Sunday, June 26, 2011

Barnes & Noble Wrap-Up

Our Barnes & Noble Bookfair was a lot of fun yesterday. Thanks to everyone who made it out for the day! If you couldn't make it, here are some interesting things you missed:

-Our illustrator panel talked about the ups and downs of the art world. Did you know an artist's original works are scanned then digitally touched up and re-sized to fit in the final book? Or that one of the best ways to get art "gigs" is by sending out art postcards to publishing houses? We also got to find out how to turn numbers into animals with a fun art lesson by Steve Harpster!

-Educator Joanna Dossous discussed how to choose picture books for your kids. With shelves upon shelves of books in stores, choosing the perfect book can be tricky. She recommends looking for books with repetition, fun rhymes and educational merit so kids can learn and begin their love of reading at the same time.

-Author Sally Derby spoke about how to form a successful writer's group. In addition to meeting and critquing, she recommends having group "submission parties" where everyone goes to the Post Office and sends something off (a query letter, manuscript, etc.) then celebrates! What a fun idea--and it makes you send your baby out into the world, too! (No one is going to knock on your door and ask for that book, you know!)

-Author Dee Garretson gave a session on creating memorable characters. She recommends studying people around you (inconspiculously of course) and stealing their quirks and mannerisms for your own characters!

-Our author panel discussed many great topics and fielded questions from our audience. Linda Gerber talked about how an author she knows had her entire book stolen electonically then posted with a new ISBN number on Amazon. Yikes! Dee Garretson talked about how publishing houses can run online "presence diagnostics" and give you a report card on how you measure up. (Kind of like Santa Claus with his naughty and nice list, and you don't want to be determined a "slacker!") Edith Pattou talked about how important it is to keep fans happy. She has been working on the third book in her series for a long time now. Her fans are getting impatient, but she knows how important it is to give them a spectacular book. (I know I'd rather wait a while for an awesome book than have it be rushed and disappointing!)

Unfortunately, I had to leave after the author session, but I'm sure the last two sessions were great and informative, too! If you missed the event but still want to help our SCBWI group raise money, you can still use our voucher code on Barnes and Noble online through June 30. Our Bookfair ID code is 10475671. You apply it at the end of your online checkout on the "bookfair code" spot and a percentage of the sales goes towards helping aspiring authors and illustrators achieve their dreams. (A cause near and dear to my heart!) Thanks for your support and I hope to see you at our next event!

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