Monday, October 4, 2010

Meet Author Karen Cioffi

Join the tour. This blog will feature day 1 of the tours for the authors featured at The National Writing for Children Center. Check this site out for details:
http://www.writingforchildrencenter.com/
You will find the tour schedule, learn about free drawings and give aways, and learn what the site offers to new and experienced writers.


Meet Author Karen Cioffi- I am so glad to introduce you to a wonderful children's author. Read all about her here:




I’ve loved to write and draw since grade school, In my teen years I wrote a lot of poetry, but I never thought of writing as a career. Instead, I went into accounting. I was working as an assistant controller for a manufacturing company when I was diagnosed with MS in 2000.



Around this time, my younger daughter, Robyn, was going to college for her teaching degree, majoring in children’s literature. I’d read her school papers and sometimes help her with research, and it rekindled my interest in writing.



Then my first grandson was born and we sang a family lullaby to him at bedtime and nap time. He loved it and it seemed to soothe him and ease him into sleep.



I wrote the lullaby over 30 years ago because my firstborn didn't like sleeping. I sang it to her as I paced the hallway carrying her in my arms to get her to sleep, and again when she'd wake in the middle of the night. I did the same thing with my second daughter, and it became a family lullaby.



Having the lullaby reintroduced into the family through my grandson, Robyn thought it would make a wonderful bedtime story. At first I wasn’t interested in turning it into a book, but she truly believed in it. So, we collaborated and came up with picture book that has the sheet music to the lullaby at the end of the story.



We wondered what publishing route we should take, and I did submit it around for several months to traditional publishers, but, uncertain of what the MS would bring at the time, I decided to self-publish. So, the second round of work began, researching POD companies.



I created a spreadsheet and did a comparison of a few companies, and ended up going with BookSurge (now with CreateSpace). I have to say they were great; they were helpful and professional.



So, that’s how Day’s End Lullaby the bedtime picture came to be. Next on the agenda was the promotion. Promotion is the really tough part of getting a book published. And, before it was released in October 2008, I joined the Children’s Writers Coaching Club in June of 2008. I wish I joined a year earlier, but better late than never. Suzanne taught me so many things I didn’t know about writing for children, and there are things I still have to learn, but I’m taking the steps necessary to continue to hone my craft.



I also joined in the Muse Online Writers Conference in October 2008. I learned a great deal about promotion there. The most useful marketing workshop was one give by Denise Cassino. She explained a number of marketing strategies and suggested the workshop attendees form a virtual book touring group – and that’s what some of us did. In a pitch in the Muse Online Writers Conference in October 2009, I pitched a children’s fantasy chapter book to 4RV Publishing, and it was accepted.


Follow Day 2 of Karen's tour here:

13 comments:

  1. Terri: Thank you for hosting Karen on her first day of her 6 day vbt through the National Writing for Children Center. Terrific interview!

    Karen: Just when I thought I knew so much about you, you filled me in on more exciting news in your writing career! Congratulations!

    Best wishes,
    Donna

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  2. Great post, Karen! It's interesting to know how the book came about. It has such a lovely cover.

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  3. Such a cute book cover! I enjoyed learning about how the book came to be. Thanks for sharing about it.

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  4. Hi, Donna,Mayra, and Susanne,

    Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit.

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  5. Terri, THANK YOU for featuring me today!

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  6. I have enjoyed posting about your career. I hope readers continue to follow you and also to check out your blog for wonderful writing tips. Thanks for being part of the tour today.

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  7. Hey, Terri,

    Thanks for hosting Day 1 of Karen's VBT, and Day 1 of the VBTs for ALL of our authors showcased this month at the National Writing for Children Center.

    I hope people will visit http://www.writingforchildrencenter.com and read our blog today for details about the nice prize they can win just for following these book tours this month!

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  8. Great interview of a terrific author and her lovely new book.

    Congrats Karen. Wishing you and your book loads of success, mate!!

    Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques
    http://www.margotfinke.com

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  9. Hi, Suzanne, Margot,

    Thank you so much for dropping by!

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  10. I really enjoyed reading about the real story behind the writing of your book. I had a song that I used to sing to my daughter when she was wrapped in a towel and sitting in my lap after her bath. It tickled me all to pieces when I first heard her singing the same song to her son after his bath and was wrapped up in a towel.

    Thank you,

    Christine
    womackcm@sbcglobal.net

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  11. Karen, since I have reviewed and own a copy of your lovely lullaby book, I'm very happy to see you profiled here. I wish you good luck with the marketing, it's a beautiful book.
    Best to you,
    Suzanne Marion

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  12. Great post! My mom wrote her own lullabies for us (her kids), too! I should get her to write them down.
    elliebeetle !at gmail !dot com

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  13. Virtual touring sounds like a long road. I hope it goes well for you. I think a lullaby book will do well. Babies are a good market and I can see loads of grandparents, especially new ones, snapping up this book for their new little one. Good Luck!

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