Tuesday, November 29, 2011

No query? No pitch? No Problem! The Young Adult Novel Discovery Contest

Regina Brooks, Founder and President at Serendipity Literary Agency, who'll be on faculty at our upcoming Lucky 13th Annual SCBWI Winter Conference in New York, January 27-29, 2012, let us know about this contest for YA writers.

How do you enter? 

You submit an "enticing" title and the first 250 words of your YA manuscript.  No query.  No pitch.  Just an opportunity to let the work speak for itself.

It's a chance to break through, but there's not much time left - the contest ends tomorrow, November 30, 2011!  You can get more details here.

Also, if you want to do your homework on Regina Brooks, check out her Agent Spotlight page on Literary Rambles, where Casey McCormick and Natalie Aguirre have compiled wonderful profiles on 109 (and counting!) kid lit literary agents from a multitude of online sources. 

Good luck!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Life Cycle of a Book - a very cool resource

Life Cycle of a Book is a free online site that shares 11 different four-to-seven-minute-long video interviews with experts - who are doing that job - describing each developmental stage in the life of a book:









Book Buyer



Author Publicity

It's an excellent resource, and I like how it comes full circle back to the author.  So go watch these great videos, and get a bigger-picture understanding of the Life Cycle of a Book.

I found this resource via twitter (a tweet by @syntactics - Rachel Stark, an Assistant Marketing Manager at Bloomsbury Children's Books), which linked to a blog post on Rachel's blog, which linked to a website (the Publishing Trendsetter newsletter), which linked to Publishing Trendsetter's Life Cycle of a Book site. Which is a very cool example of how all this social media stuff works to get the word out - and now I get to share it with you!

And for our readers in the U.S.A., Happy Thanksgiving!

Illustrate and Write On,

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Craft, Business, Inspiration and Community

Continuing sharing the best of SCBWI:  Craft, Business, Inspiration, and Community:


For writers:

Darcy Pattison has a great exercise called "The Shrunken Manuscript" that is very cool.  Basically, you do exactly that, shrink your work-in-progress down so you can see the whole thing on 30 or so pages, lay them out of the floor, and with a highlighter you can mark your strongest scenes.  Stand back and look - are your strongest scenes spread out, or do you have "the dreaded Sagging Middle?"  Step-by-step instructions for the exercise and how it can tell you so much more are here on Darcy's website!  Darcy Pattison will be on faculty at the upcoming #NY12SCBWI conference talking about "Creating Book Trailers and Other Random Acts of Promotion."  You can check out her pre-conference interview with Martha Brockenbrough of SCBWI Team Blog here.

For illustrators:

Are you in the know about Illustrators Friday?  It's a weekly challenge to illustrate to a theme, where you enter your own piece (linking back to your blog) and it's all compiled in a giant list.  According to Marsha Riti (in the third video on a post on Mark Mitchell's blog), it's a great way to drive traffic to your illustrator blog.  In fact, Marsha suggests that the earlier in the week you get your piece in there, the more visitors you'll get.  A way to flex your craft muscles and build your following?  Sounds great.  Going through the weekly archives, you can browse by medium or style (including 'children's art'.)  And it's pretty fascinating to see how over 650 artists all approach illustrating "silent" or "stripes." 


Do you mind ads while you read?  Publisher's Lunch reports that
Within the next two to three weeks, Kobo will match Amazon's ad-bearing ereaders with their own "Kobo Touch with Offers" with "valuable offers and sponsored screens in discreet places outside of the reading experience." The ad-driven model will sell for just under $100, a $40 discount over the ad-free model."

As Newspapers continue to figure out how they can fit into the new world of technology, The Los Angeles Times has become an e-book publisher.  They're planning to release 8-10 titles a year.

The Authors Guild has weighed in on Amazon's new e-book lending program for it's premium members, and they're not too pleased about it.  They also give some advice of what to do if YOUR book is in the program.

E-book-reading adults, when it comes to books for their youngest children, are choosing print books - according to this article in the New York Times. Among the reasons?

“When we go to bed and he knows it’s reading time, he says, ‘Let’s play Angry Birds a little bit,’ ” Mr. Thomson [one of the parents interviewed] said. “If he’s going to pick up the iPad, he’s not going to read, he’s going to want to play a game. So reading concentration goes out the window.”


