Tag Archives: books for kids

Trip to India

Trip to India

I just returned from my two week trip to northern India. The trip was fabulous and the country fascinating. In the coming days, I’ll be highlighting some of the more exotic sights and experiences and include pictures of our adventures.

For now it is sufficient to say that India is a country of contrasts. The old combined with the new, ancient with the modern. Yes, there are cows on the streets, push carts, elephants, motorcycles, cars, bicycle taxis, and tuck tucks, all crowded onto narrow lanes in studied chaos.


Some Tips for Planning Book Events

Some Tips for Planning Book Events

I have set up a number of my own book signing and marketing events. Here are a few things I have learned that you might try. Most of my events occur outside, so some of these suggestions may not be appropriate for all venues.

l. Buy brightly colored balloons to display outside the event. These create movement and draws attention to the event.

2. I usually have a paper craft available to do at the event. These are something simple that might appeal to all ages, especially children.

3. Don’t rely on the venue to do all the publicity. It is important for the author to do some of their own. Your own news releases, flyers, emails and other forms of publicity will help get the word out about the event. People sometimes need to see the publicity in several places for them to remember.

4. Have a raffle.  People like to turn out at events if they see that they might win a prize. I usually give away one of my children’s books. I have people put their name and phone number on a ticket and ask the store to call the winner a day later to come pick up the prize. That way the prize winner will return to the venue and maybe purchase another book.

5. Have the event in a location where there is likely to be a captive audience. I recently did a signing and demonstration at the Gallery at the Network in downtown San Luis Obispo during Art After Dark, an event the first Friday of each month.  There were plenty of people walking downtown visiting various shops and galleries which meant a good flow of traffic.

6. At some locations, I might have a small grouping of chairs for readings if the venue lends itself to such a grouping.

7. Food is important. For a children’s book event at Whiz Kids Toy Store, we had popcorn, appealing to kids and adults alike.  Food helps to create a festive atmosphere. Even if I am on the street, I have a bowl of candy or cookies.

8. Have an inviting display. At my own events, I usually have stuffed animals on my table, my books in a display rack, a bright table cloth and colorful signs and banners. I like to engage people in conversation as much as possible. I have brochures, business cards, bookmarks, newsletter copies and a clipboard to gather email addresses on your table.

9. If on the street, remain standing and talk to people. Don’t sit at the table and look bored. Be lively and engage potential buyers in conversation.

Now it is your turn. Please share your suggestions about what works or doesn’t work for you at your events.

Publishing, Writing and Kid Lit

Publishing, Writing and Kid Lit

What issues should an author consider in working with a traditional publisher vs. self-publishing? How important is it to work with an editor? What should you consider when choosing a cover or fonts for your children’s book? What are some of the other issues that may arise if you also illustrate your own stories? How important is it for parents to find time in their busy day to read to their children?

To see my answers to these and other questions, drop by Earl Robert’s website at http://countryessays.com/booksahead/?p=479. Read his article as he weaves together a discussion of many of the issues we all face when writing children’s books along with information about my background, writing process and publishing experiences. Earl combines his article with a video and description of my latest picture books, including my newly published book, Clowning Around. He also provides the URLs where my books may be purchased.

Earl and I have exchanged comments from time to time over the past year on Linkedin. I have always found his comments insightful. A true professional, he is generous with his expertise. I am delighted to have this spot on his website.

Deb Hockenberry Joins the Fun with a Guest Post




YAY! I did it. I guess by now you’ve heard that my picture book is being published by 4RV Publishing. Okay, that’s great news for me but now what? I know I have to market and promote my book but exactly how do I do that?

First, it’s important to have an web presence. Start a blog, a website, or both. If you want to do both, Weebly is a very good webhost. You’ll find this at http://www.weebly.com. It’s a WYSIWYG website and that makes it very friendly for a non – techie person like myself. They also give you the choice of using HTML if you prefer. They let you have unlimited pages in your site so you set up a blog among your pages. They also let you post videos and audio files. I’m finding out in my research that posting videos on your website is just as important as the website itself!

