Albino children in Tanzania will soon receive Adoptive Father via Forget Me Not Ministries.

Gifts for albino children in Tanzania

How a childhood dream is now a special gift to albino children!

Rejection at 16…

At 16 I made my first picture book. I carefully hand bound the book covering it with flocked suede fabric. It was a bumpy ride publishing my first picture book.

Eager to illustrate stories, I marched my little picture book into my very first publishing interview at Penguin books almost 3 decades ago. The commissioning editor encouraged me to keep at it, but rejected my book. Looking at my little picture book today, I completely understand the rejection.

But God knew my heart…

In 2013, I finally publish my first picture book, Adoptive Father. At 16 I had a desire to publish and a desire to share a story but as a Christian, God showed me so much more! He gave me an impression that this book would be the beginning of something much bigger. I had been given a vision of great need, of broken hearts, and lost children who needed to find their way to their Heavenly Father. Also that faith was simple; it was all about the size of our hearts and not religiosity.

He told showed me the BIG picture…

Adoptive Father was an International agenda on God’s calendar. It was my assignment to spread the message of the story God gave me as far and wide as I could and witness how obedience produces His fruit. But I didn’t need to lead. I just needed to follow and be obedient to what He showed me and His timing. What overwhelms me with joy is the feedback that verifies the will of God on this book. The impact it is having on children worldwide has me regularly weeping happy tears — literally!

And did all the hard work for me…

I have limited resources and time so it is also fortunate that I have a manager, Jesus, who takes care of that and most other parts of publishing and distributing His book. It has been distributed to children in several countries now and the list grows. Children all over the world desperately need to know how valuable they are, how to everyone should care for one another, and how love we ALL are by our Heavenly Father. So, when the world around them tells some that they are any less, this book tells them the truth.

I cried with gratitude…

To know that I have been invited into something that is so impacting and in some way empowers children to grow in love, is a bigger reward than anything the world can offer and often makes me weep with gratitude. I also know what God anoints will be incredible and miraculous!

Look, look— look where a dream can travel!

There’s a lot happening behind the scenes in my studio office—it’s incredibly exciting! I can share this part now:

Tanie and Jacqueline Guy lead Forget Me Not Ministries in the United States and have embraced Adoptive Father as an important part of their missionary outreach. Their primary role is to be missionaries to missionaries and they are eager to transport these particular books to children within their reach. One of their missionaries, Claire, is caring for albino orphans in Tanzania!

The not so black but cherished albino child…

These precious children have more challenges than you can imagine! They live with the very real threat of abduction and horrific child sacrifice! Claire is protecting them and provide for their mental and ongoing physical health needs. These children have an incredible need to feel acceptance and the love of God. Can you imagine how they must feel about themselves knowing that other people think it is acceptable to use them as lucky charm slaughter? This murder is unimaginable! I am working with Jacqueline and Claire to get a shipments of the books to these children and as the numbers in Claire’s outreach grows. Then I will be working with this ministry to get books to children in the Ukraine. If support continues, we will work together as the needs arise in whatever country presents itself.

 

Albino children in Tanzania will soon receive Adoptive Father via Forget Me Not Ministries.

Albino children in Tanzania will soon receive Adoptive Father via Forget Me Not Ministries.

When I painted this spread in the book  I didn’t have albino children in mind, but am sure the error in God’s mind. This image raced into my head when Jacklin mentioned the albino children. Immediately I thought how this would speak acceptance to albinos. I got goosebumps when I realised how white God’s hand is painting that little girl. She may not be representative of a child in Tanzania, however Jacqueline agreed that this image is sure to speak to them.Even the words on the page are relevant.

Albino children in Tanzania will soon receive Adoptive Father via Forget Me Not Ministries.

Albino children in Tanzania will soon receive Adoptive Father via Forget Me Not Ministries.

Additional news is… with assistance from a ministry in Puerto Ricco we have translated Adoptive Father into Spanish. I am preparing the book for an e-version and possibilities of hard or soft copies for distribution. I am also in correspondence with a ministry in Bolivia with a possibility of creating a Latin American Spanish translation and distribution there.

