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1. Travis Jonker and Colby Sharp Launch The Yarn Podcast Series

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2. KidLit Author Events & Happy Book Birthday

Happy September! This is the month that always makes me want to buy boots and sweaters, even though in my part of Texas neither of those things is really necessary more than one or two weeks out of the year, and then not until January. Being the first of the month, I’ve added a slew of September book babies to the slider on my conference pages. Check it out to get a peek at all the delicious new reads!

Happy book Birthday!

Happy book Birthday!

Happy Book Birthday

this week to

Linda Joy Singelton’s Cinderella-inspired YA, NEVER BEEN TEXTED,

to Dax Varley’s YA horror novel, BLEED,

and to Josh Funk’s LADY PANCAKE & SIR FRENCH TOAST, illustrated by Brendan Kearney.

 

NEVER BEEN TEXTED by Linda Joy SingletonNEVER BEEN TEXTED: When Ashlee’s stepdad completely forgets her birthday she takes matters into her own hands to get the one thing she really wants: her own cell phone. But text messages start rolling in from a broken-hearted boy, and though Ashlee knows not all stories end happily, she’s determined to make hers the best it can be. Balancing a bit of magic, the love of a pet dog, the support of a well-meaning and meddling friend, and the dream of a sweet romance, Ashlee must decide whether or not to pursue a boy who’s been recently entangled with her high school’s most vicious girl.

BLEED by Dax VarleyBLEED: Life is a nightmare for Miranda Murphy. Without knowing when or why, blood oozes from her palms—an anomaly that makes her feel like a freak. But her abnormality is now the least of her worries. She’s just enrolled at “Suicide High.” Three deaths in three months—one occurring just days before her arrival. When she bumps into a cute boy named Jake, things don’t appear so glum. Especially since Jake’s a psychic who can predict the immediate future. But his gift of sight can’t prepare her for the horrors that await. Through Jake, Miranda meets three other extraordinary students: Topher, who can heal by touch; Sam, who eats the sins of the dead; and Xyan, who speaks and understands all languages. It’s then that Miranda learns the secret behind why she bleeds. When it becomes evident that supernatural forces are at play, the five determined friends team up. Now it’s up to them to destroy the evil infecting their school. Head over to Dax’s website to read an excerpt!

LADY PANCAKE & SIR FRENCH TOAST: A thoroughly delicious picture book about the funniest “food fight!” ever! Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast have a beautiful friendship—until they discover that there’s ONLY ONE DROP of maple syrup left. Off they go, racing past the Orange Juice Fountain, skiing through Sauerkraut Peak, and reeling down the linguini. But who will enjoy the sweet taste of victory? And could working together be better than tearing each other apart? The action-packed rhyme makes for an adrenaline-filled breakfast . . . even without a drop of coffee!

Now for this week’s Greater Houston Area events:

WritespaceSEPTEMBER 5, SATURDAY, 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Writespace
Writers’ Workshop with K.J. Russell
COST: $30 Members, $45 Non-members

Dialogue: Let Your Characters’ Words Bring Your Story to Life! Tell your exposition to take a break and let your characters do some of the talking for you! There’s no better tool to give your fiction and nonfiction a unique new voice and grounded perspective than well-crafted dialogue. Cut back on static narration and character description by letting the characters demonstrate themselves and the world around them. In this workshop, K.J. Russell will discuss the many uses of dialogue, what craft problems dialogue can solve, and how to execute it with a confidence that will lend your story the kind of life that readers are looking for.

SEPTEMBER 8, MONDAY, 7:00-9:00 PMSCBWI
SCBWI Houston
Tracy Gee Community Center, 3599 Westcenter Drive
Cost: FREE

A panel of local SCBWI members will discuss the topics covered in the recent annual SCBWI International Conference in Los Angeles.

 

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3. Painting Draft Horses

Sketches of the draft horses at the county fair. Gouache, watercolor, and fountain pen, 5 x 8 inches.

These horses didn't pose, even though they always had handlers, because they were getting ready for their events. That's why I kept the sketches small and started several of them in different poses.

