Friday, May 29, 2009


BOOK OF POEMS by Jill Corcoran
Between your coversOrdinary meetsOasisKnowledge collides with emotion
On your pagesFusion: fulfillment
PurposefulObservationsEnergizeMySoul© Jill Corcoran 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009


On April 1, 2009, Borders announced plans to refocus on children's books. At yesterday's shareholders meeting, CEO Ron Marshall shared details of how Borders plans to tap into this "tremendous growth" opportunity. Here are some excerpts from today's Publisher's Weekly article:

-Borders will turn much of its dying music and movies section space into bigger children's book areas.

-The company has been "really underdeveloped in kids," and its share of families in "prime kids years" was low. By contrast, Barnes & Noble has established children's departments with story hours and special events. Expanded childrens' book sections will be rolled out to every Borders store within 90 days, Anne Kubek, Borders executive vice president of merchandising and marketing, said after the shareholders meeting.

-In recent years, [Marshall] acknowledged, customers may have confused Borders with a toy store or a candy shop, a strategy of "lifestyle selling" that brought in action figures and yoga mats....Borders plans to carry education games and toys and teaching devices as well as books, and will relocate young adults and teen books away from the baby and youth books, Kubek said. Teen books often will be positioned close to the manga and science fiction titles, since "teens cross shop those."

-Borders has established "a compressed cycle" of ordering books, going from 12 weeks to four weeks in mid February to about two weeks now, Marshall said. That "just in time" ordering reduces returns to publishers and allows buyers to select more titles based on more information and media buzz, said Anne Roman, a Borders spokeswoman.

-Unfortunately, Borders has a long way to go before it is back on solid financial footing. They lost $186.7 million in the fiscal year ended in January, and Marshall cautioned shareholders not to expect a strong rebound in sales for years.

Children's Writers...rather than allow doom and gloom of that last paragraph to cloud the good news of this post, let's work together as the amazing kidlit community that we are and create great books, create big media buzz, and get our books on Border's bookshelves. Bigger children's book sections means opportunity for each and every one of us. But, the book and the buzz must bring in customers, drive sales and establish the importance of children's books not only for the well being of our children, but for the well being of our publishers and booksellers.

Thank you Ron Marshall and Borders for getting back to the business of selling books and recognizing the buying power of children's book customers.

I shall now jump off my soapbox. Have a great Memorial Day Weekend. God Bless America and all the wonderful men and women who keep us safe.

Monday, May 18, 2009


So some of you are thinking....I don't need to read this post, I'm a writer and writers don't write jacket copy. Editors do. Well back HERE I posted the similarities of jacket copy writing and query writing. Today, Moonrat tweeted about a new study from PUBLISHING TRENDS and CODEX GROUP that puts jacket copy as the "second most important book purchase factor (after favorite author)." The ARTICLE goes on to say,

Flap copy is especially important for fiction. And title and cover impact are closely related to the impact of jacket copy. If the flap copy defies the expectation created by the cover and title—if, for instance, the cover of the book leads the reader to expect a thriller but the flap copy identifies it as horror—readers are less likely to buy it.

The lede is the most important element of the jacket copy. “We make sure that we’re absolutely clear about our lede, what makes the book special, and we announce that as clearly and concisely as possible right at the top,” says Hoffman [Executive Editor at Grand Central Publishing.] “With so many books screaming for readers’ attention, you might only have that first few seconds to make an impact, so you have to identify what makes a book special early on. Readers might not make it to the second paragraph of your gorgeously crafted copy. It’s something every journalist knows, that’s worth our keeping in mind.”

Survey respondents ranked other common elements of jacket copy as less important. Only 13% of literary fiction readers are most influenced by praise from the New York Times, for instance, and they care even less about praise from publishing industry magazines like Publishers Weekly (10%).

This article is available for free for a limited time so please click on over and absorb the info.

So again... what does that have to do with you, the writer? Well, what if your query is so kick-ass, so enticing, inclusive of all that your book promises yet leaves the reader begging for more? You'll probably get a lot of agent and/or editor interest in reading your full. And perhaps a phrase or two will make it into your all important jacket copy.

But, why you need to read this post and click on over to the article is because I am a believer in being informed. If jacket copy is the #2 reason why readers will buy my book, I want to know that. I want to understand what influences buyers and then use that knowledge to best market mine and my clients' manuscripts and published books. For example, published your jacket copy on the home page of your website? Somewhere on your facebook and myspace pages? If a librarian, bookseller or book buyer asks you about your book, do you have a 'conversational' version of that jacket copy ready at any moment?

Your editor wrote your jacket copy. She gave you and your book a gift. A sales handle. Now writers, give that sales handle legs and run with it:)

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Elizabeth Bird makes me wish I listened to my mother. When I was little, Mom always told me I should become a librarian. Check out how School Library Journal Blogging Librarian Elizabeth Bird spends some of her days, well Librarian Preview Days:

More to come so check back and I'll be updating. Better yet, go straight to the source: Elizabeth Bird's School Library Journal Children's Book Blog-A Fuse #8 Production

Thank you, Elizabeth, for letting us all experience Librarian Preview Days. Oh, and Mom thanks you too...."Jillie, you should have listened to me. You would have been a wonderful librarian."

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Last week Paula Yoo established the

7 Picture Books in 7 Days!
Did you all survive NaPiBoWreWee?

Paula, you are amazing!

Check out Paula's website for writing tips, encouragement and fantastic guest bloggers who helped picture book writers from all over the world write 7 PBs in 7 days!


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