Topic: school visit
DOGGIE DAY CAMP:
Verb and Adverb Adventures
AUTHOR: Cynthia Reeg
ILLUSTRATOR: Kit Grady (www.kitgrady.com)
PRICE: paperback $10.95, ebook ($5.00), CD ($5.95)
READING LEVEL: AGE 4-10
COPYRIGHT: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc (June 25, 2008)
LOCATIONS TO PURCHASE: online at www.guardianangelpublishing.com; Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Fictionwise
When timid Bubba, joins in the adventures at doggie day camp, he soon discovers new friends, new talents, and verb and adverb fun as well. Activities and study guide included. (The Pet Grammar Parade series)
Name: Cynthia Reeg
Blog Address: http://www.cynthiareeg.com/blog/index.html
Website Address: www.cynthiareeg.com
Contact:. People can reach her through the CONTACT at her website: http://www.cynthiareeg.com/contact_childrens_book_author1.php
Cynthia Reeg pursued her love of reading and writing with an undergraduate degree in English Literature from Northwestern Oklahoma University followed by a Masters of Library Science from the University of Oklahoma. She has worked in school and public libraries in various Midwest locales. Currently she is a volunteer OASIS reading tutor for elementary students at Wild Horse Elementary School in Chesterfield, Missouri.
Her website blog, “What’s New,” has been cited by two of the top children’s authors’ online magazines, ICL’s Children’s Writers’ Enews and Children’s Writing Update from CBI, as “an excellent example of an author’s blog.”
Her educational children's picture book, KITTY KERPLUNKING, was published in 2006 by Guardian Angel Publishing. (www.guardianangelpublishing.com) It is now used by the OASIS reading program in the St. Louis area. Her second picture book with Guardian Angel Publishing, GIFTS FROM GOD—celebrating children and nature as signs of God’s love—was published in the summer of 2007 and has earned glowing reviews. DOGGIE DAY CAMP, the second book in The Pet Grammar Parade series, was published in June 2008. Her short story, “The Emily Explosion,” in the Blooming Tree Press anthology, THE GIRLS, was released in mid-August, 2008. She is also working on two middle grade novels, Monster Misfits and Promises Kept.
SCHOOL VISITS & PUBLICATION
Jessica: What was the first book accepted for publication? How many markets did you submit to and what did you include in your submission package?
Cynthia: The first book I had accepted was KITTY KERPLUNKING: PREPOSITION FUN. I submitted it to Guardian Angel Publishing with a cover letter, the manuscript, and a study guide. I submitted it to four other publishers before GAP.
Jessica: How long does it take on average from writing your first draft to final manuscript ready for submission? Describe the process.
Cynthia: For writing a picture book, I generally come up with a basic idea and write the first draft. Then I spend time polishing it, sending it out for critique, reworking it again. All of that usually takes about a year or so.
Jessica: Does the publisher request you make changes? Have you ever submitted a book and had it published without any changes by you or the editor/publisher
Cynthia: I’ve never submitted a book or a story to a magazine that was published as is. Different publishers handle things differently, but generally a publisher will send a marked copy of the story back—indicating deletions or areas to revise or where additional material is needed.
Jessica: How long between acceptance and publication have your picture books taken to be released?
Cynthia: The picture books have taken a year or less with Guardian Angel Publishing. And it was about a year for my story in Blooming Tree Press’ anthology to be published as well. But I’m still waiting on a story to be published in LADYBUG magazine. It’s been over 4 years.
Jessica: What was your highest selling book? What did you do to market it?
Cynthia: At this point, both of my first two picture books from Guardian Angel Publishing have sold equally well. I market them through book signings, my website, press releases, and school visits.
Jessica: Your website has a wealth of information on conducting school visits. I learned a lot and will be back often. In what stage of your writing career did you begin conducting school visits?
Cynthia: I am a school librarian by trade, so in a way I’ve been doing school visits for years now—only “selling” other authors’ books. Now I get to share my books with the students, as well as writing tips for them. I officially started doing author visits at schools with my books about a year and a half ago. Two 6th grade girls found my website and asked their teacher to invite me to their class. Another 6th grade reading class joined in with them for my visit in which I shared insights into being a writer and secrets for the students could use for achieving writing success.