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4. Weekly Wabi-Sabi Sketches for the Month of August

A collection of my weekly sketches for the month of August.

via Studio Bowes Art Blog at http://ift.tt/1igDPD2

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5. Kamil Szybalski Talks Shelfie Rebrand

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6. Review of Tender Morsels

tender-morselsstar2Margo Lanagan Tender Morsels
435 pp. Knopf 10/08 isbn 978-0-375-84811-7 $16.99 g
Library edition isbn 978-0-375-94811-4 $19.99
(High School)

Raped repeatedly by her father and, after his death, brutally gang-raped by village youths, fifteen-year-old Liga determines to kill herself and her baby. Instead of dying, the two enter a parallel world; a place without aggression, fear, or pain. There Liga raises her two daughters, Branza and Urdda. As the girls grow, strangers visit Liga’s heaven—a “stumpety” little man intent on magical riches; two bear-men who have wandered in from Liga’s former village’s seasonal fertility festival. They pique young Urdda’s curiosity, and she finds her way back to the real world. Her discovery ruptures Liga’s safe but stagnant heaven forever but results in a fuller life for all three women. Lanagan’s poetic style and her masterful employment of mythic imagery give this story of transformation and healing extraordinary depth and beauty. The characters’ earthy folk dialect tethers Lanagan’s fantasy firmly to very real physical and psychic experience even as the lyrical narrative voice (“Morning came, sweet as new milk spilling up the sky, all dew and birdsong and bee-buzz”) intensifies its fairy-tale atmosphere. At the same time, Lanagan offers up difficult truths—and complicated, human characters—that are as sobering as they are triumphant.

From the September/October 2008 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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7. I Really MUST Be Psychic

Just got this:


"Unfortunately you haven't made it for this round of Shake, but please keep up your sick, sick work and apply for the next one! (We will add you to our applications mailing list and send you a reminder when the next one pops around!)

We hope you'll still pop in for a hang and to check out some fellow illustrators work!

Stay Rad!
Robyn & Max K
Team Shake"

Exactly what I said would happenUK Small Press or comics -feck the lot.  FIVE YEARS of trying conventions and events and every single time the same thing.

I will no longer feature news of UK Small Press nor Comic events on CBO unless they are paid for ads.

 

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8. Artist of the Day: Joe Sparrow

Discover the art of Joe Sparrow, Cartoon Brew's Artist of the Day!

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9. HarperCollins Reveals Schedule for Pop Up in N.Y.

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10. Raising Dion Book Trailer Goes Viral

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11. September is the best month to be born….

…. I should know, I've had a September birthday my whole life;)

So when I learned that The Little Kids' Table's official publication date would be September 1st I was just tickled pink. And now it's here! "Publication date" means the book is in the warehouse of the distributor ready to be sent to bookstores, libraries, and laps full of bedtime reading material. I received my contributor copies a few weeks ago but waited to post these pictures until the actual publication date.

I once heard a friend of mine answer the question "what surprised you the most about being published?" At the time I had no idea how I would answer the question. Now I do. What surprised me the most about getting those boxes of books was being unsettled that I couldn't go back and change bits and pieces of the illustrations. Over this eighteen month process I've had many chances to tweak, to re-do, to think "oh I'll just fix that here and here." Now for better or worse, those images are DONE. Who knew that paper and ink could feel the same as being carved in stone?!

So to all my Virgo sisters and brothers, we have a new sibling full of carefully orchestrated details and organized chaos. HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY LITTLE KIDS' TABLE!



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12. YALSA Core Professional Values: What They Mean to You!

YALSA core professional values coverWhat do accountability, excellence, innovation, and social responsibility have to do with the teen services profession? The quick and easy answer is a lot. However, a more specific answer is that these 4 ideas are a few of the Core Values listed in YALSA's new Core Professional Values for the Teen Services Profession. This Professional Values document was published by YALSA last month after a year-long development process by the association's Professional Values Task Force. The Task Force began their work after discussions by the YALSA Board of Directors during their 2013 Annual Conference meetings The Board wanted to develop and support the professional development of library staff serving teens and to help others in the library profession understand the value of what library staff working with and for teens work towards every single day of the year.

