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Old News/Updates to The Purple Crayon:
February 17, 2014: Several updates and bits of news! First of all, a new review, of Margery Facklam and Peggy Thomas's excellent Anatomy of Nonfiction, the only comprehensive guide to writing nonfiction for children that I have encountered. Several updates to my Conferences page--note in particular my upcoming Webinar, "Find the Right Fit," on researching agents and publishers. In it, I'll give my insider's view of how best to find out about "the market" and how best to approach publishers and agents. There are also some updates to the Who's Moving Where page
Off the site, Kid's Book Revisions has set up a newsletter so that you can hear about our events. Please sign up at the KBR Newsletter page to stay up-to-date on what we are doing; I won't always put our news here. Last but not least, I'm looking forward to presenting this weekend at the NY SCBWI conference, and hope to be passing on some of what I say there.
January 29, 2014: It's the end of January, and that means that the ALA has announced their awards. And that means I've started working on updating my Children's Book Awards pages again, so far with just the Caldecott and Newbery winners, but with more to come. As a new feature, I'm putting up an image of the jacket of the winners on their page--let me know what you think.
November 28, 2013: I've been working on the Children's Book Awards section --mostly cleaning up the code in the background, but I also updated the Scott O'Dell Award page and created a new page for the National Book Award in Young People's Literature.
November 11, 2013: Yes, it's been a couple of months, but I'm back. I've updated the Who's Moving Where page. I've also updated my Conferences page, with early 2014 events, including the NY SCBWI conference in February and a PB workshop in March in Massachusetts.
I've also finally posted my comments on the 2014 edition of Children's Writers' and Illustrators' Market, and updated the agent resources page that lists resource books and websites.
September 1, 2013: It's been a busy summer, and I haven't been able to add anything new to the site in a while. But today I did a catch-up post on the Who's Moving Where page, with several bits of news. I've also got more details about my fall schedule, which includes SCBWI conferences in the Hudson Valley and Pittsburgh, on my Conferences page. I'm excited to be running Everything You Need to Know about Writing Children's Books at the Highlights Foundation, in partnership with Susan Campbell Bartoletti. Together with the Crash Course in Children's Publishing, which precedes it, it provides a solid grounding for beginners--and in only 4 days. If you know a beginner who wants to get oriented, please point them in this direction.
June 23, 2013: There are several new pieces of news on the Who's Moving Where page, including news of a reorganization at Bloomsbury. I've also updated my Conferences page so that you can click through for the information on the Highlights site about the twofer workshops on the basics (publishing and writing) at Highlights in October. I'll be running the one on Children's Writing with the help of Susan Campbell Bartoletti. And we've added a panel of editors to the Kids Book Revision Retreat in August, to discuss working with writers on revision and the value of revision in publishing today.
May 5, 2013: There's an interview with me on the Mixed-Up Files Blog: An Interview with Independent Editor Harold Underdown. There's also a link to it from my Interview page. And there are a couple of new items on the Who's Moving Where page from late April.
April 2, 2013: I have two new contributed articles up on the site.
One is an interview with packager Patricia Stockland by Melissa Higgins. This is useful as a peek into the world of packaging.
The other is an article by illustrator Stan Jaskiel, Choosing an Illustrator When Self-Publishing. Stan works with authors who self-publish and has some suggestions.
March 25, 2013: Quite a few updates this month on the Who's Moving Where page, so be sure to check that out.
And don't forget that Eileen Robinson and I are giving a workshop at the end of April on Planning and Revising Your YA Manuscript. Registration is open now.
March 17, 2013: At long last I have completed my review of the new (2013) edition of Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market. There are a number of changes this year, so be sure to read the review if you are considering buying the book.
Also, I've updated my article Manuscript Format Basics with two YouTube videos created by Andrew Karre that demonstrate "clean-up" that a publisher must do with a manuscript before putting it into production.
February 27, 2013: Here's a different kind of article: Three Great Things (and More) About Children's Publishing Today, which is composed of tweets sent in response to a request to hear what the good thing in our business are. Take a look, and if you want to add something, just hop on over to Twitter.
I'm also pleased to say that I've finished updating ALL of my children's book awards pages with the awards announced at the recent ALA conference.
January 29, 2013: Now I have updated the Coretta Scott King Award page.
January 28, 2013: So the ALA awards were announced today, and I've been hard at work updating my Award-Winning Children's Books section. So far I've done the Newbery and Caldecott pages. I've also updated my Conferences page. And of course there are more updates on the Who's Moving Where page.
December 31, 2012: I've got details of three workshops in the spring in Connecticut on my Conferences page, including ones on picture books, critique groups, and young adult manuscripts. There's also a new update on the Who's Moving Where page.
December 16, 2012: Changes to my conference schedule! Instead of the 3-session Revision Intensive, I'll be doing one-day workshops in Westport, CT, starting with Revising--and Reimagining--Your Picture Book Manuscript, on February 16, 2013.
December 6, 2012: More updates on the Who's Moving Where page, and I've also penciled in some dates on my Conferences page for 2013. And I've updated the page where I list books and other resources for researching agents and publishers, with US, CA, and UK links.
November 17, 2012: There are several new updates on the Who's Moving Where page.
Also, I've posted details on the KBR site of a 3-part revision workshop that Eileen Robinson and I will be giving in Connecticut. And the National Book Award winner for literature for "young people" was announced, and I've updated my list of winners.
September 24, 2012: Even more updates to the Who's Moving Where page!
September 3, 2012: It was a busy summer as my family and I moved, but we are settled in again and I've brought the Who's Moving Where page up to date. Also did some tidying up of outdated links on my Links pages, but there's more to do.
May 27, 2012: There have been two updates to the Who's Moving Where page this month--be sure to browse it if you haven't seen it recently.
April 17, 2012: I've had to update the Who's Moving Where page as I've heard news of three people leaving publishing (this is a coincidence, not a trend). I've also posted my answer to the question "Do Traditional Publishers Market Their Books?" as a short blog item, which I will be revising and expanding.
March 31, 2012: With lots of other things to distract me, including a revision workshop in Connecticut at the beginning of the month, I haven't been able to work on the Purple Crayon in a while.
I have now posted several bits of news on the Who's Moving Where page, and put a couple of new items on the Testimonials page on the editorial services part of the site.
I'll soon be busy with conferences and workshops for the spring, and am particularly excited about the "Revision Retreat and Critique Group Recharge" planned for the Highlights Foundation at the end of May. The weather should be beautiful, and we will have five nights there to work on manuscripts, learn revision techniques, and get more out of critique groups. Scholarships are available and there's a special follow-up visit available to critique groups who attend.
January 28, 2012: I've now finished updating all of the pages in the Award-Winning Children's Books section. I've now been maintaining this section, with its lists and resource links, for ten years. Suggestions for additional resources are always welcome.
January 23, 2012: The ALA announced many awards at their Midwinter Convention. I'm updating my Award-Winning Children's Books section, so far with the Newbery and Caldecott. I've also updated the Scott O'Dell Award page, since that was announced recently. I notice all of the Newbery titles are historical fiction, and all of the Caldecott titles are by male author-illustrators. Any other common threads? More updates to come soon!
January 12, 2012: I've updated my Manuscript Format Basics article.
There is also some new news.
And you can read about what I'll be doing at the April New England SCBWI conference--registration opens soon: an independent editors panel and submissions strategy consultations.
And don't forget--the ALA Midwinter Convention takes place in less than two weeks, and that means that I'll be updating my Newbery, Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, and other pages in my award-winning children's books section with all of the winners.
December 6, 2011: Big news of the acquisition of Marshall Cavendish's children's imprint by Amazon is on my Who's Moving Where page.
November 22, 2011: I've updated my list of National Book Award winners to include this year's winner, and links for more information about the "6th nominee" debacle.
October 16, 2011: Now up--a review of Cheryl Klein's Second Sight, a book that provides practical help with revision and insight into editors and the publishing business.
I've also updated my Conferences page with what I know so far of my 2012 schedule, notably including the Highlights Foundation "Revision Retreat and Critique Group Recharge" that Eileen Robinson and I will give at the end of May.
October 10, 2011: I've updated my Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market review--it now covers the the 2012 edition, which has some significant changes. And you'll find some new updates on the Who's Moving Where page.
September 21, 2011: There are new updates on the Who's Moving Where page.
September 13, 2011: I've added a new agent website case study, on Adams Literary, a "boutique" agency, to help you identify legitimate agents just by looking at their websites. It replaces a study of an agency that closed and links to two other studies of websites: Writers House (a large agency), and a shady agency that shall not be named.
As you may have noticed, I've also started using larger social media buttons on this and other pages. Please use them to let your friends know about The Purple Crayon on Facebook, Twitter, or other networks.
September 9, 2011: I've updated my Agent Resources page with links to the 2012 editions of US, UK, and Canadian market guides. I've also updated the Who's Moving Where page with a few items.
August 16, 2011: I've written a review of Sandy Asher's Writing It Right! How Successful Children's Authors Revise and Sell Their Stories, a fascinating collection of case studies showing how picture books, early readers, and novels were revised from early drafts to their final, published versions.
August 5, 2011: I've compiled a list of Social Media Resources to supplement a presentation that Emma D. Dryden and I are giving at the LA SCBWI conference.
August 2, 2011: The Atlantic Monthly did a piece on the boom in YA, but got their numbers wrong: find the correct information in my comment, YA Books Are Booming--but not That Much.
July 28, 2011: There are now "social sharing" buttons on this and a few other pages, including the home page. You can use these to Share a page on Facebook, Tweet about a page, give it a "+1" in the Google search results, or one of many other things (in a popup menu). Please use them to let people know about The Purple Crayon--and please let me know what you think.
July 19, 2011: I've posted the beginnings of a list of Ebooks and Children's Books Resources, which I created for a presentation at the Highlights Writer's Workshop.
July 7, 2011: I've updated the Who's Moving Where page, and also made some updates and corrections to my articles Getting Out of the Art File and Manuscript Format Basics.
And here's a video interview with me about the presentations I'll be doing on my own and with Emma Dryden and Eileen Robinson at the upcoming National SCBWI conference in LA.
May 24, 2011: I had a great time at the NE SCBWI conference in Fitchburg, MA, 10 days ago, where I gave a keynote and two workshops. I will be posting the keynote as I work through it for web presentation. For now, here is the beginning of my Children's Books in Hard Times: Resources page, which I will also be adding to as I put up my presentation.
Recently, the Idiot's Guide people interviewed me, asking 5 key questions, in Five for the Record.
And there are some updates on the Who's Moving Where Page.
May 4, 2011: My scheduling problem with the SCBWI National Conference has been resolved, and I'm now planning to attend again. Further details on the Conferences page.
April 24, 2011: I've posted a review of A Family of Readers, a wonderful guidebook to the world of children's books, useful to writers and others who want to dive into what's best in the field.
In a nod to our changing field, there is now a link to the Kindle edition of my book on the Idiot's Guide home page. And there are various other updates around the site, including a couple of new books listed in my Writing Guides page.
Aprll 5, 2011: I've updated the Who's Moving Where page, added new links and comments to a couple of the articles in my Self-Publishing section, and updated the pages in the Award-Winning Children's Books area to reflect some new editions. I've also started posting comments I've received from people about how my Complete Idiot's Guide has helped them, on the Reviews page.
