Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Behind the Books: Monkey Marketing

When I visit schools, kids (and their teachers) often seem stunned by how much time it takes to create a book and how many people are involved in the process. My new picture book, No Monkeys, No Chocolate, is an extreme example. It took 10 years, 56 revisions, and 2 fresh starts. Let’s face it. Sometimes dumping everything and starting from scratch is the only way to find the story you really want—and need—to tell.

When it came time to think about promoting No Monkeys, No Chocolate, I knew I’d do the standard stuff—Teachers Guide, Storytime Guide, Activity Sheets, reach out to bloggers, solicit radio and print interviews, etc. But I also wanted to do something special, something unique, something useful.

That’s when I remembered all those stunned kids. I can only reach out to so many of them at in-person visits or via Skype. How could I share the idea that revision is the heart of writing with them? How could I let them know that creating a book takes hard work, dedication, and patience? Kids shouldn’t balk at the idea of revising their writing assignments once or twice or even three times. Just like playing a sport or learning a musical instrument, writing takes practice.

To communicate that message, I decided to create a Revision Timeline the tells the story behind the book. Here’s a picture of how I set up my office while filming the videos. I set the camera on top of all those books.

The timeline is a combination of clickable elements—videos, WIP manuscripts, an interview with my editor, sample sketches, and even “final” art that didn’t make it into the book. I hope you’ll check it out.

1 comment:

  1. Love your timeline. I'm going to use it in a library lesson. Thanks so much.
    Mrs. Brown Loves Bookworms