the blog

Friday, 3 July 2015

A Kids' Year Series!


Tina and I are delighted to reveal the covers to books 2 and 3 in the A Kids' Year series, which is now going international! A Scottish Year and An English Year will be released in the UK (with a small run in Australia and New Zealand) this September--and next year we'll be releasing two more titles (but the destinations are hush hush!).

We have so loved working on this series. A dedicated website for A Kids' Year books will soon be up and running, so watch this space. In the meantime, for those Aussies wanting to snaffle a copy of the limited local editions, you can pre-order A Scottish Year here and An English Year here.

More on the books, below.

A Scottish Year: Twelve Months in the Life of Scotland's Kids OUT SEPTEMBER
(September 2015, EK Books, $19.99, hard cover, 9781921966873)

Five little Scotts ready to take you on a journey through twelve months in the life of Scottish kids. Meet Isla, Sophie, Dominik, James and Rashida - Scottish children representing a multicultural blend of culture and race that typifies our beautiful country.

They will take you through a year in the life of Scottish kids, from celebrations to traditions to events, to our everyday way of life and the little things that make childhood so memorable. They are our Scottish childhood.

A Scottish Year is a picture book bursting with national pride. It is a snapshot of who we are as a nation, blending our modern-day culture and lifestyle with past traditions and strong heritage. Its pages feature meandering text, dates and gorgeous illustrations, showcasing our five Scottish children at play, at school, at home, and enjoying the sights and sites of Scotland - from our heather-strewn Highlands to our historical cities, pristine outer islands and charming rural towns.


An English Year: Twelve Months in the Life of England's Kids OUT SEPTEMBER
(September 2015, EK Books, $19.99, hard cover, 9781921966866)

Five little children ready to take you on a journey through twelve months in the life of English kids. Meet Aman, Victoria, Amelia, Tandi and George - English children representing a multicultural blend of culture and race that typifies our beautiful country.

They will take you through a year in the life of English kids, from celebrations to traditions to events, to our everyday way of life and the little things that make childhood so memorable. They are our English childhood.

An English Year is a picture book bursting with national pride. It is a snapshot of who we are as a nation, blending our modern-day culture and lifestyle with past traditions and strong heritage. Its pages feature meandering text, dates and gorgeous illustrations showcasing our five English children at play, at school, at home, and enjoying the sights and sites of England - from the northern moors and breathtaking Lake District, to our pebbly seasides, bustling cities and historical country towns.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Finding Your Illustration Style


When you think of Graeme Base or Stephen Michael King, Shaun Tan or Dick Bruna, I’m sure an illustration style immediately pops to mind. Each of these talented people have a particular style they’ve honed over the years. It’s become a sort of ‘trademark’—instant recognition {also called visual branding} that’s highly beneficial in a marketing sense.

Illustrators often say they don’t ‘see’ their own illustration style, yet others can readily pick it in an illustration line-up. Less experienced illustrators say they have a dream style, yet they’re either not sure exactly what it is {lack of focus} or feel they’re not capable of it {lack of self-belief}.

I’m one of these people. I’ve watched and admired many illustrators over the years. Each time I’ve admired their work, a thought goes through my mind:

Monday, 29 June 2015

Ask Tania: What is the Most Widely Used and Accepted Illustration Software?


Dear Tania,
What is the most popular, widely used and accepted software used by illustrators for digital illustrations for children's books?
Catherine

Hi, Catherine,

To be honest, it doesn't really matter how you produce your illustrations, so long as you can provide them in a format that suits your publisher--either hand-rendered illustrations that the publisher will have scanned, or as high-resolution digital imagery, most often PDFs.

Some illustrators (like me) create part of their work by hand and part of it digitally. I also use printed material and photographs which I scan into my computer and assemble into pages using Adobe Illustrator (AI). I find AI the most user-friendly when it comes to page assembly and layout, but that's probably because it was the first software I ever used.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

How NOT to Market Your Book


We hear so much about marketing books and how we can promote ourselves and our work. As with everything in our modern day world, the views on this topic are rapidly shifting, and what used to work is no longer as effective. In fact, it can even be detrimental to your journey or reputation. 

Here are my tips on how NOT to go about the promotion of your work.

Friday, 26 June 2015

The Types of Author You Don't Want to Be


I'm often asked questions on 'what to do' or 'how to be' something, and I love the challenge of answering these questions, but it's often the things we 'shouldn't' do that can have the most impact, and facilitate the most successful author journey. I've learned from many mistakes--both my own and the mistakes of others--and I continue to learn every day.

I hope this rundown on the types of author you don't want to be helps you avoid making common mistakes that may compromise your journey.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Resources for Authors and Illustrators

http://taniamccartney.blogspot.com/2015/06/resources-for-authors-and-illustrators.html

I really do believe that sharing is caring, most especially when it comes to books. On my blog and via some external links, you'll find many and varied resources to help you on your writing or illustrating journey--and even if you don't write or illustrate (and are just a creative person trying to forge your ideal path), there's plenty here for you, too.