March 9, 2011: Some new news on the Who's Moving Where page.
February 17, 2011: I've added an article by Sneed Collard, Just Say No to Bad Contracts, in which he explains when one should walk away from a contract. I've added a few tips and some additional resources to the article, which was originally published in the SCBWI Bulletin.
February 14, 2011: Sad news--Margaret McElderry, the last of her generation, has died at the age of 98. If you aren't familiar with her work as one of the great editors of the post WW II era, the link will take you to a profile I wrote of her.
I've also updated the Who's Moving Where page.
January 17, 2011: I've update the Lifetime Achievement, Pura Belpré, and Sibert award pages, and that completes the updates to the Children's Book Awards section.
January 11, 2011: And now I have added the latest awards to the Coretta Scott King Award page.
January 10, 2011: The awards have been announced, and there were some interesting surprises! One that jumped out at me was the interesting fact that there are 4 works of historical fiction among the Newbery Medal and 4 Honor books. So far, I've updated my Newbery Medal and Caldecott Medal pages.
January 4, 2011: I've learned that the winner of the Scott O'Dell Award is Rita Williams-Garcia's One Crazy Summer, so I've updated the Scott O'Dell Award page on the site. ALA awards, including the Newbery and Caldecott, are due to be announced soon, so watch for other updates in the Children's Book Awards section.
There's new news of editors moving and a new imprint on the scene on the Who's Moving Where page.
And I'm going to be on the faculty at the Highlights Chautauqua week this summer, so I've updated my Conferences page.
November 27, 2010: I've written a review of the 2011 edition of Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market, the last one to be edited by Alice Pope.
I've also reviewed Funny Business by Leonard Marcus, in which he interviews a dozen well-known writers of humor, and provided a short Leonard Marcus bibliography, highlighting some of his books about our business and the work of writers and illustrators in it.
Since the holiday shopping season has arrived, I will make my annual reminder: if you make a purchase from Amazon or another bookstore after using the links on The Purple Crayon, the site earns a commission. This is true in the Award-Winning Children's Books section, in the Book Reviews section, or from the Bookstores page.
November 21, 2010: I've updated my Conference schedule for the first six months of 2011. I'm going to be busy. I have one event confirmed for the second half of the year, but I'll be adding more soon, so stay tuned.
I've updated the Young Adult Awards page with the recent winner of the National Book Award for young people's literature.
And there's a new update to the Who's Moving Where page, including news about Lori Benton and sad news about Tricycle Press.
November 7, 2010: I've posted a review of Ann Whitford Paul's Writing Picture Books, a very useful book for anyone working in that area, and listed it on the Book Reviews page and the Genres page (which I also reorganized).
October 2, 2010: I've added a new excerpt from my Idiot's Guide, Back to School, which is part of chapter 31 and covers the basics of school visits.
I've updated my Conferences page with the first of my 2011 events, including a Highlights workshop on Revision.
And I've also updated a resources page, Resources Listing Agents and Artist's Reps--this is the place to start to find the latest market guides, with information about publishers as well as agents. It now includes the 2011 editions, some of which just came out or are coming out soon.
September 14: There is news on the Who's Moving Where page...
July 13, 2010: I've added a new excerpt from the Idiot's Guide: part of Chapter 22, So How Does It All Work?, covering the "best practices" for contacting editors.
July 12, 2010: There are a couple of new items on the Who's Moving Where page, and the #cigpcb Tweet Project continues--both to promote my CIG to Publishing Children's Books and send out into the world a lot of nuggets of advice and information. We are just over halfway through, so it's not to late to join in.
June 21, 2010: I've set up an "Editor Profiles" page, with so far two profiles, of Margaret McElderry and Arianne Lewin. These are supplements to one of the chapters in my Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books.
I've also added a few more updates to the Who's Moving Where page, and done a pretty thorough update of my Visual Resources (pictures and maps) links page. Suggested links for that page are welcome, of course.
In other news, Eileen Robinson and I have set up a tutorial version of our Kid's Book Revision Class, which allows you to work with us for three rounds of revision on a schedule that fits your needs.
June 6, 2010: Starting on the 8th, I'll be tweeting quotes and excerpts and more from every chapter of my Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books. More information at the #cigpcb Tweet Project.
June 5, 2010: The big news this time is that I've added a piece called A Book Is Not a CD, exploring one factor that I believe means that the digital transition in book publishing will not work the same as it did in the music industry.
I've also updated the Who's Moving Where page, added some resource links to my article on the acquisition process, and put my fall conferences, in Philadelphia, Nevada, and western Louisiana, on my conference schedule.
May 16, 2010: I've posted a blog piece on The Odds of Getting Published and Why They Don't Matter, written Five Reasons Why You Don't Need an Agent, and updated the Who's Moving Where page.
You'll notice on that page and on this that I've also changed the layout of an ad for Bookcloseouts.com: this company sells remaindered and other discounted new books. I've bought from them myself and like their service (they are a small company). They are an inexpensive way for writers, teachers, and librarians to find useful books, and they pay good commissions to The Purple Crayon if you use the links on this site. Please keep them in mind.
April 14, 2010: I've finished posting Chapter 8 from my book, by posting the second section, on Picture Books and Easy Readers, and the third section, on Novels and Collections, with a few words on gatekeepers.
I've also updated the Who's Moving Where page.
And I've posted some short notes on last year's BookExpo America, which might be useful if you are considering attending this year.
March 7, 2010: I've started a project to post more materials from my book, starting with "Book Formats and Age Levels," which is Chapter 8. I've got one piece up so far, and will be putting the rest of it up gradually.
I've also posted some recommended websites, books, and pages from The Purple Crayon, based on a handout I created for a recent conference, intended to help beginners figure out where to start when confronted by the overwhelming range of resources available. So please point any beginners you know in their direction!
February 8, 2010: I've added more news to the Who's Moving Where page, and started to update my Links pages, beginning with the Children's Books one. I'm not done with that one. It has many old links, and I'm happy to get suggestions for new ones.
One last reminder: Eileen Robinson and I are taking registrations for the February-May Kid's Book Revisions class.
January 30, 2010: I have finished updating the Children's Book Awards section; 2010 winners and honor books are now listed on the Coretta Scott King, Lifetime Achievement, Pura Belpré, Young Adult, and Sibert Award pages. Where I have come across them, I've also added links to useful resources; note in particular the Coretta Scott King Book Award Online Curriculum Resource Center, a great new resource created by the TeachingBooks.Net people, which features audio recordings of CSK authors and illustrators and other materials.
January 20, 2010: There is some news on the Who's Moving Where page.
I've also started to update the Children's Book Awards section, so far with the recent Scott O'Dell Award winner, the Newbery Medal and Honor books, and the Caldecott Medal and Honor books.
January 6, 2010: The hack mentioned below has been completely dealt with, and I've posted a blog note about it with details: How the Site Was Hacked, and Fixed.
I've also posted an interesting message I received from Donna Spurlock at Charlesbridge about what they expect of authors and illustrators when it comes to social networking. I'd asked for her comments as I prepared for a conference.
And of course there have been a few additions to the Who's Moving Where page over the last month.
Finally, Eileen Robinson and I are now taking registrations for a new session of our Kid's Book Revisions class, running from late February to late May. Full details can be found by following the link.
December 27, 2009: The Purple Crayon is under attack by a hacker of the "Cialis Canadian Pharm" species, who has succeeded in tricking search engines to show a spam page instead of the site's home page. Other pages are not affected and visitors coming to the site via links, bookmarks, or directly typing in the URL will not see this garbage. It's annoying but harmless; I'm aware of the problem, am working on it, and will post more when I get the problem completely solved. For now, just don't come to the site that way.
December 11, 2009: I've revised my "classic" article, "Getting Out of the Slush Pile," to clarify a few points and update some others. The changes aren't big, but I did read through carefully to make sure the whole piece is relevant.
December 5, 2009: I've been away from the site for some time, due to a death in the family. I'm now gradually catching up.
I've set myself up on Twitter. Please follow me there for more frequent news of Purple Crayon updates, news about my book, tidbits of publishing news, links, and opinion, and occasional news of my activities, such as conferences. I promise not to tweet about doing the dishes or picking up some milk on the way home from work.
And as part of getting back to the site, I've updated the Who's Moving Where page, and also finished the 2009 updates to my Award-Winning Children's Books section.
To support the site when you do your holiday shopping, the lists of books in that area could be useful, or take a look at this list of writer's how-tos I compiled. Otherwise, you can just start on the Purple Crayon Bookstores page, and thanks.
August 30, 2009: This has been a busy month for me, leaving me little time for the site. But I've made some updates around the site, most notably adding new editions of market guides to my Reference Books and Books about Agents pages. If you're shopping for the latest, note that some of them have yet to be released, though they can be preordered. I've also fleshed out my comments on the new edition of Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market
More to come soon.
August 3, 2009: My big news is that I wrote a detailed article on The Acquisitions Process for the 2010 edition of Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market, which is now available. Since the book is out, I've posted the article on my site, and you can reach it via the earlier link. Please note that this is not a rewrite or expansion of my earlier piece on acquisitions: this is entirely new, and I've renamed the earlier piece Acquisition Basics.
There are also several pieces of news on the Who's Moving Where page.
Also, Eileen Robinson and I are now taking registrations for the next session of the Kid's Book Revision class.
June 27, 2009: I've made a number of updates over the past couple of months, but haven't listed them here. Here they are:
- A number of new items on the Who's Moving Where page.
- I've thoroughly updated my comments on Children's Books and the Economy, and added links to the accompanying Resources page.
- I've added a list of Canadian style guides to the Canadian Children's Book Publishing page, courtesy of Bev Cooke.
- I've joined the American Bookseller's Association's new IndieBound program, and put up links to it around the site--you'll find more information on the Bookstores page.
April 19, 2009: And now the Coretta Scott King, Lifetime Achievement, Pura Belpré, and Scott O'Dell Award pages are done.
April 15, 2009: I have now updated the page with the Caldecott Medal and Honor Books.
April 9, 2009: I have started to update the pages listing children's book awards with 2009 winners, starting with the Newbery Medal.
March 31, 2009: I'm catching up after a move to a new apartment in February. Lots of updates on the Who's Moving Where page.
I also was interviewed for my thoughts on ebooks (part of a larger piece on Technology and Reading--follow the links in the interview), and my thoughts on marketing. I'll link to these from my Interviews page too.
And my class with Eileen Robinson, in which students revise a manuscript while working with us, has a new web site: Kid's Book Revisions, which provides information about our next class, starting at the end of April.
January 14, 2009: The holidays as usual were a busy time. Over the past several weeks I have been keeping the Who's Moving Where page up-to-date, but haven't had time for much else.
Now I have posted my thoughts on Working in Children's Books and the Recession of 2008-2009. It needs a little polishing but it's ready enough to be read, and I'll revise as comments come in, and events occur that need to be included.
The ALA will soon be announcing a number of awards at their Winter Conference; as usual, I will be updating my children's book awards section shortly after that, but it may take me a while. Check the main awards page to see what's been updated.
On a more mundane note, I've caught up with my reports on the income for the site for 2007 and 2008. Nothing exciting but if the site continues to bring in income I can put my time into it.