Spanish translation for Christian picture book, Adoptive Father.

Spanish translation for Christian picture book, Adoptive Father.

Want to be involved?

Jacqueline has given permission to share this letter in the hope that it will speak to you. Please read the letter that explains the situation of these will be no children and their situation in more detail. If you can help cover the costs of shipping and printing please contact Jacqueline or myself. At present donations from either side can be arranged to help distribute these books. Jacqueline’s email is in the letter and mine is available fire my contact page on my website.

Download: Adoptive Father Thank You Letter

Little did my 16-year-old self, know what lie ahead for her first picture book! That it would reach to the ends of the earth and bring a smile to many a child living with incredible challenges. I feel so blessed to be using my life to help in this way, as I’m sure anyone else who comes alongside me in this journey feels also.

Thank God for the creation of story and illustration!

Book Week author illustrator visit at Rye primary School. Puppets, drawing, how a picture book is created and more.

Puppets and storytelling during Book Week

My goodness, life as a children’s author and illustrator is a busy one – but incredibly fun!

Book Week author illustrator visit at Rye Primary School. Puppets, drawing, how a picture book is created and more.

We are in the throws of book week (which goes for more than a week) where I have been visiting children in different parts of the state. Storytelling and creative education has to be the best job in the world.

My reward mazimus is witnessing the excitement in the eyes of my young readers. I love it when the children rush up to me excited about what they now CAN do with all they have learned. It is so much fun to ask the question, “was that fun?” and get the response, “It was AWESOME!” I am especially enjoying the introduction of my cheeky puppet tortoise, AT (pictured above hiding in his shell) and friends. You know you’ve hit the sweet spot when all the children unanimously sigh, “ooooh!” when I have to put AT away. I have fallen in love with him also. He has come fully alive over the sessions. I didn’t realise how much fun puppetry was until now!

So far, I have the pleasure of presenting to over 1300 students and I have more to visit still. Tomorrow, I join other authors and illustrators for the Ford Street Literary Festival at Scotch College in Hawthorn. Victoria Lane (author of Celia and Nonna) and myself will lead workshops for grades 4,5 and 6 tomorrow amongst lots of fun happenings during the day.

Book Week author illustrator visit at The Grange Prep-12 College. Puppets, drawing, how a picture book is created and more.

I would LOVE to bring AT to visit your school too. You can contact me for more information via my event booking page or via my agent Creative Net

Thank you to Rye Primary teachers for their feedback this week:

Kayleen gave the teachers lots of writing ideas. I got my grade to draw pictures from squiggles and write about them coming to life.  Amanda Enright – CRT Grade 2. Rye Primary School

Interesting and students were engaged for the whole session – illustration and activity excellent, Thank you. Michelle Venturin – Class teacher. Rye Primary School

 

Focus Magazine, the Queensland Anglican church magazine reviews children's picture book, Better Than A Superhero.

Felicity’s Favourite Hug Illustration

Now this is the stuff dreams are made of! My author friend Nola Passmore wrote on her Facebook wall…

Great to see the book “Better than a Superhero”, illustrated by Kayleen West, reviewed in Focus magazine (Magazine for the Anglican church in Southern QLD). They quoted a four-year-old called Felicity who said “I really like the pictures, especially the picture where the mum is hugging the boy because she loves him so much.” Way to go Kayleen!

It made me all gooey inside 🙂 This is the image little Felicity is speaking about…

Mother and child hugging. Page spread from children's picture book, Better Than A Superhero.

Felicity’s favourite illustration from children’s picture book, Better Than A Superhero.

Thank you to Focus Magazine and Kristy Schaeffer for a wonderful review!

Focus Magazine, the Queensland Anglican church magazine reviews children's picture book, Better Than A Superhero.

Focus Magazine, the Queensland Anglican church magazine reviews children’s picture book, Better Than A Superhero. CLICK IMAGE TO READ

And last but not least, for Nola Passmore, who is always supporting her fellow authors any way she can, Thanks You Sunshine for the mailing copies of the review to me and the cute owl note! I think she knows I LOVE owls 🙂

Thank You Sunshine sticker badge

Why Conferences are Important for Writers and Illustrators.

