I’m Baaaaaaack! by J Monkeys

Hello Scribblers – J Monkeys here from a summer away from writing.  Have you missed me?  Nah, I’m sure Vivienne kept you so entertained, you didn’t even notice that I was gone.  I hope you had a spectacular summer and are settling down into fall.  It might be a rough winter here in New England.  Mr Monkeys says the squirrels have been hiding acorns at a prodigious rate.  Couple that with the crazy hot summer and I’m gonna spend the next month ensuring that our emergency supplies are in order.

And of course, Emergency Supply Season at Monkey Manor is also NaNoWriMo season.  Are you noveling this November?  Not only will I be noveling, but I’m also leading a group of 3rd to 5th graders in their first NaNoWriMo adventure.  This ties in with a lot of school-related work I’ve been doing lately. 

I have author visits set up for several local schools this year, and I’m doing a few different writing projects with students.  For example, Monday will be my third session with a group of Kindergarten to Second Graders in a collaborative writing project.  It’s been wicked fun so far.  These kids are so creative!  We brainstormed a bunch of ideas to weave into our story and then spent some time writing a general outline.  They had so many ideas, that we’re ending up with a chapter book.  I’ll share more as it unfolds.

In the world of writing for little kids, the e-book phenomenon isn’t making gazillionaires out of us yet.  Unlike YA readers, MG-ers and emerging readers don’t have purchasing authority.  No Kindle with Amazon gift cards from Grandpa and Great Aunt Susie.  For Indies to sell MG and picture books, you’ve got to connect with both the audience (kids) and the buyer (adults).  Getting into schools is a great way to do that.  But it’s tough.  Lots of competition out there.

For those of you out there writing for the younger set, how are you doing?  Outside of being published by Scholastic, what sales venues have you found that work?


5 thoughts on “I’m Baaaaaaack! by J Monkeys”

  1. We do Writing Across the Curriculum from John Collins. It is also paired with a sentence writing program from Gerry Morris. He was a teacher in Marshfield for 30 years. Check out the programs and they may help you with the school visits! DON’T talk about a snowy winter!!! We can’t take it. Anyway it won’t snow at all this year because I just spent $250 on new coats, snowpants, and boots for both of the girls. That always happens!!

    1. Yes – I agree. Being prepared for bad weather is the surest way to stave it off. Hence my need to store emergency supplies every year. And dude – I usually try to buy snowpants and coats in February when they are like $11. Boots are tough. Gotta buy them in August and the kids won’t wear them until January so it’s a crap-shoot on size…

  2. Fantastic J. So glad you’ve been able to get into the schools with your books. They are all so awesome! I’ve made a few contacts at a couple of high schools for my YA books for the same reason (reaching teens and parents who buy for teens), but haven’t sealed the deal yet. Lots of red tape and permissions to get through. You’d think I was introducing a bomb making class or something…geesh.

    Best of luck with the kiddies. And I’m with you. I’m thinking we’re going to get hit hard in payment for this beautiful streak of great weather. I’m getting prepped as we speak:-)

    1. Teaching the makings of illicit materials might actually be easier! Did you hear about that YA Author who got banned by a whole district because they villains were mean and there was kissing! Scandalous, I know. Rainbow Rowell is her name. I’ll be picking that book up for sure! Silly small minded people.

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