Going Back to Writing

I took the summer off from blogging, from reading kid books, and from writing. This wasn't an intentional decision. I didn't sit down and decide that I wanted a break. Instead, life sort of caught up with me. All of the sudden it was August and Back to School Season...

What Novelists Can Learn from Screenwriters

Some of my favorite writing resources weren’t written by novelists or for novelists; they are the books written by screenwriters for plotting a movie. These books have some of the clearest, most helpful words ever written on the subject of plots.

Big Day!

Today is a big day for this little old blog. On this day exactly, ten years ago, I began blogging about editing for a small press over on Blogger.

To Write or Not To Write: Making Decisions

This morning was the perfect morning. I woke up and my husband and son were out of town. I didn’t have a bunch of pressing emails, and I’m fairly caught up on both my CBAY work and the online marketing class I’m taking.

For once, I had free time. FREE TIME!!!

On the Road Again, Again

Today I hit the road on my way to the annual Texas Librarians Association conference. I love conferences like this. It's the kind where I'm not a speaker, not really an exhibitor, and I'm not a conference attendee. Basically, it's a trip where I get to hang out with...

Do’s and Some Don’t’s of Submitting

Last week I got a submission. On the face this isn't so odd. I get submissions all the time even though we aren't taking unsolicited manuscripts over at CBAY right now. It wasn't even unusual that this manuscript wasn't for the kind of children's book that we publish...

My Love Letter to Melvin Invents Music

In honor of its release today, I composed a short little Love Letter for Melvin Invents Music. You can also see it on my Goodreads reviews (in a less missive-manner) as well.

Giants and Ogres

Purchase: IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble Paperback, Anthology, Fairy Tales $9.95 Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks Ebook, Anthology, Fairy Tales $4.99 Clever and daring, the artful reimaginings in this delightful collection of ten new...

One Thousand Words for War

Purchase: IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble Paperback, Anthology, Fantasy & Science Fiction $9.95 Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks Ebook, Anthology, Fantasy & Science Fiction $4.99 Imaginative and original, One Thousand Words for...

Celebrating Your Book’s Birthday

Most of the time on this site, I talk about ways to improve your writing, how to submit your manuscript, and other pre-publication topics. Today let’s talk about something exciting that will hopefully be in your near future: your book’s birthday! Or the day your book releases out into the world.

Shopping Your Manuscript

’Tis the season to shop. It’s that time of year when lots (but not all) people are frantically running around buying things for others. The other way to look at that is that lots of people are trying to sell things. And if you’ve got a polished manuscript that’s been critiqued, reviewed by your beta reader, and ready to face the world, then you have something to sell too.

5 Questions to Ask About Your Character

Now there are some things all main characters should have in common regardless of whether they were written for the adult or children’s market. They should. Have wants and needs Grow in some way (emotionally or spiritually) Be realistic Not be a stereotype of some...

6 Questions to Ask When Planning Your Novel

Every person who has a kid in school or has been a kid in school or has met a kid in school knows the 5Ws and an H. Let’s all say them together: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. Who knew that this concept that we learn in kindergarten could later be used as a guide for planning a novel?

Your Children’s Book’s Two Audiences

Every book has multiple audiences, no matter the market. There’s a primary demographic and a secondary demographic. These are the audiences your publisher (or you) might think will be drawn to your book.

That’s not what I’m talking about.

I’m not talking about possible market segmentation. I’m talking about the people who will actually read your book, and in the children’s market, that’s two broad audiences: Kids AND Adults.

Book Review: Hero

Hero By Alethea Kontis I love fairy tales and and fairy tale reimagining. This book is another great story in that tradition. Saturday Woodcutter is the sister of the famous adventuring Jack and her days of the week named sisters. All of the sisters have stories...

I Love Bookstores.

Right now, I'm at RWA completely out of my element. I don't know the books everyone talks about. I don't know the authors. I'm even unfamiliar with some of the conventions used in crafting their work. And yet, I'm still somehow very much at home. I am surrounded by...

Currently, Lately, and Going Forward

My friend Carla wrote a lovely post today inspired by this post. In these posts both women muse a little bit about the current state of their lives. I've decided to enter into the conversation by posting my own thoughts about the State of Madeline. Lately: I had big...

When You Publish for the First Time…

Hi! My name is Susan Bianculli, and this is my first time writing for someone else’s blog. 🙂 That sounds like the beginning of a first date, doesn't it? But it’s true; I am a first timer in so many things. I can also say that it’s my first time getting published –...

Debuts I Have Known

This week is a very exciting week over at CBAY Books. Tomorrow we launch a brand new series, The Mist Gate Crossings. This is our first YA ebook original, and we have all sorts of exciting things planned for this series -- not the least is a 99 cents debut price for...

Where the Money Goes

There’s this odd misconception out in the world that publishers and authors are rich. We both have money to burn and can afford huge outlandish parties to celebrate our books.

I wish.

Here’s a breakdown of where money goes at a small press.

Just Submit Already

Today I did that scary thing all authors have to do at some point if they ever plan to publish their work (regardless of whether they go the traditional or indie publishing route). I opened myself up to rejection. In my specific example, I submitted to an agent. Now,...

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