Brain Burps About Books: Children's Book Publishing, Book Marketing Podcast

Brain Burps About Books Podcast #221

When You Get Interest from Traditional Publishers But Say No Thanks

An Interview with KeeKee’s Big Adventures Series Creator Shannon Jones

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This Week's Guest is Shannon Jones!

This week’s guest is Shannon Jones. For Shannon, her love of travel began at a young age. It opened her eyes and ears to the world. As a grownup, living in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, with her husband Paul and kitty KeeKee, the idea for KeeKee’s Big Adventures was born. After twenty years in the marketing field, Shannon is launched on her new adventures, following her passion for writing and excited to be helping kids in their quest for learning and discovery.

Shannon's first book KeeKee's Big Adventures in Paris, France won the Independent Book Publishers Association Benjamin Franklin Awards Silver for Best First Children’s Book in April 2014 and Gold Mom’s Choice Award in Autumn 2013. KeeKee's Big Adventures in Rome, Italy received a Gold Mom's Choice Award in April 2013.

Her third book, KeeKee's Big Adventures in Athens, Greece, landed October 2014 and just received a Gold Mom's Choice Award.

Shannon and I talk about
  • Why, even though Shannon got interest from traditional publishers, she decided to self-publish.
  • The unusual process through which she found a great illustrator.
  • Her editor is Lisa Pliscou.
  • Her printer, Phoenix Color.
  • The Bilingual pronunciation guide in her books.
  • Getting geography lessons from a cat.
  • The KeeKee Club.

Brain Burps About Books Podcast #220

Kelly Light’s Top Tips to Getting Traditionally Published

An Interview with Kelly Light: How She Got Five Offers Before Ever Getting an Agent

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This Week's Guest is author-illustrator Kelly Light!

This week’s guest is Kelly Light. Author Illustrator, Kelly Light was born in 1970 off exit 149 of the Garden State Parkway. She grew up down the shore surrounded by giant roadside dinosaurs, cotton candy colors and skee ball sounds. Schooled on Saturday morning cartoons and Sunday Funny pages, she picked up a pencil and started drawing and never stopped.

Kelly and I talk about
  • The day Kelly got so many calls from editors she stopped answering the phone.
  • How she got five offers before she ever got an agent.
  • How Kelly got published.
  • What BEA was like for her being treated like a debutante.
  • Who is “the Willy Wonka of books?”
  • Kelly’s top tips to getting and being traditionally published.

Brain Burps About Books Podcast #219

Avoid the Slush Pile with Pubslush

An Interview with Pubslush Vice President Amanda Barbara

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This Week's Guest is Pubslush Vice President Amanda Barbara!

This week’s guest is Amanda Barbara. Pubslush was founded by mother and daughter entrepreneurs, Hellen and Amanda Barbara. Pubslush is a global pre-publication platform that offers crowdfunding and pre-order options for authors and publishers. Amanda and her mother were inspired to create a more democratic publishing process after learning about the struggles of authors like J.K. Rowling, whose bestselling series was rejected by the 12 publishers to which it was initially sent. So many great authors have been dismissed to the infamous "slush pile." The Pubslush name is derived from their mission to give authors the opportunity to get out of the slush pile, prove their talent and market viability, and successfully publish quality books.

Amanda and I talk about
  • What can Pubslush do for writers?
  • How Pubslush can be a launch pad for your writing career.
  • What do if you're looking for a spot to gain fans.
  • How your fans get an email when your book is ready.
  • Why Pubslush is not just another crowd funding platform.
  • How is it completely risk free for the authors?
  • How they monetize! (Great for writers!)
  • Finding your reader data.
  • Do writers need a contract?
Direct download: Avoid_the_Slush_Pile_with_Pubslush.mp3
Category:Business of Children's Publishing -- posted at: 7:00 AM

BBAB 218: Reedsy | Connecting Publishing Professionals to Writers

An Interview with Reedsy Chief Operating Officer Richard Fayet

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This Week's Guest is Reedsy Chief Operating Officer Richard Fayet!


