Sunday, December 31, 2006

2005 Children's Writers & Illustrator's Market

The Children's Writers & Illustrator's Market isn't usually the type of book one expects to read a review for, but aside from lists and lists of publishers and agents this book (updated yearly, unlike my copy) is filled with helpful articles covering everything from bios of successful authors and illustrators to advice on how to break into the business.

This book has been kicking about my bathroom for two years and I decided to read the articles for once and for all. I'm glad I did. Having Depression, AD/HD, and other disabilities makes me hungry for "how to" articles because I simply won't accept my lot in life. Every little tip I read can be turned into a tool to transform my life bit by bit. This book was filled with many inspirational stories of people who started off slowly but persevered and seized the day. I'm surprised I didn't eat these articles up earlier. I heartily recommend you rent this one from the library or pick it up used off of As of this moment, somebody is selling it for 1¢. It's worth a lot more than that to me even if the publisher directory is out of date.

Of particular note were "The Pitch" with tips on how to hone your pitch even down to one sentence, "Postcards" which explored the world of illustrator promotions, "Unkind Critics" with tips on how to survive your first negative review using cognitive thinking processes (definitely helpful advice for people who suffer from Depression), an inspirational bio on Jerry Spinelli who published his first book at 41 (There IS life after 40!!), excellent advice by illustrator Marla Frazee on how to not be generic, practical advice by illustrator Loren Long, and a short piece on 15 year old Nora Coon who has two books out and is juggling homework and a successful writing career.

I look for inspiration where ever I can grab it. Sometimes I need it to offset the Depression welling up inside of me, but more often than not I simply need stories of people who worked for their success to help buoy my spirits and keep me moving forward. Since this book is designed to encourage author/illustrator onto the path of success I shouldn't be so surprised that I found messages here that reached far beyond a career in publishing and gave me insights into overcoming my own limitations. Perhaps you'll find these articles helpful in helping you overcome yours.