Thursday, January 11, 2018

Literary Agent and V.P. Elizabeth Harding of Curtis Brown discusses the $3 Billion children's book business



From this interview with Valerie Peterson on the Balance, Elizabeth shares:

'Where the retail booksellers have been the primary market for adult books, for children's books, the school, and library markets have always been really important to sales — and there's been a recent resurgence there.
To give some historical perspective — 20 years ago the school and library market was very robust and, at the time, it was great if your children's book sold in bookstores, obviously, but it wasn't the focus.
Then Barnes and Noble and other superstores and Amazon came into the picture, and it became really important to be able to sell your books through those venues; a lot of weight was put on those sales. The focus shifted [from schools and libraries] to getting books onto the picture book wall at B&N. The children's market began to rely heavily on those retail sales — which hadn't traditionally been the case, and which was more in tune with how adult books were sold.
There still is a lot of weight put on those sales, but we're back to having the school library market being really critical.
It's well-worth reading the full interview (and I love the advice about befriending your local children's librarian!)

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Start the new year with creative inspiration from Marla Frazee

This video short by Adam Goodwin about award-winning author illustrator Marla Frazee is lovely, full of wisdom and anecdotes and inspiration for starting this new year of creativity for us all...

Enjoy.

Marla Frazee from Adam Goodwin on Vimeo.

Thanks, Marla, and thanks Adam!

Illustrate and Write On! 
Lee

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Newbery-Winning Author Kwame Alexander on how giving back changed his world view






This moment, as told by Tamra Bolton at the Parade website, is full of lessons for us all. New York Times Bestselling and Award-Winning author Kwame Alexander helped create a library for children in a remote village in Ghana.

Kwame "had just released his newest book, Solo, about a young man, Blade Morrison, and his struggle to deal with his past and uncertain future. Morrison’s quest eventually takes him to Ghana where he finds his roots and begins to understand who he is and where he is going."

When Kwame visited the village to celebrate the library's opening, he found the building wasn't completed. There wasn't even a roof.

"Like in my book Solo, I came over here to help, but what I discovered is, I’d never asked the question, ‘Is this library important to you? Is this something you want?’ Their answer was, ‘We need a health clinic’. I thought, ‘Why not include a health clinic?’”

The lesson for all of us who want to help make our world a better place?

"I realized you cannot expect to teach a child to read if they are not well. You can’t go into a community and dictate what they need; you have to find out what they need." –Kwame Alexander

Read the full article here.

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Aim High in 2018 - You and SCBWI's 25 Different Award and Grant Programs



SCBWI has awards and grants for Published Authors and Illustrators, for Writers, For Illustrators, for Students, and even a Community grant to help schools pay for an author/illustrator visit – there's so much opportunity!

For published authors and illustrators,

from the Book Launch Award ($2,000 to help the promotion of an author or illustrator's new published work) to the Jane Yolen Mid-List Author Grant (honoring the contribution of mid-list authors) to SCBWI's flagship Golden Kite Awards, and more...

For Writers,

from the Emerging Voices Award (to foster the emergence of diverse voices in children's books), to the Work-In-Progress Grants, to the Karen Cushman Late Bloomer Award (for a work-in-progress from an unpublished author over 50), and more...

For Illustrators,

from the Narrative Art Award (given annually to an illustrator of promise based on a given prompt),  to the Don Freeman Work-in-Progress Grant (to assist illustrators in the completion of a book dummy or portfolio), to the Portfolio Awards (given top the top portfolios submitted to the annual SCBWI Summer or Winter Conference), and more...

Check out all the grants and award opportunities here, pay attention to the submission deadlines, and put your work out there in 2018!

Good luck, and write and illustrate on!
Lee