Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

The “Common Core” – Crisis or Opportunity for Children’s Book Writers?

There were several recurring themes that emerged at the wonderfully inspiring SCBWI 2013 Winter Conference this past weekend.  One was brightening and enriching the lives of children – our readership. (Seems obvious, but sometimes one loses sight of the forest for the trees.)  Another was the new frontier that publishing in the digital age represents […]


The third word in Jane Yolen’s list of “Ten Words Every Picture Book Author Should Know” is Child-Centeredness. I’ve written about this in previous blog posts, but it bears repeating: the heroes, or protagonists, of children’s books must be characters that young readers can identify with and relate to.  Jane takes this notion one step […]

Rx for Gift-Shopping Woes: Books and Journals

At the risk of belaboring a subject, here is yet another reason why books make the best gifts. A recent article in Ode magazine states that,  “science is starting to prove what readers and writers have long known: Words can help us repair and revitalize our bodies as well as our minds.” As a result, […]

Why Books Make the Best Gifts

Books really do make the best gifts, for everyone on your list (and especially kids). Here are just a few reasons why: * Books are evergreen – they keep on giving, well beyond the day they are received. They give with each read, and if they are subsequently shared or passed down, they keep on […]

Why You MUST Write That Children’s Book

I was recently interviewed for the esteemed blog “Cynsations,” run by the very talented YA author Cynthia Leitich Smith.  It was a real honor – Cynthia’s site is among the most respected, and followed, in the Kid Lit blogosphere – but it also gave me an opportunity to reflect on a core value of mine, […]

Products and Promotional Materials

Last week we talked about identifying and reaching out to your niche, or your target audience, and not relying on your publisher to do so for you. Another thing you should not rely on your publisher to do is create promotional materials. Over the years, we have designed and/or made our own bookmarks, postcards, posters, […]

What’s Your Niche?

OK, it’s not Monday, but the holidays have intervened. That said, let’s talk about niches. Having a niche means being known as “The Person Who Writes X,” as in “Oh, that’s the person who writes those talking truck books” or “That’s the person who writes those steamy vampire novels.”  When you have a niche, you […]

Know the Market!

It’s been said that we all run at least two businesses – the business we’re in, and the business of marketing the business we’re in.  Writers are often daunted by this.  “I’m an artist!” we think, “I don’t know anything about marketing, or sales, or business!”  Roll up your sleeves and let’s get to work. […]

Q: Who’s Your Hero? (A: Your Reader!)

Welcome to the first entry in a new blog series on writing books for children! This series is part of a new e-course and group coaching program I am developing, as well as being fodder for a new book, so your comments here are most welcome and will help me shape the direction of all […]

Raising Bookworms

“How can I get my child to turn off the Gameboy (TV, computer etc.) and pick up a book?!” This is the question that Emma Walton Hamilton, the best-selling children’s book author, educator, and Editorial Director of the Julie Andrews Collection publishing imprint, hears the most often. Whether on a book tour with her mother […]

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