November 23, 2008: I hope that this hasn't affected any of you, but The Purple Crayon was recently "hacked." Someone inserted a small file that diverted visitors coming in from the major search engines to a bogus anti-virus site that planted a destructive program on the computers of anyone who allowed them to download and install their program. If you are a regular, this probably didn't affect you, because if you came to the site via a link or a bookmark, everything would seem fine. The "hack" operated from sometime early in the morning of the 15th until the early afternoon of the 19th. If you think you were affected, please let me know.
Otherwise, just see some updates to the Who's Moving Where page, and explore the links on this page, where I have listed articles that provide information about the state of children's publishing in 2008.
The National Book Award winners have been announced, and I've added the Young People's winner here.
As the holidays approach, you might want to use the code in the Bookcloseouts box to the right, which gets you free shipping on orders of $35 or more.
And see the updates to my Conferences page. You will see that I will be on the faculty at Chautauqua in July, which I am very excited about.
October 19, 2008: The big news is that I've written a review of Minders of Make-Believe by Leonard Marcus, a fascinating history of American children's publishing. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about our business.
I've also added some updates to the Who's Moving Where page, and tidied up my old piece Trends in Children's Books, which is now an archived look at some of what was happening in children's publishing in the 1990's.
And I've modified my Conferences page to now cover classes also; I will be teaching with Eileen Robinson in her "Mid-Winter Revision Bootcamp" from January 16 to March 14. Please visit her site, F1rst Pages, for more information.
September 25, 2008: This is more of an update than something new--I've put up my review of the latest edition of Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market. I've also updated the books listed on my Resources Listing Literary Agents and Artist's Representatives page by adding 2009 editions--some of which are not available yet, but can be pre-ordered.
September 19, 2008: Summer was busy, and it's been a while since I've made any noteworthy changes or additions to the site. Now I'm back at work. See many updates on the Who's Moving Where page.
Anne Sibley O'Brien's Getting Real takes a look at some common weaknesses in their work that illustrators need to watch for--or get others to watch for.
One reason I have not been working on the site is that I have been reading Minders of Make-Believe by Leonard Marcus. It's a wonderfully readable history of the American children's book publishing industry, with a focus on both the big changes over time and the stories of individual editors and publishing companies. I will be reviewing it, but I can say already that I recommend it.
July 16, 2008: I have posted a blog entry made up of Manuscript Submissions Questions and Answers, and updated my Who's Moving Where page. Margot Finke's "Musings" column is on hiatus for the summer.
June 28, 2008: Eileen Robinson and I will be running an August Online Class to help you get a manuscript ready for submission. Beginning at the end of July and running into September, we will give participants multiple rounds of feedback on drafts of the opening chapters of your manuscript. We will also hold online discussions. Please go to Eileen's F1rstpages site and click on "August Online Class" for more details.
June 10, 2008: I have posted Margot Finke's latest "Musings" column, on Voice, Focus, and POV, and reorganized the Musings index into subject areas to make particular topics easier to find.
May 29, 2008: I've posted a review of Anastasia Suen's Picture Writing, and updated the Who's Moving Where page.
I recently took part in a chat/interview on the Institute for Children's Literature's website: you can now see the complete transcript, in which I discuss my work, the new edition of the book, and The Purple Crayon, and then go on to answer a variety of questions.
I did a series of half-hour audio interviews recently. Here is the first interview, in which I mostly talk about the new edition of the Idiot's Guide. In the second interview, I talk about what I do as an editorial consultant, and in the third and fourth I go on to talk about the current state of the business and address some common questions. You can find links to the other three interviews on the Book Bites for Kids home page. There is some advertising, unfortunately, before the interviews start.
May 8, 2008: I've posted Margot Finke's latest "Musings," called Blog Mania – Can It Help You?. Find out what a blog can do for you, and how to get the most out of having one.
And a link--if you are curious about what kids are reading in school, have a look at this report: What Kids Are Reading, published by the company that does the Accelerated Reader program (so it has limits).
May 6, 2008: The third edition of my Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books is now available. Click through to the CI Guide home page for more information.
April 24, 2008: I've completed my most substantial addition to the site since last year's Acquisition Process piece: an expansion and reorganization of the information I have about agents and how to find them. I split off a separate resources page from the Guide to Agents I've long had on the site--the new page is Resources Listing Agents and Artist's Reps. As a supplement to Finding and Choosing Literary Agents, I've created three Case Studies: Firebrand Literary; Writers House; and An Agency to Avoid. My hope is that these will help visitors to learn how to tell a good agency's website from a shady agency's website (Note: I have had a case study of the Firebrand site up for some time, but this case study replaces that and has a different focus)
So, in six pages, I have what I think is a very compact and useful guide to the world of children's book agents and artist's reps.
April 9, 2008: There are some recent updates on the Who's Moving Where page. I have also posted Margot Finke's latest column, in which she answers an important question: Writing Conferences--Are They Worth the Time and Money?
I have also finished work on a new book review, of Gail Carson Levine's Writing Magic. Though aimed at children learning to write fiction, it may interest some adults as well.
March 19, 2008: Coming soon! The third edition of my Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books will be available the first week of May. It's already available on Amazon for pre-order, so I thought I'd better get some information up about it. Accordingly, the page with information about my book has links to:
- An updated FAQ
- Reviews and endorsements
- Chapter 3, a basic introduction to the world of children's literature
- Chapter 17, "I Need an Agent!"
- And more by the publication date
Last week I went up to Bank Street College for the annual Children's Book Committee awards, and I have written up a blog entry about it.
March 9, 2008: I've added Margot Finke's latest column, Fighting to Write, on making time for writing, and using it.
I've also finished updating the Children's Book Awards section with 2008 winners.
February 18, 2008: I've updated the Who's Moving Where page recently.
I've also added a blog entry, Notes on a Visit to BookExpo America--several months after the fact, but perhaps timely if you're considering attending the next BEA.
Margot Finke's latest Musings column is called Picture Book Secrets and includes a number of useful tips on writing picture books.
If you are considering self-publishing, or know someone who is, then Bev Cooke's If You Are Considering Self-Publishing may be a useful reality check.
Finally, because I am going to several conferences in the coming year, I've created a page with my conference schedule. You'll find a permanent link to it on the home page in the "Back Matter" section.
January 15, 2008: I haven't updated this page in some time, but I did post Margot Finke's What Do Editors Really Want? in December.
More recently, I updated the Who's Moving Where page with several items.
I was in Philadelphia for the 2008 ALA Midwinter Conference, although I headed for home before yesterday's announcements of the Newbery, Caldecott, and other award-winners. I've already updated the Newbery and Caldecott pages on my site, and will update the pages for the other awards I follow soon.
November 16, 2007: I've updated the Children's Book Awards section of the site with the Scott O'Dell and National Book Award winners, and also posted news of Egmont USA, a new children's subsidiary of Egmont, a large European publisher.
November 11, 2007: I have posted Margot Finke's latest column, in which she looks at the character-driven versus plot-driven approaches to writing novels, and concludes that one might as well combine them.
I've also put up some comments on the recent Jessica Seinfeld cookbook uproar--in which it was alleged that she had stolen the idea and perhaps some of the recipes for her book from someone else's--as an entry in my blog, after someone asked me for my take on the situation. Not children's books, but a publishing issue, so I found it interesting.
And I've updated the report I post on the site's earnings for the third quarter. Take a look to see how The Purple Crayon is doing, and don't forget to make use of the Bookstores page to help support the site.
October 23, 2007: I had to spend some time on the author review files for the next edition of my book, but that had a beneficial side-effect--I produced some new pieces connected to the book. They supplement material in it, but also stand alone. One is An Interview with Joi Nobisso: Self-Publisher or Small Press?, which looks at the experiences of Joi with Gingerbread House, the company she originally started to bring three of her books back into print. Then there is another interview, with Lucas Miller, called Smart Self-Publishing: Tie It to What You Already Do, in which he talks about his experiences with self-publishing a book he can promote through his school performances as a musician and songwriter. I also updated the books and other resources listed in the Resource Guide from my book. And I posted a list of Writing Guides, which I compiled while working on a new chapter.
Meanwhile, I've also posted a new column by Margot Finke, on Writing a Middle-Grade Masterpiece, and added several items to the Who's Moving Where page.
September 11, 2007: I've written a review of the 2008 edition of Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market, which includes a look at just how many entries are revised in a given year (based on a sample, not an analysis of the entire book!). Some snippets from reviews of previous years now appear in Past Editions of CWIM, so you can see when a new feature appeared or a particular article was published.
I've also posted Margot Finke's latest Musings, on the always hot topic To Use an Agent or Not to Use an Agent. Margot offers strong opinions, sage advice, and links to useful resources.
There's news from Holiday House on the Who's Moving Where page.
And the review of CWIM made me realize that I hadn't updated the listings of agent and general market guides that appear in my article on agents, so I've done that too--2008 editions are now available for many guides, or can be pre-ordered.
August 29, 2007: I'll be doing a workshop at a conference in Kansas City at the end of October. The link will take you to more information and registration info.
As it turns out, everyone is not at the beach, so please see the Who's Moving Where page for news about Rising Moon and HarperFestival.
I've also posted a piece on Manuscript Format Basics, which simply covers the basics for setting up a manuscript for submission. I've made sure to cover common questions I receive: if you think I've left out something both important and basic, please let me know. This page will evolve over time.
August 27, 2007: Well, I'm finished with the revisions to my Idiot's Guide, at least until I have to review the edited files. But that shouldn't be quite as demanding as what I've been doing for the past couple of months--writing two new chapters, revising several chapters substantially, adding new sections, and tweaking and updating throughout. There will be some new pages on the site that came out my revising, but not right away.
For now, I've just posted Margot Finke's latest Musings, on Professional Critiques a useful guide to finding the right critiquer and what to expect from them.
I hope I'll be catching up with my backlog in coming weeks, so do check back.
July 29, 2007: I've been working on a revision of my Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books and haven't had time for the site, but I've finally been able to do some updating. There are several new items on the Who's Moving Where page, including news of a big industry merger. Margot Finke's latest Musings are on the dangers of drawing on personal experiences for fiction.
I've also posted an updated report on the finances of the site, covering the 2nd quarter of 2007.
June 7, 2007: Margot Finke has compiled some tips on writing picture books in her latest Musings column, Picture Book Perfect.
I've come across a new (to me, anyway) blog by writer Cynthea Liu, with a lot of useful articles. One in particular, on writing a synopsis, caught my eye, as I didn't have any information on the site about this. She's allowed me to post a copy. Check it out, and be sure to follow the link to see her site.
I've made some additions to The Acquisition Process, in response to suggestions I got from readers. Be sure to check it out if you haven't yet, and take a look at the sample acquisition proposal I created.
May 29, 2007: I'm very proud to have completed what I feel is a substantial new resource: my article on The Acquisition Process. This subject isn't talked about much, and yet is central to publishing. I've tried to provide a general guide to the process, which of course varies considerably from publisher to publisher. Please let me know if anything needs to be added or explained further.
Cynthia Leitich Smith has published an interview with me on her blog, Cynsations. Even if you're a regular here, I hope you'll pick up some new information.
And please be sure to see the Who's Moving Where page for the latest news.