The document, a one of its kind in the area of library teen services, is an excellent framework for the values that all those working with teens in libraries should embrace. Not only does it list the Core Values but it includes ways of demonstrating those values. For example, if you demonstrate Innovation, which is defined in the document as:

Approaches projects and challenges with a creative, innovative mindset

Then you demonstrate that by:

  • Recognizes that learning comes from failure and experimentation
  • Demonstrates a willingness to take calculated risks to improve teen services

It is important for all staff working with and for teens in libraries to go through the Core Values and assess strengths and weaknesses in demonstrating each value. Weaknesses aren't a bad thing as knowing where you are weak gives you the chance to find out what to improve on in order to serve teens even more successfully. Actually, the Excellence Core Value includes continuous learning as an area to focus on:

"Engages in acquisition of new knowledge throughout one’s career" as a demonstration of that value.

Along with assessing your own personal strengths and weaknesses related to the YALSA Core Professional Values, it can also be really useful to use the document as a way to help colleagues, administrators, trustees, principals, superintendents, community members, funders, and more understand what you do and why you do it. You can go over the document with them or make it a point to highlight different sections of the document for them over several months. You can talk with them about how you already achieve the values and what you are working on in order to do an even better job to support the needs of teens in the community. You can give those you talk with ideas about how they can support the Core Values by demonstrating at least some of the practices outlined in their own interactions with and for teens.

The Core Values are a core tool for you to use as you continue to work with and for teens in your community. Use it professionally as a way to make sure you are doing what you need to do and as a way to inform and advocate for the value of teen services in the library and the community at-large.

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13. It's live!! Cover Reveal: Nirvana by J.R. Stewart + Giveaway (US/Canada)

Happy September, YABC!

Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for NIRVANA by J.R. Stewart, releasing November 10, 2015 from Blue Moon Publishers. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from J.R.:

 
Testing 1-2-3. Ha, tech-joke. Welcome! I’m author and virtual reality expert J.R. Stewart and I’m pleased to present the cover for my upcoming dystopian novel, Nirvana.
 
A few days ago, I was told that I was going to be doing a “reveal” and I nearly had a stroke. I do not believe in revealing anything as I am still working on a number of secret corporate and government virtual reality projects - my true identity could be compromised and we wouldn’t want that, would we? However, doing a cover reveal for my debut book, Nirvana, is something I can get behind. I begin writing this book nearly 5 years ago and I knew it needed a special cover – something that would grab a reader’s attention – because the story presented in this book is closer to reality than some may think. When I first saw the cover, I nearly cried. It’s everything an author could have hoped for. I want to thank the talented staff at Blue Moon Publishers and my marketing team at DigiWriting for collaborating on this masterpiece.
 
~ J.R. Stewart (NIRVANA, Blue Moon Publishers)
 

 

 

Ready to see?

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Here it is!

 

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*** If you choose to share this image elsewhere, please include a courtesy link back to this page so others can enter J.R.'s giveaway. Thank you! ***

 

NIRVANA

by J.R. Stewart
Release date: November 10, 2015
Publisher: Blue Moon Publishers
ISBN: 9780993639777
 
 
About the Book
 
When the real world is emptied of all that you love, how can you keep yourself from dependence on the virtual?
 
Larissa lives in a world where the real and the virtual intermingle. After the supposed death of her soul mate, Andrew, Larissa is able to find solace by escaping to Nirvana, a virtual world where anything is possible – even visits with Andrew. Although Larissa knows that these meetings are not real, she cannot shake her suspicion that Andrew is indeed alive. When she begins an investigation of the Hexagon, the very institution that she has been taught to trust, Larissa uncovers much more than she ever expected. Her biggest challenge, however, remains determining what is real – and what is virtual.
 
Nirvana is a fast-paced page-turning young adult novel combining elements of the romance, mystery, and science fiction genres. Part of a three-part series, this book introduces readers to a heroine who refuses to give up on the man she loves, even if it means taking on an entire government to do so. As the lines between the real and virtual worlds begin to blur, Larissa and the reader realize that all is not as it seems, and the complex mystery only deepens.
 

