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

Backhoe Joe

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

there was a wee lassie

A Scottish twist on this much-loved rhyme!

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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!

Big News – Book Deal: JACK! (and the beanstalk)

Great news! I sold another book!

balloons-268553_640

Here’s the announcement from today’s Publishers Weekly Children’s Bookshelf:

Marilyn Brigham at Two Lions has acquired world rights to Jack and the Beanstalk by Josh Funk, a fresh take on a young Jack who is not keen on climbing any beanstalks and would much prefer to tell his own story. The book is slated for fall 2017. Kathleen Rushall at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency brokered the deal.

This will be my first non-rhyming (*gasp*) picture book (don’t worry, I haven’t gone prose for good…).

So get your bookshelves ready! It’s only another 800-900 days away!

beanstalk-307352_640[1]

Book Announcement: Pirasaurs!

From the September 30, 2014 Publisher’s Weekly Children’s Bookshelf Rights Report:

pw

I’m thrilled to be paired with Michael Slack, who recently illustrated Tammie Sauer’s NUGGET & FANG, and wrote and illustrated MONKEY TRUCK, ELECOPTER, WAZDOT? and the upcoming TURTLE TUG.

I’ve been a big fan of Slack’s art for a while now, and I’ve been giddy ever since my friends at Scholastic(!) mentioned his name as a possibility. Check out the amazing potpourri of fantastic images at his website!

And get ready for PIRASAURS! in 2016!!!

The Moment

On Tuesday, July 9th, 2013 at 3:29 in the afternoon, my phone gave two short bursts against my leg notifying me that I had received an email. When I pulled it out of my pocket and looked, I saw a subject line containing the title of one of my manuscripts. In most circumstances, this would mean a form response from an agent (and in rare cases, the agent may have read enough of my manuscript to explain why it wasn’t a good fit). But unlike most emails with one of my titles in the subject, this one didn’t start with “Re: QUERY.”

In fact, this wasn’t a response at all. Someone manually typed the name of my story into the subject line of their outgoing email. This had never happened before. My head spun as I read words and phrases like “editor” and “imprint” and “really like the spirit.” I couldn’t believe this might actually be happening.

A dose of reality smacked the pit of my stomach when I got to the words as it currently stands, I’m afraid it probably won’t work.” Nooooo!!!!! Could this be nothing more than the nicest rejection letter ever?

Calendar-July-9

But wait! There was more. When my eyes arrived at “Would you open to writing a revision?” I realized this was not actually a rejection! And a few sentences later, the author of this email actually said “I look forward to hearing from you.” THEY were looking forward to hearing from ME?!?!? (how weird – that’s exactly what I say at the end of all my queries)

The next two weeks were a flurry of revisions and excited anxiety, and some day I’ll tell the whole story. It was another four months and more until I received offers of representation and publication.

But precisely one year ago, at this very moment, I received the first ever positive response to one of my manuscripts from an industry professional. *shivers just thinking about it*

NESCBWI 14 Conference Recaps

If you know me, you’ll know that I’m pretty quiet, reserved, and shy. I don’t really like talking much, especially about myself. You’ll also know I’m pretty sarcastic.

Therefore, rather than talking about my experience at last weekend’s conference (May 2-4), I thought I’d share some of my friends’ recaps. So here they are:

If I missed your blog post, feel free to share it in the comments, or just post your own thoughts on the grand spectacle that was NESCBWI 2014.

Who’s ready for next year?

Think outside your

crayon box