This week’s guest is Richard Fayet. Richard is one of the co-founders of Reedsy, a curated marketplace designed to streamline self-publishing. On Reedsy, authors can connect with vetted, industry-experienced editors, designers, marketers and translators and work with them through in-built project management and collaboration tools, keeping all the workflow in one place.

Richard and I talk about
  • Getting tough with their Terms of Service.
  • How they get their curated professionals.
  • Their 10% fee.
  • What collaboration tools they offer.
  • What publication tools they have available.
  • Author profiles.

Brain Burps About Books Podcast #217

Bundle Up! The Writers Bundle Will Heat Up Your Writing

An Interview with Alexis Grant of The Write Life

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This Week's Guest is Alexis Grant!

This week’s guest is Alexis Grant. Alexis is an entrepreneurial writer and digital strategist, with a focus on careers and the workplace. All of her work falls under one umbrella: helping YOU create the life you want to live.

Alexis and I talk about
  • Why she created The Write Life and The Writer's Bundle.
  • How The Writer's Bundle can benefit YOU.
  • Who is part of The Writer's Bundle this year.
  • How you can be one of the first to get it!
Direct download: Bundle_Up_The_Writers_Bundle_will_Heat_Up_Your_Writing.mp3
Category:The Writing Life -- posted at: 2:07 AM

Brain Burps About Books Podcast #216

Going to Sea with Dr. Bob Ballard

An Interview with Scholastic Author Karen Romano Young

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This Week's Guest is Karen Romano Young!

This week’s guest is Karen Romano Young. She is an author, illustrator, science communicator, comic creator, and deep sea diver. Her work includes graphic novels and science articles, young adult and middle grade novels, and books about the ocean and animals.

Karen and I talk about

• How Karen got to dive to the bottom of the ocean in Alvin.
• Writing for NASA, Wood’s Hole, extreme outreach.
• Did you know the NY Times is written so a 12-year-old can read it?
• Going to sea with Dr. Bob Ballard.
• Hydro-thermal vents 40 years after Dr. Ballard discovered them.
• Mapping parts of the ocean with robot submarines.
• Hundred Percent.
• Sea Turtle Rescue.
• Doodlebug.

Brain Burps About Books Podcast #215

What Does the Fox Say?

How Janet Fox Used Video to Get a Book Deal

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  • Julie Falatko reviews Goodnight Already by Jory John and illustrated by Benji Davies.
This Week's Guest is Janet Fox!


Janet Fox likes writing history, mystery, romance, and adventure novels... but mostly she likes writing for and about the child – the teen – she still is inside. She lives in Montana, surrounded by mountains and in the company of her husband and their rambunctious yellow lab.

Janet and I talk about
  • How she sold a book based a video she created! (Now, do you believe writers should be making videos?)
  • Her work in choosing speakers for book festivals.
  • How video informs who she chooses to invite.
Direct download: What_Did_the_Fox_Say.mp3
Category:Children's Book Publishing -- posted at: 8:41 PM

Brain Burps About Books Podcast #214

Is It Actually Better to Be Traditionally Published?


This Week's Guest is Julia Suzuki!

This week’s guest is Julia Suzuki, author of the The Land of Dragor: Book 1: The Gift of Charms (Land of Dragor 1).

Julia and I talk about

• How did she get 63,000 followers on Twitter with only 1,300 tweets?
• How she controls her social media schedule.
• The start of her career and selling over 10,000 books
• How Julia got national press
• Is getting traditionally published the holy grail?

Brain Burps About Books Podcast #213

A Pinterest Rockstar Shares Her Secrets

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  • I’m inviting you to a party! Join the KidLit.TV Pinterest Party on January 29th at 9pm EST. Be sure to follow for the latest resources on KidLit and a chance to WIN! Comment, Like, Repin... it's like a visual Twitter Chat on Pinterest! Have you ever been to a Pinterest party? One for writers? One that will grow your followers? RSVP HERE.
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This Week's Guest is Kim Vij!