About the Author

J.R. Stewart has worked on many government and corporate projects throughout a prolific IT academic and consulting career and has become one of North America's foremost experts on virtual reality. After having worked on advanced "VR" technologies for over a decade, Stewart grew concerned about the implications of this work and the possible psychological effects that it may have on its users. In 2010, Stewart considered publishing a revealing account of the advances being made regarding this technology, but was concerned about the implications that a tell-all book may have on career prospects. The next year, writing under a protective pseudonym, Stewart began work on the speculative "Nirvana" series instead. Finally ready for publication, these novels present a story that is closer to reality than you may assume.
 

Twitter | Web | Facebook | Goodreads | Pre-order Amazon

 

Giveaway Details

Five winners will each receive a signed copy of NIRVANA. 

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries:

What do you think about the cover and synopsis?

Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway:

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14. a little late with this one....

camellia~original drawing
7x9 graphite/tinted graphite on bristol
©the enchanted easel 2015

but better late than never, right? :)

this little beauty goes by the name, Camillia  and is the the final drawing in my series of 3 flower/summer girls.

with today being september 1st already (and i'm perfectly ok with that-c'mon football and PEYTON and fall, of course) well, i'm kinda late with this little lady but it's been a busy august and she's been done for quite a while actually....just forgot to post her. so....

better late than never! :)

Camillia (along with her lovely little companions, Flora and Blossom) is/are FOR SALE as the ORIGINAL DRAWING(S) in my etsy shop. i also have a trio of winter girls listed for sale here...of course being the snow bunny i am, these three are my personal favorites. either way, hop on over to my shop and have a look. if you'd like to purchase the trio of either the summer/winter girls, please send me a convo through etsy and we can work out a happy price for all three beauties.

{did i mention i'm super stoked for FALL, FOOTBALL and PEYTON?! :)}

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15. Historical Research

Whether you're writing fiction or nonfiction, if your book takes place in the past you need to do your research.

http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/5-ways-to-take-your-readers-back-in-time-the-importance-of-historical-research

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16. Giveaway: Tammy & the Declaration of Independence (The Wutherington Diaries #2) US Only

Tammy and the Declaration of Independence ( The Wurtherington Diary Book #2) 

Illustrated by Duy Trung, Nour Hassan, Jesse Ty 

Release Date: October 1, 2015

 

About the Book


Follow alongside of ten-year-old Tammy Wurtherington, the little doll girl from River Falls, Ohio in this exciting new adventure that is sure to delight any youngster. Her cute associates, Cedric the Mongoose, Zeke the orphaned opossum, and Alfred the mouse accompany her in this trip through history in which they must see that the space-time continuum is maintained and the Declaration of Independence is signed on July Fourth, 1776. The emphasis is on telling a spell binding story that will leave any reader with a firm understanding of the events that led to the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the reasons for the Revolutionary War.


The reader will be alongside of the leaders of the Revolutionary War as they reach the decisions that will make them true heroes in the minds of historians. Tammy becomes a part of the rebel minutemen and joins the spy network that led to Paul Revere's famous ride in which he declared, "The British Coming!" Ride along with Tammy and Paul Revere and then witness her account of "The Shot Heard Around the World?" in Lexington. Historians have long argued as to exactly who fired that first shot that began the Revolution War and Tammy's accounting settles the issue for all time.


You will be there on a hot summer day in Independence Hall when the Committee of Five, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Ben Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston are nominated to write the Declaration of Independence. Take part in the discussions during the three weeks in which they created what many believe to be the most important words in the history of the English language. The reader will be see how Tammy assisted Betsy Ross and George Washington in creating the first American flag. And exactly how did that crack in the Liberty Bell occur?


Whether you are a young reader or a parent/educator, everyone will enjoy this remarkable tale of a wonderful little girl who became a legend in her efforts to "nudge" history and see that the American Revolution began with out a hitch.

On a final note, Reynold Jay brought in an international team of restoration artists to restore the beautiful illustrations that were found in the Diary. In that there was a flood, the Diary and the art were nearly lost forever. Reynold Jay says, "It has been a two year journey and I can only hope that we find readers for it. Whether there is any interest in the private thoughts of a little girl living in 1883 will be of any interest to today's modern readers is yet to be seen."


Progress and updated news on the series may be found at the writer's web site.


