Monthly Archives: September 2016

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DUCK & COVER

carole-sibaWhat if you got an invitation to a private showing of all the wonderful books that will be coming soon to a bookstore near you.

Would you think you’d died and gone to book heaven?  Me, too!  And so here I am, as both an author and publisher, at the 2017 SIBA book show in Savannah, a bazaar of publishers, authors, and independent bookstores from around the South.  It’s pretty festive!  I just signed copies of my new LOWCOUNTRY VOODOO A-Z, appeared on a panel “Out of This World” books, saw old friends like Duck Books, and met new friends, such as Nicole Sarroocco, author of  ILL-MANNERED GHOSTS, had dinner with my Gallopade sales rep, Candy Person (love that name!), and her daughter Chrissy Dale.  And that’s just for starters!  But the exciting news is that independent bookstores are not only alive and well, but thriving and growing by leaps and bounds!  They are pretty jazzed!  Just imagine—all the lovely, local bookstores we all once treasured, returning to the scene on a street corner near you!  Some have been around a long time—E. Shaver Books and The Book Lady, in Savannah.  Others are brand-spankin’ new; that’s a good sign.  And best of all, some are in my neck o’ the woods:  Macintosh Books in Beaufort and The Storybook Shoppe in Old Town Bluffton; lucky us! Support your local independent bookstore; they need you and we need them.  When I leave this show, I’ll probably head right out to the bookstores mentioned and see what cover attracts my eye.  For what is life without a good book to read, and what is a town without a great bookstore?  

The Angst of Editorial Meetings

img_75901-copyA lot of people ask about the “insider story” of publishing.

Well, sit in on a real, live Editorial Meeting.  Sound boring?  Sometimes!  In this picture, we are having a real, live Gallopade editorial meeting…for 2017, meaning SEPTEMBER back-to-school…sooooo…

What will kids, teachers, parents, readers, librarians, bookstores, etc. want and need by September “a year from now”?  Well, that’s where the angst comes in!  Part of my job is to anticipate such wants/needs/desires/essentialities—way ahead.  Far enough ahead to assign, research, write, design, illustrate, and paste up and print books in time for back to school, or even summer tourist season, or early year needs.

As you can imagine, this is not easy.  How do we do it?  We listen.  We monitor the local, states, world and international news of all kinds—educational, economic, political, cultural, and more.  As you know, that is not always pretty.  What does it mean?  How does it affect children?  What will teachers want and need?  What will state standards add, change, eliminate?

While it’s sort of a coin, toss, we have one Secret Ingredient to help us stay on the right path: IT’S ALL ABOUT THE KIDS!  We seek to be relevant to them.  We aim to be true to their young minds and questioning brains.  Our goal is to be moral, add value, not to be politically correct.  We want to tell them the facts, the truth as we know it, and let them draw their own conclusions.  And, as if that were not challenge enough, we also are determined to be enlightening, entertaining, and just plain fun.

Difficult?  Yes.  Impossible?  Must not be—we’ve been doing it for 37 years.  We may have a little more gray hair, may even argue, may suffer (I always say, “If you are not suffering, you are not writing anything worth reading.”)  And so, here we go again.  We do good things for kids.  We change kids’ lives.  We save kids’ lives.  But, more importantly, I like to think we help make the world go around just a little bit better each year.  If we help one child, that’s wonderful.

And some people think publishers are just trying to make a living.  Yes, but that is secondary.

See you in 2017 with some great Gallopade/Carole Marsh books, coming sooner or later to a calendar near you!

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