Thursday, May 10, 2007

My Nine-Year Old Daughter, the Author



That’s right. Talk about living with the competition!

Guardian Angel Publishing (http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/), a company specializing in children’s picture ebooks and paperbacks, has started an imprint of books written and illustrated by children under twelve years of age. These books will be given the same amount of attention as those written by their adult counterparts, distributed to schools and libraries by Follett, Inc (the largest distributor of children’s ebooks to schools and libraries), and sold through all the major online retailers as well as on order at any brick and mortar bookstore. The low expense of electronic and print-on-demand publishing has made this innovation possible.

Of course my daughter is thrilled… how can she not be? Already all her classmates have asked for her autograph and her school librarian bought a copy of her book. There’s no question a thing like this can do wonders for a child’s confidence and self esteem, not to mention the way it also encourages and nurtures a child’s artistic talents. She’s already planning a sequel and I can’t blame her. To learn more about her book, visit: http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/angelinbubble.htm.

How did you find out about this publisher? How did your daughter write and illustrate a book? Does it take long? … You may ask yourself.

Actually, I didn’t even know there were publishers who were doing this, and I stumbled upon this company while searching a publisher for myself. As to how did my daughter write and illustrate the book, it happened last summer… yes, on those long, hot, and often boring summer days when you have nothing to do and wish school would start soon. We turned the kitchen into an atelier--papers, paints, pencils, crayons everywhere. I wanted to teach her the whole process of how a picture book is made. She worked and I supervised. Sometimes I helped, too. When she faltered, I kept encouraging her.
After 5 days (we worked about 3-4 hours a day) we had what is called a dummy!

When, a few months later, I stumbled upon Guardian Angel Publishing, I knew I had to give it a try. Lynda Burch, the publisher, answered the same day. She said she loved the book and would like to encourage my daughter’s talent. The rest is history. My daughter is the first author under this imprint but there are books by other young authors in line as well.

Is this to remain an oddity or will it become a trend? I have devoted and plan to still devote time promoting her book, but would a mom who is not an author know how to do this? What about book reviewing? So far I have not been too successful gathering reviews because some reviewers, while they congratulate my daughter on her achievement, aren’t sure how to critique a child’s work. As a reviewer, I fully understand, so I’m concentrating on gathering endorsements instead.

Guardian Angel Publishing is offering contests sponsored in elementary schools and will select winners for publication. If your child has written and illustrated a book and you would be interested in seeing it published, you may find more information and submission guidelines at: http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/angeltoangel.htm.

In the end, I think this is something schools should definitely get involved with in order to encourage students to read and write. There must be thousands of talented little authors out there who aren’t even aware of their talents and whose creativity needs unleashing and nurturing. Even if you don’t submit to a publisher (though I have to tell you, there’s nothing quite like holding your child’s published book in your hands!) this is a fun and educational activity to do with your child during those long summer holidays.
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