Reaching Readers: Part 1 Getting Books to Kids (industry and author perspectives)
Great books need great readers; great readers need great books. But how to get the two together? This panel of authors and professional publicists and book promoters talk about strategies they use to get books into the hands of gatekeepers (teachers, librarians, reviewers, booksellers, and family), and strategies that the gatekeepers can use to make the process of discovering the right books for their kids more effective.
Anika Denise is the author of several picture books, including Lights, Camera Carmen!, Starring Carmen!, Monster Trucks, Baking Day at Grandma’s, Bella and Stella Come Home, and Pigs Love Potatoes. In 2019, to coincide with Women’s History Month, HarperCollins will publish her forthcoming book, Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré illustrated by Paola Escobar. Other new titles coming in 2019 include Bunny in the Middle illustrated by Christopher Denise, and The Love Letter illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins. Anika lives in Rhode Island with her family.
Anika can be found at www.anikadenise.com and Instagram and Twitter @AnikaDenise.
Deborah Kovacs is co-founder of Walden Pond Press, the joint middle-grade imprint of HarperCollins and Walden Media. Authors published by Walden Pond Press include: Anna Meriano (Love Sugar Magic series), Anne Ursu (Breadcrumbs, The Real Boy and the forthcoming The Lost Girl); Laura Ruby (York series); Laurel Snyder (Orphan Island and the forthcoming My Jasper June), Elana K. Arnold (A Boy Called Bat series) and many others. Deborah mentors developing authors in conjunction with Hamline University’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, with Simmons University’s MFA in Writing for Children and at the Highlights Foundation. Deborah is the author of numerous children’s books, both fiction and nonfiction.
Barbara Fisch is a co-principal of Blue Slip Media with Sarah Shealy. Together they were the associate directors of publicity for Harcourt Children’s Books for many years before starting their own children’s book publicity and marketing firm. Barbara and Sarah currently work on projects for Disney, Candlewick, Two Lions/Amazon, and other publishers, as well as for individual authors including Kathi Appelt, Kate Hosford, Stacy McAnulty, and Jeanne Walker Harvey. They work exclusively with children’s books and have over twenty years of experience marketing to reviewers, teachers, librarians, parents, kids, and booksellers.
He will do one Speed Critique for a picture book manuscript.
Josh Funk writes silly stories and somehow tricks people into publishing them as books – such as the Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast series (including The Case of the Stinky Stench and the upcoming Mission Defrostable), How to Code a Sandcastle (and the upcoming sequel How to Code a Rollercoaster), It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk, Dear Dragon, Albie Newton, Pirasaurs!, and the forthcoming Lost in the Library: A Story of Patience and Fortitude (in conjunction with the New York Public Library), It’s Not Hansel and Gretel, and more coming soon! Josh is a board member of The Writers’ Loft in Sherborn, MA and was the co-coordinator of the 2016 and 2017 New England Regional SCBWI Conferences. Josh grew up in New England and studied Computer Science in school. Today, he still lives in New England and when not writing Java code or Python scripts, he drinks Java coffee and writes manuscripts.
Lee Wind is the founding blogger and publisher of I’m Here. I’m Queer. What The Hell Do I Read?, an award-winning website about books, culture, and empowerment for Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, Questioning, and Queer youth, and their Allies. For over 11 years, readers from 100-plus countries have racked up 2.5 million page views—and counting! In his “Clark Kent” jobs, Lee is the director of marketing and programming at the Independent Book Publishers Association and the official blogger for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. His Superhero job is writing, inspired by our world’s amazing—and untold—LGBTQ history. Lee lives in Los Angeles with his husband and their teenage daughter. Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill is his debut novel. Visit him online at www.leewind.org.
Join us March 22-23 for KidLitCon 2019!