Saturday, July 31, 2010

DESPERATE DILEMMA Fuels the Promotion of 9th Picture Book.

Okay folks, this is my Desperate Dilemma
Knee surgery grounded me for the last 6 months of this year, and I can see no end in sight. My 9 th. picture book is just out, and my 10th book, a mid-grade adventure for boys, is due for publication.

My Dilemma:
How to promote these two books from the seat of my pants
- literally! Pilots fly planes by the seat of
their pants, but authors must have
two good legs to get out
there and SELL!!

This means that between countless daily exercises, I sit at my computer and scrounge for ways of putting "Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind" on bookstore shelves, in children's hands, and on the minds of children's relatives as possible gifts.

My damaged knee gets a rest, but trying to
"sell" by the seat of my pants
really DOES give me
a pain in the ass!

I have Twittered and Tweated endlessly. "Ruthie" and I are Facebook regulars. Even Linkedin and JacketFlap have "Ruthie" posts galore. I sent Press Releases to Indie Bookstores, hoping they might bite: no takers so far. I had friends and relatives phone some of these bookstores, asking for "Ruthie," just to give them a nudge in the right direction.

I even sent specially designed Press Releases to
Realtors and Moving Companies, because Google Alerts told me "Ruthie" showed up on a few of their sites - due to the MOVING theme - ZERO response.

All the children's writing lists I am on receive notes about my "Ruthie" Blog posts, and I am religious about "pinging" after every Blog entry. Newspapers have received their own Press Releases.

Home Schooling lists are in my sights as well. To top it off, I have a bunch of terrific reviews posted on Amazon,
Powel's, my website, and elsewhere.

I have done BookTours for previous books, with no noticeable upsurge in sales - though they did get the title and my name out there. Maybe I need to go this route once more - for "Ruthie's" sake.

So , with desperation kicking in, on Friday I blogged on HOOK KIDS on READING -
(the entry just below this one)

I offered FREE copies of "Ruthie" for some comments, + a coloring sheet, bookmark , and a personalized autograph for those who bought "Ruthie' from my website. So far there are just 2 comments - and one is my answer to the first. YIKES!!!

What's an author do for sales ideas,
when she is stuck behind a desk
without a leg (again literally)
t0 stand on?

Everyone who reads "Ruthie" loves it - the wonderful illos by K.C Snider, the pink hippo, even the rhyming story. And the parent-teacher guide helps kids and parents deal with the big changes in their lives - like those in Ruthie's life.

I want this fun book, with its helpful message, to make kids giggle. I want them to remember the rhyming verses and root for the pink hippo. I want them to learn that change is not always bad - it can be fun, adventure, or a wonderful new experience.

I KNOW it could become a favorite book if only . . .


Pink Hippo's of the world UNITE!!

Show me how to sell you to . . .


Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques

Did I mention "Ruthie," and that scene stealing Hippo's Fat Behind?


Thursday, July 29, 2010

FREE GIFT when you BUY "Ruthie" from MY WEBSITE

My picture book,
"Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind,"

is all about

G.A.P. Publisher

With delightful illustrations by K.C. Snider, and told in rhymes that are kid friendly, Ruthie is a fun read that will make kids giggle. Yet the topic of BIG CHANGE allows children who are experiencing change in their lives to identify with Ruthie and root for her.

Change can make children angry, confused and sad.

Many children's lives are full of BIG changes

they find hard to deal with.


A move to another place, parents getting a divorce,
or the death of a much loved grandparent. . .

My picture book,
"Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind,"
includes a parent-teacher guide that addresses
how a BIG CHANGE can really affect your child.

The Q & A included, encourages children to think
about CHANGE, and put themselves in

Ruthe's place + links to more
professional advice.

* Did they think Ruthie acted badly?

* Would their parents put up with bratty

behavior from them?

* Would Ruthie have felt less angry

if they had all talked about the
move before it took place?


and you get a

coloring sheet, a bookmark, and my personally
autographed book plate inside the front cover.

Direct access to PayPal
-- Just add your own sign-in & password

+ my e-mail for payment.


Jill Osborne
(Licenced Child Therapist)

on her

Writing and Play Therapy Page


And it


x lucky comments will be chosen to receive



Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques


Thursday, July 22, 2010

I Want to Shout - I TOLD YOU SO!

Publisher's Weekly has this article on the revolution overtaking the way our children read books, and the way publishers are dealing with it.

The Digital Revolution in Children's Publishing

(Bringing children's books into the iPad age)

In March, Anna Quindlen wrote in Newsweek, "Well, what is a book, really? Is it its body, or its soul?" Publishers of all stripes are struggling with that definition, including children's publishers. Picture books have used artwork as a core part of their storytelling as long as the art form as existed, yet they have always evolved, too. "The printed book hasn't stayed static—look how popular graphic novels are with kids," says Eliza Dresang, the Beverly Cleary professor for children and youth services at the University of Washington and author of Radical Change: Books for Youth in a Digital Age. "Things aren't the same, and they never will be."