I could start and end by answering that conferences are incredibly FUN! This week attending the four day SCBWI Australia and New Zealand in Sydney was amazing. If we had any more fun it would be illegal. I’ve never laughed so much – my goodness – Susanne Gervey is a funny lady!

SusanneGervey-DeborahAbela

Susanne Gervey and myself. | Susanne leading the illustrators duel or should I say duet? | Deborah Abela

Deborah Abela wrote a hysterical ode to Suzanne borrowing the tune of 500 miles by the Proclaimers. It was hard to laugh and sing at the same time. The band was great – the people great – the conference GREAT!

The atmosphere was electric, like a flame on a dry turps rag – BOOF! The sessions where back-to-back, full of wisdom and covered an array of topics too numerous to document in one post. Check out the SCBWI blog and others and have a read. I’ll be back for the 2016 event for sure.

I learned a few tips on fine dining as well. Apparently you DON’T eat the paper covering the swordfish – it is NOT pastry! I must admit it tasted okay at first – well the soaked bit. It got a bit tough after the first bite though. Don’t laugh – I wasn’t the only one … ahem…Tania McCartney and others *wink*

Speaking of Tania, we caught up with a few of the #illo52weeks challenge members too. I also met up with some of the Wombat Book family.

TaniaMcCartney-CoarlVass-NickyJohnston

Me, Coral Vass, Nicky Johnston, TaniaMcCartney, Christina Booth, Aura Parker52 week challenge members. | Roomies and good friends Nicky Johnston, Coral Vass and myself.

I also learned that if Bruce Whatley instructs you to draw his portrait with black cont’e in one hand and white in the other, ensuring you finish with an even amount of both, he means draw ONE portrait not TWO at once! Yep, there is always one in the crowd isn’t there? I had to be the only one trying to draw two portraits at once – but hey I did it! At breakfast the following morning, Bruce and I agreed that what I was really doing was paving the way to his next advanced lesson plan in left handed drawing. That is my excuse anyway and I am sticking to it.

But seriously, (if I have to) there are so many reasons for attending industry conferences. It is fantastic to connect on a genuine level with great people with the same passion for children’s books and with individual stories to tell. We all walk different paths and it is great to share.

Conferences are chocked full of valuable information, much of which you wouldn’t have access to any other way. In Sydney, the sessions were back-to-back. It was intense and a lot to take in but it was value for time away from family and work. I HIGHLY recommend it. Financing all the events is challenging but I do try to attend as many as I can. I appreciate their value and really enjoy my time there. What I learn inspires me to a new level every time.

Meredith Costain and Bruce Whatley

Meredith Costain and Bruce Whatley

On the final day of the conference I attended two Master Classes: Meredith Costain instructed on Hooks to Keep Readers Turning Pages. We focused on “Stellar opening sentences” and read examples.  Bruce Whatley’s Master Class, Advanced Techniques had us working with our left hand and developing fun ideas and expressive line.

I can’t tell you how valuable I found this day. I couldn’t wait until I got home, so I pulled one of my manuscripts up in the airport to work on. I needed to get those hooks and page turns documented and out of my head. Do you know what it is like when a gem of information makes something  click into place and you can see your work’s new potential? I feel like all of this will change my writing tremendously, transporting me to a more advanced level. Can you tell I am excited? I am re-writing EVERYTHING!

Meredith is a beautiful lady and generous in her teaching. I will be on a look out for her workshops in the future and truly recommend them. More details about this on SCBWI blog.

Bruce was just as awesome; a friendly man, talented, generous in information and a pleasure to get to know. His wife and partner in children’s books, Rosie and I spent time chatting on the dinner dance night and at breakfast. It was interesting hearing about their journey and how they work so wonderfully together. Bruce passed around his original work (pass me the drool bucket!) We picked his brains thoroughly – as you do. More details about this on SCBWI blog.