You've got a story to tell, right?  Well so did debut author Thanhha Lai, who just won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature for her novel, Inside Out & Back Again (HarperCollins.)  A debut author winning the National Book Award?  Now that's inspiring!

Jimmy Fallon, as Jim Morrison, sings "The Reading Rainbow" theme song.  It's brilliant.

Thanks to the awesome Alice Pope, who posted this on facebook.


This story, also from the New York Times, might have been filed under "business," but it spoke to something very powerful about the community of people who love books.  Ann Patchett, the best-selling novelist, is opening up a new independent bookstore, Parnassus Books, in Nashville, Tennessee.

“I have no interest in retail; I have no interest in opening a bookstore,” Ms. Patchett said, serenely sipping tea during a recent interview at her spacious pink brick house here. “But I also have no interest in living in a city without a bookstore.” 

While the news for independent bookstores may seem dire (in the USA we're down to 1,900 who are members of The American Booksellers Association) there's a counter-trend of "a small band of bookstore owners who have found patches of old-fashioned success in recent years, competing where Amazon cannot: by being small and sleek, with personal service, intimate author events and a carefully chosen rotation of books."

Bookstores are more than just a way to acquire a book.  They can be a vital hub of the community.  Do you have a bookstore in your town?   In Ann's words, “If you like this thing, it’s your responsibility to keep this thing alive.”

Illustrate and Write On,

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The SCBWI Bulletin

One of the amazing benefits of membership in the Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators is the bimonthly publication, The Bulletin.

Here's the cover of the latest issue, November/December 2011, by Dan Santat

SCBWI President and Bulletin Editor Stephen Mooser says of The Bulletin,

"My goal has always been to make it practical.  To let people know how to advance their careers.  We focus in on articles of practical interest for the professional member and we like to mix in, whenever possible, some inspiration and humor."

And it's chock-full of great stuff.  Like what? you'd like to know?  Well, let's take a look at eleven great things about the current issue, Nov/Dec 2011:

1.  The cover by Dan Santat is hysterical, and there's an interview with him inside (A regular feature called "Illustrator Profile: About the Cover") where Dan explains about his creative process - from drawing over 1000 pages for his 200+ page graphic novel "Sidekicks," to the media and supplies he uses, to his inspiration for the cover.

"I remember feeling totally worried during my first art critique that my work wasn't good enough while some art director or editor evaluated what I'd done.  You can see that same nervousness in everyone who goes through the process.  Everyone in the SCBWI can relate to this moment at least once in their life."

2.  "Trailers, For Sale or Rent" - The latest installment of an ongoing series "What the Tech?" by Mark London Williams shares his journey to release his entire "Danger Boy" time travel series - a number of which have been traditionally published - as ebooks.  This article goes into the nitty gritty of how he put together his first book trailer. Where did he get his images?  The free (and license-free) music he used?  Mark shares lots of great tips and links.

3.  Alexis O'Neill also does an ongoing column, "The Truth About School Visits" - it's indispensable, and I've read and re-read her advice many times.  This issue's topic is "Book Festivals: Are They Worth It?" and Alexis goes into depth on how authors are chosen, how you can make the most of festivals, and the pros and cons of both large and small book festivals.  She shares her personal experience and insights, and even gives a roundup of websites where you can find lists of festivals in Australia, Canada and the USA.  Like I said - indispensable!

4.  There's an "Art Tips" series where Alison Davis Lyne edits the advice of different experts and illustrators - this issue the tips (by Tina Nichols Coury and Monica Carnesi) are about blogging, and how for illustrators, they can lead to publishing opportunities. 

5. There a wonderful "Illustrator's Perspective" column by Anne Sibley O'Brien. "The Assembly of Book Projects" focuses on how she manages her life as a self-employed artist.  She asks, "when the only authority demanding results is me - and I'm not getting paid - how is it that I keep things moving forward?  How do I continue developing these ideas until they're fully formed enough to possibly generate a contract?"  And her answers were inspiring.  Anne's columns are always thought-provoking, and I particularly loved her two part column "White Mind" in past Bulletins pointing out and challenging how many of us in our culture - writers and illustrators - make our characters white by default. 

