Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 30, 2017

Book Giveaway – Review and Author Interview by Guest: Linda Swingle

To win a copy of Writing Children’s Books for Dummies, 2nd Edition, you must send Lisa a comment using the contact button on Lisa’s website: http://www.editorialservicesofla.com (3 tickets) in addition to the 1 ticket you get for leaving a comment on Kathy’s blog for this post: and (1 ticket for posting this article on Facebook, Tweeter or re-blogging.(Just let me know what you did.) Please note: Ticket Entries for USA only.

BOOK REVIEW: WRITING CHILDREN’S BOOKS FOR DUMMIES 2nd Edition
by Linda Swingle

Children’s picture books provide such delight regardless of age and for those aspiring to write a book for children or simply wishing to understand how the industry works from start to finish, Writing Children’s Books for Dummies 2nd Edition by Lisa Rojany Buccieri and Peter Economy is an incredibly valuable asset for a writer’s arsenal of tools.

The plethora of information provided in the 2nd Edition includes step-by-step guidance for launching a career as an author and author/illustrator. From storyline ideas, and honing your craft to landing an agent, signing contracts, marketing and promotion, this book provides abundant information needed while embarking on your journey. Whether writing a board book or a Young Adult Novel, Lisa shares clear and concise advice across the spectrum. With over one hundred children’s books under her belt, Lisa provides all that is needed to understand this complex industry.

Overview:

Part I: The ABCs of Writing for Children

This section provides thorough information and how to build a firm understanding of the basics regarding formats, genres, and the Children’s Book Market.

Part II: Immersing Yourself in the Writing Process

Getting Started: Guidance includes how to breathe life into a storyline idea in addition to researching the subject for the intended audience.

Part III: Creating a Spellbinding Story

Lisa provides time proven methods and formulas needed when creating compelling characters, developing a plot, creating dialogue, tone, and point of view when writing fiction and creative nonfiction.

Part IV: Making Your Story Sparkle

This section covers editing, formatting, creating stories that shine, developing illustrations that complement the text, and the importance of receiving feedback.

Part V: Publishing and Promoting Your Book

Learn how to land a literary agent in addition to promoting and marketing your book, finding the perfect publisher, and understanding a contract before signing. For those wishing to learn the basics regarding self-publishing, Peter provides guidance on this topic in this section.

Part VI: The Parts of Ten

This section provides sources that inspire ideas for story development to help expand upon classical “Tales of Yore.” From fairy tales, fables, and nursery rhymes to mythology, growing pains, and sibling issues, the information and inspiration is presented in meticulous fashion. An added bonus in this section lists information regarding coveted awards in addition to learning what it takes to earn a spot at the top on select lists.

Lisa, thank you for sharing your insight with our readers. Please tell about your journey in developing and creating Writing Children’s Books for Dummies 2nd Edition. 

What inspired you to write this particular book…Edition One and what inspired you to create the second edition?

I was contacted by Peter Economy, who was a frequent collaborator on For Dummies books. They were looking for someone to write a book primarily about writing children’s books, not just about the publication process, but how to go about the writing process. My brain is primarily comprised of information about this particular subject it seems, so it was a perfect match. When it came time to update the book, even though it was thorough, I had learned even more in the interim and so I rewrote 80% of the book to make it even more relevant to today’s children’s book writers and illustrators. Within the book I have provided sections that discuss the illustrations, too.    

I had spent my entire career working in children’s publishing from both sides of the line: as an Editorial Director acquiring and editing books and as a writer, getting my own books published. I felt I had a unique perspective to share regarding the writing process and how to go about creating a successfully marketable book. I wanted to supply writers with a blueprint that laid out information and how to get started, choosing a format, start the writing process, and learning about plot, character arcs, dialogue, conflict, pacing, and the like. I wanted the readers to get it out there and into the world with a good query letter and a marketing plan. I also wanted them to familiarize themselves with the basics of a publishing contract and what they could expect with a first publication.

When the publisher asked for an update (because the book was selling well), I actually rewrote about 80% because over time I realized I had more to say about each topic and more experience editing all sorts of genres. There are pitfalls that many writers fall into and I knew that I could help them avoid those pitfalls. With years of editing experience, I saw that patterns tend to emerge and I can almost predict what new writers: many of them at least, will fall prey to in terms of mistakes. I wanted to “brain dump” my knowledge so that anyone could pick up the book, learn about children’s books and start, as well as finish, the writing process successfully. The book is packed with valuable information. When people approach me for instruction in the basics, I always refer them to this book. A $20 investment versus hundreds of dollars provides all the information necessary to the writing process. Should people want specific feedback regarding their manuscript that is when Editorial Services of L.A. comes into the picture and I help writers make their books the best they can be.

How did you connect with Peter to write this book?

Peter found my website: EditorialServicesofLA.com and contacted me that way.

Did you pitch the publisher and receive a contract before writing the book?

Yes. And yes.

How many published books did you have under your belt before pitching this book? 

Dozens. Not only books that I have written and had published, but lists of books I had acquired or overseen as Editorial Director at various publishing houses in addition to books that I have ghostwritten.

Did you have an agent at the time?

No. We dealt directly with the publisher.

Is this book your most successful book to date?

I think it is tied with Surviving the Angel of Death: The True Story of a Mengele Twin at Auschwitz. Both continue to sell in their English version as well as in foreign editions and as eBooks.