May 6, 2007: Margot Finke's latest Musings is up, with tips for nipping procrastination in the bud. I meant to have it up at the beginning of the month, but, well, things just kept coming up....
I've also posted a report on The Purple Crayon's finances for the first quarter of 2007, which are much the same as last year. Please remember to use the links on the Bookstores page for your online shopping, particularly the ones to Bookcloseouts.com (like the one above)--good bargains for summer reading, a classroom library, or a reading group, and they pay good commissions to The Purple Crayon.
And finally, a note to visitors from the UK and Europe generally. The Purple Crayon is now associated with Amazon UK. For now, there's only a link on the Bookstores page, and links on some of my book reviews. If people use them, I'll put more up.
May 1, 2007: My big project over the last few weeks has been redesigning the pages that list the various subcategories of articles. They now have a more useful and complete set of links on the side, and a space I can use for advertising; check out any of the pages linked to from the Articles page to see an example.
I've also written a couple of pieces for my blog, one on the question of whether cover letters are necessary, the other with some observations I made during the recent SCBW-I Portfolio Review day in New York.
And as always, there are updates on the Who's Moving Where page.
April 7, 2007: Margot Finke's latest Musings column is a useful introduction to school visits, School Visits Can Be Fun and Profitable.
March 15, 2007: I've been doing work on the site over the past few weeks, and thought I'd better stop and make note of what's new and updated.
You may have already noticed the revised Purple Crayon home page, featuring less purple. I hope it's easier to read and tidier looking. I plan to redesign other parts of the site in the coming months.
I'm also moving into a new approach with the Purple Crayon Blog. When a topic needs a longer treatment, I will be writing up a full-length article on it, rather than making it one of a few items in a blog entry. The first subject to get this treatment is Editors' Names on Manuscript Submissions. I may also continue to do some of the standard blog entries, but we'll see what develops.
Margot Finke wrote a two-part article on Query Letters as her March "Musings" column. Be sure to read both parts--the second part has the complete text of three successful query letters.
I've also finished updating all the pages in the Children's Book Awards section with 2007 winners. Still looking for interesting articles and related resources to link to, so if you know of any, please let me know.
And of course, there are a few updates on the Who's Moving Where page.
February 7, 2007: I have started updating the pages in what has now become a Children's Book Awards section. So far, I've done the Caldecott page, the Newbery page, the Coretta Scott King page, and the Lifetime Achievement Awards page. I am adding resources such as interviews with award winners, or commentary about the awards, as well as listing the winners.
Margot Finke's latest "Musings" discusses Ten Common Problems she sees in people's manuscripts when she does critiques.
I have also posted a report on The Purple Crayon's income for 2006. I'm pleased to report that it's become essentially a part-time job for me, and that has made me feel more comfortable with spending time working on the site. See the report for plans for the coming year.
January 22, 2007: The announcement of the Newbery, Caldecott, and other awards today has spurred me to finish a long-lasting project--dividing up the Children's Book Awards page, which had become very large, and making separate pages for different awards. Start on the main awards page and you'll be able to click through to the other pages and see what I've done. I've started putting up the newly announced awards and will make other improvements. But the framework is there.
There's also some news on the Who's Moving Where page, notably the departure of Elizabeth Law from Simon and Schuster.
January 7, 2007: Happy New Year! A busy time of the year for me, but I'm making sure that I keep up with the site. I've added Margot Finke's January "Musings": Rejection Letters: Can You Change Them Into Acceptances?.
And there is a new Purple Crayon Blog entry, with three Q&A's that started as simple questions and got more interesting in a follow-up, plus a link to a substantial article about trends by the CCBC.
Also, I want to let people know that I will not be posting the Caldecott, Newbery and other ALA awards winners on my Children's Book Awards page on the day they are announced at the upcoming ALA convention, as I have in previous years. I'm too busy, and there are more options for finding out about the awards for those who want to, in any case. I plan to reorganize that page to create separate pages for the different awards but I'm not sure when I'll get to that....
December 4, 2006: There are some December updates on the Who's Moving Where page.
I've also posted Margot Finke's latest "Musings" column, on Networking (if you are wondering what happened to November's, I asked Margot to put the column on pause, as my family and I were busy moving).
November 17, 2006: I went to an interesting panel discussion about "What's Hot and What's Not" in children's books, and I've written up my notes for the November Purple Crayon blog, which also includes links to some favorite blogs and my answers to questions about what to do when both a publisher and an agent are interested, what the difference is between an outline and a synopsis, and what plagiarism is.
November 13, 2006: My family and I are moving, so I haven't had much time for the site. Things should settle down again in a few weeks. For now, I made time to update the Who's Moving Where page.
October 11, 2006: The National Book Award nominees were announced today and I added the nominees in "young people's literature" to the October blog entry I had been working on. Quite a varied list. There is also a lengthy piece about nonfiction and a shorter one about finding publishers who are interested in new authors.
October 6, 2006: I've posted Margot Finke's latest, Enthusiastic Hobbyist or Dedicated Writer: Which One Are You? Read it and decide which profile you come closest to fitting.
I've also posted the September installment of the Purple Crayon Blog. Yes, it's October, but I started working on it in September! It includes my notes from the Children's Book Council's Annual Meeting, thoughts on getting started as a translator in children's books, and other items.
September 24, 2006: I've updated the Who's Moving Where page.
September 7, 2006: I've been working on a new section of the site, on self-publishing. This is a departure for The Purple Crayon, but I thought it was necessary because I have been getting more and more questions about self-publishing. The articles I've posted are not exactly how-to articles, though, since I haven't self-published. There are three new articles: Self-Publish or Not? which points out the danger of rushing into self-publishing; What a Publisher Does, which lists what a publisher does, and a self-publisher would have to do; and Between Traditional Publishers and Vanity Presses, which explores the kinds of publishing and service companies that someone who wanted to self-publish would run into. I also created a Self-Publishing index page, which lists those articles and other relevant ones already on the site.
What's up so far covers the basic information I'm most often asked about. I'll add other material as it becomes clear what else is needed. Comments welcome, as this is a first step.
Elsewhere on the site, Margot Finke's latest Musings, on Good Writing Manners, is also up.
August 27, 2006: Well, it's been a busy month, and I didn't get as much done as I had hoped. But I have written a review of the newly revised edition of The Giblin Guide to Writing Children's Books, and a review of the 2007 edition of Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market, complete with purple highlights so you can see what's new. I also updated the listings of market guides on my Agents Primer sidebar.
And there is some news about the Children's Book Council on the Who's Moving Where page.
August 3, 2007: I'm catching up on my Blog, with what I hope will be the first of a few August entries covering such diverse topics as copyright and the Bible, purchasing and selling your remaindered book, and breaking the rules when writing picture book manuscripts.
Margot Finke's latest Musings column is about Protecting Your Computer and Your Manuscript. A very useful piece for anyone writing on a Windows computer.
And I've posted the site's earnings in a 2006-to-date report. As you'll see it's been a good year and the site is stable and self-supporting. I'd like to spend more time on it. We'll see how that goes this year. Please remember to use the links to bookstores you'll find on the Bookstores page, and elsewhere on the site, and you'll automatically be supporting the site.
July 27, 2006: There is new news on the Who's Moving Where page.
I've added a blog entry for July, with questions and answers about collecting folktales, an author approaching an illustrator, finding an agent, and researching publishers.
The Purple Crayon has a favicon! What's that? Well, just look where the address for this page appears in your browser, or at the bookmark or favorite that you made for The Purple Crayon. In most browsers you'll see a little purple crayon image. Yes, it's eye candy, but all the big sites have one (Yahoo has a flowing red Y, Google a business-like blue G), and it may help you spot The Purple Crayon a bit easier in a big list of bookmarks....
See the home page for information about Bookcloseouts coupons that expire at the end of July.
Other than that, I've been doing a little site cleanup, making some changes and additions to pages like the Picture Book Manuscripts and Illustrations article.
June 30, 2006: I thought I was done for a little while, but there are some new bits of news on the Who's Moving Where page.
Margot Finke's latest Musings, on polishing your manuscripts, is Polish Your Chapters: Small Things Can Make the Difference Between Acceptance and Rejection.
And the 2007 edition of Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market can now be ordered at Amazon. It will be out in late July/early August. I will do a preview as soon as possible, and a review once it is out. In the meantime, if you know you want to order it, or just want more information, use that link to go to the book's page at Amazon. Any orders you make will help The Purple Crayon, of course.
June 28, 2006: I've been far too busy with a big project for a publisher recently, but I am pleased to have finished it and been able to get back to work on the site. I have completed a piece on Picture Book Manuscripts and Illustrations, which addresses a number of the questions I get in this area. I write about parts of this elsewhere, but this new piece is really meant to cover all the major issues. If you think I've left something out, of course, please let me know!
I have also added a new blog entry for June, which includes Aaron Shepard's response to an earlier entry on selling foreign rights, a brief comment on what an editorial assistant is, some thoughts on how to get started in children's book illustration with a fine arts background, and five quick Q&As.
June 9, 2006: Margot Finke's latest "Musings" column is now up! Her June column gives useful tips for picture book writers: How to Make Editors Eager to Read Your Picture Book.
May 16, 2006: There are a few updates on the Who's Moving Where page.
May 1, 2006: Charles Ghigna looks at some of the formats used in poetry for children in his Poetry for Children: Choosing the Format.
Margot Finke provides some useful tips to help you find the right words in Words! Words! Words! - How to Find Those That Jump off the Page, her May Musings.
And I've done some work on my Recommended Resources list, which comes from my Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books. The different sections now get their own pages, and I've also added, revised, or deleted a few listings here and there.
April 10 2006: Some new items on the Who's Moving Where page, including a couple of significant departures from two large children's publishers, and an informative article on electronic rights by Kohel Haver.
April 3, 2006: Margot Finke tackles writing description in "Descriptive Passages to Die For," her April 2006 Musings.
March 31, 2006: It's actually very early on April 1st, but I finished the work in March, so my latest blog entry is the March entry. It covers questions about book club editions, synopses, and revising/resubmitting/reselling, and has some interesting links.
I have also completed the site's annual report for 2005. Good income from the site enabled me to spend more time on it (so far in 2006 that has continued). See the report for details.
March 9, 2006: Margot Finke's latest column, her March 2006 Musing, is Query and Cover Letters: How to Get 'Em Right.
I've added considerably to what I have to say about agents: I revised Agents for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (the first major revision to this article since I wrote it several years ago) and added a new piece on Finding and Choosing an Agent. And to illustrate my point that one can learn a lot just from an agent's website, I've done a Case Study of Firebrand Literary Agency.
February 20, 2006: There are several new bits of news on the Who's Moving Where page.
February 7, 2006: My latest blog installment includes an interesting item on the efforts of an author/illustrator to handle foreign rights themselves, a discussion about the cost of hardcover books, and a couple of questions about agents.
Margot Finke's latest Musings answers the question Are You a Writer Looking for Inspiration? with some suggestions for possible sources of inspiration.
January 23, 2006: As of 10:30 AM, I have started posting the awards just announced by the ALA at their Midwinter Convention. So far, Newbery and Caldecott are up, and I'm updating the rest as fast as I can. Please check back.