6.  Writer/Illustrator Agy Wilson also challenges us, but this time it's to play with language to keep it lively in her article, "Children's Writers make Bralls and Widges."  Agy writes, "Great stories are meant to be told.  But it's in the telling whether they take flight or exist through time."  How we use language (including nonsense words, playing with structure and even rhyme) become tools to make not just walls or bridges, but Bralls and Widges.

7.  "Speed Dating: How to make up titles for stories" - this exercise by Hazel Edwards was fast and challenging fun, and it did get me to come up with a new title for a work-in-progress that is a vast improvement.

8.  "A Report from KidLitCon 2011: Building community through the kidlitosphere" by the fabulous Alice Pope is a great rundown of the September 16-17 weekend when more than 100 kid lit bloggers came together in Seattle for the 5th annual KidLitCon.  I attended that conference as well, and Alice does a great job of sharing the highlights and passing along some of the wonderful tips from the various presenters.

9.  "Legally Speaking" is a column by SCBWI Chief Operating Officer and lawyer Sara Rutenberg.  Sara goes into depth in her columns, and this issue's focus is "Piracy Protection."  She walks authors through what to do if you discover your copyrighted material has been posted without your authorization.  She explains the "takedown provisions" statue of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and share the five steps you need to take to file a takedown notice. 

10. "Game Your Way To Success" - the "To Market" column by Susan Salzman Raab explores what we can learn about book marketing from entertainment and gaming.  Using examples like Jeopardy and Farmville, Susan shares tips and resources to re-think and calibrate your marketing plan.  There are even a number of links to sites that can help you set up games as part of your author school visits.

11.  And the wonderful "An Open Letter To The Industry," where SCBWI speaks out for writers on the no-response-means-a-rejection controversy, which I reported on earlier this week.

There's still more in this issue - poems and illustrations, an article on "International Bloggers: What they can do for your book," another on "IRS Changes Mileage Deduction Rates for 2011," and still others on opening lines, targeting your publisher, and inspiration - that one's called "Swing! by Nisha Coker.  There's a book review of Scott McCloud's "Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels," news and notes, the People pages packed with members' good publishing news, a master regional events calendar, a notice for SCBWI members who want to present and showcase their work at the Bologna Children's Book Fair, and Publisher's Corner by Connie C. Epstein with Award, Publishing News and Submission Information updates for the kid lit industry!

You can join SCBWI here, and among the many, many great things that gives you (information and support, networking, insider publishing information, access to SCBWI awards and grants, member discounts on conferences and local events, Craft, Business, Inspiration and Community) you'll get your own subscription to the Bulletin.  And it's awesome.

In addition to the physical copy that can arrive in your mailbox, members can also sign in and download the current issue (and past issues all the way back to 2005!) of The Bulletin here.

Illustrate and Write On,

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

SCBWI's Open Letter to the Kid Lit Industry About No-Response-Means-A-Rejection Policies

One of the powerful things about SCBWI is that it functions as a collective voice for authors and illustrators.

There's quite a controversy going on since this summer, as the "If you don't hear back from us in x amount of time, it means we're not interested" policy of some publishing houses has been increasingly adopted by agents.

Agent Jill Corcoran of the Herman Agency wrote a post on her blog explaining "Why I don't send rejection letters" that talked about the negative karma of sending out rejections.  (One of the commenters quipped "first time I've heard of an agent's karma running over a writer's dogma.")  Jill was so swamped with negative reaction that she actually changed her query policy. She's still open to unsolicited queries, but says if the no-response-within-a-month-means-no policy doesn't work for an author, they should query a different agent.

Agent Rachel Gardner with Word Serve Literary Group also wrote about her agency's "If you don't hear back within 60 days it's a no" policy, saying "Cutting out the step of responding means I can read and consider twice as many in a given hour." (Rachel is also closed to queries at the current time.)

Agent Janet Reid of Fine Print Literary had a different take, in her post "No, you're wrong, and here's why," where she explained her system for sending rejections, and mused it might even give her a competitive advantage over agents who don't respond.  (Janet's open to queries)

Former agent Nathan Bransford chimed in with his take on responding as well.  He personally did respond, but agreed with Janet that he felt responding gave him an kindness edge.  He also said, "I know it's frustrating as an author to send queries into the ether, but agents have every right to set their own submission policy, and if an authors doesn't agree with it they are more than welcome to query someone whose policy they prefer."