Kim Vij is a Pinterest Consultant, Educator, Blogger, Freelance Writer and Speaker. Using The Educators' Spin On It, she has created award winning boards on Pinterest with over 1.6 Million followers by focusing pins on Education and Parenting. She’s successfully partnered with leading children’s educational bloggers and brands to create powerful Pinterest boards for early childhood education. In the past three years she has discovered how to reach out to parents to encourage them to become their child’s first teacher by blogging and pinning resources and tips onto her Pinterest Boards. As a mom of 3, Kim enjoys sharing simple ways to make every day moments into learning opportunities.

Kim and I talk about

• What to name your author board. (Hint: Use Pinterest Name-author)
• How to pick a niche topic.
• How create a character building board.
• Naming your boards.
• What to use for board descriptions and how tabs connect.
• The educational aspects of Pinterest.
• How often should you change your board covers?
• Promoted pins – paying for pins to be promoted. and
• What is the maximum size image you can use?
• How to pin to secret boards and release later.
• Should you use Tailwind or Viraltag or Ahalogy?
• Can you change the name of your board?
• How to embed your boards on your site.
• The steps to a perfect pin.
• What should be in your pin description? Answer: Title for the blog post, plus one more sentence, about 100 characters total.
• What are the Pinterest don’ts?

Note to my podcast listeners

When I was listening to Fresh Air on NPR I thought, "Hey! I could do that, but with children's publishing as my focus!" That's how Brain Burps About Books got started. Writing is so solitary. I thought it would be a great way to get to talk to my friends and make new ones, plus I could help others learn. Maybe I'd learn some stuff myself, too. I've had the privilege of talking to the first three National Ambassadors for Young People's Literature, to librarians and New York Time's bestselling authors. I've interviewed to booksellers and publishers, writers, illustrators, app creators, and app distributors, and more! There is always something new on the horizon to learn and to share. So many listeners have asked how to support the show, and actually, now you can. I've installed a donate button to help defray the costs of producing the show. What do you learn or get out of Brain Burps every week? If it's worth donating a dollar, two dollars, five, or whatever you think the show is worth to you, it would help enormously. The show costs $20 a month to keep on the server, and that's only if there are four shorter episodes in a month. That number doesn't include other costs like my time to research and record, post, edit the intros and outros, web hosting, and equipment and software to do all this. I ended up loving podcasting. I love my listeners. My "Burpers!" This is my gig, I know. and like I said, it's an incredible experience for me. But if you've you've been helped, or just love it too, and you're able, here's your opportunity to help defray the costs. No matter what, thank you for being a Burper!


Brain Burps About Books Podcast #212

Why SkippyjonJones Almost Skipped the Show

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  • Want to write 12 picture book drafts this year? Want encouragement in your writing journey? Check out 12 x 12 HERE.
  • Julie Hedlund helps us express gratitude.
Marketing Question of the Week
  • What should my platform look like? How do I do it without being pushy or tacky?
This Week's Guest is Judy Schachner!

Described by the New York Times as “…something like the James Joyce for the elementary school – set…”, Judy Schachner is the #1 NY Times Best Selling Author/Illustrator of over 23 books for children including Bits & Pieces, the Skippyjon Jones series, Yo Vikings, The Grannyman and Willy and May. She has won many awards including the first E. B. White Read Aloud Award.

Judy and I talk about
  • If SkippyJon Jones a kitten or a dog?
  • Should you use your “normal reading voice” or use accents when reading out loud?
  • the 10 year anniversary for SkippyJon Jones!
  • Judy’s creative process and tips on how you can help your own
  • Judy’s next big project
  • How you can become a picture book writer
Direct download: Why_SkippyJon_Jones_Almost_Skipped_the_Show.mp3
Category:The Craft of Writing -- posted at: 8:00 AM