Monday, March 4, 2013

COSCBWI February 2013: The Path to Publication for an Illustrator

Boy, am I all discombobulated with the date change in COSCBWI's monthly meetings!  I truly intended to have this post up by the end of February, but considering our meeting was on the 27th, I suppose that practically was the end of the month!  ;)

COSCBWI hosted guest speaker Alex Clark for the February meeting.  Alex is the illustrator of two picture books, Your Time Will Come and Captain Hammer and Super Sean: The Case of the Missing G.  He shared his path to publication with us, focusing on the non-traditional route he chose for his most recent project, Your Time Will Come.

If there's one thing I've learned from all of the wonderful COSCBWI speakers, it's that there are many ways to break into the publishing world.  Alex started out with a background in design, illustrating clothing graphics for companies like Abercrombie & Fitch and Walmart.  When his son was diagnosed with speech apraxia, he became involved in the CASANA organization.  In a stroke of serendipity, the contacts he made with the organization brought about the opportunity to illustrate his first book, Captain Hammer and Super Sean: The Case of the Missing G.  After that project was finished, he and the real-life Dr. Hammer decided to embark on a new project together which became Your Time Will Come.  After shopping the book around, they looked into self-publishers, ultimately deciding on Word Association Publishers.  The book came out this past December, and Alex has been busy getting the word out to fans and readers.

After describing his publication journey, Alex took questions from the group.  He gave a lot of great advice about the pros and cons of self-publishing.  He said that attitude really is everything, from promoting your book to parents and teachers to leading energetic school visits.  He also emphasized how important it is to have people who will vouch for you and your book, which can build your reputation and even lead to new opportunities.  Lastly, he described some of the fun things he has done as add-ons and book selling tactics, including creating vintage-style baseball posters and offering cartoon children's portraits as part of gift packages.  While it's a lot of work promoting and marketing a self-published book, Alex said it has also been a very rewarding experience.

You can find out more about Alex and his work at his website:  You can also find Your Time will Come on Amazon, and both online and in stores at Barnes and Noble.  I wish Alex the best success and many more future projects to come!

If you want to learn more about COSCBWI, you can check out the group website at  I hope to see you at our March meeting!

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