And agent Jennifer Laughran at the Andrea Brown agency explained the reason why they have both a no-response-means-no policy and an auto-responder to let authors know their queries were received.  And yet she admits "But... I really do try to respond to things, at least with a one-line form rejection, despite the fact that our official policy is "No Response Means No." It is just a personal quirk of mine, I truly hate leaving loose ends."

The impassioned comments to these and other posts (hundreds and hundreds of comments) and many different conversation threads on kid lit listserves cried out for a reasoned, collective voice for authors to speak out.

Here's the Open Letter to the Industry SCBWI has published in response to all this:

THERE HAS BEEN much controversy of late about whether or not writers are entitled to expect a response from agents and editors to their unsolicited submissions.  Many publishing houses have adopted the policy that no response constitutes a rejection of the project.  More recently, some agents have begun to adopt this policy.  If there is no response in a given period of time, which ranges from three to six months, it is assumed that the project was rejected and writers are free to submit their work elsewhere.

We at the SCBWI understand and are sympathetic to the rigors involved in responding to each submission.  The last thing we want to espouse is additional unnecessary paperwork for editors and agents, whose time is best spent developing worthy book projects.  However, a writer's time is also valuable, and the no-response system steals months or even years from our marketing efforts.  The fact that a writer will never hear back about the fate of his or her manuscript leaves us hanging in limbo, never being sure that the manuscript arrived, was looked at, or was ever under consideration.

From the writer's point of view, never hearing back encourages us to undertake multiple submissions so as not to waste time waiting for an answer that may never come.  This is clearly bad for the industry; more multiple submissions will further clog an already overcrowded pipeline.  The SCBWI discourages mass submissions.  We teach our members, and provide them with the tools, to target their submissions specifically to agents or publishers who have demonstrated an interest in a particular type of work.  However, if our members never hear back, even in a form rejection or an auto-response email, how can they be expected NOT to mass submit?

There must be some way to accommodate the two sides of this issue by providing writers with the feedback we need without unnecessarily consuming an agent's or editor's valuable time.  As an organization, we encourage both publishers and agents to find a cost-effective and efficient way to let writers know that they are free to submit elsewhere.  Surely in this age of auto-response and other electronically sophisticated means, a quick and easy response click is readily available and would mean a great deal to writers who are trying to conduct their careers in a businesslike way.

Stephen Mooser, President
Lin Oliver, Executive Director


As published in the SCBWI Bulletin, November/December 2011 Edition

Illustrate and Write On,

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Writers Intensives at the Upcoming 2012 SCBWI Winter Conference

I recently sat down with Lin Oliver, Executive Director of SCBWI, to find out more about the Writers Intensives on Friday January 27, 2012.

There are two different full-day writers intensives this year:

The Roundtable Intensive for Writers, where you get a chance to share your work with (and get immediate feedback from) editors and agents.   (This sells out every year.)

And new for this conference, a Marketing For Professional Writers Intensive.  In our video, Lin explains the what and why of this amazing new opportunity for authors.

You can see the full Roundtable Intensive for Writers and Marketing For Professional Writers Intensive schedules here.

Register for the intensive that's right for you, and the whole Lucky 13th Annual SCBWI Winter Conference here.

We hope to see you there!

Illustrate and Write On,

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Inspiration, Craft, Business and Community

SCBWI offers writers and illustrators information on the craft and business of writing and illustrating for children and teens, loads of inspiration, and most importantly, community.

In that spirit, here's some Inspiration, Craft, Business and Community for you...


I followed the whole #YASaves kurfuffle this summer, when the Wall Street Journal published a piece by Meghan Cox Gurdon on how contemporary YA books were too dark.   Among the many passionate and well-reasoned responses in the #YASaves movement (#YASaves is actually a twitter hashtag that you can follow here even if you're not on twitter) this response by Sherman Alexie was inspiring:
"And now I write books for teenagers because I vividly remember what it felt like to be a teen facing everyday and epic dangers. I don’t write to protect them. It’s far too late for that. I write to give them weapons–in the form of words and ideas-that will help them fight their monsters. I write in blood because I remember what it felt like to bleed."  -Sherman Alexie
(A side-note:  I found this inspiring quote and link in "Expression Online" The SCBWI international online newsletter.  It's a great resource, and SCBWI members can sign up for it by emailing Beaulah at  bpteditor (at) yahoo (dot) com.  Be sure to use the email address you're using with your online
account at www.scbwi.org so that we can find you when we click on the Search Members button.)

