Summer in the …City

The city of Medina, Minnesota, that is. I hadn’t thought of going to a conference this year, but You’re at the Helm! The Business of Writing of Writing and Illustrating For Children, a conference put on by The Children’s Literature Network sounds like it has got some good nuts-and-bolts information about how to manage your writing as a business. The conference is mid-week, Wednesday and Thursday, July 26 and 27, 2006, and if you register before May 31st it’s a lot less expensive. There’s a huge emphasis on marketing — which is something that always makes me feel a bit uneasy — so it might be worth checking out! And somewhere in Minnesota, there’s bound to be a hotel with air conditioning for all that humidity… Statistics Lie?Bowker, which tracks book publishing in the United States says that publishing books for YA and children is down fifteen to twenty percent since 2004. Of course, School Library Journal is quick to point out that it’s because 2004 was a banner year in children’s books. Sales have increased, despite fewer books published overall.
Speaking of marketing, wouldn’t it be great if you could simply market your book by having a treasure hunt? Oh, someday I’ve got to write a fantasy novel that takes advantage of that! Philanthropist and author Michael Stadther is a man who likes whetting the appetites of his readers. His treasure hunt, which celebrates the completion of his second fantasy novel, is meant for whole families to get involved in — and the jewels are really hidden. The maps are real. This man has a lot of money, and a lot of fun planning and executing these hunts, and people really love playing. The next worldwide treasure hunt begins this September!
It doesn’t seem possible, but the cute little aardvark with the glasses and his bratty little sister, DW, is turning THIRTY this year. Author Marc Brown’s character, now with his own PBS series, has been around forever, even though he’s still only eight. This all goes to show that if you write a really good series of books that are well loved, even if you’re never “famous,’ you’ll be around to touch the lives of a generation. Or two! And what a ‘wonderful kind of day’ that makes!

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