Just a quick update that I'll be attending the following conferences in the coming months, in my role as Publisher at EK Books:
KidLitVic — Saturday, 19 May 2018, Melbourne. I'll be part of a panel discussion on 'The Perfect Picture Book Partnership', as well as providing some one-on-one manuscript assessments.
CYA Conference — Saturday, 7 July 2018, Brisbane. I'll once again be providing one-on-one manuscript assessments.
If you're an emerging or established children's book writer, perhaps I'll see you at one of these fantastic events!
Today, I received an advance copy of each of the titles that Exisle Publishing and our children's picture book imprint EK Books will be publishing in November this year. Seeing an advance copy is both exciting and terrifying. In my role as Publisher for Exisle and EK, I'm responsible for each and every title — from receiving the initial manuscript to managing the editing and design process, right through to sending the final files off to the printers. It's a long and often involved process, with many opportunities for error. And even though everyone involved always does their absolute best at every stage, it's not until I've held an advance copy in my hand and made sure that I'm happy with it, that I can finally feel as if I've done my job properly!
I'm pleased to report that November's titles are both absolutely gorgeous and I can highly recommend them for your Christmas shopping list!
Feed Your Brain: The Cookbook is the ultimate resource for anyone wanting to eat in a way that maximises brain health. It's not just for people hoping to prevent dementia but for anyone looking to reduce stress or simply have more clarity of thought. Numerous studies have also shown that the right foods even have the ability to improve how our children learn. Best of all, the recipes in this book are DELICIOUS! Seriously delicious and easy too. Over the course of production, I've cooked many of them and they've all received the tick of approval from me, my husband and my daughter. The fact that they cater to those on gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan diets is just an added bonus.
Grace and Katie is a delightful picture book about twin sisters who disagree on just about everything. They both like art and drawing — but Grace likes to be neat and orderly, while Katie loves bold, bright colours. Not surprisingly, when they decide to draw a map of their home and street, it doesn't go entirely smoothly! Written by Susanne Merritt, the author of the much-loved and Speech Pathology Awards shortlisted Don't Think About Purple Elephants, and illustrated by multi-award-winning Liz Anelli, this is a fun-filled story of individuality, sisterhood, creativity and appreciating each other's strengths. Perfect for readers aged 5 and up.
So, that's the advances wrap-up for November 2017. Sadly, I won't receive an advance next month as we don't publish any titles in December, but I'll be back with a preview of January 2018 as soon as that long-anticipated parcel arrives!
So, it came as quite a shock when I realised how long it is since I last blogged — all the way back to last October in fact! What can I say but time flies!
What have I been up to? Well, I went on a glorious holiday to New Zealand with my family. First to Wellington and then on to the South Island. Such a beautiful country with such wonderfully warm and welcoming people. Can't wait to go back.
At work, I've been busily sending books off to print for Exisle Publishing and our children's picture book imprint, EK Books. Last week, I sent the last two books to print for the 2017 publishing program — yes, the books you see in bookstores in November get sent to the printers in July!
I've attended some lovely book launches — most recently for Deb Kelly and Gwynne Jones' The Chalk Rainbow, and Lynn Jenkins and Kirrili Lonergan's Ollie's Treasure. Both of these books would make wonderful additions to any child's bookshelf. They're great stories that deal with important topics of diversity, acceptance, mindfulness and family.
It's not all been about work, though. I've also been devouring books for pleasure too! My most recent highlight was Ache by Eliza Henry-Jones. She is truly one of Australia's most gifted young authors and if you haven't read In the Quiet or Ache yet, I strongly recommend that you do.
My goal for the rest of this year is to be a more regular blogger; to pop in here more regularly to give you an update on what's been happening in my bookish world and beyond. I'm going to aim for once a week, so let's see how I go!
Until the next blog, here's a pic of spectacular Akaroa in New Zealand. I could look at that view all day …
It was such a joy to officially launch The Sugar and Spice Collection yesterday at Wallsend District Library. The lovely Penny Harrison flew up from Melbourne for the occasion, so the entire 'Team Sugar and Spice' was together for the first time! Talented author Deborah Kelly was a superb MC, and MacLean's Booksellers were on hand to sell books.
Susan Whelan, Gwynneth Jones, Penny Harrison and myself chose hot pink and orange as our colour scheme, to match the slipcase design, and then we went to town with decorations! There was hot pink and orange food, hot pink and orange craft, and hot pink and orange balloons, pom poms and streamers! The perfect backdrop to a wonderful day of fun and laughter.
Thanks so much to everyone who came along to make our launch such a success, and to Luke Arms for these great pics!
It was an absolute privilege to be asked recently by the lovely Georgie Donaghey — founder of the fantastic children's literature resource Creative Kids Tales — to be one of the site's 'Publishers in Focus'.
I know that authors and illustrators often wish they could pick a publisher's brain to find out exactly what kind of books they're looking for and if there are any tricks to getting themselves to the top of the slush pile. Hopefully my answers to Georgie's questions (and the answers of the other featured publishers) will provide both some insight into the process and also some encouragement. After all, just because one publisher rejects your story, that doesn't mean they all will!
You can read my answers here.
I'm a publisher, editor, author and reviewer. Here's where I tell you about my latest news and events!