In the Spotlight :: Author Chris Pedersen


Today I am writing about one of my favorite authors!  We met through the app world  a few years back and Chris is one of those people who really works hard at providing quality storybook apps and books.  She is also a big supporter of other authors and is always willing to help out a fellow author!  She is the author of the popular The Prisoner of Carrot Castle and recently released a new Middle Grade chapter book Ethan Blecher Braves a Bully for children who can read on their own but not quite ready for the larger Middle Grade chapter books.  It is the perfect book for this in-between stage.  She says it is geared for children ages 5-8 years of age and is about a boy, Ethan, who stands up to the local bully.  Bullying is a something that most of us had experienced in some form in grade school and I think it is such an important life lesson to teach our kids how to handle this … [Read more...]

In the Spotlight with Tracy Fernandez


Karen Robertson of Treasure Kai asked me to be part of a book app writers blog chain last month. Basically, we write a post and tag fellow writers who are participating. I love this idea as  it reminds me of the chain letters we wrote as kids!  So this week I thought I would write about a great company and woman who has done a lot of work for such great organizations like Apps for Children With Special Needs (A4cwsn) and even provided a banner valued at $300-$400 for Penelope's 2nd Birthday Facebook Party as a giveaway for developers.  Developers had a chance to win a custom-made banner on Polka Dots Publishing Facebook Page where we posted a Rafflecopter Giveaway.  Tracy Fernández is an award-winning graphic artist who has spent more than 20 years gaining extensive graphic design experience, conceiving ideas as well as producing design for printed communications and the web. Tracy … [Read more...]

In the Spotlight: With Dan Poynter


The publishing landscape is changing and many authors have chosen to bring their own work to market as independent publishers.  According to Jim Barnes, of the Independent Publishers Book Awards, there are more than 1.2 million books being independently published each year.  He goes on to say that many authors are realizing that in a fast-changing marketplace, independent publishing offers the flexibility to succeed. Last month I had the opportunity to attend the first Dan Poynter's Global eBook Awards ceremony in Santa Barbara, California.  Dan Poynter is a pioneer in book writing, producing and marketing and he is very generous with his knowledge which he freely shares with fellow writers about what it takes to be a successful author.  He has written and published more than 100 books (wow!) since 1969 that includes Writing Nonfiction, The Self-Publishing Manual, The Skydiver's … [Read more...]

In the Spotlight with Author Natasha Wing


    This week we are talking with best-selling author Natasha Wing whose books are #2, #3 and #4 on the Children's Books Best-Sellers list!  How wonderful is that to not only have one but three books in the Top 10.  Only Dr. Seuss beat her out of the top slot!  You have probably seen and read her books that include The Night Before Kindergarten, The Night Before Preschool and The Night Before First Grade - all wonderful books that help ease little ones transition into a new school year.   Natasha sold her first manuscript, Hippity Hop, Frog on Top, in 1992. and has since, released over twenty picture books.  She is Picture Book Expert for the Children's Book Insider and offers wonderful advice for new and established children's book writers.  This is what she had to say about her creative process and what a typical day is like in her world.   Tell us how you came to writing … [Read more...]

In the Spotlight: Jon Bard of the Children’s Book Insider


The Children's Book Insider (CBI) and The Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)  have both played a role in helping me to realize my dream of publishing a children's picture  book.  Both offer wonderful advice and suggestions to help writers along their sometimes lonesome and frustrating  journey of getting published. The Children's Book Insider (CBI) website and newsletter offers fantastic tips from experts in the industry such as Karen Robertson of Treasure Kai.  I had a chance to speak to Jon Bard who started the Children's Book Insider with his wife, Laura Backes.  Tell us how you became the Editor at CBI? We're a family business.  When I met my wife (and partner) Laura, she was a children's literary agent in NYC.  I owned a PR firm.  She loved children's books, but wasn't crazy about agenting.  I was about done with PR. Whenever someone found out what … [Read more...]

In the Spotlight with iStoryTime


This week we are talking with Woody Sears  who is one of the Founders of  Zuuka and his knowledge of the consumer and mobile technology industries has proven essential to the growth of the company’s digital publishing platform. After co-founding FrogDogMedia with fellow entrepreneur Graham Farrar, the company’s iStoryTime digital publishing grew tremendously leading to a merger with Germany-based zuuka GmbH, resulting in the world’s largest publisher of mobile children’s books. Under the name zuuka, the newly formed company utilizes the largely successful iStoryTime name as its flagship label and joint brand. Developer iStory Time (Zuuka)  is one of the largest developers in the market and provide us with such favorites as The Pirates: Band of Misfits (love this one), Madagascar, and many others.  One of the things I like about this company is the quality of product they put out.  … [Read more...]

In the Spotlight with Zen Labs


    There some products you come across and say "Why didn't I think of that?"  The fun and helpful app that Anahelena Natera of Zen Labs developed - is one of them!  I think this is such a great idea as most parents take hundreds of pictures with their iPhone and promise themselves they will organize them "one of these days".   I know I am one of those people but I never seem to get around to it!  With the Kid-Capsule app, you can organize your photo's according to date and event.  You can make notations to where the picture was taken, what was said (as we all know the funny things kids say), and there is even room to organize the whole family into their own sections if you choose to.  This app provides a wonderful way to journal your family members  and document lasting memories.  I had the opportunity to speak to Ms. Natera about her app: Tell us how the idea … [Read more...]

In the Spotlight with Nina Lim


  It is so wonderful to see other authors realize their dream of creating a children's picture book.  I think many parents are inspired by their children to create something they can share with them.  This week I had a chance to interview Nina Lim, Author and eBook Publisher of Super Harry's Rotten Luck that demonstrates to kids that some days just aren't that great.  And by changing his actions, Harry is able to change his luck.  It is written and illustrated  is such a hilarious way - you are sure to get some laughs while you read it together.  Here is what Nina had to say about her journey so far:  Why did you decide to launch your children's story as an app?  I wanted to create a children’s book app when I saw how much magic and learning was possible with the iPad. The opportunity to add narration and sound effects was really fun. Most of all, I was impressed with how the … [Read more...]