The publishers were wonderful; open and generous with their information and incredibly good sports. I often wonder what it would be like for them at these events. I don’t think I would like to be a publisher – people either jumping on you for attention because of your influence or avoiding you through fear. They are doing life with family and work just like us. I haven’t met a pretentious or unpleasant one yet.

We witnessed writers pitching to publishers; a real live example of what to do when pitching you manuscript-informative and helpful watching their examples.

SCBWI raised over $1400 for Room To Read through an illustrators auction. Illustrators Bruce Whatley and Stephen Axelsen went head-on in a friendly, fast paced and stressful public scribble to the end. The illustrations were auctioned off at the end. The audience in hysterics as the bids got more and more competitive and sneaky. There were dark horses popping up all over the room at the last minute.

Illustrators Showcase

This was my first time presenting a portfolio at the conference or anywhere! I was surprised to hear an unconfirmed report of over 50 industry professionals viewing the showcase. There were as many portfolios too. We were permitted to browse later over morning tea and the work was impressive. It was great to see what other illustrators submitted and the presentation of their business cards and postcards. I’ll share my portfolio on here later so you can see an example.

I could go on, but I won’t. I will post more on Bruce’s workshop with pics. It would interest the illustrators who visit my blog I am sure.

SydneyLaunch-CeliaNonna

Victoria Lane and myself launching our new book Celia and Nonna in Sydney

No wait…I nearly forgot…HOW COULD I? …we launched our new book – Celia and Nonna! Author Corinne Fenton introduced the launch and made a short hand joke. I now know my name looks like duck chasing a fish. Victoria Lane spoke about her story and her journey and thanked everyone – a very exciting moment as a debut children’s author. I spoke about the child Celia in me and other children I worked with and introduced the dyslexic font.

Others who launched books were:

Meredith CostainThe Cuddliest Hug (Koala Books / Scholastic)
Jackie Hosking and Marjorie Crosby-Fairall, —The Croc and the Platypus (Walker Books Australia)
Gabrielle Wang—Pearlie the Spy (Penguin)
Pamela Rushby—The Ratcatcher’s Daughter (HarperCollins)
Peter Taylor—illustrated by Nina Rycroft  (Five Mile Press)
Gabriel Evans—A New Pet (Five Mile Press)
Wendy Binks—10 Clumsy Emus (Scholastic) 

Peter Taylor inspecting one of Bruce's painitngs, one of the illustrations from the hall gallery and Tania and

Peter Taylor inspecting one of Bruce’s paintings, one of the illustrations from the hall gallery by Gavin Ryan and Kathryn Otoshi and Tania McCartney’s top 10 Getting into the Market tips

Even though I didn’t cover everything, you can see how conferences can be so important. Maybe I will see you at the next one?

Lucky 13 Contemporary Exhibition of Children's' book illustrators. Hill of Content Bookshop Melbourne.Kim fleming, Vince Agostino, Kayleen West, Annie White, Ben Wood, Karen Erasmus, Sara Acton, Adam Carruthers, Mandy Foot, Rhiannon Mowat, Mitch Vane, Shane McGowan, Nicky Johnston

Contemporary Children’s Book Artists Melbourne Display

Children’s Book Illustration Exhibition

I will be joining the following illustrators in a display in July at the Hill of Content Bookshop where we will have our books and illustrations on display and for sale for 2 weeks only.

Illustrators: Kim fleming, Vince Agostino, Kayleen West, Annie White, Ben Wood, Karen Erasmus, Sara Acton, Adam Carruthers, Mandy Foot, Rhiannon Mowat, Mitch Vane, Shane McGowan, Nicky Johnston

Where?

Illustrators Australia’s Children’s Illustration Display
Hill of Content Bookshop, 86 Bourke Street Melbourne Victoria
Phone: 03 9662 9472
Monday 30th June for 2 weeks for the school holiday period.

ASA Professional Development Program

Illustration Opportunity for ASA Professional Development Program

Illustration Opportunity: ASA Professional Development Program

The ASA is once more seeking a member illustrator to provide a cover for the ASA Professional Development Program July 2014 – June 2015. Approximately 7000 colour copies are printed and distributed to members and to the broader writing community around the country. This is a great opportunity for portfolio exposure and is a paid gig and will receive a by-line in the program. The illustration may also be featured as the ‘cover’ of the ASA Facebook page:
www.facebook.com/pages/Australian-Society-of-Authors.

