Launching a debut book is a celebration of years of hard work, tons of rejection letters, lots of waiting, more revisions, and some well-aligned yesses along the way. But launching a book into the world successfully is also time consuming, energy taxing, and marketing activities might eat into writing time. 24 Carrot Writing spoke with members of the debut picture book group 21 For The Books about their marketing strategies and debut-year goals amidst a pandemic.
Like all new babies, JET THE CAT (IS NOT A CAT) is going to get ALL of my attention around the spring launch, not only because I am so proud of the story, but because the illustrations by Terry Runyan are marvelous and the world needs to know.
My scrappy strategy for marketing so far is to write goofy but heartfelt (my brand!) emails to bloggers and bookstores, hoping that some magic will happen. And that’s been successful! Barefoot Books and my editor Lisa Rosinski have been incredible, so I have no doubt Jet and I will find ways to connect with kids and their readers.
My creative goal for next year is to use limited writing time more wisely. But the secondary goal is to really hone in on my brand and voice. Like every picture book writer, I have about 1,000 ideas an hour, but I’d love to create stories that scream “me”
Learn more at www.phaeacrede.com.
We also have a giveaway and scavenger hunt in store! For the 20-year remembrance of 9/11, I hope to reconnect with some of the special people and places the flag touched to see if they would be interested in sharing their stories. I hope to facilitate virtual school visits so students can be inspired by the story of the flag as well. The image below shows the moment when the flag was taken out of storage and emerged after seven long years. Torn and tattered, this was the beginning of its journey to being healed. I decided to share this spread, because the goal with all of my marketing efforts is to share this message of hope and healing. The flag is a reminder that if we come together, share our stories, and listen, we can become whole again.
Visit Amanda's website to learn about book giveaways and more.
I’m fanny-tastically excited about BATTLE OF THE BUTTS: The Science Behind Animal Behinds, illustrated by David Creighton-Pester, launching September 28, 2021. I’m always brainstorming silly marketing ideas for it, and I anticipate getting distracted from writing by the sheer fun of animal posterior promo. I’m thinking swag like whoopee cushions custom printed with my cover, asking friends to share videos of themselves doing ridiculous booty dances, and flooding social media with cute animal behinds. But since I’d like to make a life-long career of this whole writing thing, I’m determined to carve out time for putting words on paper. And then I’ll get right back to derrière dances!
To learn more, visit Jocelyn's website.
Thank you to the members of 21 for the Books who shared goals and launch year strategies with us. 24 Carrot Writing wishes you all the best for your debut year. And congratulations on all these beautiful new books!
Oh, yes! It's that time of year again. Each year as the holiday season approaches, the 24 Carrot Writing crew asks featured guest bloggers to share their favorite writing and/or illustrating gadgets, tools, or items that help them in the creation of their work. Sometimes they share a favorite tool they use in their daily creating; other times it's an item that brings them comfort, joy, or motivation as they work. It is our hope that this writers' gift list provides you with unique holiday gifting ideas, be it for yourself or for the writers in your life. This year, we're posting our list earlier than we have in the past to allow more time for perusing and, of course, shipping! So take a look, and if you have any favorite items that you use in your writing/illustrating, please share them with us in the comments section. We always love to hear from you!
Lindsay Ward is an author illustrator from Ohio. Her most recent book Scooper and Dumper launched from Two Lions in November of 2020. Her work has been reviewed in Kirkus Reviews, Publisher’s Weekly, and The New York Times and she is the founder of Critter Lit, a free online picture book manuscript and illustration critique service for up-and-coming authors and illustrators.
Each year, I use a simple composition notebook as a modified bullet journal, and I typically buy them at the beginning of the school year when they are on sale. I use my glue gun to add an elastic loop for my pen and a ribbon bookmark to track my place. I am not a diehard bullet journaler, but I always include a table of contents in the front so I can track story ideas, work on different drafts, notes from webinars, and from meetings with my agent, etc. In the back, I include an ongoing list of every single annual accomplishment/celebration, as small as finishing a draft or a school Skype visit, and as big as a book sale or a major review. Author Michelle Cusolito has wonderful blog post about bullet journaling for writers: https://www.12x12challenge.com/bullet-journaling-for-writers/. At the end of each year, I look forward to reviewing my accomplishments and making a plan for the new year.
Kirsten Larson is the author of WOOD, WIRE, WINGS: EMMA LILIAN TODD INVENTS AN AIRPLANE (Calkins Creek, 2020) and the upcoming A TRUE WONDER: The Superhero Who Changed Everything, illus. Katy Wu (Clarion, 2021) and THE FIRE OF STARS: The Life and Brilliance of the Woman Who Discovered What Stars are Made Of, illus. Katherine Roy (Chronicle, 2022). Learn more about Kirsten at kirsten-w-larson.com.
Carrie Finison is the author of DOZENS OF DOUGHNUTS (illustrated by Brianne Farley), released in 2020 from G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, and the upcoming picture book DON’T HUG DOUG which will arrive on shelves in January, 2021. Find out more at https://www.carriefinison.com.
Terri Libenson is a New York Times bestselling children’s book author and award-winning cartoonist of the syndicated daily comic strip, The Pajama Diaries, which ran from 2006-2020. BECOMING BRIANNA, the fourth book in her Emmie & Friends series released in 2020. Find out more at http://terrilibenson.com.
It's intended use is to keep track of weekly appointments and such, but I use it to create a visual representation of how much work I've done by marking each completed task with a stamp at the end of the day. When doing the art for a book that's 200-plus pages, the ritual of marking my achievements and watching them stack up over the course of the month feels rewarding... and always having the pad on the corner of my drafting table lets me know when I need to get my butt into gear to meet a deadline.
