after finishing a complete book.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Book signing success

Yesterday I held a book signing at the assisted
living residence where my mother lives. It was
a wonderful event for all the folks living there.

Many bought my book for grandchildren and great
grandchildren. Happy Birthday to Whooo? really spans
the ages of readership. Adults also learn a few animal
details unknown to them, so it's very educational as well.

Perhaps I'll contact a few activity directors at other
community assisted living homes and see what kind of
response I get. The best part of this activity is the
uniqueness of it. Very few "different" events come
along for "seniors" and a book signing is certainly not
an everyday occurence for them.

I've had three deadlines since May and am now breathing
a bit easier with submission plans for other books, promoting
ideas, and, oh yeah, perhaps a bit of writing to do for
new picture books.

Happy Wednesday to all.


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Big Doings

This week I have two book signings and have just
finished my work for hire nonfiction writing for
Gareth Stevens.

Signings are such fun when you know plenty of folks
will be coming. My first one on Tuesday is where
my mother lives in assisted living. The whole place
seems to be ready to buy a book for grandchildren and
luckily Happy Birthday to Whooo? is a perfect match for
that idea.

Saturday, I have the second signing in a Barnes and Noble
not too close to my house. But I have friends from one of my
critique groups in that neck of the woods and I am reading
to a storytime, so there should be enough sales to keep me busy.

Happy Birthday balloons make a cute addition to a signing for
this book. It seems everyone loves a birthday party theme.

Had an inquiry about my PINK INK editing this past weekend.
I hope that works out. I do love to help beginners with
picture ideas and concepts.


Sunday, August 06, 2006

Hip Hip Hoorye for SCBWI

My local Houston SCBWI meeting is tomorrow night.

I hope everyone who writes for children is a member of this
marvelous organization. The events, conferences and meetings
are very informative and also great reminders if you have been
writing forever. The chance to connect with other children's
writers and share publishing info is one of the greatest perks.

This week the National Conference is in LA. Held every year,
it attracts 2000 writers and occasionally the celebrity.
I know Henry Winkler spoke one year. The Fonz is truly
on a mission to encourage children with dyslexia.

The year I attended in 2001 I heard Richard Peck. Perhaps
the best speaker and entertainer for such an audience.
His verbs and nouns in his books are always the correct ones,
making the reader laugh, react and enjoy his awesome skill.

Another SCBWI Conference is annually held in NYC in February. This
is also top notch and full of atmosphere to make you want to write
and never stop. If only we could be as prolific at home as we hope
to be after attending SCBWI conferences.

I hope to put the finishing touches on my book with an Aug 18
deadline and then push on to finish the one with a Sept 10 deadline.
Gee, who'd have ever thunk I'd have three deadlines this summer?

Join SCBWI and be surrounded by other writers who know just how HARD
it is to write for children. Those who think otherwise have never tried.


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

August 2

Twelve days until school starts in my area.
Makes me glad to be an empty nester. While school
started almost this early when my kids were students,
it seems the end of August is soon enough. When and
why does school start the middle of August? Some folks
go ahead and wait to enrol their children late, anyway.

Let's hear it for air conditioned schools.The only reason
hot August day classes can survive. One of the reasons
starting after Labor Day was a good idea was cooler temps.
However, in the Houston area, the temps make no difference.
We're lucky for a cool down in early October.

If kids should go in August..then why not all year?
Not such a huge amount of forgotten information over the
summer that way. I'm all for year round school and
three holidays. One month in December, one in springtime,
and one in the summer. And while I'm on my soapbox...
I vote for uniforms too. Equality of clothing would
hopefully help with less peer pressure in attire.
Also, no one has to wonder what to wear the next day.
The outfits are basically decided ahead of time.

Back to my work for hire book...deadline August 18.
Whew...coming up and I'll be glad for the final draft,
the submission and the upcoming moola.

Stay cool,