To learn more about this book and see our review, go HERE.
 


b2ap3_thumbnail_Picture-7.jpgAbout the Author


Reynold Jay is the leader of a team dedicated to publishing the fascinating  1883 Wurtherington Diary. He has authored a dozen books and co-authored a non-fiction book with Amara, "Eternal Defilement." Once a Special Education teacher--now an author/publisher/restoration professional,  he hopes to inspire his readers with this series meant for young and old alike.

Learn more Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
 


Giveaway Details


1 winner will receive a signed book. US only.

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries: How many British soldiers do Tammy and Mark see marching through River Falls as they walk to school? Check out Reynold Jay's web site.

*Click the Rafflecopter link to enter the giveaway*

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17. More Confidence

 Yesterday I conquered one of my biggest fears. I will blog more about that topic some other time. God has been giving me a spirit of boldness, and I am breaking free from old familiar ways. His hand and His help are all I need to accomplish the tasks ahead of me.

       Breaking ground in territories I never imagined possible.
*Three classes left until I complete my degree.
*Searching for a school house. Whether our dream barn/castle or a one-room school. It no longer matters.
*Finishing up editing of some work so we can move forward (finally) with book one in the series, Whispers in the Sky. We have had so many setbacks. No more. Only forward moving from here.
*I am changing direction with our blogs and websites. Have gained some wonderful insight thanks to the folks at My Book Therapy.  and Joel Friedlander.


   Please feel free to follow, subscribe, comment, connect, etc. I am still learning how to do this, after all these years of blogging. I know-

ROLL YOUR EYES.
   I am enjoying every new bit of knowledge and wisdom my colleagues and connections. Thank you for your valuable time and help. 

   I especially want to thank Vie Herlocker and Michelle for befriending me, coaching me, teaching me, and all around encouraging me through this journey. These two women have kept me sane during my trek from traditional publishing to Indie. I am so glad I made the choice. I am the captain of my own ship now. Lion's Roar Publishing will float on ts own.  

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18. Still Working

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19. Recent Reading Roundup 38

For a number of reasons, I found myself neglecting my literary fiction reading in the first half of 2015.  I tend to bounce back and forth between litfic and genre--too much of the mimetic stuff and I find myself longing for something about more than a few people and their emotional issues; too much SF or fantasy and I end up wishing for something more concrete to hold on to.  So this last month

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20. “My Language, Your Language” Book Sample Illustrations

I did some illustrations for a cool series of educational/learning books from Cloverleaf books. This one is called “My Language, Your Language”. Samples below.

mlyl-cover&spread

mlyl-spot3

mlyl-page6

mlyl-page1

mlyl-page4

mlyl-page3

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21. Educators say this about First Book…

A new school year is upon us. And as always, it’s critical that teachers and program leaders have the right tools, so that they can succeed. According to a recent First Book survey, the books they get from First Book make a big difference – to them, and to the kids they serve.

best educators they can be

In our survey of our educator community, 79 percent of respondents agreed that access to books from First Book helps them be the best educators they can be.

If you work with kids in need, you can receive books and resources to use in your classroom or program. Make it a great school year and sign up with First Book today!

The post Educators say this about First Book… appeared first on First Book Blog.

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22. Free e-book for September: Craig Packer’s Into Africa

51Y1iWjfcKL._SX372_BO1,204,203,200_

Our free e-book for September:

Into Africa by Craig Packer

***

Craig Packer takes us into Africa for a journey of fifty-two days in the fall of 1991. But this is more than a tour of magnificent animals in an exotic, faraway place. A field biologist since 1972, Packer began his work studying primates at Gombe and then the lions of the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater with his wife and colleague Anne Pusey. Here, he introduces us to the real world of fieldwork—initiating assistants to lion research in the Serengeti, helping a doctoral student collect data, collaborating with Jane Goodall on primate research.

As in the works of George Schaller and Cynthia Moss, Packer transports us to life in the field. He is addicted to this land—to the beauty of a male lion striding across the Serengeti plains, to the calls of a baboon troop through the rain forests of Gombe—and to understanding the animals that inhabit it. Through his vivid narration, we feel the dust and the bumps of the Arusha Road, smell the rosemary in the air at lunchtime on a Serengeti verandah, and hear the lyrics of the Grateful Dead playing off bootlegged tapes.