As of 1 PM, I'm finished with the updates, though I've realized I need to split that page up into pages for individual awards. It's getting too long. I'll try to get to that soon, though I've got a lot of other things to work on too.
January 17, 2006: Some major news on my Who's Moving Where page -- Jean Feiwel is going to start a children's book diviison at Holtzbrinck. See that page for more details.
January 6, 2006: Margot Finke's latest "Musings" column is on Self-editing Your Middle Grade Novel.
Several bits of news on the Who's Moving Where page.
December 12, 2005: Well, I thought I was done until January, but I had to post some major news from the Cricket Magazine Group on my Who's Moving Where page.
December 5, 2005: I have a new installment of my blog up: December Blog.
Margot Finke muses about how to write a rhyming picture book successfully in her December column, How to Write a Picture Book with Fabulous R & M.
That's it until January.
November 22, 2005: Two quick updates and a quick addition:
- Big news from Scholastic on the Who's Moving Where page.
- News from Brent Hartinger on a personal experience with book banning. See the update on his No Free Rewrites article, and link to an opinion piece he wrote.
- It's holiday shopping time. As I always ask at this time of year, please start your shopping from my Bookstores page.
November 17, 2005: It's taken me a while, but I've finally got a review of the 2006 edition of Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market up. Before I just had a preview of the contents.
I've also put up reviews of both Uri Shulevitz's Writing with Pictures (a classic) and Martin Salisbury's recent Illustrating Children's Books. The books complement each other, so be sure to read both reviews.
The National Book Awards have been announced. The children's book winner is a debut novel published by Knopf.
November 2, 2005: Margot Finke's latest Musings column is a recipe: How to Cook up a Great Picture Book. The resulting dish is both tasty and nutritious if done well! I've also added a new installment to my blog.
October 27, 2005: I've added two more articles to the illustration section: The End of the Line: Why Repped Relationships Fail, and Portfolio Portent, both by Chris Tugeau. The first explores reasons why an artist ends a relationship with an agent, and vice versa; writers may find this of interest as well. The second looks at the content of a portfolio, which in children's book should showcase an illustrator's visual story-telling ability.
I am continuing to work on the organization of the site following the big recent reorganization, mainly to make it easier for people to find there way to the index pages from the individual articles. Your comments, of course, are welcome.
October 17, 2005: A new installment of the Purple Crayon Blog is up, featuring my comments on submitting illustrations with a manuscript, a definition of historical fiction, some interesting links, and more.
A long-lost Crockett Johson book is being published in its original form: see my Crockett Johnson page for information about Magic Beach.
And for those of you interested in such things, I've posted the third quarter results for the site. Please remember The Purple Crayon's Bookstores pages when you shop online.
October 9, 2005: I've put together a new article about Writing and Publishing Board Books, which is essentially a compilation about some basic questions I've answered recently on the subject.
More important, I have finally completed my long-hoped-for site reorganization! You will see the difference on the home page, the Articles page, and the Site Index. For too long, there have been so many things listed on those last two pages, in particular, that it was difficult to find anything unless it happened to be at the top. Now that there are several new sub-sections of the Articles page, things should be much easier to find. Please note that no page name was changed, so if you have bookmarks or links to specific pages, they will still work. I've just slipped an additional layer into the site's organization.
Of course, I'm sure that there are things I might have missed, so please let me know if you can't find a favorite page, or if you think I should list something on a different page.
October 6, 2005: Late-breaking news from Scholastic on the Who's Moving Where page.
October 5, 2005: Margot Finke's latest "Musings" is on self-editing, and how to enlist some special features of MS Word when you self-edit.
I've started to catch up on my Blog backlog--I wasn't able to do any work on it over the summer. There's a new installment for October up, and I hope to have some more this month. You may notice that I've also added links to certain items that I think are of wider interest, and in some cases I've even added links to a blog entry from the Articles pages.
Finally, if you have any problems with links/bookmarks/favorites to specific pages on the site, please know that I've made some file name changes, for technical reasons not worth going into. These don't affect the contents of the pages, and they only affect a small number of pages. If your link or bookmark isn't working, please just navigate to the page again, and bookmark it again.
September 8, 2005: I'm still catching up from a busy summer, and have a list of things still to do on the site, but I have at least been able to update the Who's Moving Where page for the first time in a couple of months.
I've also caught up on Margot Finke's "Musings." In August she put together an article that lists web sites, writing classes, and email groups that children's writer's will find useful, and I was too busy to put it up. Now Where to Go When You are Desperate for Information or Help is up. Her September column explores how to hook an editor with your writing--also very useful, but more of a how-to.
August 11, 2005: I'm back from the SCBW-I national conference in Los Angeles, which was a good experience, and I've posted my notes for a panel discussion called How's the Weather? The Current Climate for Children's Books. This page works well as an update to my article on Trends in the Business.
July 20, 2005: I got advance word of the 2006 edition of Children's and Writer's Illustrator's Market, and have posted a preview, mostly consisting of the table of contents. Review to come as soon as I've seen the book itself.
I'm pleased to be republishing a column on legal matters, with the first one to appear on the site addressing the privacy and other issues involved when Writing About Family Members.
July 7, 2005: Several bits of news on the Who's Moving Where page. I've also posted a substantial interview that Juanita Havill conducted with author James Deem, covering his writing and his web sites. And Margot Finke's latest column addresses the technique of using writing "time outs" when polishing a picture book.
June 13, 2005: Margot Finke's latest column is How to Keep Your Passion and Survive as a Writer.
May 25, 2005: Some news on the Who's Moving Where page.
And some news about me--that I will be on the faculty at this year's SCBW-I National conference in LA in August. Visit the SCBW-I website for details.
May 9, 2005: The latest installment of my blog covers a variety of topics: re-submitting a manuscript, citing sources, Lane Smith's $600,000 book, non-profit and grant-supported publishers, responding to personal rejections, and picture book length.
May 3, 2005: I've posted Margot Finke's May "Musings," The Secret to Becoming a Published Writer. There is more than one secret, of course, and Margot solicited statements from several published writers to demonstrate that.
I've also posted a report on funding the site for the first quarter of 2005. I'm pleased to say that the site is self-sustaining, as my expenses and time are covered. You can read more about what I'm trying to do and how you can help on the Bookstores page.
April 20, 2002: Lots of news on the Who's Moving Where page, and an April installment of my blog, including a brief book review and five interesting questions (with answers).
April 5, 2005: I'm excited to be publishing a fascinating case study of a story's evolution from family story to a published book, in Amy Timberlake's three-part essay, Help! The Writing Process of The Dirty Cowboy. She received a Golden Kite Award for the book, and the essay was developed from her acceptance speech. She sent me a copy of the speech because I was one of the people involved in the process she went through to write and revise the story, and when I read it, I knew I wanted to post it on The Purple Crayon.
Margot Finke's latest "Musings" column is a personal and inspiring piece, Late Blooming Writers Can Succeed!
March 29, 2005: Barbara Cohen's Getting the Word Out: Marketing Children's Books is a useful guide to the basics in an area I hadn't covered before on The Purple Crayon, and I'm very glad to have it.
I've also put up another new installment of my blog, which gets it pretty much caught up. And I've added one piece of significant news from HM on the Who's Moving Where page.
March 20, 2005: I've added a new installment to my blog, posted a short article on Keeping Books in Print (which originated as an answer to an email question), and have updated the Resource Guide from my Idiot's Guide and the Who's Moving Where page.
March 10, 2005: I've been slow getting it set up, but Margot Finke's latest column is done: Layering Powerful Voice to Create Memorable Characters. Margot explains the need for characters to have a powerful voice, and gives some tips for how to create one.
March 3, 2005: My Who's Moving Where page now has updated comments on the Penguin layoffs. I've also posted the March installment of the Purple Crayon blog. And I've started working on some updates and additions to my Basics page and to my FAQ file. More to come soon.
February 26, 2005: New updates to the Who's Moving Where page, including some startling news from Penguin. And I've posted my Funding Report for 2004.
February 3, 2005: At last a book is available that updates and supplements Uri Shulevitz's Writing with Pictures. Martin Salisbury's Illustrating Children's Books has its flaws, but it's a useful book.
Margot Finke concludes her series on mentoring and critique groups for children's writers with her February "Musings," Starting a Critique Group. I have also updated the Who's Moving Where page.
January 17, 2005: Various ALA awards, starting with the Newbery and Caldecott Medals, were announced today, and so I am at work updating the Award-Winning Books page.
January 12, 2005: I've added more material to the Purple Crayon blog, and given it an index page, to which that link will take you.
January 5, 2005: More news on the Who's Moving Where page. Margot Finke's January Musings column is up, about Critique Groups for Children's Writers.
December 21, 2004: I've put some new links and questions and answers on the Purple Crayon Blog. If you are haven't seen the first installment, be sure to follow the links to it on the top and bottom of the current blog page.
There are some interesting bits of news on the Who's Moving Where page.
December 7, 2004: The newest addition to my site is a blog. Yes, I know, I'm late to jump on this trend, but this is a blog that works for me. It's a blog that reproduces with minimal editing some of the questions I get and the answers I give. Good information, but often it's too time-consuming to be integrated into the site in just the right way, and so my answers would benefit only one person. Now I put them in the blog, along with interesting links I want to tell people about, but again don't have time to put in just the right place on a links page.
This is likely to be my last update this year. Next year, I am seriously considering reorganizing the site to make things easier to find. Any suggestions or requests for specific information would be appreciated. Just let me know via the Contact Page.
December 1, 2004: Margot Finke's December "Musings" column is now online: Children's Writers: Who Mentors Them Today? This is the first part of a three-part series, to be continued in January and February.
I also discovered after the fact that BookCloseouts, the bookseller that specializes in remainders and other heavily discounted books that I link to around the site, had completely reorganized their site. It's a big improvement but the old links no longer worked, dumping you on the BookCloseouts home page when you expected to go to a specific section. They are all fixed now. You'll find links to BookCloseouts on the home page, the Bookstores page, and other places around the site.
November 18, 2004: The National Book Awards have just been announced. So I've updated the Award-Winning Children's Books page to include the winners, notably Judy Blume for her contribution to American culture. Go directly to the National Book Awards listing.
As the holidays approach, please don't forget to start your online shopping from the Purple Crayon Bookstores page and help to keep this site running and growing.
November 8, 2004: Margot Finke's November "Musings" is up: Writing Great Characters and Dialogue.
Information about Kindling Words for 2005 is now available at the new Kindling Words web site.
October 26, 2004: There are several updates on the Who's Moving Where page. I have also recently revised my Primer on Agents and added an update to Bev Cooke's piece on Canadian children's publishing. And for those of you interested in how the site is doing financially, I've put up information on the third quarter.
As the holiday season approaches, please remember to use the Bookstores page for your shopping!
October 4, 2004: I have posted Margot Finke's October Musings column, called Writing Books for Children: The Details Count. As are many of her columns, this is a pithy look at a key component of writing. I also posted three columns from her "archives," still as useful as they were when first written: Tight Writing (June 2003); The Attribution Game: Writing Better Dialogue (February 2004); and Rhyming Picture Books: For Those Who Must (April 2004).
September 28, 2004: I have now completed my review of the 2005 edition of the Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market. This is an essential guide for writers and illustrators of children's books. If you don't have a copy, I urge you to go out and get one.