Past illustrators for the ASA Professional Development Program have been Ann James, Sally Heinrich, Cally Bennett and myself.

The successful illustrator must be available to provide preliminary sketches by Wednesday 30 April, and final artwork by Wednesday 7 May.  The program design will require a full cover sized 405 mm x 290 mm. The chosen illustrator will need to take some direction on design to allow space for title and other required logos and material.

ASA do a great job advocating for authors in a tough publishing climate, but this is another good reason to be an ASA member.

Cover illustration of ASA Professional Development Program 2014 by Kayleen West. Full sheet watercolour.

Cover illustration of ASA Professional Development Program 2014. Full sheet watercolour by Kayleen West

Blogger alert:

Okay so I have been hiding under a rock (for those who know about this little gem). I got pretty excited when I found this blog after browsing the net with bleary eyes at midnight whilst clearing my desk and saving my illustration work – long day!

Oh, you want me to spit it out? Drum roll…………. http://kidlitartists.blogspot.com.au/
Yes this awesome blog is founded by the SCBWI Illustration Portfolio Mentees (Class of 2010) and a talented lot they are. I will be haunting them in the future for sure.

Tweet: http://ctt.ec/1B9Hf+

Thanks you medal for community support

Book Giveaway Winners Announced & Thanks

I am a little late on this announcement but here are my book giveway winners…

PiBoIdMo winners:
Thank you to the 170+ people who left comments on my post and entered my giveaway on PiBoIdMo. Thank you for the overwhelming encouragement. It is so rewarding to know my article inspired and gave you renewed hope. You heard loud and clear to never give up, that your last idea may be your first success, and that you are never too old to be published.

The lucky person who won a copy of both Adoptive Father and Without Me? was DeeAnne Almond – congratulations Dee!

Adoptive Father Promotional Giveaway winner:
Congratulations to Jessie Hay who won the book prize earlier in October on social media. It is nice to reward those who help me to spread the word on my new books via social media. As it turns out Jessie is a mum of 12 children-yes I said twelve! That book will be well used indeed.

My special thank you award: (virtual award)
There is a lady names Susan Hamilton, who always shares my posts on Facebook, and who I am particularly grateful to. She hasn’t won a prize as yet but I want to thank her publicly for her support. It is a challenging business getting your book out there, and as authors, we rely on community to support us. Thanks Susan!

Authors and illustrators rely heavily on community support and I appreciate everyone who helps get my little picture books out there. It is a tough game.

Together everyone achieves more quote

Together everyone achieves more quote

Australian Society of Authors Professional Development Program cover 2014. Painted in watercolour.

Happy New Year – what a year it was!

I almost felt overwhelmed at the thought of my first post for 2014. I have so much news. So much has happened over the last few weeks so I will try to be brief…

ASA PROGRAM COVER
The Australian Society of Authors selected me to illustrate the 2014 Professional Development Program cover for 2014. What an honor! Over 7000 copies went out with my illustration on the front! I was very excited to have this exposure for my work and get paid for it.

The Australian Society of Authors have been so wonderful. They have featured my illustration on their home page, Facebook banner, and featured it in the newsletter. I am so appreciative – I really am!

Australian Society of Authors Professional Development Program cover 2014. Painted in watercolour.

Australian Society of Authors Professional Development Program cover 2014. Painted in watercolour.

LIVE WIRES PROGRAM
I was invited to entertain the kids at the Concern Australia’s Live Wires Program publishing event in December and it was the best fun. The kids and made a book during the year and was launching it that day. I was invited as the guest author. I read to the kids and as they play-role my book Without Me? (they had been reading an advanced copy) and we played squiggles drawing. They certainly put me through my paces with the most elaborate squiggles. I had to think on my feet!

Entertaining the children at Concern Australia LiveWires Program publishing event.