Into Africa also explores the social lives of the animals and the threats to their survival. Packer grapples with questions he has passionately tried to answer for more than two decades. Why do female lions raise their young in crèches? Why do male baboons move from troop to troop while male chimps band together? How can humans and animals continue to coexist in a world of diminishing resources? Immediate demands—logistical nightmares, political upheavals, physical exhaustion—yield to the larger inescapable issues of the interdependence of the land, the animals, and the people who inhabit it.

Download your free copy of Into Africa here.

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23. Book Sales Down 5.8% Jan-May: AAP

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24. Everyday Advocacy Challenge: Meet the Inaugural Cohort!

Creating a Better Future Button

Image courtesy of ALSC

Who’s ready to take the inaugural Everyday Advocacy Challenge (EAC)? Eighteen bold and daring Everyday Advocates are—and we hope you are, too!

From September 1 through October 20, our cohort of intrepid volunteers has agreed to do the following:

  • Commit to completing eight consecutive Take Action Tuesday challenges on a back-to-school theme;
  • Collaborate with their EAC cohort members over the eight-week period, sharing successes and troubleshooting issues via e-mail and online documents;
  • Write posts for the ALSC blog about their EAC experiences; and
  • Nominate colleagues to participate in the next EAC.

As the first-ever EAC gets underway today, we’d like to introduce each of our cohort members and their reasons for taking the eight-week challenge. Watch for their sure-to-inspire blog posts beginning next Tuesday, September 8!

Sue Abrahamson, Librarian and Supervisor, Waupaca (Wisc.) Area Public Library
“I want to participate in the challenge so that I take action rather than just thinking about taking action; to show my teammates how easy it is; and to recognize the benefits of telling the story of our work.”

Ashley Burkett, Library Assistant, Birmingham (Ala.) Public Library
“I want to learn, share, and make a difference!”

Natasha Forrester Campbell, Librarian
“I’d like to become a better advocate for libraries, reading, and literacy in general.”

Olga Cardenas, Librarian, Stanislaus County (Calif.) Library
“[I want to participate in the challenge] in order to grow as a professional because the challenge will force me to step out of my comfort zone. I also want to take the EAC in order to become an active member of the librarianship community; I’ve been an inactive member for almost 2 years!”

Pam Carlton, Librarian

Samantha Cote, Librarian, Winslow (Maine) Public Library
“I participated in an advocacy course, Turning the Page, through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and ALA, and I loved it. Sadly, I’m not doing as much with it as I’d like. I’ve enjoyed doing the advocacy challenges so far and would love to bring my advocacy skills up to the next level.”

Africa Hands, Executive Assistant

Andi Jackson-Darling, Administrator, Supervisor and Librarian, Falmouth (Maine) Memorial Library
“I am immersed in library administration on a day-to-day level. We are working on a large expansion of our library, and I’ve realized how little I am involved with a large part of our community and our patronage—our children! Challenges are great ways to reconnect and make what is important on my radar and will make me more engaged with our community.”

Kendra Jones, Librarian, Tacoma (Wash.) Public Library
“I see Take Action Tuesdays and always say I’ll do them, but then things happen and they don’t get done. By taking this challenge, I’ll actually do them! I need to work more on advocacy professionally, and this is the perfect thing to help me build some advocacy skills. Plus, working with others makes the tasks more enjoyable and adds a level of accountability that wasn’t there before. I’m excited!”

Eileen Makoff, Librarian, P.S. 90 Edna Cohen School (N.Y.)
“I am a member of the ALSC Advocacy and Legislation Committee. Plus, I feel strongly that libraries save lives (Little Rock Public saved mine). I’ll do what I have to do protect them.”

Kelli McDaniel, Administrator, Supervisor and Librarian, Piedmont Regional (Ga.) Library System
“As a newly hired Assistant Director, I am responsible for inspiring and steering children’s services in our 10-library system. Learning to be an Everyday Advocate would help me boost the wonderful programmers in our region who are always looking for a fresh approach to serving our communities. I also look forward to working with a cohort to share best practices and hear different perspectives on our important role as librarians for children.”

