Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Children's Picture Book: Church Mouse Poor

A quick note regarding yesterday's blog on Literary Classics - Not sure what happened but the spellcheck changes did not save properly and the online version contained a few typos, my apologies. Hmm, didn't I write a blog on proofreading??

In 2007, after seventeen rejections, my eighteenth query netted a traditional publisher for my children's picture book entitled, Church Mouse Poor. The story came to be after a friend announced that she was officially 'as poor as a church mouse." Perhaps it was the air that night, or someone slipped something in my drink, but I began to ponder what it meant to be 'as poor as a church mouse' if you were, in fact, a mouse that lived in a church. With my creative juices flowing, I quickly jotted down a short story about a mouse who lived in a church and sets out on a quest to find out what it means to be "as poor as a church mouse." The story sat under a pile of papers for a few months until I rediscovered it, rewrote it and then eventually sent it on its way to do the publisher rounds for the next year and a half.

I enjoyed some success with the book, and enjoyed the experience immensely. I had a great book launch at the local library, did quite a few author readings at local schools and hosted a book signing at my local chapters (see picture below). In addition, I attended some other book functions and signings and brought the hubby and the boys along in tow to experience the whole thing. Unfortunately, my traditional publisher ceased operation about a year after the book's release and I am now the sole, independent marketer of my book.

Friends will ask me if I plan to write another children's book and I have to admit that there is no explanation as to how Church Mouse Poor came to be. I am not a children's book writer in any sense of the word; I write non-fiction articles on an array of topics - basically I will write about any topic that someone is willing to pay me for!

So last weekend, as I watched the snow pile up outside, I pondered whether I had another children's picture book somewhere deep inside of me. I have some ideas but whether or not they will amount to anything, I am really not sure. If I decide to pursue that avenue, I will take what I learned from the publication of my first children's book and  use that information to my advantage.

Firstly, writing the book is the easy part. The hard part is trying to find a publisher who will see your vision and is willing to work with you and make it happen.

Secondly, I will seek out a publisher who is associated with a book distributor. Although I am all for the small publishers, it is difficult if not impossible, for the majority of them to break into the major bookstores in Canada and the U.S. If you aren't on a bookstore shelf, it is extremely difficult to sell your book especially a children's picture book in which the pictures say as much as the actual wording. Picture books don't sell so great over the Internet.

And lastly, I know as the author, I will have to do my part too including school book readings, book signings and book fairs as required.

So, until such time as a great idea for another children's picture book slaps me upside my head, I will just sit and wait and see what transpires over the cold, long winter.

Until next time....keep reading..

P.S. If you are interested in more information or wish to order your own autographed copy of my children's picture book, Church Mouse Poor, please visit my website at

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