Ten writers for children. All with something to say.


The e-book and how it might affect us...

Our topic for this round of posts was to be "the e-book and how it might affect us, both as readers and as writers." Judging from the lack of responses from our spuds thus far, it appears we may not yet know how it will affect us. I personally don't think I will ever want to give up the traditional bound book (either paperback or hardcover), but I have to say I am pleasantly surprised by the Kindle and how easy it is to use.

Random House simultaneously published my book, ROAD TO TATER HILL, in hardcover and e-book formats. My latest statement shows that not many e-books have sold yet (only 24 as of June 30th), but I am happy to have it available for those who choose to read in that format.

Not long ago I was given an Amazon gift card, and I decided to use it to purchase a Kindle. Of course, the first book I had to buy was ROAD TO TATER HILL! I wanted to see exactly how my book would appear in that format. Here are a few pros and cons for e-books as I see it.
1. Less expensive to buy individual books.
2. The e-book arrives almost instantly if you're within internet access.
3. The Kindle is easy to carry or pack when traveling.
4. You can take any number of books with you without taking up any more space.
5. The pages don't get worn or torn.
6. The page (at least of the Kindle) has no glare.
7. When you take a break from reading and turn your Kindle off, it reopens to the page you were last reading. No need for a bookmark!
8. The print/font size can be enlarged as needed.

1. You may not find the books you want in e-book format.
2. It's almost too easy to order a book! By accident I ordered one I didn't want, just by pushing the wrong button, and I had to go through canceling the sale.
3. You can't buy an "autographed" copy if you happen to know the author.
4. It's difficult to lend. I just finished reading THE RED KAYAK by Priscilla Cummings and immediately recommended it to my husband. However, if I want him to read it, I have to give up my Kindle for however long it takes him to finish the book.
5. I have yet to learn how to go back to the beginning of the book or find a specific page without continuously pushing the "back" button until I get there. (There's probably a simple answer to this that I haven't yet found.)
6. The initial cost of the Kindle is rather expensive, at least by my standards. I bought mine for $139, and paid extra for the nice leather protective cover. I would not have bought it if not for the gift card.

I think the e-book is here to stay. I, as an author and reader, will embrace it as a new form, but will not give up my love for and collection of traditional books!


November also means PiBoIdMo!

October was a month of celebrations for me. Celebrating two new picture books, 1 + 1 = 5 and Other Unlikely Additions and Minnesota's Hidden Alphabet. Celebrating turning 50 years old (it's been one of my best birthdays ever). And of course celebrating Halloween, with plenty of pumpkin carving.

Now it's time to catch my breath and look at a new month. As Stephanie reminded us, November is National Novel Writing Month. Cheers and good wishes to all who are taking up this challenge. But for those of you who wish to try a shorter writing form, November is also Picture Book Idea Month, or PiBoIdMo.

For the second year in a row, Tara Lazar has assembled a collection of children's authors and illustrators who are providing inspiration and encouragement on writing picture books. Readers of Tara's blog are encouraged to take the PiBoIdMo Challenge: come up with one new idea for a picture book each day throughout the month of November. And for all those who follow through, she is offering some fabulous prizes (oh, I do love contests!), including free books, original artwork, manuscript critiques from published authors, and personal consultation from established agents. Best of all, after 30 days you'll have 30 (or more) ideas for a new book.

It's not too late to take part. You have until November 7th to take the PiBoIdMo pledge to qualify for prizes. And even if you don't sign up for the challenge, you can read the ongoing list of inspirational ideas to get motivated for your next picture book (I was the guest blogger for November 2).

Whether your interest lies in novels or a picture books, here's to a new month of celebrating successful writing!


November 1st means NaNoWriMo

Today I am hijacking the blog to shout from the rafters about one of my favorite things. Well, it is one of those favorite things that you end up despising at some point.... Yes, November 1st means it is time for:

National Novel Writing Month!!

You too can write a novel in 30 days. I have done it and am doing it again this year.

Over at Redstone Science Fiction today is an interview with myself and four other authors who managed to turn a NaNo project into a published novel.

Good luck to all of you who decide to join me in this writing quest!