September 8, 2004: People are getting back to work after Labor Day so there is new news on the Who's Moving Where page
August 26, 2004: The 2005 edition of the Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market is already available, about two months earlier than last year. I have not received a review copy yet but have been able to get some advance information about it, and so have posted a preview.
Margot Finke's September Musings is already up, since I'll be away at the beginning of September: Writing Picture Books: The Basics. I have also put up two columns from her archives: So You Want to Write a Picture Book? (May 2002--this covers some of the same ground as the new September column, but they are not identical); and Query Letters for Children's Books Fiction (April 2003).
August 13, 2004: I have done a detailed review of the 15th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style.
August 4, 2004: Margot Finke's latest Musings is now available: Conferences and Retreats -- Your Way to Connect!
July 27, 2004: I have added several items to the Who's Moving Where page. I have also updated the search engine info. on my Reference page--be sure to check out vivisimo.com, an interesting Google alternative.
I've put up the first Musings column from Margot Finke's archives: Are You Fishing For an Editor? Bait Your Hook with the First Page (July 2001). More to come in the months ahead, and a new column will be up soon for August.
I've added a report on funding for the 2nd quarter of 2004. Please remember to use the Bookstores page when you shop--or when you are ordering books for back to school, for that matter.
July 8, 2004: At last! I have finished reformatting four chapters from the second edition of my Complete Idiot's Guide for the web. Just follow that link and you'll find all of them listed on the CIG home page.
July 1, 2004: I'm very pleased to be able to welcome Margot Finke to the site. Her column on writing, called "Musings," will appear monthly, and I will also be posting selected articles from the column's archives. This first month's column is called fittingly enough, New Beginnings.
As usual, there is news on the Who's Moving Where page.
I recently did a two-hour online chat at the Institute for Children's Literature. The transcript of the chat features my comments on children's publishing today, news of what I am up to, some discussion of the new edition of the CIG to Publishing Children's Books, and my answers to a variety of questions.
May 27, 2004: I've started to catch up on the the Who's Moving Where page, so please check there for several bits of news.
May 10, 2004: I am back from Bologna, and have started to catch up. I wish I had the time to write up a report on the Fair. For anyone who cares about children's books, just being there is exciting--on one level, the Fair is a bazaar of children's books from all over the world, and strolling through it is fascinating.
I've posted a very useful article by Donna Freedman on interviewing techniques, Tips for a Successful Interview. Interviewing is essential for nonfiction writers, but can be very useful for fiction writers as well.
There's a report on how funding the site is progressing so far this year.
More to come soon--I know that I need to update the Who's Moving Where page, but haven't had time. For now, I'll mention good news in the Millbrook bankruptcy: Holtzbrinck has offered to buy Roaring Brook Press. They already own Farrar, Straus, and Giroux and Henry Holt, and are widely respected for the way they manage these companies.
April 2, 2004: I published Grace Lin's first book, The Ugly Vegetables, at Charlesbridge. I love her work and regard her as a friend. Her husband, Robert, has been fighting cancer and Grace has decided to do something about it: she is calling on children's book illustrators to help to fund cancer research. Find out more about this unique project at Robert's Snow.
An article about book packaging by Jenna Glatzer is up (reprinted from the Absolute Write web site).
I've been fiddling with the look of the site again. At the urging of Aaron Shepard, I've dropped the bookstore ad box on the home page and instead made the Complete Idiot's Guide and Articles sections on the page more prominent.
A minor update: I've added links in the magazine section of the Idiot's Guide Resource Guide that allow you to subscribe to the magazines...
Last, some news about me: I'll be traveling to Bologna for the Children's Book Fair from the 12th to the 18th. I'll be dropping in on the SCBWI's pre-fair conference and then working Charlesbridge's booth in the GLI hall (to pay my way). If you are there, please stop by. If you aren't, please understand I won't be doing any work on the site for a few weeks.
March 25, 2004: More news on the Who's Moving Where page, some of it fairly surprising (at least to me.)
Also, please note that the coupon codes posted below will expire on April 1.
March 10, 2004: I've added some news to the Who's Moving Where page, and added a report on Funding in 2003.
March 1, 2004: I've finished updating the Publishing Terms Glossary from my Idiot's Guide, to reflect the new terms in the second edition in the book. There are now about 150 entries. I've added a FAQ about the second edition and revised the Idiot's Guide home page.
There are also new pages and revisions in the Editorial Services section of the site, but that's not big news.
February 11, 2004: I've added a brief guide to Canadian children's book publishing by Bev. Cooke, and have updated the Who's Moving Where page.
The second edition of my Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books is now available! See more information on the book's home page, where I will be posting more information and materials from the book in the coming months.
January 28, 2004: I've finished updating the Award-winning Children's Books page, at least for now. I added the Scott O'Dell Award winners for the last three years and the Pura Belpre winners and honor books for this year. And I have once again updated the Who's Moving Where page.
More material related to my Idiot's Guide is coming soon.
January 12, 2004: I've been working hard to get the latest ALA awards up on the Award-winning Children's Books page, so that I wouldn't still be putting them up months late, as happened with the 2003 awards. I've now got the Caldecott, Newbery, Coretta Scott King, Sibert, Printz, Batchelder, and Margaret Edwards award-winners up, with any honor books. Don't know what happened to the Pura Belpre Award this year, but I will find out. Have a look and get your orders in quick, before the books are out of stock.
And I've also updated the Who's Moving Where page.
January 6, 2004: Publication date of the Idiot's Guide second edition is February 3, and I've now finished revising the online version of the book's Resource Guide (books, web sites, magazines, organizations, etc.) to reflect what is now in the book. It's considerably revised, updated, and expanded from what I had before, and should be a very useful list.
December 23, 2003: The new edition of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books will be available soon, so I have posted some information about it, and links to buy it. As soon as I can, I will update the sample materials from the book to reflect what's in the new edition. I'm quite proud of the new edition. It now has information for illustrators and I've been able to revise and expand it, making a good book even better....
December 16, 2003: I've posted a review of The Essential Guide to Children's Books and Their Creators, one of the books I read while revising my Idiot's Guide. I also rewrote my comments on Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market for 2004, now that I have received my copy and read it, thus turning some advance information about the book into a real review. I plan to post more reviews like these in the coming year--I'll focus on books I find really useful, not necessarily the most recently published.
November 25, 2003: New article! Marnie Brooks wrote Writing Young Adult and Children's Science Fiction & Fantasy: Make the Impossible Possible for Children's Writer. Though it was published in 2002, the information is very up-to-date and I am pleased to be making it available on the Web.
I've added the National Book Awards winner to my Award-Winning Books page, and I've also caught up on some awards from earlier in the year. All award winners for 2003 are now listed, though I don't have all the honor books yet.
October 9, 2003: I have some advance information about the 2004 edition of Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market, which I've put into a detailed advance review. This will be the first in what I hope will be a series of reviews of books I've read while working on the Complete Idiot's Guide.
October 1, 2003: Quite a lot of publishing news, which you'll find on the Who's Moving Where page. Also, I've done some updates to my Primer on Agents. I also finally put up my report on funding for 2002. Emails of 2003 quarters will follow soon.
I was contacted by a Newsweek columnist who was doing a piece on the new Madonna book. Read the article to see what I told him.
August 10, 2003: A couple of minor bits: some sad news from Dutton, reported on the Who's Moving Where page.
And here's a funny cartoon about children's publishing (in the UK) by a cartoonist for a national newspaper who also writes and illustrates children's books.
August 6, 2003: I've finished most of the work on the revision of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Chidren's Books, meaning that I can start to spend some more time on the site again.
For right now, I have caught up on updates to the Who's Moving Where page, including news of some new imprints and others closing.
Off my site, here are a couple of interesting articles. PW did a piece on name imprints--imprints with the name of the editors who run them. And here's a great interview with J.K. Rowling.
June 9, 2003: There are a couple of updates to the Who's Moving Where page.
May 17, 2003: I recently took part in an online chat sponsored by the Institute of Children's Literature. They have posted a transcript of the chat. It's a little chaotic, but it does give an update on my doings and includes my answers to many common writing questions. This is the only link I'll put to it on the site, since it may not stay online permanently.
I have added a lively article--I almost called it an opinion piece--by Brent Hartinger, called Should I Do Free Rewrites? In it, he uses his personal experience as the basis for a discussion about the sticky question of when it's a good idea to do a revision without a contract, and when it's not.
There's some news from Charlesbridge on the Who's Moving Where page.
And I've finally done some updates to the Award-Winning Books page, including more of this year's winners, the Caldecott and Newbery Honor books for this year, and corrected links to some of the award information pages. I've also included the National Book Award.
May 7, 2003: My big news is that I am working on the a revision of The Complete Idiot's Guide. The new edition will include information for illustrators--the current edition is targeted at writers, but has general information of interest to both groups. I'm pleased to be doing this, but it does mean that I don't have much time for the site at present. In the longer term, though, this is good news, because I'll be posting some more materials from the book on the site. As part of the work on the new edition, I've already updated the Corrections page for the book.
If you are a writer, and have specific suggestions or corrections, I'd like to hear them. Please include a page number from the current edition if possible. If you are an illustrator, let me know what you want to see. I've already planned out the new chapters but can make changes. You can reach me via the Contact page.
I will do my best to keep up with the site, and hope to finish some pages I've been working on--but I don't know if that will be possible.
April 24, 2003: Finally, new news on the Who's Moving Where page. Other updates and new pages will I hope come soon, but I've had a busy time of it recently.
January 28, 2003: I'm starting to update the Awards page, beginning with the recently announced winners of the Caldecott and Newbery awards.
I've also done some catching up on the Who's Moving Where page. More new material and updates, plus news of how my efforts to fund the site are going, should come soon.
December 4: New article! "The Editor as Reader," by Louise Jordan, is actually an interview with me that looks into the ways the books an editor reads affect his or her tastes and interests. I've also done a new quarterly report on funding the site, and tweaked the home page a bit more.
Please don't forget to use the Bookstores page to shop!
November 14: More updates to the Who's Moving Where page. I've also added Office Depot and Drugstore.com to the Bookstores page. I know, they aren't bookstores. But everyone needs paper and pencils and shampoo and aspirin, so perhaps these stores will earn the site some commissions. Please remember to use that page for your holiday shopping (or your work shopping, for that matter).
November 6: You may have already seen it, but if not, please take a look--the new home page! It should get people to what they want faster, and it more accurately reflects what is in the site now, rather than what was in it three or four years ago. It's a work in progress so please let me know that you think.
I've also added a couple of updates to the Who's Moving Where page.
October 13: Though I haven't bothered to say so here, I've been slowly weeding out dead links on the Links pages (Publishing, Children's books, Reference, and Pictures) and adding new. This will, I hope, continue over the next several weeks. I've also added a couple of new books to the Recommended Books list from my Idiot's Guide.
Funding for the site improved last quarter, though I haven't added up all the numbers yet. We earned over $400 in commissions, which gets closer to paying my costs and a reasonable salary for all the work I do--with the proviso that I didn't so as much work on the site as I wanted to.