Listed below are several resources for you to enjoy and learn from. Most are free and the KBR eBooks are just $4.95.

There are articles, experiences, questions answered, and even an e-book crammed with over 25 years of writing, editing and publishing experience.

This is just an initial list. I'll be adding many more links these coming months.

I hope they help you shine, you clever thing.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Frosty Canberra


Who says Canberra isn't beautiful? Even in winter? Deliciously frosty.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Latest Peas in a Pod Reviews

Some more delightful reviews from lovely people--thanks, everyone! Our little peas in a pod are having a lot of fun out and about in the world.

Click the imagery to read the full reviews (where appropriate).

Pass It On

http://honeybeebooksblog.blogspot.com.au/2015/06/picture-book-review-peas-in-a-pod.html
Honey Bee Books


Taupo Times, NZ

Bookie Monster review podcast
DeeScribe

Upstart Magazine



Thursday, 18 June 2015

Peas in a Pod COLOURING COMPETITION!

http://taniamccartney.blogspot.com.au/2015/06/peas-in-pod-colouring-competition.html

Do you think you can create a colouring that's unique--and nothing like anyone else can do? Well, then this comp is for you!

Peas in a Pod is a book about five little girls born the same. They sleep the same, eat the same, even cry the same. One day, they decide 'same' is no fun--the girls insist on being different, and chaos ensues! Mum and Dad step in to set everything right ... and things are the same again. Same same same.

But not for long!

This new book from an award-winning duo is a delightful celebration of what it means to be true to ourselves and dare to be unique. Featuring stunning illustrations, it's sure to make both kids and adults smile.

THE PRIZE

It's fabulous! The winner will score a signed copy of brand new Peas in a Pod, PLUS signed copies of the award-winning An Aussie Year, Tottie and Dot, and four of Tania’s Riley the Little Aviator books! They'll also win handmade Peas in a Pod greeting cards and activity book, a peg doll kit to make little peas in a pod, and some other sweet surprises!

All this is valued at over $120!

Entries will be judged by Tania, and she is on the lookout for something truly unique!

HOW TO ENTER

This competition is for children aged 10 and under.

Just select and print-out any one of the following Peas in a Pod images and colour it in the most fabulous way you can imagine. Be sure to add your name, age,  and a contact email address to the entry (entries without will be ineligible). Remember: this prize can only be sent to an Australian address.

And yes, you can enter more than once!

Entries can either be emailed to booksATtaniamccartney.com or posted to PO Box 1753 Woden ACT 2606.

Competition ends at midnight (AEST) on Friday 31 July 2015, and is open to anyone around the world but PLEASE NOTE that the prize can only be sent to an Australian address. This is a game of skill, not chance.





Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Peas in a Pod scores a Kirkus Review

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/tania-mccartney/peas-in-a-pod/

Tina and I are tickled [fuchsia] pink to be reviewed by Kirkus! Click the image to read the full review of Peas in a Pod.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

How to be a Successful Writing Festival or Conference Delegate

AFCC, Singapore, June 2015

Here are my tips for a really strong, productive and successful time as a festival or conference delegate.

1. TALK TO PEOPLE. Don’t stick with who you know—stretch yourself and meet new people. You never know where it will lead professionally—and you might just make a new friend or begin an exciting collaboration.

2. BE INCLUSIVE. Most festival delegates are either on their own or know few people. Look out for that ‘lost soul’ who knows no one and invite them to join you for breakfast. Step back and give them a place in your circle. Introduce them to others. Ask them about themselves. Be kind, not excluding.

3. SUPPORT OTHERS. If you can, drop into the sessions of friends or colleagues. Not only is it supportive, it’s important to remember that your greatest industry ally is your colleague.

4. CARRY COLLATERAL. Festivals are a priceless opportunity to make contacts. Take everyone’s business card and offer your own (I keep mine in the back of the festival pass which hangs around your neck).

Presenting Brilliant Sessions at Writers' Festivals and Schools

Asian Festival of Children's Content, Singapore, June 2015

One of the most exciting things a creator can be asked to do is present at a book or writing festival. Not only is it an enormous profile boost, it’s a fantastic experience that will sharpen your skills, expose you to brilliant content and, of course, provide priceless networking opportunities.

Creators are either asked to present at festivals or they can submit an abstract or presentation proposal for festival organisers to consider.

When proposing any kind of presentation, it’s important to check the festival outline carefully, so you can align your presi with the expected themes and outcomes. It’s also important to offer a presi you feel comfortable with. Focus on what you know and are passionate about. If you do this, your session will be engaging and enriched by your knowledge. Side bonus: when you know your stuff, there’s less nerves.

Sometimes, a festival committee may ask you to present on a certain topic or concept of their own making. If their suggestion doesn’t resonate with you, or you feel you don’t know it well enough, don’t feel obliged to say yes. The agony and stress of presenting unfamiliar content is simply not worth it—and any good event organiser would not expect you to go so far outside your comfort zone. You could either offer something similar that more closely aligns with your experience, or something completely different but just as attractive.
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