Kayla Miller is the author and illustrator of the best-selling Click series of graphic novels. The fourth book in the series, CLASH releases in 2021. Learn more about Kayla at https://www.kayla-miller.com.
They're small enough to carry everywhere, so as long as you've got a pocket and a pen or pencil, you're good to go. Sometimes I make my own notebooks, but these are very nice ones from the CW Pencil Enterprise, one of my favorite small businesses - they used to be dedicated to selling only pencils (plus erasers and sharpeners), but are about to expand to carrying a variety of other writing tools as well, "prioritizing brands that are local, small and have great sustainability and ethics practices". Excellent! For a really special treat I'm eyeing this bright book.
I use watercolors for my illustration work, and am always excited to find a new paint to try out. A few years ago in San Francisco I stumbled across a tiny shop dedicated to handmade watercolors called Case For Making, and I've finally treated myself to a palette and some paints from them. Each color is blended and made by hand in their San Francisco shop, and the business is very small, woman-run, and speaks out about important causes, so I feel good supporting them. Many of their colors are unique, filling gaps I didn't even realize existed in my well loved watercolor palette.
Ashley Yazdani is a picture book author/illustrator, reader, and nature lover. Her Golden Kite Award winning debut book, A Green Place to Be, is currently available from Candlewick Press and can be found at your local bookstore. To learn more, visit http://www.ashleyyazdani.com.
Qing Zhuang is the illustrator of “How Long is Forever?” (written by Kelly Carey and published by Charlesbridge 2020). She is currently writing and illustrating a new book tentatively titled “Rainbow Shopping” due to be released by Holiday House Summer 2022. Visit www.Qingthings.com and follow her on Instagram @Qingthings for more news and information!
Jordan Standridge is a Marketing Associate at Charlesbridge Publishing. He makes sure authors, illustrators and books gets out into the world! To learn more about Charlesbridge and the books Jordan works with visit the Charlesbridge website by clicking here.
Kelly Carey is a co-founder of 24 Carrot Writing and the author of How Long Is Forever? (Charlesbridge, April 2020). Learn more about Kelly by visiting her website.
Annie Cronin Romano is a co-founder of 24 Carrot Writing and the author of two children's books: Before You Sleep: A Bedtime Book of Gratitude (Page Street Kids, 2018) and Night Train: A Journey from Dusk to Dawn (Page Street Kids, 2019). To learn more about Annie, visit her website at www.anniecroninromano.com.
I am also absolutely in love with my DesignSter Resin Bird Coat Hooks. They are awesome for office organization, and a whimsical place to hang library totes.
Amanda Smith is a co-founder of 24 Carrot Writing. Her poems "Stingray" and "Cuttlefish" can be found in the Writers' Loft's newest illustrated anthology FRIENDS AND ANEMONES: Ocean Poems for Children. Learn more about Amanda at AmandaSmithWrites.
~by Amanda Smith
About the Cover Art:
~ by artist Jodie Apeseche
When Kristen Wixted and Heather Kelly surprised me with the cover assignment, I felt both excitement and fear. I loved the theme. (My background is in biology, including a stint on a research vessel.) But I’d never done a cover and it would be the face of our anthology. Could I make my fellow contributors proud?
Picking the design elements - the friends and anemones - was easy. I had to have an octopus because everyone should be curious about these highly intelligent creatures. They also morph dramatically, giving me free range in depicting them. The sharks’ striking lines made them visually appealing. And the crabs are my make-believe pets, Bernie and Marlow.
The cover art started as a watercolor and was collaged with parts of my shell collection, sand, and silk-screened papers. The image was then enhanced digitally. For example, the fabric on the octopus was inserted as an image through a clipping mask. This way the fabric didn't fray, as it originally did when I tried to apply it manually.
I hope every reader finds a favorite poem (or many) that they feel attached to and want to learn more about. Hey, maybe our anthology will inspire some future scientists!
~by Audrey Day Williams
First, there was FIRSTS, then came AN ASSORTMENT OF ANIMALS—an illustrated anthology of poems for children. And now, with editors Heather Kelly and Kristen Wixted at the helm of the ship, the Writers’ Loft authors and illustrators are back with FRIENDS AND ANEMONES a fresh bounty of ocean poems for children.
This November, set sail on an epic, page-by-page ocean voyage with Peter Reynolds, Jane Yolen, Kip Wilson, Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Josh Funk, Matt Forrest Esenwine, and 61 other well-loved and emerging New England authors and illustrators.
Dive under the enchanting cover—illustrated by esteemed local artist Jodie Apeseche—into a whimsical, watery world where you’ll rendezvous with petty penguins, little fish with big dreams, party-planning turtles, as well as anemones and crabs in the intertidal zone, and elusive sharks and jellies that call the deep sea home.
With a smorgasbord of poetic types, dozens of captivating sea creatures, and fascinating facts, FRIENDS AND ANEMONES will feel as at home clinging to your bookshelf as it will floating in a school library.
Every story has a villain; in this case, it’s plastic and trash which you’ll see skulking in and around the poems. But, every story has a hero too, and that’s you! The Writers’ Loft has teamed up with the Rozalia Project—a non-profit dedicated to protecting our oceans—to empower readers of all ages to become ocean heroes with a simple message: A lot of little actions can make a big impact on the oceans. All profits from the first month's sales will be donated to Rozalia. To learn more, visit http://rozaliaproject.org.
"We want to highlight the beauty of the ocean and show children that they can be ocean protectors through their actions and sustainable consumer choices."
Peruse blogs for advice and tips from KidLit creatives.
Click to set custom HTML
Click on the RSS Feed button above to receive notifications of new posts on this blog.