Entertaining the children at Concern Australia LiveWires Program publishing event.

BOOK LAUNCHED
Without Me? was launched in December also and there were were great too. I am discovering that the fun is not just in writing and illustrating. Best of all, playing with the kids is a real delight. They are always so engaged. This part of what I do tickles my heart bone…if I had one. Bookaburra was very enthusiastic to be at a book event and I was sure to give my special guest a big hug.

Book launch day for picture book, Without Me? Bookaburra and Kayleen West

Book launch day for picture book, Without Me? Bookaburra and Kayleen West

Family themed showbags for book launch - Without Me?

Family themed showbags for book launch – Without Me?

BOOK PUPPET
As well as the obvious preparations for Christmas in December I was also busy sewing my Without me? charter. I am not a seamstress in the least but I had a go. I think he could do with his eye lashes trimmed though.

Hand made author book character puppet - Without Me?

Hand made book character puppet for Without Me?

NEW PICTURE BOOK FOR 2014
Just as I was launching my new book Without Me? I was also secretly finishing off another book for this year. I will be publishing a new picture book called Better than a Superhero, written by debut author Belinda Francis and published by Even Before Publishing ( a subsidiary of Wombat Books) I am very excited about the illustrations in this book. It was super-fun to illustrate. This time the illustrations were watercolour. Each book (so far) has been illustrated in a different media to the others. I will sign any pre-orders of this new book ordered here before mailing.

Better than a superhero- children's books about Jesus

Better than a superhero- children’s books about Jesus

ILLUMINATION BOOK AWARD WIN
I was thrilled to receive news this week that I had won the Bronze medal for my picture book Adoptive Father in the Illumination Book Awards. This has been so encouraging. To first be a finalist for the Caleb Award late last year and then to pick up a medal this year for my first book is astounding. I feel very blessed that this book is so well received and being a new writer off to such a wonderful start. Someone said to me, “You are now an award winning author.” How cool is that!?
Better still, late last year Adoptive Father was also shipped into yet another territory – Cambodia!

At the heart of LOVE is adoption for one another. It's all about the HEART! Adoptive Father picture book shortlisted - Caleb Awards for faith inspired writing. Bronze Medal Winner - Illumination Book Awards for picture Book

At the heart of LOVE is adoption for one another. It’s all about the HEART! Adoptive Father picture book shortlisted – Caleb Awards for faith inspired writing. Bronze Medal Winner – Illumination Book Awards for picture Book

MORE CREATIVE CHALLENGES
My next post will be a 25 week illustration challenge. Why don’t you join me – kids included? You can view all posts so far for the 52 week challenge here

52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge #illo52weeks

Gift card Challenge and #illo52weeks (52 week illustration challenge.)

Without Me? book launch at the Mt Evelyn Community Reading Room on 12th December

Book Launch of Without Me And Reading Event With Bookaburra!

I am so excited to officially launch my new book Without Me?
If you are anywhere in the and please come along and bring some kiddies for the free activities. We are excited to have Bookaburra there too! He is big fan of storytelling.

Without Me? book launch at the Mt Evelyn Community Reading Room on 12th December

Without Me? book launch at the Mt Evelyn Community Reading Room (CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE)

Editorial illustration from Sketchbook - Fuel

Submission Opportunity

Okay, a strong coffee and deep breath is all it take to have a go. Here is an opportunity for early reader writers.

Editorial illustration from Sketchbook - Fuel

Grab a strong coffee, be brave and GO SUBMIT your story!

Only minutes ago I received news from Rochelle Manners, the nice publisher at Wombat Books who is publishing my title Without Me?

Rochelle has announced that Wombat Books is now taking submissions for early readers!

Wombat Books is increasing our publication of Early Reader titles by building a new list for 6-8 year olds. We are open to submissions for Early Reader titles as of the 1st of November 2013

Now is your chance folks. More detailed information on the new Wombat Blog- http://www.wombatbooks.com.au/blog

Click To Tweet your writer friends: @WombatBooks are calling for submissions for Early Reader titles: http://buff.ly/1aGjj7e

PiBoIlMo 2013 official participant and guest.

