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On August 24, my kids and I attended our first author/illustrator book signing! You Byun of Brooklyn, New York was in Seoul signing at our English bookstore for her debut picture book Dream Friends, published by Nancy Paulsen Books, Penguin Group. I had signed my kids up for this story time last week.
I used my kids as an excuse to attend; this book signing was really for me to observe. 🙂
I had first heard of Dream Friends from an interview at Writer’s Digest: 7 Things I’ve Learned So Far. Then I actually got to read her new book on the web site We Give Books. (It’s not part of their collection anymore that I could find.) And then my 12×12 writing friend, Sylvia Liu interviewed You Byun on her blog, Sylvia Liu Land. Here You Byun shares how she got her first book contract and what she’s working on. I also “friended” You Byun on Facebook and Twitter. So I messaged her that I was so happy she’d be in Seoul and told her I was a member of the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), too.
You Byun read her story.
She shared her original drawings and explained how she used the computer to make final illustrations.
Autographing books is more fun if the illustrator draws you!
My kids and You Byun
What did I learn? I learned you must be very organized at book signings with children and parents expecting great things from you, speak in a loud voice, have something for the kids to take away (She taught them how to draw a character.), have fun prizes, but most of all, control the crowd, where the teacher in me wanted to get the children to be quiet. Oh, and as a bonus, I met the assistant sales manager of Penguin Group Korea! She said in the future they might publish their own English books because right now they’re all published in the U.S.
In July I won 4th place in author Susanna Leonard Hill’s 4th of July writing contest, which got me a free ticket into her online picture book class called, Susanna Leonard Hill’s Picture Book Magic! So I’m currently in the middle of Susanna’s class and revamping one of my stories. Before I won this great opportunity, I had signed up for Dr. Mira Reisburg’s Picture Book Academy, The Craft and Business of Writing Children’s Picture Books. That class starts Aug. 26th. So both my children and I will have homework for the next couple of months!
If you want to go back to school and shape up some of your stories and learn new techniques, consider these opportunities!