Judging a Cover by its Book?

A few years ago, a friend, who was about to self-publish a nonfiction book, asked for my opinion of the title and cover design since I was a published author. I commented that it was lovely, but I knew nothing about the book by its cover. The title seemed odd to me, the font almost…

Texting While Driving: a Writer’s Tip

We all know that sticking our nose in a device to read and answer messages while we drive is akin to driving while impaired, or worse. But safe texting while driving is something I’ve done for years. A lot of writers talk of their routine of “Butt in Chair” (BIC) from something o’clock to whatever…

Don’t over-pluck your picture book

If you write picture books, you know it’s a lot easier to tell your story in more words than probably anyone wants to publish. It used to be that 1,000-1,200 words was the limit. Now, it’s more like 700. Or even shorter! But that does not mean you cut all but the first 700 words…

Can you handle the truth?

In the world of publishing we (hopefully) agonize over a project until it is perfect and present something we believe in our hearts is an incredibly awesome work of art. So it’s never any fun when our projects are rejected by an agent or publisher. In 30+ years of publishing children’s books, here’s my take…

Are You Done Yet?

Wow, it’s been thirty years since my first children’s book contract. So… what have I learned in thirty years? I’ve learned that people often don’t respect or understand just how long it can take to accomplish a task that might appear, to the one not doing it, to be easy. I think everyone has experienced…

Go ahead and judge my book by its cover, please!

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m working on publishing another ebook – a reissue of The Complete Backyard Nature Activity Book, originally published in 1998 by McGraw Hill’s Learning Triangle Press. I designed the first cover, which featured a daytime scene surrounded by a night scene. The night scene had owls, flying squirrels,…

The Complete Backyard Nature Activity Book for Kids, Part I

In 1998 I wrote and illustrated a book called The Complete Backyard Nature Activity Book for Kids. There was a subtitle, too, equally as long. Originally it was called Going Wild! but the editor thought that title could be misleading. Editors are smart about these things; that’s one reason I love them. McGraw Hill’s Learning…