My PiBoIdMo Post: Do Your Worst

Quick note: My 2015 PiBoIdMo Post Josh Funk Dares You to Do Your Worst went live yesterday. I encourage everyone to check it out and if you register for PiBoIdMo and comment on the page, you’ll be eligible to win some Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast swag (see image below):

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Registration for PiBoIdMo is now open (click here) but it’s only open for TWO MORE DAYS! So register now if you want to have a chance at winning any of the giveaways (literary agent consultations, books, swag, etc) throughout the month.

Two for You

1. Stone Giant written by Jane Sutcliffe and illustrated by John Shelley

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Enthralling story of how Michaelangelo’s David came to be.

2. Hiding Dinosaurs written and illustrated by Dan Moynihan

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Boy hatches dinosaur eggs. Hilarity ensues.

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7th Annual Picture Book Idea Month Is Here!

PiBoIdMo 2015 Calendar

Why is November 1st one of my all-time favorite days of the year?

No, it’s not my wife’s birthday! (or is it?)

November 1st is the start of Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month)! According to the FAQ (found here), “PiBoIdMo is a free November writing challenge for picture book writers and illustrators. The object is to jot down one picture book concept daily. By the end of the month you’ll have at least 30 bright & shiny new ideas! You can then refer to these ideas throughout the year to jumpstart your creativity and write new manuscripts.”

Registration for PiBoIdMo is now open (click here)! It’s free and it’s awesome. Every day throughout November a different author or illustrator will post on Tara’s blog in order to inspire and ignite your creativity. I posted last year (see here) and I’ll be posting this year again (on November 2nd!). Here’s the calendar for the entire month:

pibocalendar

What a lineup, eh? And what a logo! PiBoIdMo founder and organizer Tara Lazar works tirelessly every fall to organize this event.  And today happens to be the book birthday for her third picture book, Little Red Gliding Hood. So let’s give Tara a hearty congratulations! I’d also like to congratulate Little Red Gliding Hood illustrator (and PiBoIdMo 2015 Artwork Creator), Troy Cummings.

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Congrats to Tara & Troy!

And as I do at the conclusion of every blog post, here are two recommendations for you:

Two for You (Tara Lazar Edition)

1. The Monstore written by Tara Lazar and illustrated by James Burks

monstore

Just in time for Halloween, pick up this family favorite, Tara Lazar’s debut!

2. I Thought This Was a Bear Book written by Tara Lazar and illustrated by Benji Davies

i thought this was a bear book

Alien crashes into a bear book. Hilarity ensues. Meta at its finest!

Featured Interview in Huffington Post

I was interviewed by The Book Doctors in the Huffington Post today in an article entitled “Josh Funk on the War Between Pancakes & French Toast, SCBWI & Getting Published” – it’s probably the most in depth interview I’ve done to date, with some seriously awesome questions, such as:

  • How did you go about getting a book contract not only for Lady Pancake, but also for your next two books which are coming out?
  • Hasn’t anyone told you that rhyming books don’t sell? How did you overcome this ridiculous idea, and why do you think people keep saying that?
  • What are some of the most horrifying things about being a professional author?
  • How has being a member of SCBWI helped you in your career and as a person?
  • Why in the name of all that’s good and holy would you choose to get into the publishing business? Have you had your head examined recently? Been checked for brain parasites?
  • How do you keep it so funky?
  • and more …

And I got to share the #TeamKrush logo designed by Jessie Devine.

Team Krush Logo TeamKrush

Check out the entire interview here.

Two for You

(two books I highly recommend)

1. Backhoe Joe written by Lori Alexander and illustrated by Craig Cameron

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Want a backhoe for a pet? Of course you do!

2. There Was a Wee Lassie Who Swallowed a Midgie written by Rebecca Colby and illustrated by Kate McLelland

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A Scottish twist on this much-loved rhyme!

My First Podcast Interview: Let’s Get Busy with Matthew Winner

Just a quick note today: if you’ve never listened to the Let’s Get Busy Podcast with Matthew Winner, you certainly should. And today you have TWO reasons … because I am the featured guest on Episode #193 talking about Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast!

podcast

In this interview I:

I highly recommend you subscribe to the Let’s Get Busy Podcast if you haven’t already. Matthew Winner has so many amazing interviews with fabulous guests in the previous 192 episodes (and many more lined up to come!). And certainly check out his new home for the podcast – All the Wonders, a home for readers to discover new books and to experience the stories they love in wondrous ways.