Sara Zarr blew me away when she gave her Keynote address at the #NY11SCBWI Winter Conference, talking about sustaining the creative life.  Here, in this guest post at Nova Ren Suma's blog, Sara talks about what inspires her, and the answer is pretty surprising.  It's failure

"In a way, “failure” is just another word for “the journey,” for not being there yet but on the way. It’s the road we walk on to get wherever it is we’re trying to go."
And even though it's about failure, it's not a downer of an article.  It's actually... Inspiring.  You can read it here.


For writers, Emma Dryden has a great article at her blog on the definition of "voice" - and how to have one:

"Editors talk frequently about the necessity of an author staying true to their own voice in expressing the voice of their main character; a definition of "voice" in this instance encompasses the word choice, sentence structure, cadence, vernacular, slang, idioms, quirks, and the poetry of speech that help to identify a character within a setting. To my mind "voice" also encompasses that which lies beneath the actual words a character expresses—namely, the emotions, motivations, doubts, desires, fears, hopes, and internal trajectory of the character. These are the elements of a "character" that will turn an "anyone" into a "someone"—a distinct individual with whom readers might identify and in whom readers will believe."
Read the whole article here.

And here's some words on Craft for illustrators, from the multiple Caldecott-honored Marla Frazee, on putting together your portfolio:

Q:  Should I have only one style in my portfolio?
A:  Borrowing the word that authors use to describe their writing, the best portfolios are unified by the illustrator's "voice."  If every piece in your portfolio speaks clearly in your own unique voice, then it won't matter if you sometimes use watercolor, sometimes work digitally, and sometimes are into collage or whatever.

Q:  What should an illustrator for children be sure to include in a portfolio?
A:  Anything that the illustrator loves so much that they seem as if they totally get the essence of whatever it is they are portraying.  We are beyond the days of saying you need to have b/w, children, pets, everyday scenes.  If you are into wombats, and that's all you care about, then by all means, have a wombat-driven portfolio.

Essential reading, and there's much more at Marla's"Portfolio Tips" on the "Studio" page at her website.  And those tips are from a more in-depth article she wrote for Kite Tales, the quarterly Southern California Tri-Regions SCBWI newsletter.  (The regional newsletters are a great benefit of SCBWI membership.)


Subscription & member-supported access to children's books is an innovative business model in the news.

Here's a physical bookstore trying it:

Point Reyes Books in Point Reyes, CA is experimenting with a member-supported model they dub "CSB", for Community Supported Bookstore. The CSB, which launched last month, "allows customers to deposit anywhere from $150 to $500 into a bookstore account, draw purchases from that balance and receive a 5 percent discount on all items." Owner Steve Costa tells the Point Reyes Light the store hopes to enroll at least 200 customers in the CSB by the end of 2011 and to have at least 500 members within 12 months. 
You can find out more and even become a Point Reyes Books Community Supported Bookstore Member at the store's website here.

Amazon just announced that they're going to be in the business of lending out e-books (one book a month, and according to Publisher's Lunch, mostly back-list titles) to their Amazon Prime members. They're starting with 5,000 titles, but for now, as the Wall Street Journal notes,
"None of the six largest publishers in the U.S. is participating."
And in an interesting twist, Publishers Lunch reports in their article, "Kindle-Lent, Without Consent" that some of the publishers/rights owners/authors of books on that list of 5,000 didn't agree to the deal with Amazon... for those, it would seem,
"Amazon pays the publisher the wholesale price each time a qualified Prime member "borrows" the ebook. Those will count as sales, because, well, they are sales..."

And uTales is a new e-book subscription business for picture books that launched this month.  As their founder Nils von Heijne says:

"Our aim is simply to build something good; good for talented storytellers, good for parents, and good for kids. uTales is a new way to enjoy modern picture books, and in doing so also making the world a little better for kids, one story at a time."

uTales also supports the non-profit Pencils of Promise to help build new schools in developing countries.  That's another trend of note, creating new business models that are "as focused on giving back as they are on turning a profit."

As you get deeper into the world of Children's Literature you find that, indeed, It's A Small World After All (thank you, Disney!)  Here, I can prove it:  Who's the head of the editorial panel ensuring the quality of the books included in the uTales e-book library?  The remarkable Emma Dryden.  See?  Small world.  Fascinating innovations.