Matthew John McLain, Supervisor, Salt Lake County (Utah) Public Library
“I’m the co-chair of the ALSC Advocacy and Legislation Committee, and this looks like an awesome opportunity to get started.”

Lynda Salem-Poling, Librarian and Supervisor, El Dorado (Calif.) Neighborhood Library
“I would like to strengthen my advocacy skills and my connection to local schools. I am new to this library and see that as an opportunity to make new bonds with the community and local representatives.”

Megan Schliesman, Librarian, Cooperative Children’s Book Center (Wis.)
“[I want to participate in the challenge] first and foremost to support the Everyday Advocacy effort.”

JoAnna Schofield, Librarian, Akron-Summit County (Ohio) Public Library
“What libraries and librarians do for children and their families on a day-to-day basis is important work, and one of the best ways to showcase our value to our communities is to share our work. Many Tuesdays I eagerly open the Everyday Advocacy Take-Action activity and make plans to engage on behalf of the intentional and sometimes inspiring work happening at my library, but some weeks I simply fall short. I am excited about the Everyday Advocacy Challenge and eager to participate because it will give me that extra push I need to follow-through on advocacy challenge and connect me with other like-minded individuals to share experiences and encouragement.”

Brittany Staszak, Supervisor and Librarian
“It’s so easy to get sucked into the everyday flow of library life and habitual users where everyone knows the value of the library and its services. I strive to take my advocacy home with me and make it a part of my out-of-library life and conversations, showing all I interact with exactly what makes libraries so valuable. Being a part of the challenge would be a perfect way to kick-start a new habit of Everyday Advocacy—all day, every day.”

Mira Tanna
“I am new to ALSC and would like to get involved!”

Lise Tewes, Supervisor and Librarian, Kenton County (Ky.) Public Library
“My library and several other library systems in northern Kentucky have spent the last three years fighting a lawsuit that was filed by the Tea Party and which threatened to eliminate our tax-based funding. That would have effectively closed my library system as well as four others in our state. Fortunately, the district court ruled in favor of the library, but these last three years have opened my eyes to the need to advocate for libraries and make sure the public is aware of the tremendous return on their tax investment that public libraries provide.”


Jenna Nemec-Loise is Member Content Editor of the ALSC Everyday Advocacy Website and Electronic Newsletter. E-mail her at everyday-advocacy@hotmail.com and follow her on Twitter: @ALAJenna

The post Everyday Advocacy Challenge: Meet the Inaugural Cohort! appeared first on ALSC Blog.

0 Comments on Everyday Advocacy Challenge: Meet the Inaugural Cohort! as of 9/1/2015 1:13:00 PM
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25. What You Can Learn About Business from a Stingy Irish Dance Teacher

My 6-year-old son is a dancer: He takes several ballet classes and a jazz class every week, and has done tap as well. (That’s him at the Nutcracker rehearsal last year…sorry, I couldn’t resist!) So when a local Irish dance studio did a demo at T’s school and he asked to take lessons, I raced to sign him up. Encouraging his passions, and all that.

A weekly class costs $45 per month, but one month I had a brain fart and dropped off a check for $40. The next day, I got a polite reminder from the studio owner that I had sent in the wrong amount — fair enough — and I responded that I would drop off the $5 at T’s next lesson.

But at that very point, T decided Irish dance wasn’t for him. (I have to say I was relieved…driving T to dance five days a week and then sitting in a waiting room with 3-year-old copies of Dance Magazine is not my idea of a good time.) He had taken only one session at the beginning of the month, and after that I just stopped taking him.

A few weeks later, the studio owner emailed to ask where T had been, and I said he decided to stop taking classes, but perhaps one day he would change his mind.

She responded, “Okay, we hope to see him again…and by the way, you still owe me $5.”

I was taken aback: We had paid $40 and T had taken one lesson that month. I responded, “I think the $40 I paid covers the one 30-minute class T took!”

To which she replied: “Sorry, we don’t prorate for classes not attended.”

Now, of course, she was right. In fact, I’m sure I signed a contract agreeing to this very thing. But…seriously?

