Sunday, March 27, 2016

Play publisher

all photos by Leanne Dyck

If you are or have been an indie author, like I have, you have some understanding of what publishers do--print the book, promote the book, sell the book. 

I've promoted my own work, but not the work of others. I've never experienced the thrill of helping to establish another author's career. 
Or have I? Have you?

The Game

the children's book section of your local library or bookstore

The Play: 
Publishers acquire new work
1)Scan through the picture books. It's okay if you feel overwhelmed--publishers probably feel that way from time to time, as well.
2)Select three favourites. It's okay if you feel frustrated that you can't take more than three--publishers probably feel that way from time to time, as well. 

Publishers promote authors
3)What you do for "promotion" is limited only by your imagination.
for example, you could recommend the book to a friend and/or write book reviews

Here's what I found...

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie
author:  Laura Joffe Numeroff
illustrator:  Felicia Bond
publisher:  Laura Geringer Books--an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers
publishing date:  1985

The story begins with the mouse's request for a cookie. It continues as the mouse asks for something else and something else and something else. I enjoyed the author and illustrator's light touches of humour. The author doesn't supply an ending; the illustrator does--with a drawing of a clearly exhausted narrator. The repeated phrase built suspense and carried me through the story.

author:  Jo Ellen Bogart
illustrator:  Barbara Reid
publisher:  Scholastic Canada Ltd
publishing date:  1995

The poetic text began as a song. 
Grandma travels to Africa to Australia to Mexico to Hawaii to the Arctic to India to Switzerland to China to England. And as she travels she sends gifts to her granddaughter. This truly is a feel good story. Through the illustrations we watch the granddaughter grow from a little girl to a young mother. Like If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, this book also continues after the ending--with Grandma promising to send gifts to her great-grandson. 

This Tree Counts
author:  Alison Formento
illustrator:  Sarah Snow
publisher:  Albert Whitman and Company
publishing date:  2010

This book was printed on recycled paper.
This clever counting book is sure to delight tree huggers young and older. Mr. Tate takes his class outside where they learn why trees are so important to our environment and the students plant trees. The ecological message is driven home by the charming illustrations.

The 'Play Publisher' game not only benefits the picture book authors but, as Ann Whitford Paul points out in Writing Picture Books, it can also benefit you (the player)...
Spend time reading picture books...But don't just read them--think about them. Take notes. Study why one works for you and another doesn't. This is good training before starting to write and should continue throughout your career. (p. 19)

on the web...

Random House explains what publishers do

on this blog...

Interview with Ronsdale Press

Interview with Michelle Halket of Central Avenue Publishing

Self-publishing, traditional publishing--pick one

Next post (April 4):  Sometimes it feels overwhelming. Sometimes we don't know how. Sometimes we're blocked by self-doubt. But we have to try. We have to try because sharing books with children is so very important. In my next post, I share a true story of when I overcame to reach this goal.

Sharing my author journey...
How do you introduce your characters to your readers. There are so many fun ways. This week I found another.

A character in the novel I'm currently writing is from Newfoundland. I found some very cool sites that educated me on (and reminded me of) the Newfoundland dialect.  

Do your characters have a ethic, cultural or... background? 
Use a search engine to learn more about their dialect. 

Maybe I can just slip this in, at the bottom here and it won't be noticed.

March, 2014:  8
March, 2015:  9
March, 2016:  2
Excuse:  The focus of my work has changed from submitting to re-writing a novel.


Laurie Buchanan said...

Leanne - I follow Sam Juliano over at Wonders in the Dark (he's a film critic). Once a year he shifts gears and focuses on Caldecott Medal Contenders by writing reviews. I love his reviews so much, that I promote his posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. It makes for a nice (and effective) ripple effect...

Leanne Dyck said...

Absolutely, Laurie. One hand washes the other. One blogger supports another--and that's how communities are built.