Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My Authors Have the Best Ideas.

A motherlode: I've been staying in touch with previous customers in hopes of mining the ideas and practices that have been working for them. Here are three recent contacts. 

Five years ago, Lisa Schwartz completed a novel called The Paper Shack about a family drafted for service in a coke-producing (the sooty fuel, not the fizzy drink) town in Utah during World War II. The story was loosely based on some family history and was both interesting from a historical point of view and entertaining. (Visualize a prim 1940s neatnik in frilly house dress trying to keep her tar paper shack free of ever-present coke dust.) However, Lisa's own story was even more compelling. She was raising a child with serious developmental disabilities (plural and then some). At the time, I encouraged Lisa to share this story with others, via a memoir or other non-fiction work. Recently, Lisa began doing so in a form I hadn't imagined. She's doing an online comic that manages to be heartbreaking, sarcastic, and funny all at once. I encourage you to check out Our Special World Comic. Click on the comic thumbnails to view four or five different comics. Then forward the link to anyone you know raising an autistic or special needs child. They'll be glad you did. 

Mark Horner, author of Consistently Persistent: Living with the Tourette Trifecta, is having as much success as any of my authors with his blog. He started with a regular column in the Dallas Morning News and has segued into regular blog posts that consistently attract multiple comments and new followers. He attributes his success to his use of labels or keywords for his posts. Well, that and his fondness for ripping the educational establishment and contemporary parenting practices. When I last looked, I noted that he is highlighting "recent comments," a smart practice. Check out his blog, also called Consistently Persistent.

Nancy Diehl and Kathi Kemper are enjoying some success with their first book, Art-Based Curriculum: Discovering the Alphabet with Imagination and Art. The book, aimed at teachers of young children, has several art projects associated with each letter of the alphabet. Nancy and Kathi have been surprised by their early success with "grandmas." No surprise here. Grandmas usually are a good market for children's books or, as in this case, books for adults who are looking for ways to engage imaginatively with children. Check out their blog, also called Art-Based Curriculum.They also seem to be having some success publicizing their book with Pinterest. I'm still trying to work up my nerve to try that. The Publishing Pro.