I have the distinct pleasure of presenting children’s author, Connie Arnold, to my blog today. Connie is the author of “Animal Sound Mix-Up,” a children’s picture book that is traditionally published, and is available in print and ebook versions.
Here are two blurbs from book reviews:
“Venture along in this fun rhyme as you discover what the world would be like if animal sounds got mixed up. You have to admit, it would be quite interesting to hear a roar from a mouse and a squeak from an elephant." --Lori Calabrese.
“The beautiful illustrations by Kit Grady are sure to delight that young animal lover in your life, while the book overall is a great resource to teach preschoolers about animal sounds and to encourage a discussion about what makes each of us unique.” --Lori Calabrese
"Unlike many rhyming picture books, the rhythm and meter flow naturally and the message that God made animals the way they really are is a positive one." Janet Ann Collins at http://onwordsblog.blogspot.com
"Get ready for giggles and belly laughs as you enjoy the absurdity of animals uttering the wrong sounds. Don’t be surprised if kids ask to read this one again and again." Beth Bence Reinke at http://blogs.bethbencereinke.com/bethsbooksbasket
Katie: Connie, share a little bit about yourself.
Connie: In talking about myself, I always start with the fact that I’m a wife, mother and grandmother, since those, to me, are my most important roles in life. I have two children with great spouses and three delightful little grandsons. My husband, Tom, and I live in North Carolina. He has recently retired, and we travel frequently to be with our loved ones. Animal Sound Mix-up is my first children’s book, but I have written three books of inspirational poetry. I’m glad to be able to share the talent God has given me with others through uplifting, encouraging and inspiring poetry. People can read some of my poems on my website blog at http://www.conniearnold.webs.com and some poems and other fun stuff for children at http://www.childrenbooks.webs.com
Katie: How long have you been writing for children?
Katie: What inspired you to write this picture book?
Connie: My little grandsons inspired my writing of this book through reading to them and helping them learn. It’s such fun to watch and listen to a young child making animal sounds!
Katie: Can you share what your early struggles were in writing this book?
Connie: Making the rhythms flow smoothly and the rhymes work naturally without sounding forced were the main struggle. But it was not too hard and such fun to write!
Katie: Do you plan on writing any more picture books?
Connie: Oh, yes, in fact I already have a manuscript that I’m in the process of signing a contract for with another publisher and two more manuscripts yet to be contracted. I continue to jot down poems and ideas and hope there will be more picture books yet to come!
Katie: Did you have an agent for this book, or did you query directly to your publisher, Guardian Angel Publishing?
Connie: No, I didn’t have an agent but submitted directly to Guardian Angel Publishing and received an acceptance fairly quickly. It has been a great experience!
Katie: What sort of marketing have you done for this book? Was your publisher able to help with any of the marketing efforts?
Connie: I have a new website devoted to children with news about Animal Sound Mix-up, poems, fun stuff, and links to other children’s books and fun sites. Also I’ve begun a new blog at http://childrensauthorconniearnold.blogspot.com for sharing things of interest about children. I Twitter about the book and have a page for it on Facebook. Check out http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Animal-Sound-Mix-up/120911087960967 for her page. This week I’m meeting with people at the Children’s Museum here, a preschool director, and the manager of a church bookstore for events and to sell books. I have already contacted the main library, and they are arranging for me to do a reading and program for children and to sign and sell books.
Guardian Angel Publishing had some events in St. Louis recently at the Children’s Illustrated Art Museum and a Border’s bookstore. There is also a blog at http://guardianangelfamily.blogspot.com to share about GAP books and authors and illustrators. A new and exciting way of sharing GAP books has just been announced in a press release from GAP President and CEO Lynda Burch about Be There Bedtime Stories, where people can read books to children and have the video on the pages of the book to send to the children. You can see more about it at http://www.betherebedtimestories.com
Katie: Considering what you have gone through to get your book published, what was the most difficult part of the publishing process?
Connie: Finding the right publisher for what you have written seems to be the most difficult part. I have done extensive research on different publishers over the last few years, and trying to find the one that is the best match is a challenge. In addition, the fact that publishers usually receive such a massive amount of submissions makes the need for your manuscript to really stand out extremely important.
Katie: What advice would you give to other authors who want to break into the picture book market?
Connie: Have your manuscript read by others and get feedback, talk to those who have published picture books about their experience and recommendations, be persistent and keep writing!
Katie: Follow Connie tomorrow as she continues her blog tour with SFC Families Matter http://familiesmatter2us.blogspot.com
Order Links: Guardian Angel Publishing http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/mix-up.htmBarnes & Noble http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Animal-Sound-Mix-Up/Connie-Arnold/e/9781616330835/?itm=3&USRI=connie+arnold