One of the many quirks and perks of publishing is having your work on bookshelves overseas. It's pretty much all thanks to the rights team at your publishing house. As well as representing your stories at the big international book fairs, they work year round to try and get your books printed and distributed by other publishers all over the world.
Of course, writing a story with universal appeal also plays a part, as does having a smart editorial team with insight, foresight and eyesight - it helps to be paired with an illustrator whose work has appeal in more than one market. Tastes and trends differ across the world; if you're lucky enough to travel overseas, check out the kids sections in book shops and you'll see.
I was recently lucky enough to visit the stunning ZiNiN Bibliotheek library in Nijverdal, Nederlands where my books are stocked and borrowed. The photo below shows my lovely little friend Sofia with a copy of 'Hoe Je Een Wollige Mammoet Moet Wassen in Tien Lessen' ('How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth in Ten Lessons'). It's a popular book by me and illustrator Kate Hindley. This particular version was translated by Dutch children's writer Imme Dros and published by Querido.
How to increase your chances of co-editions?
Try rewriting one of your texts in prose.
'How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth' was originally a rhyming story when Simon & Schuster first took an interest in it. My would-be-editor suggested I rewrite it in prose. I wasn't convinced I was capable, but I put on my poker face and said of course I could. The resulting story has now been printed (and reprinted several times), in ten languages at the last count - all thanks to Simon & Schuster's brilliant business brains, Kate Hindley's gorgeous art and a seemingly timeless interest in prehistoric mammals.
It really is a wonderful feeling to know kids and families are enjoying your stories all over the world. Huge thanks to the Vloon-Taliani family and ZiNiN Bibliotheek for the warmest of welcomes.
The Bath Children's Literature Festival is one of my all time favourites. The programme is always packed with brilliant events for kidlit enthusiasts and - lucky me - it's only twenty minutes down the road.
The Robinsons went to see one of our favourite author/illustrators, Chris Mould on Saturday. His The Iron Man event was wonderful - warm, funny, generous and inspiring, just like the man himself. Get your mitts on a copy of the book, it's an absolute treasure.
I hope everyone who came along found it helpful. There's always room on the shelves for more wonderful children's books. And there's always time to book to see more events! Me and my kids are still looking forward to Andy Stanton, Frann Preston-Gannon and Laura Ellen Andersen on the weekend. Whoop!
Thanks to Bath Children's Literature Festival and to the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook for having me. Can't wait for next year when it will be even bigger and better than ever before!
Thank you for allowing me to play a small part in your huge legacy of love. I am so very, very glad to have called you friend.
If you're looking for a book that helps explains the loss of a parent in a comforting way, ONLY ONE OF ME is still very much available. You can buy the book here, any proceeds continue to benefit Lisa's chosen charities. If you haven't yet come across Lisa, she's a wonderful spokesperson for people living with cancer.
TEN FAT SAUSAGES was voted the Best Picture Book in this year's Stockport Children's Book Awards!
Illustrator I had a brilliant time meeting some of the young readers who've been picking their favourites with the help of Stockport Libraries. It was also great to see all the other authors and illustrators, including my fellow sausage, Tor Freeman.
Tor and I really enjoyed visiting Puss Bank Primary School and Moorfield Primary with Simply Books of Bramhall - if you're in the area, don't miss the chance to visit their incredible book shop. It's a real treasure trove!
ALL HAIL BRIONY MAY SMITH!
How the story started.
Thanks for the idea, kiddos!
Exercise your imagination and ideas will come.
It's taken a lot of graft, a day in a dingy dungeon with some good friends and their green screen (thank you, David Gibb and Eloise Dimmock!), grappling with new software (thank you, Andy Robinson!) and plenty of midnight oil, but I'm pleased to announce that my new YouTube series is here!
The first two videos - How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth and Ten Fat Sausages - are already online. Plenty more are to come! I filmed a whole two years' worth of films and will be posting a new one every month - simply hit 'subscribe' if you'd like to hear about them when they go online.
I really hope you find Read, Write & Play useful. Please comment and let me know. You might even like to tell me which books you'd like to see next. Thanks for watching!
I'm very excited about this one! 1,2,3 Do the Dinosaur is illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw. I've long been an admirer of Ros's work. Her characters are truly adorable and she's made this a book to love and treasure. I'm very pleased with the text too - I was lucky enough to work with editor Alison Green who taught me so much during the process.
Huge thanks to Bournville Book Fest and all the families who came along to meet the Ten Fat Sausages and the Odd Socks!
What a busy couple of weeks! I've had a wonderful time visiting schools as part of their World Book Day celebrations.
My week started with in Andover and Basingstoke with the Hants School Library Service. What lucky schools to have such brilliant librarians! They help pick out the best new titles and make sure the schools have plenty of variety on their bookshelves. The kids were brilliant, too! I visited St Bede's and St John the Baptist's primary schools, who played host to other schools joining us on coach trips. It was bookish, busy, bonkers and lots of fun.
On World Book Day itself I was invited to Milldown Academy, Blandford Forum for a whole day of sessions with everyone from reception to year 6. No rest for wicked sausages - I was at Christchurch Primary in Bradford-on-Avon on Friday morning along with Fleur Hitchcock!
The children at Christchurch had all been challenged to make a 'book hat' from a piece of card. The hats were based on their favourite books.Assembly was BRILLIANT! I've never seen so many wonderful, creative, inventive and varied hats. What a great idea - much cheaper and simpler than costumes, and they got everyone talking about favourite stories. I think my favourite was a traditional caravan hat from Danny the Champion of the World. The hats meant I found out about some books I'd not heard of before - and I've now borrowed them from the library for my kids to read!
I'm still not done! I'm visiting Old Sarum Primary with Waterstone's Salisbury tomorrow, then I'll be at the Bournville Lit Fest for a sold out Ten Fat Sausages event on Saturday. Phew! Thanks to my publishers and Authors Aloud for keeping me organised, and to all the bookshops who've helped with book sales.
Hooray for books, every single day!
Michelle Robinson is a