As the holiday season approaches, please don't forget to use my Bookstores page for your shopping for your family, friends, and yourself. The 2003 edition of the Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market is about to release--that's one book I strongly recommend for writers and illustrators (in fact you'll see my endorsement on the cover.) Buy it through The Purple Crayon and the commission will help this site.
Over the next couple of months, I'll work on the links, continue to keep the Who's Moving Where page current, try to do a badly needed home page redesign, and hope to add some new material, so please check back.
Email announcements: Many of you receive occasional announcements about this site from me, using a service provided by Yahoo!Groups. If you don't, but would like to, or have been purged from their lists recently (they constantly remove addresses that don't work), you can find out how to get these emails on my Contact page.
August 26: I'm excited to present an interview with Norton Juster, author of The Phantom Tollbooth, in which he discusses that book, writing, translations and adaptations, letters from children, and other topics; and a new store on my Bookstores page, offering used CDs and DVDs (please use the links on that page when shopping online, to help support The Purple Crayon).
August 1: The first addition to the site in some time! Please see Marilyn Singer's new No More Piranhas!: Editors' Thoughts on Conferences for humorous guidance on how not to approach an editor. You'll also find a few more changes on the Who's Moving Where page.
As you may know, I've been trying to make the site self-funding, so that I can afford to do more work on it. I'm happy to say that we seem to be making some progress, as you can read in this 2nd Quarter Report. I still need your help, so please remember to use the Bookstores page. You'll fund the site while saving money....
July 3: I've been busy with other things, but did get to add a good bit of news to the Who's Moving Where page.
I've also added some information about what's happening with ipicturebooks and me.
Funding for the site still is not where it needs to be, so I've not been able to afford to spend more time on new and revised pages. I will post information about last quarter soon, but basically, income was about the same as the first quarter.
May 2: There are more updates to the Who's Moving Where page. I've also added some information on manuscript posting services and on assessing unknown publishers to my FAQ file.
I've written a progress report on my efforts to make the site self-funding. We are doing better, but still have a ways to go. I've reorganized my Bookstores page and made some technical changes around the site in hopes of getting some further improvement. But if you haven't visited the Bookstores pages recently, please do! When more people bookmark and use that page, The Purple Crayon will be on sounder footing.
April 10: I've reported some changes at publishers on the Who's Moving Where page. Be sure to check these new entries for a link to a great Publishers Weekly article that summarizes last year's events at children's publishing companies.
March 22: I've added yet another chapter from my book, Chapter 19: Oh Boy! A Contract!, which explains what a contract does, defines common terms, and discusses how to negotiate a contract.
March 9: I've added another chapter from my book, Chapter 14: Who Draws the Pictures?, which addresses the common belief that authors are responsible for illustrations, explains an author's actual role, and delves briefly into photo research.
March 3: As usual there is news on the Who's Moving Where page. I've also recently updated and reorganized my FAQ file and added some stores to the site's "fund-raising page." Most significantly, I have put up Chapter Four from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books, on motives for writing and how, in my experience, they affect what is produced. In the coming weeks, I'll put up other chapters, chosen to not duplicate material already on the site, and to stand on their own.
The award-winner page I put up at the end of January did not do as well as I had hoped as a fund-raiser for the site. Few people bought books directly from it, though it may have indirectly increased sales. Whether it was worth the work is not clear. We are doing better, averaging $100 per month since the beginning of the year. This covers expenses and some basic updates, but until we get up over $200 monthly I won't be able to afford to take the time to do real work on a regular basis. I'm hoping things pick up, and will report in more detail at the end of March.
January 21: As promised I have put together a page that lists the winners of the Caldecott, Newbery, Coretta Scott King, and other awards for 2002. These awards are some of the most prestigious, and getting to know the winners is a good way to get to know what's considered the best work in our field. The list is set up with links for purchase, for your convenience and in the hopes of also raising funds for this site by commissions, and includes links to more information about the awards and to searches of Amazon for previous winners.
January 2002: I have added some new items to the Who's Moving Where page, added an interview with Jane Yolen by RoseEtta Stone, in which Jane mostly discusses how she came to write Briar Rose and the reaction to it, and added an interview with me, taken from the new Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market, in which I mostly talk about ebooks and the CIG to Publishing Children's Books.
Some of you have asked how my effort to make The Purple Crayon self-supporting is going, and you've also given me some suggestions. I've put up a report on last quarter, in which the site received $181.75 in commissions. I've thought carefully about the suggestions, but as one of you commented, people coming to an informational site don't come to make purchases. And it's simply hard to remember to use my Amazon page as a starting point when shopping.
Still, I'm going to keep trying. I'll put up a page with news of the Caldecott, Newbery, and other awards, due to be announced on Monday, to see if that's a way to earn money for the site. And I remind all of you, please bookmark my Amazon page, and tell your friends about it. If you need to buy books online, it's the place to start, since it has links to Amazon, Alibris, Powells, a remainders outlet, and even a place to buy college textbooks.
It's been a while since I could spend time on the site, due to the arrival of our daughter! She's wonderful and my wife and I are very happy though sleep-deprived. So the updates I've been planning haven't happened, except for news on the "Who's Moving Where" page.
My efforts to raise funds for the site through commissions are not doing well, and in fact have declined to about $10 a week. I'm not sure why. If you have any suggestions for ways in which I could improve the Amazon Associate page I would love to hear them. At this rate, with my free time very limited, I may not be able to work on the site much next year--I won't be able to justify unpaid work instead of paid freelance work.
The 2002 edition of Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market is out and includes an interview with me. I hope to post the interview on my site. (Later: I did post the interview on my site. For the latest edition of CWIM, see my Recommended Books list.)
I've heard some news of cutbacks at two companies and posted it on the "Who's Moving Where" page.
Some of you have asked how my efforts to create income to support the site are going: I think it's a little too early to tell. So far, we are pulling in $25/week, which is not enough. From what I can tell, people still aren't using the Amazon Associate page as a starting point for shopping; most of this income has come from people buying books listed on the Complete Idiot's Guide Resource page. I've added some other stores to make that Amazon page more useful. We'll see.
Coming soon, a long-delayed update to my "Trends in the Business" piece.
As we begin to get back to normal in New York, so far as that is possible, I have returned to work on this web site. I won't recount our experiences, as they are not particularly interesting, and you've probably had enough personal accounts.
Not much to tell you about now, but there are several changes to the the Who's Moving Where page, as editors continue to move from house to house. And there are some revisions to my Resources list, originally a part of my book, but now considerably expanded. I think it's a useful guide to books about children's literature, as well as to how-to books and reference books. I will continue to tinker with it and will appreciate suggestions.
This has been a difficult time. Children's publishers, located almost entirely well uptown of the disaster, have not been directly affected. The sole exception to that I know of is Abbeville Kids, which did have offices near the World Trade Center. They were closed for a time, and though they should be open again soon, the effects on their program aren't yet clear. Now, as an industry, we will find ways to respond. I am thankful that I do not work in a field in which I feel that what I do has been made trivial. No--what we do, in bringing books to children, is as important as ever.
Two lines from "America the Beautiful," out of all the events and speeches and memorials, stick in my mind:
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears.
Yes, we are still here, and we aren't going anywhere.
Three days after September 11: Yes, I am okay. My wife, Ann, is okay. Neither one of us was even in Manhattan when it happened. But we know people who have lost friends and family: I think there must be few New Yorkers who do not. As we work to recover, to mourn, and eventually to rebuild (but not exact duplicates, as Ed Koch suggests--let's do better) I hope that we can find it in us to seek to do more than merely punish those who funded and supported the perpetrators. I hope that we can also seek to eliminate the conditions that could breed such depths of hatred. That won't be easy. But if we don't, something like this could happen again.
I've added two new interviews, Reading, Writing, and Radio: A Discussion with Irwin Gonshak, Creator and Producer of "Anything Goes!" by RoseEtta Stone [no longer on the site], and Good Books Need Good Marketers: A Conversation with Publicity/Promotions Manager Donna Spurlock by Anna Olswanger. Both provide insight into the publicity side of publishing.
I've updated the information about Kindling Words, the conference with which I am involved. We will hold an informal retreat this year at the end of January.
My old URL has now been closed down! Any attempts to access The Purple Crayon at an interport or rcn address will fail: only www.underdown.org now works. Please spread the word.
I've been tidying up around the site, and my most substantial piece of work is the revision and expansion of the Resources Guide for my CIG to Publishing Children's Books. As it appeared in the book, this was a fairly short list of books and web sites. I've reorganized it, and there are now more books, including both ones left out of the version in the book and others I've discovered new.
So far, my experiment of working with the Amazon Associates program has been a qualifed success--I made almost $60 in commissions in August, which almost covers my costs, but most of that was from sales of my book. I hope more people will use the site as their gateway to Amazon to help support it. I figure I need to make at least $200 per month to cover my time as well as my expenses.
August 2001: New materials! I've added RoseEtta Stone's interesting interview with a book doctor, and am pleased to have three articles from Aaron Shepard's excellent web site: Dangerous Myths and Terrible Truths, Info for Author Days, and Researching the Folktale. I've also added some news on the Who's Moving Where page.
Perhaps more significantly, since I hope this will help me continue to maintain the site, I have also joined the Amazon Associates Program. Read more about this on this page. This is not a first step in making the site commercial! I will link to Amazon unobtrusively, with no graphics or logos. This initiative can be easily ignored, if you like.
URL alert: I changed Internet providers a year ago, but have been dismayed to learn that the old site is still online, and still linked to! This may be part of the reason for the rumor that The Purple Crayon is not being maintained--you can still go to www.users.interport.net/~hdu or www.users.rcn.com/~hdu and find material called The Purple Crayon. But this is a "ghost site," not updated since June 2000. Please spread the word! Anyone who has bookmarks or links to either of those addresses and not to www.underdown.org is missing out on a year's worth of additions and updates. I will try again to get my old provider to take those pages down, but in the meantime, be warned. Even search engines like Google still have links to the old address....
July 2001: Not much new to report, but I am in the middle of shifting my work on this site from one computer to another, and once I'm done, updates should be easier for me. I did update my Who's Moving Where page. I also added a page about a book I edited, The Forest in the Clouds, which came out last year and has received some strong reviews.
Rumor control: Please note that there is no truth to the rumor that The Purple Crayon has been closed down, bought up, or anything. That is what happened to Inkspot. I intend never to sell this site. It will remain my personal project, meaning that it will not always be as up to date as I would like, but always independent.
I'm pleased to announce an addition to the collection of interviews with book people, a discussion with Bookseller, Book Reviewer, Novelist, and Poet Corey Mesler, contributed by RoseEttaStone. I've also done some work around the site, removing some dead links and adding some new ones on my links pages, and I've updated the "The Who's Moving Where" page.
Travel news: I will be at the American Library Association convention in San Francisco. I will be manning the ipicturebooks booth (#417--visitors welcome) and on the Thursday before the conference I will be taking part in a preconference panel discussion on electronic publishing and children's books. I don't have all the details but it will be held at the Zeum at the Moscone Center and begins at 7 pm. If you arrive early for the conference, check your program and come listen. It should be interesting.
Later in March: I've added a page with additions and corrections to the CIG. This will grow, but I've started it off with two illustrations that didn't make it into the book, showing the difference between thumbnails and sketches. I've also added a recent interview with me.
