Friday, July 13, 2012

Book Awards

Authors, fellow small publishers and self-publishers, please, (I'm begging here) be vigilant and do your research on everything from publishing and editing to something as menial as entering a book awards contest. You, the author, are prey! I too as a publisher am preyed upon. I’m not saying be paranoid but just be careful because there are many who think they are experts when they are not. Unfortunately by the time you figure this out, it's too late. You have already paid them for their service. 

When I first researched book awards programs I thought the idea of entry fees was ridiculous. That was until I had a no-duh moment and realized that these organizations have overhead too. On top of that, the ones I was looking at were paying their winners. Painfully, I must confess that I made a rookie error and wastefully entered a lot of children’s book awards programs. Okay, let me cut to the chase and say that based on my experience
I recommend the following awards programs to authors, fellow publishers and even self-publishers:

• Benjamin Franklin Awards – there is a fee but it pays a nice award and provides judges feedback. A link to the critique forms for our Catching Santa book may be read here: The feedback was well received. The judges made great observations regarding our hardcover illustration resulting in a new cover design and illustration for the the softcover edition.

• Next Generation Indie Book Awards – a class act. Requires a fee but pays a nice award and your book is reviewed by agents. We won Children’s their 2011 Children's Fiction overall category. A link to the certificate for our Catching Santa book may be read here:

Enter these if applicable. None charge fees.
• Alex Awards
• Caldecott Medal
• Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals
• Coretta Scott King Award
• Costa Book Award
• Golden Kite Awards – Society Of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
• Giverney Awards
• Governor General's Literary Awards
• Hans Christian Anderson Medals
• Horn Book Awards
• International Reading Association Children's Book Awards
• The James Madison Book Award
• Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal
• Margaret A. Edwards Award
• Mark Twain Award
• Michael L. Printz Award
• Newbery Medal
• Pura Belpre Award
• Sydney Taylor Awards
• Young Reader's Choice Award

I ignore the rest. Oh, and don’t go crazy entering in multiple categories. One category is enough. If you have a winner it will win. Good luck!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Keep An Eye Your Books

Who needs a laugh? How about a laugh at our embarrassing expense? Just the other day I logged into Apple's iTunes to review our copy for Catching Santa. It's a good idea to keep a titles copy fresh. Something that resonated last year may not resonate a year later. After reading the copy I noticed that iTunes was suggesting other titles by Marc Franco. I found this odd because our Marc Franco has one title. I confirmed this with a quick call then grabbed my mouse and scrolled down to see more books by Marc. 
Never in a million years did I expect to see the shiny bronze topless torso of a man sporting a hardhat and blue jeans. A few more clicks of the mouse and my fears were confirmed. Our children's Christmas book and author had been linked to two Gay Erotica titles by an author named Marc Franco. And to think that these books were being suggested to Children’s book patrons. What a gaffe on Apples part. See the screen shots below if you are curious to see the books. I immediately contacted Apple. Surprisingly, they resolved the database error within 24 hours-- removing all references to the other Marc Franco. As embarrassing as this was we still had a good laugh.