There's a fun celebration of picture books (the physical kind) going on all November, organized by SCBWI member Diane De Las Casas - with 30 days of picture book champions (like Peter Brown, Anastasia Suen and Jane Yolen) sharing their takes on "Why picture books are important."  Dan Yaccarino's essay had this gem:
"Picture books are important because they are with us for life. They are the most important books we’ll ever read because they’re our first. No matter how many books we’ve read since, they will always have a place in our hearts."

Lin Oliver often refers to those of us writing and illustrating and creating children's books as a tribe.  And SCBWI is a tribe - I felt it at my first Summer Conference.  That these were my people.  Our people.

One of the easiest ways for you to plug into the community is to join the conversation.  Comment here.  Follow us on twitter.  Like our SCBWI Fan page on facebook.  Check out the offerings of your local SCBWI chapter.  And consider joining us at the upcoming Lucky 13th Annual SCBWI Winter Conference in New York, January 27-29, 2012.

However you connect, know that just by reading this, you're part of our tribe.

And we welcome you.

Illustrate and Write On,

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Marketing Intensive for Illustrators at the 2012 SCBWI Winter Conference: What You Need To Know

I sat down with Lin Oliver, SCBWI's Executive Director, to find out more about the upcoming full-day intensive program, Marketing For Illustrators, on Friday January 27, 2012.  

You can see the full Marketing For Illustrators Intensive day's schedule here, and register for that and the whole Lucky 13th Annual SCBWI Winter Conference here.

What an amazing - and essential- opportunity!

We hope to see you there.

Illustrate and Write On,

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Kid Lit Industry Catch-Up

A lot's been going on lately, and as we head into November, I wanted to make sure you knew about these stories:

Lauren Myracle is a National Book Award Finalist. Err, wait. She’s not.

Evidently "Shine" sounds a lot like "Chime."  And "Lauren Myracle" sounds a lot like "Franny Billingsley."  Hold on there...

Here are three angles on the story:

The Publishers Lunch version

Libba Bray pulls no punches in her backstage pass assessment of the situation (her husband, Barry Goldblatt, is Lauren Myracle’s literary agent.) It’s funny and passionate, but if f-bombs offend, read the other two links instead. Here's Libba's blog post.

Vanity Fair has an interview with the remarkably gracious Lauren Myracle, here.

Amazon's exclusive digital rights deal with DC comics, and what happened next

The new deal means that hundreds of DC’s popular graphic novels (think Superman, Batman, Watchmen...) will only be available on Amazon’s new Kindle Fire tablet. Barnes & Nobel and Books-a-Million responded by pulling all the physical volumes of those titles from their shelves, saying they wouldn’t carry any book it they’re denied the right to sell the digital version. The New York Times story is here.  

Sales Data Sharing With Authors

And there was more news featuring Amazon, this on Amazon driving changes in how publishers do business – since Amazon announced they would share some sales data with their authors, Simon & Schuster (and now Random House and Hachette Book Group) will do similarly. It’s an interesting article in Publishers Lunch.

New Radio Book Club for Kids

“Prisoners of NPR” (kids in the back seat forced to listen to ‘All Things Considered’ because their parents are listening) are getting their own Back Seat Book Club.  Here's the story at Publishers Weekly.

Traditional Publishing's path of Print first, digital second gets flipped

Ruckus Media is teaming up with Scholastic to publish digital first, and print second.  You can read more about it here.

Is a book ever finished, or just published?

For the 40th anniversary edition of the best-selling horror classic, "The Exorcist," author William Peter Blatty not only polished, but revised and added a whole new character.  You can hear the interview (and read the article) from NPR's Weekend Edition here.

And finally,

If you won the Newbery Medal, would you want that gold sticker on the cover?

On the right, the old cover, Newbery Medal flashing.  On the left, the new cover

Turns out this isn't a mistake.  It's the strategy for attracting adult readers.

Find out more about the new cover without the Newbery Medal for Neil Gaiman's "The Graveyard Book" at this Media Bistro post.

And interestingly, "The Graveyard Book" will be the inaugural title for the new NPR Back Seat Book Club.  Fun how that came full circle, isn't it?

Illustrate and Write On,