Get 30 ideas for picture books and prizes!

PiBoIlMo 2013 official participant and guest.

PiBoIlMo 2013 official participant/guest.

Have you read this post yet? : “PiBoIdMo Publishing Deal” How one of may creative challenge ideas has become THIS published book!?

I’ll will be blogging for PiBoIdMo (creative challenge of 30 picture book ideas in 30 days), but also decided to participate this year again. You can never have enough ideas–can you? Registration is on until November 7th – See PiBoIdMo registration HERE (registration now closed)

But wait there is more ! … no, not boring kitchen knives … a picture book giveaway! (*)

Anyone who commits by registering and comments on my blog or Tara’s (or both for multiple entry) can enter to win one of my 2013 titles, Without Me? or Adoptive Father.

The lucky winner will be drawn in the first week of December in time for Christmas gifts.

You can still follow PiBoIdMo if you’re not registered, but remember, those who register and complete the challenge are eligible for my competition and other PRIZES on PiBoIdMo!

So comment away and then go sign up. I’ll see you there!

My guest post can be found HERE!

(*)Note: Shipping prizes: Postage paid Australia only. Residents outside Australia will need to pay for shipping.

EASY TWEET to this post: Get 30 ideas for picture books and prizes! #PiBoIdMo

EASY TWEET to this success story post on PiBoIdMo: #Writers be encouraged. Success story  from late bloomer:http://buff.ly/1ciUVHQ

Authors, publishers, editors and award winners at the Caleb Conference 2013

15 Key Publishing Tips

This month was packed with highlights including my time at the Caleb Conference in Queensland. I could write a zillion posts on the joys and advantages of gatherings such as these. I love connecting with others who are passionate about literature – it is contagious!

With a head swimming in revelation and excitement it is challenging to deliver to you briefly. Here are a tiny portion of some key notes:

Session: Things I Wish I’d Known Earlier Andrea Grigg (author) & Iola Gouton (editor)

1. To reduce your costs, keep word count down before you pay an editor.
2. After publication, you need to have a plan to market your book. Your job is not to write (or illustrate) books while the publisher takes care of everything.
3. Break your manuscript into manageable goals, chunks of word count.
4. The highs and lows of publishing can mess with your emotions. It is a challenging occupation – be prepared.
5. It is foolish to avoid editing. An editor works with you to get you in the door.

Session: Publishing today – Publishers: Rochelle Manners (Wombat Books) & (Even Before Publishing) Julie Firmstone (CEP) and George Bryant (Daystar Books)
To save me repeating what Narelle has written on her blog, there is a brief article on this particular session worth reading:  Narelle Atkins blog.

Authors, publishers, editors and award winners at the Caleb Conference 2013

Authors, publishers, editors and award winners at the Caleb Conference 2013

Session: Author Platform and Marketing Tips & Traps: Kayleen West (me) and Rochelle Manners (publisher)

1. Think socially with a heart of servitude. Today, it is not about advertising but valued connections and visibility–not selling but interacting.
2. Always check your motives.
3. Make sure your content is interesting, useful and relevant– not spammy!
4. Note what irritates you and don’t repeat it yourself.
5. Twitter, Facebook and Youtube are the top 3 platforms on social media for an author.
6. Anything you do online– be professional and be searchable by being visible.
7. Authors are the biggest offenders of poor websites. Don’t skimp here, if you are going to have one make sure it looks professional.
8. Meet lots of interesting people and enjoy the interaction.
9. Keep learning new ways to share what you love to create and marketing won’t be such a pain.
10. It is important to plan and have a list to in your time. Choose what is most appropriate and comfortable for you and step out from there.
I also listed 24 avenues to build your author platform on. If there is enough interest I can share more session tips later. Any takers?

There were many other sessions but unfortunately you need to attend these events to get the all the goodies. It would make for a very long post. I’m not sure how you feel about event like these but I find them highly valuable–must insert 3 exclamation marks here !!!!
Sorry Iola.

CLICK FOR EASY TWEET: 15 Key publishing tips for building an #authorplatform