Earlier in March, I announce that The CIG to Publishing Children's Books is a book. Please imagine the fanfare, because I am not adding sound files to the site. I'm pretty happy with it. It's not all I wanted it to be, but I think it's the most comprehensive guide available. Buy it from Powell's, if you must buy it online, and make a contribution to The Purple Crayon while doing so, by following that link. Please spread the word! My thanks to all the contributors.
More important, at least so far as this site is concerned, I've got new materials for the site: five articles by Chris Tugeau, artist's representative. You'll find them scattered around on the Articles page, but here is a list of them: An Agent's Advice on Selling Your Work, The Artist/Agent Team, What's In a Deadline?, Hidden Messages: The Strategic Use of Visual Elements, and The Specs on Specs.
February 2001: I am finished with writing The CIG to Publishing Children's Books! And I think it turned out OK, but I'm not in a position to judge. But that's a big relief. It will be appearing in bookstores very soon. Now that I am done with it I should be able to get back to maintaining my site. To start with, I've put up some materials from the book itself, including the Table of Contents, Glossary, and Resources. I've also added a great story I was told while working on the book, "How I Got My Drawing Table."
In another area of the site, I've added a new interview by Anna Olswanger, "'Our Readers Are Intelligent and Savvy': An Interview with Girl's Life Editor Kelly White."
December 2000: My big news is that after three good years at Charlesbridge, I am now starting as the editorial head of ipicturebooks, a company publishing picture books in electronic form.This ends my New York to Boston commuting, and gets me involved with a new format for books--not one that will replace books but that may become as important as trade paperbacks. Please note that although the WWW site for ipicturebooks includes information on submissions, we won't really be set up to receive them for some time. Stay tuned. I've updated my Who's Moving Where page, but haven't done anything else on the site.
I am still working on the CIG to Publishing Childrens' Books, and am pleased to say that the first draft is done, that we are revising, and that the book should be out by March.
And I am pleased to say that a few people have made purchases through my links to Powell's Books. The $12.65 I've made so far in commissions doesn't go that far toward covering the cost of this site, I must admit, but I thank you.
September 2000: I have now put up an information page about the book I am writing, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books. I have also added a page with my site's policies, and have started an arrangement with Powell's Books.
June 2000: I have started work on my big project--a guide to getting a children's book published. I will post an outline on the site soon. As I went through my files, getting stuff organized, I took a little time to update the "Trends in the Business" page.
April 2000: I've finally updated my page of Interesting Author or Illustrator WWW Sites, and I've added Anna Olswanger's interview with literary agent Ann Tobias to her section. As usual, there are updates to the "Who's Moving Where" page, including two recent buyouts. I've also added a few new links in my links pages.
My big news is that these are the last changes I expect to be making for some time. I have just agreed to do a significant project, which will be taking up all my free time for the next several months. I will post more information about this project when the details are more clear! But I will even be putting most of my email on an auto-response set-up. If you want to know when the site is active again, please join my email announcement service, if you don't belong already. I will use it to get out any news.
March 2000: I've finished adding some articles from Laura Belgrave's "Slush Pile," including Derailed by Details and Dazzling Dialogue, and I've added Anna Olswanger's interview with picture book illustrator Kevin O'Malley to her section. As usual, there are updates to the "Who's Moving Where" page.
January 2000: I've added a new search feature to the site. Please try it out--I think it will be useful.
I've been getting rid of dead links on the links pages--if I've cut a favorite link, and you know where that site is now located, please let me know! I've added a page about a wonderful book I edited for Charlesbridge, The Ugly Vegetables. And I've added Patty Pfitsch's useful article on Nonfiction for the Very Young. It's part of a new section I've created on my "Articles" page, Focus on Specific Genres. As always, there are updates and corrections elsewhere, so feel free to visit for a while.
November 1999: The Kindling Words January 2000 conference is fast approaching. I've also added "All Those Pages: The Pagination Problem," in which Laura Belgrave explains why careful pagination of a manuscript is a waste of time.
September 1999: Big changes in the industry! See my Who's Moving Where page.
And I have at last put up some new materials. Donna Freedman examines the children's magazine market in Writing for Children's Magazines, and at a particular slice of it in Writing Mysteries for Children's Magazines.
I'm also excited to be starting to post materials from Laura Belgrave's "The Slush Pile." She took this useful site offline a few months ago and has kindly allowed me to post some of her articles and other materials. The first one I've set up is A Glossary of Publishing Terms.
May 1999: No Elephants in the Second Act, an interview with playwright Joanna Kraus by Anna Olswanger, is now online. I've also added new links and done some pruning of my pages of Children's Books, Publishing, Reference, and Picture links.
April 1999: "The Object Is that Bloody Book," an interview with illustrator/designer/booksmith Barry Moser by Anna Olswanger is now available. I've also posted a piece on "Multiple Submissions" by Donna Freedman. And I've updated my "Who's Moving Where" page and made some corrections and updates to "Trends in the Business."
February 1999: I've made some changes to the page I now call "Interesting Personal WWW Sites of Authors and Illustrators," and I've added an explanation of my criteria. Major revisions and updates to "Trends in the Business"! At last... I've also updated the "Who's Moving Where" page after a flurry of changes, and added a new capability to the site--an email announcement service, to which you can subscribe to get news of The Purple Crayon. I'll post messages to this service when I make changes to the site, probably no more often than once or twice a month. \
January 1999: The Purple Crayon has been seen by more than 100,000 visitors in the past three years. Thanks!
Some minor corrections and updates around the site. You'll find the most changes on my Children's and Pictures pages.
December 1998: New stuff arrives! I've added an article I wrote about the ALA Convention from a publisher's POV, put up an advice piece by Editor Wendy McClure about such things as telephone sales pitches and why they don't work, and published the first article on the Purple Crayon about a specific genre, Joan Broerman's Targeting the Emergent Reader. I've updated my "Who's Moving Where" list.
October 1998: Published authors, illustrators, and publishing professionals will be interested in the updated information on the upcoming Kindling Words conference, complete with virtual brochure and registration form.
September 1998: There are now two new articles by Anna Olswanger on the site: A Conversation with Agent Andrea Brown, and A Conversation with Publicist John Kremer. I've also been developing a site for the National Children's Books and Literacy Assocation.
Early June 1998: I've been busy but expect to have some new articles up soon. I've just updated the Who's Moving Where page, as a result of some recent news, including significant changes at Golden Books and Morrow and some sad news from another direction.
Late March 1998: Spring Cleaning at the Purple Crayon! In my most extensive update in a long time, I've tidied up the whole site, eliminating the frames on the four main links pages (they worked fine but didn't do anything), adding more intrasite links to make moving around easier, and creating a new section on my Articles page, Virtual Articles. What are they? Click through and find out! There is also a new interview by Anna Olswanger, Writing as an Act of Discovery: A Conversation with Juanita Havill. I've also added sites on various links pages, particularly my list of Top Author/Illustrator Sites.
January/February 1998: On the last day of February, a new essay based on a speech I recently gave at the Houston SCBW-I conference: "Dealing with a Downsized Market: Top Ten List of Things to Do." I continue to find it difficult to do all the maintenance and new material that I would like to, but I have recently made some minor corrections and additions, updated the "Who's Moving Where" page, and I thoroughly revised my article on "Trends in the Business."
November 1997: First of all, thanks for all of you who voted for "The Purple Crayon" as the best children's/YA site. I've won a People's Choice "Golden Notebook". It's nice to get an award with a Doris Lessing flavor. This has motivated me to do some long overdue revising, and you will find changes on most of my links pages (Reference, Publishing, Children's Books, and Pictures) and in some of my articles. This is likely to be my last thorough overhaul for a while, since I am still busy.
August 1997: My big news is that I will be working at Charlesbridge Publishing as Senior Editor starting in September. Please do not email me questions here about Charlesbridge. I will not respond to them. Please visit the Charlesbridge WWW site and send an email or make a note of their mailing address and submission procedures. During the transition I am very busy, but have added a Conversation with Frank Sloan by Anna Olswanger.
June and May 1997: Now up: a whole new section on the Articles page, "Talking to the Practitioners," built around an archive of interviews that Anna Olswanger is making available; we'll be adding more over the summer. The latest one is an interview with Arthur A. Levine. I've also added a page about An Extraordinary Life, a book project I acquired before I left Macmillan and which has only just come out. There are various other minor updates and corrections.
April 1997: I've added a version of a speech that I've given at recent conferences that gives an inside look at children's book publishing. A few weeks ago I did some updates to my list of Who's Moving Where, revisions to the FAQ file, and some updates to Trends in the Business. The Purple Crayon has received about 25,000 visitors in a little over a year, and is now averaging over 100 a day.
March 1997: It's been a while since I have been able to do much beyond minimal maintenance, what with various editorial projects and a writer's conference in California, on top of a trip to the midwinter American Library Association conference, where I met the folks who run the The Internet Public Library, an excellent resource in danger of withering away for lack of funds. Visit them and help them out! But I have now done a thorough update of my links pages, and you'll find many new links on the Publishing, Reference, and Pictures pages.
In January, I added new materials to my site. I'm very pleased to be hosting Jacqueline K. Ogburn's article on cover and query letters, Rites of Submission, on my site. I've also done a complete revision of my Getting Out of the Slush Pile article, added to my FAQ file, and added an explanation of why a hardcover picture book costs $16.
I've also re-formatted an interview that I did with Debbie Ridpath Ohi, the editor of the Inkspot site, for her newsletter. Recently, frames made their appearance on my site, as I realized that they could actually do something for the site, and not just look complicated and impressive, as they usually do. You'll find them on my links pages, and only there, so that if you leave the site pursuing a link you will still have my purple crayon floating at the bottom of your browser window, making it very easy to return. Try them out!
- a simple alphabetical site index, in case you are worried you missed something
- top sites -- the best personal WWW sites from authors and illustrators. Let me know what you think of my choices.
The Who's Moving Where? page I created several weeks ago is proving very popular. Please help out! With your help I will continue to track those confusing moves by editors from one publisher to another.
August : I found time to rate all my pages according to SafeSurf guidelines, so that browsers with the relevant filters can access my site. At the same time, I made some changes to the filenames of my pages, so you may need to update your bookmarks and links. August also saw the 10,000th visitor to the site this year, which I find exciting, especially since my counter tends to undercount. Recently, I revised and expanded my article Trends in the Business and added an explanation of the different types of publishing.
July 1996: Just in time for the summer ALA convention, I updated my New York on the Net for Writers guide. Be sure to see something new on my Articles page; more than an article, it's a hyperlinked How-Do-I-Get-It-Published Quiz. Though intended for beginners, others will enjoy the humor.
March-May 1996: I did a thorough overhaul of the site. This includes new graphics! If you haven't noticed it already, have a look at the purple crayon button bar on the bottom of this and other pages. The latest major addition in the links pages is a selective collection of resources for parents, teachers, and children on my Reference page. As a result, Netscape has its version 2.0, and so does "Books for Children and More". Other changes:Reorganized all my pages of annotated links;
Added new purple crayon graphics and buttons to make the site easier to navigate;
Added new material to the Articles page, including the first piece by someone other than me, a bibliography by Theresa Brandon.
Added new links on my Library sub-page
Updated material all around the site, and especially on the Pictures page.
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