My husband and I joked for a while about sending the dance school a box of 500 pennies, or mailing five one-dollar bills a week apart, but finally I said, “Just send her a check for the five dollars and be done with it. I never want to deal with this school again.”

So the business owner got her five dollars — win! — but she lost potential future business, not to mention word of mouth. Because if anyone ever asks me to recommend a good place for dance classes, you can be certain I won’t be suggesting that school.

Penny Wise…

Ever hear the expression “penny wise but pound foolish”? This usually refers to people who cut costs unwisely and end up paying more in the long run. But it also applies to writers who are SO invested in coming off as professional, and so hyper-vigilant about not getting ripped off, that they turn off clients.

For example, one student of mine who had been attempting unsuccessfully to get good-paying clients for over a year asked, “A prospect wants me to come in for a meeting. My time costs money! So how much should I charge them?”

Wha-wha-whaaaaa?

I understand the thought behind this: You want to look like a hard-bitten pro, and it’s true — your time IS worth money.

But is it really smart, when you’re desperate for work and someone shows an interest in hiring you, to go all hardcore and demand payment for an exploratory get-to-know-you meeting?

The same goes for writers who go into a frenzy when a client asks for a revise, or when an editor asks for 200 more words or a photo caption that wasn’t included in the contract. You need to consider whether it’s worth doing a bit of extra work for free to keep a good client.

(Of course, if this is an abusive client, one who pays pennies, or one who consistently asks for extra goodies with no compensation — you’re well within your rights to put your foot down…and hopefully ditch the client for good.)

Think about the last time you were at a café and you dropped your drink. (This happened to me just last week!) In 100% of the cases this happens, the barista will offer to replace the drink for free.

Now, the café owner is certainly justified in making you pay for the new drink. After all, is it HIS fault you had case of butterfingers? And drinks cost money, so he’s losing five bucks by offering you a free replacement!

But if he’s smart, the business owner understands that the cost of the free replacement drink is eclipsed by the goodwill created when he offers it to you. You’ll keep coming back and ordering more coffees, ad you’ll tell your friends about it too. That’s five bucks well spant.

Give to Get

Not only should you think hard about demanding money when a good client asks for a little extra here and there — but you should make it a point to offer little freebies even when the client doesn’t ask:

  • An extra sidebar you create with research you couldn’t fit into the article.
  • An introduction to someone who can help your client.
  • Some tweets and Facebook posts to promote an article or blog post you wrote for a client.
  • The occasional little gift just to say “Thank you,” such as an e-book or a box of candy.
  • Ten minutes of consulting time to help the client with a question or problem you happen to have the expertise to solve.

Yes, you’re spending your valuable time, and sometimes your hard-earned cash as well — but it’s worth it to foster loyalty in your good clients. As they say in Big Business, it costs much more to get a new client than it does to keep an old one.

Don’t Be a Sucker

I know you don’t want to be taken advantage of — and you definitely don’t want to come across as a doormat.

The trick is, when you agree to do free work, convey how much it’s worth and that you’re doing the client a favor.

For example: “I had some extra materials I couldn’t fit into the article, so I created an extra sidebar, no charge. I hope you can use it!”

Or: “I normally charge $X for that kind of work, but you’re such a good client I’d like to offer it to you gratis.”

This way, you graciously offer something of value to your client — but you also get across the concept that there is indeed worth to your offering, making the favor even more valuable in your client’s eyes.

At the same time, you keep the requests for freebies to a minimum because you’ve made it clear that these are things you normally charge for. And if the client DOES ask for more, they won’t be shocked when you say, “Sure, I can do that — how does $X sound?”

Remember, don’t be a stingy Irish dance teacher…you may get your five dollars, but you’ll lose a client. [LF]

P.S.Two new (awesome!) classes coming up that you can register for now: (1) Write Big: A Fear-Busting Bootcamp Experience: Practical exercises, live coaching, a challenge, and bonus goodies to help you overcome the fears that are keeping you from writing, pitching—and succeeding. (2) Freelance Writer’s Pitch Clinic: A class on how to write killer queries & LOIs. Your homework will be critiqued, and your questions answered, by editors from Redbook, Forbes, and Writer’s Digest/Print Magazine. And…you have the chance to get a full refund on the course fee!

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