** Click the title for an in-depth and
fascinating read.


NOW For a Terrific Companion Piece

Crystal Stranaghan

There's a handy piece of open source (yep, that means FREE!) software called Calibre that lets you convert almost any kind of ebook file to any other kind: so you can use it on whatever device you want. Yep, even Kindle.

Handy, handy, handy. Not sure if it works on ALL files, but I've not yet found one it didn't like ; )

I'm currently mostly reading on my iPhone with my Kobo account and on my Kobo reader. I'm a techno-geek in many ways, and have recently been alternating writing, with actually creating iPad & iPhone apps for my books.

Waiting for the next gen iPad is a good idea if budget is an issue. In the meantime, you can get a KOBO reader for just under $150 from Chapters-Indigo. It's not fancy, and doesn't do color, but you can put pdf's or any e-pub document on it, and the battery life is great. Works wonderfully with no glare in the sunshine too.

I recommend that ALL authors learn as much as they can about the new readers and embrace that as a publishing option - whether you like READING paper books or electronically. Earning potential for authors should improve dramatically with the elimination of publisher's print and distribution costs (that can only be a good thing, right?). Make sure that's reflected in any contracts you're signing! Percentages/royalties should be much higher on books sold in electronic format...

Happy Summer reading everyone!
For any techno-curious folk - feel free to Visit My Blog.




The EXPANDED future of reading is here.

Kids know this, and they are techno savvy, bless their hearts. They are eager to try eBooks on screen, or on an eReader: plain reading with illustrations, or as interactive as imagine can make them. I say YEA!! Let's admit that there is room for books published and read in many different formats.

All my children's books are available as eBooks,
or on CD. Some are also available
as soft cover books.

I am blatantly promoting them here,
proud of their content and artwork.

eBOOKS are less than half the cost of paper ones,
they are GREEN. and they save trees.

Below are links to TRAILERS for each book on YouTube. You can read more about them all on MY WEBSITE: Where to BUY, sample verses, illustrations, facts about the illustrators, + extras like coloring sheets and autographed copies.

"Wild and Wonderful" series - 7 rhyming books
that tell about animals from the US and Australia.
Fun as well as educational.

from my
"Wild and Wonderful"


Books for Kids + Manuscrit Critiques


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Kids Bored this Summer? Then Introduce them to, "MEET ME at the CORNER!"

Donna Guthrie's Cool and
Innovative Program is Titled:

Virtual Field Trips for Kids

Virtual Field Trips for Kids takes you to meet fascinating people from all over the world. View Dozens of Kid-Friendly Educational Videos or Submit Your Own.
Current Interview is with
a Zookeeper

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

New, educational, kid-friendly episodes are uploaded
every two weeks. Included are links to fun websites
and our Learning Corner with follow-up questions.

Check out
Big Apple Book Club
Filled with video book reviews for kids-by-kids.

"It's Not Easy Being Mean" by Lisa Harrison.


Video Podcasting Lessons.

All designed to banish boredom,
while offering educational fun.

Now what other online summer program beats that?


Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques

"Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind"


Monday, July 5, 2010

GOOGLE and MARGOT - They Can't Both be Wrong About eBOOKS & eREADERS.

When GOOGLE teams up with
Independent Bookstores
there's a good reason.

From the
Independent bookstores were battered first by discount chains like Barnes & Noble, then by super-efficient Web retailers
like Now the electronic book age is dawning. With this latest challenge, these stores will soon have a new ally: the search giant Google.

From Radio and Internet Guru
Kim Komando's Daily News: Say goodbye to shelves of dusty old books! Thanks to e-readers like the Kindle, Nook and Sony’s Reader, e-books are taking off. You’re not limited to a few titles. You can download the latest best-sellers. And, you’ll find thousands of free e-books online.


Wall Street Journal - Life & Styles: Here's more news about the growing popularity of e-books: SAN FRANCISCO—Libraries are expanding e-book offerings with out-of-print editions, part of a broader effort to expand borrowing privileges in the Internet Age that could challenge traditional ideas about copyright. Starting Tuesday, a group of libraries led by the Internet Archive, a nonprofit digital library, are joining forces to create a one-stop website for checking out e-books, including access to more than a million scanned public domain books and a catalog of thousands of contemporary e-book titles available at many public libraries.



Margot Finke:

Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques

From "Don'r Say BOO to a Frilly"


I've been saying for ages, that my rhyming

eBOOK series, "Wild and Wonderful,"
7x books about animals from the US and Australia,
offer fun, educational facts about unique critters.

There are also many other eBOOKS out there that are
fun, fine quality, and worthwhile reading.

That they are eBOOKS make many think they must
be poor quality - inferior!!
The reviews were terrific.
When combined with an affordable eREADER,
eBOOKS are the future of reading.

They are CHEAPER, GREENER, and
EASIER to carry around.

Sure, paper books will still be popular: no one says otherwise. The same way readers have always looked for quality reading matter in paper books, they will look for quality in the eBOOKS they download.

There is a TIME and a PLACE for both paper and eBooks.


All I ask is this:
PLEASE don't knock eBOOKS
until you've given them a fair trial.
You might get a pleasant surprise.

Paper and electronic books will partner
together into our reading future.