Jessica: Do you design your school visits based on each grade level and subject? How do you target the content to the different curriculum of each grade?
Cynthia: Yes, I always tailor the presentations to the age level or the interests of the students. Again, this is something I did on a regular basis as a K-8 school librarian. But for authors who don’t have this experience to draw from, I’d suggest visiting a school. Ask to observe classes or even be a volunteer. Attend some story times at your local library. Learn how to interact with students at the various age groups; learn what interests them; learn how to motivate them. But most important, show them how excited you are about words, stories, books, reading and writing. They’ll become excited too.
Jessica: What’s a successful school visit to you?
Cynthia: Every school visit is a successful one if I’ve given all I can of myself and my knowledge to the students. Any time I’ve been able to connect with even one student—to help excite him about reading and writing—then I’ve had a successful school visit.
Jessica: Have you conducted library visits, too? If yes, how does you presentation change? What differences should an author take into account?
Cynthia: I’ve conducted school visits to multiple classes (same grade) in a single classroom, and I’ve had school visits with multiple classes (same grade) in the school library. I’ve not gone to a public library and done a presentation yet as an author or to an entire school assembly.
But I have had a story time at a Barnes & Noble bookstore with the audience ages ranged from18-month-old toddlers to adult parents. That’s the toughest crowd to do a presentation for. Target a middle level for this type of assorted crowd. Add in some activities to keep the younger ones tuned in. Break up the session into smaller segments—for example: read, activity, read, activity, discussion. Then at the end while the kids are coloring the handouts you’ve provided, you can address the adults with extra information or allow time for them to ask questions.
Jessica: What advice can you give an author about an author visit?
Cynthia: Discuss well ahead of time with the teacher or librarian sponsoring your visit what they are expecting from your visit.
i‚? Do they want a quick lesson on story elements for older students to help motivate them? Or do they want a fun story time for younger students?
i‚? Find out specifically which grades/classes you will be with. How large are the groups?
i‚? Will there be the necessary equipment you need for your presentation (perhaps a screen, a white board, computer, microphone, overhead projector, etc.)
i‚? Directions to the school, your contact person at the school, the room you’ll be conducting the presentation in
i‚? The time schedule for your day (if you are doing more than one presentation.) Make sure you get some free time for bathroom breaks and lunch.
i‚? If possible, send home book order forms prior to your visit. Then you can collect (or have the orders mailed to you) ahead of time and sign the books and bring them with you. (if you are selling your books directly)
i‚? Provide coloring sheets or bookmarks to leave with all the students, so everyone will have a memento from your visit.
Thanks for your advice on school visits and information about your road to publication. I’m looking forward to reading your answers.
FACES, My Friend, Clubhouse, Dragonfly Spirit, Stories for Children and My Light magazines
Magazines Pending Publications
Highlights (Nov. 2008—poem “Reaching for the Stars”); Ladybug (no date yet—story “Picnic Guests”)
TITLE: GIFTS FROM GOD
COPYRIGHT: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc (June 1, 2007)
Gifts from God celebrates God’s loving gifts to each child. Glorious color photographs highlighting children and nature accompany each gift. Each double-page spread has an easy reader sentence on the right and a scripture quotation on the left, making this an enjoyable and uplifting book for both children and adults.
TITLE: THE GIRLS (a middle grade anthology)
by Sundee T. Frazier, Natalie Rompella, Caroline Downs, Cynthia Reeg, Tracy Holczer
COPYRIGHT: Blooming Tree Press (August 12, 2008)
A collection of five short stories highlighting the unique lives of some special girls and one lucky boy.
TITLE: KITTY KERPLUNKING
COPYRIGHT: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. (March 30, 2007)
Prepositions kerplunk all around Preppy the kitty in this beautifully illustrated picture book. Preppy's amusing antics provide young readers a fun introduction to everyday prepositions. Activities and study guide included. (The Pet Grammar Parade series)
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