Also, I decided today to start a new tradition. Because so many of my blog posts are about me, I’d like to share two favorite books by others at the end of every post from this day forward. I’ve decided to very creatively call this:

Two for You

(two books I highly recommend)

1. Boats for Papa written and illustrated by Jessixa Bagley

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I love everything about this book. Get the tissues ready, cause it made me start crying in the middle of a bookstore.

2. Snoozefest written by Samantha Berger and illustrated by Kristyna Litten

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Great rhymes and illustrations, and starring a sloth.

How to Buy a Picture Book (without Buying a Picture Book)

My first book comes out on Tuesday. Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast. You’re probably tired of hearing about it by now, so lucky for you, I don’t plan on talking about it in this post.

Today it’s how to support picture book authors and illustrators.

One of the best things you can do is buy their book(s).

But what if you’re not in the market for picture books at this time in your life, so the idea of buying one doesn’t really interest you? Maybe it doesn’t fit your budget. Or maybe you have an irrational fear of cute animals and anthropomorphic breakfast foods.
Book Shelf with Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast

Here are ten ways to support picture book authors and illustrators:

  1. Give the book as a gift. You probably know someone who might like it. Give it to her/him. Or donate it to your library.
  2. Request that your local library purchase a copy. This can be done in person or often in an online form.
  3. Reserve and borrow it from the library. Increased circulation of books is noticed by librarians. They are smart people.
  4. Review the book. On goodreads. On Amazon. On bn.com. Text reviews are even more valuable than just star-ratings.
  5. Talk about the book with librarians and booksellers. There are a lot of great books out there. Get this book on their radar.
  6. Talk about the book with friends. Or parents of your child’s friends. Or your child’s teacher. Or strangers on the street.
  7. Share the book on social media. Tweet about it. Blog about it. Post on Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, MySpace, etc. about it. Share the cover image. If you see it in the wild, snap a picture and share that. And tag the author or illustrator (or both). We love that!
  8. Share the author or illustrator’s posts on social media. Follow them on social media sites and share with your networks.
  9. Read the book in public. Like at the park. Or in a restaurant. Or the airport.
  10. Make your own fan book trailer. And post to YouTube. If that’s your thing.

Note: I’m not the first to write a post like this. Here are a few other posts which have similar and more detailed info. Please check them out:

Also Note: These ideas can apply to any type of book, not just picture books.

Thanks for reading. And thank you very much for supporting picture book authors and illustrators, however you choose to do so.

Josh Funk’s Guide to Writing Picture Books (in 12 easy steps)

Yesterday I updated my official website (joshfunkbooks.com) to include a new Resources for Writers section.

Josh Funk's 12 Step Guide to Writing Picture Books

For those of you that have been following this blog for a while, those 12 lessons may look familiar. I took my Tips for Writing Picture Books series and reorganized it a bit to make it a little cleaner and available all in one place.

See all of Josh Funk’s 12-Step Guide to Writing Picture Books

Lesson #1: So, You Wrote a Book. Now What?
Lesson #2: Picture Books Are Short
Lesson #3: Every Word Counts
Lesson #4: The Illustrator Is Your Partner
Lesson #5: Show Don’t Tell
Lesson #6: Write with Active Emotion
Lesson #7: Story Arc Components
Lesson #8: Don’t Write In Rhyme
Lesson #9: Rhyming Is All About Rhythm
Lesson #10: Some Ideas Don’t Work
Lesson #11: Keep Learning
Lesson #12: Now You’re Ready! Dive In!

I hope that these lessons help any prospective picture book authors, as it’s basically a massive brain dump of things I’ve learned in the last ~4 years.

Feel free to share – and enjoy!

My Official Picture Book Idea Month Post Is Now Available!

Just a quick note to the four of you who read my blog. My Official PiBoIdMo post is up at Tara Lazar’s website. I even snuck in two new previously unreleased sketches from Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast (by illustrator Brendan Kearney). Or is it sneaked? Is snuck even a word? It has that dastardly red jagged line underneath it! The word snuck/sneaked definitely causes problems for a rhymer.

joshfunk_pibo_prize

Also, I’m giving away FIVE signed books from my critique family over at my post: THE RAINDROP WHO COULDN’T FALL by Kirsti Call, REX WRECKS IT! by Ben Clanton, MONSTER NEEDS A CHRISTMAS TREE by Paul Czajak, RUTH THE SLEUTH AND THE MESSY ROOM by Carol Gordon Ekster, and ESTHER’S HANUKKAH DISASTER by Jane Sutton.

Happy PiBoIdMo Day #12.