Read books about promoting your book. They give you good advice. I know that there are people out there who say discouraging things about them like, “These books are a year or two old. They’re outdated.” Nothing is further from the truth. Now, I have some good news! I’ve been reading two other marketing books. One is called EIGHT HOURS TO JUMP START YOU CAREER, THE EIGHT HOUR SERIES by Tammie Clarke Gibbs. The other is THE FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTER by Carolyn Howard – Johnson. Both have excellent advice and are available in both print and Kindle formats on amazon.com.

I have to stop here and let you know that these two books have nothing to do with marketing and promoting children’s books but I think this is just fine. They’re both about promoting the book which is my goal. The emphasis in Ms. Clarke’s book is on ebooks written for adults.  Ms. Howard – Johnson’s book is about marketing and promoting all books in general before and after publication. As with Ms. Gibbs book, I’m using Ms. Howard – Johnson’s suggestions to promote my children’s book. The point here is that you can take the suggestions from any book about promoting and marketing, tweak them to suit your needs, and use them for your own book. I’ve even garnered a few ideas of my own from reading them!

Both books emphasize the importance of social networking sites like Facebook, Goodreads, Google +, Shelfari, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Author’s Den and others. Both books emphasize joining groups that are similar to your book and being active in them. They also state that you should start your author pages on these sites. Unfortunately, a lot of these sites require your book to be listed on Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.com. However, Facebook will let you. I’ve been advised that the sooner you create one there, the better. So, I did. I have everything up there but a picture of the book cover. Heck, I even have a few posts up now!

We all know how social networking sites are constantly popping up on the ever changing Internet. We all have to do our own work to seek these sites out. There’s no getting around this at all! I can’t finish this paragraph without mentioning the ning groups. These are groups within groups and they cover every subject imaginable including every aspect of writing there is. One of these groups is called BOOK MARKETING. You might want to check this group out. I’ve listed the URL for the group below.

There are many other groups about book promoting on the other social networking sites too. I advise that you join these. You will get so many ideas and good suggestions from the other members about marketing your book! No matter what social networking site you’re on, just search for ‘book promoting’ or ‘book marketing.’

There are some good marketing blogs out there too. I’d advise you to subscribe to these since they offer up – to – date and fantastic advice! I’ve listed some of these below as well.

So, get yourself a web presence so you talk about your book. Start a blog, a website, or both. This is so important! Read those marketing books and form your own ideas. Join the many different social networking sites, get to know the people, and let them know you!



Deb Hockenberry


More Information about Deb

Deb has always wanted to write for children. She loved making up stories and telling them to her younger brothers, sisters, and neighborhood friends. If no – one was around, she told them to her pets – and she still does!

Finally, she decided the time had come to write these stories down. But she knew that in order to do it properly, she needed to study. So, Deb took two courses in writing for children from the Institute of Children’s Literature. She also belongs to the ongoing children’s literature workshop called The CBI Clubhouse as well as S.C.B.W.I. They are always such fun!

Deb was born in Pennsylvania. When she was in her early teens her family moved to a special place in Central Pennsylvania. She enjoys living there, particularly watching the mountains. There’s always something to see!

Deb especially likes watching the mountains wake up after a cold dreary winter. She enjoys watching the pale green leaf buds popping out on the trees and slowly changing into bright green leaves. She especially loves the fall when the trees change their colors. Then the mountains are dotted with the most colorful reds, yellows, and oranges you ever saw!

When she’s not writing Deb enjoys reading and reviewing books, watching movies, television and doing crafts.

You can learn more about Deb by visiting her

website at http://www.debhockenberry.com, The Bumpy Road To Writing For Children (blog): http://thebumpyroadtopublishing.blogspot.com or on her facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Deb-Hockenberry/234986433292961?ref=hl or on twitter @storiesfan.



New Review of “The Mysterious Case of the Missing Birthday Cake”


Beryl has a new review of her recently published picture book, “The Mysterious Case of the Missing Birthday Cake” by DBR Books.  Calling the book a “great read-aloud, story time book for pre-schoolers and kindergartners”, DBR Books noted that the story “encourages bravery, observation, friendship and kindness. It shows the importance of working together as a team and has a good lesson about kindness thatcan be grasped quite easily by readers of all ages.” To see the whole Imagereview follow the link, http://dbrbooks.blogspot.com/2013/05/book-review-mysterious-case-of-missing.html?spref=tw