Tell us a bit about your first published book.

The first book I wrote that was published was called Big Machines. It was about construction equipment and published as an interactive pop-up book. It was so much fun making facts read in an entertaining and relevant manner to a young audience.

You currently have a newly published book, please share a bit about this book with our readers:

Surviving the Angel of Death: The True Story of a Mengele Twin at Auschwitz came out in paperback a few years ago. I met Eva Kor, who was experimented on along with her twin by the personification of evil in a Nazi doctor while in a concentration camp. I wrote her memoir by using transcripts of interviews and talking to Eva directly. It was a very moving experience. I enjoyed getting into the head of a 10-year-old girl and trying to imagine how she coped and managed to survive her ordeals, yet I did not want to make emotional judgments for the reader, so it is all presented very matter of fact.

Since then I have a pile of picture books that I am trying to get published. My favorite is called Doggone and it’s about a boy with an imaginary friend—or is it imaginary?

Thank you Lisa…it is such a pleasure to meet you! We appreciate your willingness to share a bit about yourself, your journey, as well as kindly providing a copy of Writing Children’s Books for Dummies, 2nd Edition as part of the book give-away.

About the Authors:

Lisa Rojany Buccieri has written over 100 children’s books that include several award winning and bestselling titles. Lisa worked as Editorial/Publishing Director for Golden Books, Price Stern Sloan/Penguin Random House, Intervisual Books, Gateway Learning Corporation (Hooked on Phonics) in addition to other established publishing houses.

Lisa is publisher and editor in chief for the premier online book review site and thoroughly enjoys working with writers of all ages. www.myjournalofbooks.com. To learn more about her editorial services visit: www.editorialservicesofla.com

Peter Economy is a bestselling author, ghostwriter, and publishing consultant and is coauthor of Writing Fiction for Dummies, Managing for Dummies, Consulting for Dummies, Giving Back, Connecting You, Business and Community, Creating an Orange Utopia plus many more books.

Linda Swingle has enjoyed a wonderful career working as a professional artist for world-renowned clientele in both the private and commercial sectors. Linda’s love for art and children’s books leads her down a new path as an Author/Illustrator creating humorous picture books.

Linda lives in Southern California with her darling husband Scott and their rescued canine Tieshka. She is a member of SCBWI and enjoys following those with a passion for writing, illustrating, and all things wonderfully creative! Connect with Linda on Twitter- @LindaSwingle

Thank you Linda for taking the time to review Writing Children’s Books for Dummies and Interviewing Lisa.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

 


Responses

  1. Thanks so much for sponsoring this amazing prize! I visited Lisa’s website, but don’t see an option for leaving a comment on any of the pages. Can you help me find it?

    Like

  2. Updated to add: I think I might’ve figured out the problem. Do you mean us to comment on Myjounrnalofbooks.com rather than editorialservicesofla.com as in the entry instructions at the top? It looks like the link to Lisa’s page in the “About the authors” section is leading to a non-existing page. I suspect that may be due the first letter of the link’s URL being “N” instead of “M.”

    Like

    • Hello Kidlittidbits! Any success with posting? Either way, Lisa’s book is a wonderful source of information and a valuable resource for aspiring Children’s PBs creative writers.

      Like

  3. This book looks amazing! I didn’t figure out how to comment at Lisa’s website either, but I pinned this on Pinterest 😉

    Like

    • Thank you for pinning! I appreciate your kindness!

      Like

  4. This looks like a great book. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

    • Lynne, thank you.

      Like

  5. I have ALways loved “Dummies” books AND craft books about KidLit. This combines both so what’s not to love?! Excellent giveaway, Kathy, and so was the review, Linda 🙂

    I tweeted this which automatically goes to Facebook, and the only place to leave a comment on Lisa’s site is on her contact page (http://www.editorialservicesofla.com/contact.htm ) which I did 😀

    Like

    • Thank you! I enjoyed the opportunity and meeting Lisa was such a delight!

      Like

  6. This sounds highly useful, especially considering even a good portion of authors/illustrators just starting out might not even know half of what it takes to get a book to sell.

    Like

    • Thank you. Lisa truly put her heart and soul into writing this book as she left no stone unturned!

      Like

  7. We need an updated book.

    Like

    • Natasha, Lisa’s book is filled with incredible advice…I highly recommend it.

      Like

  8. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of Lisa’s book. I tweeted and tried to leave a comment on her website but could not find a spot to do so. I did sign up for her updates and info so hope that counts. 🙂

    Like

    • Thank you for tweeting! Your kindness is greatly appreciated. I enjoyed visiting your website.

      Like

  9. This book sounds wonderful. I would love to read it. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy.

    Like

    • Kim, you will enjoy this book…. A small investment toward a wonderful career launch! All the best to You!

      Like

  10. I. Want. This. Book. Here’s to trying! Cheers!

    Like

  11. This is an excellent book review. It is quite helpful to see an outline of the content, and the interview questions were very well thought out.Kathy, I am glad to know that you pitched and sold your idea before writing the book. It is also interesting and comforting to know that you rewrote 80% of the original content. Linda Swingle highlighted critical information and presented just the right amount of extra insight to tempt us to want to know more and buy copies. Kudos!

    Like


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