We like books.
We're interested in ways to help more people (especially kids) like books.
You can read more about our company at www.capstonepub.com.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Free Comic Book Day!

May 1st is FREE Comic Book Day! Comic book shops all across the United States will be giving away comic books to anyone who comes into their stores. What a great day!

We all know kids love comic books and graphic novels. Here are some reasons for you to love them as much as they do!

"The average comic book introduces children to nearly twice as many words as the average children's book and five times as many as the average child-adult conversation." Journal of Child Language

" . . . middle school boys who did more comic book reading also read more in general, read more books and reported that they liked reading better than those who did less comic book reading." Steven Krashen

A 1992 study of more than 200,000 students from 32 countries revealed that Finland, the nation with the highest proportion of comic book-reading students (nearly 60%) also has the highest literacy rate (99%) as well as the highest library usage. www.flyingcolorscomics.com

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Words of Wisdom Wednesday: Happiness

A few months ago I finished reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I was very intrigued by her idea of the 4 splendid truths of happiness. The one truth that stuck in my mind is this: The days are long, but the years are short.

I thought back to being a kid, the excitement of school ending and the beginning of summer. Summer seemed to last forever . . . going to the pool, hanging out with friends, the ice cream truck making its way through the neighborhood, picnics, long days with nothing to do but relax and play. Now many years later, it seems like summer is here and gone in a flash. We don't always take the time to relax and play as we are so busy getting to the next task at hand.

Gretchen posted a great video on her website that really made me think. (And, I've heard it's especially impactful for those of you who are parents). The days are long, but the years are short.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Words of Wisdom Wednesday: Networking

Publishing sometimes seems like a secret society that doesn't take kindly to strangers, doesn't it? It's not. Promise! Like any other industry, it's made up of a million different personalities. Lucky for you, all of those personalities are attached to real, live people--many of whom would love to have a conversation with you. Here are some great places to go online (and IRL) to talk directly with other writers/illustrators/editors/designers.

1. Twitter! (Follow us.) There are TONS of book publishing types here.
2. Verla Kay (the "Blue Boards"). A WEALTH of information from writers, illustrators, agents, editors, etc. Ask all your questions and get plenty of answers.
3. SCBWI (especially your regional chapter). Go to the conferences, meet other writers and illustrators, learn from the pros, and have a blast. I've heard of more than one deal that sparked from a conversation at an SCBWI conference. Even if you can't get to New York or LA for the national conferences, the regional conferences can be just as great.
4. Your local bookstore and library. Go to readings, spend time browsing, and support the community.

Where else do you go to talk to writers/illustrators/book lovers? What other networking tips do you have for other book lovers? Leave tips in the comments.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Shannon is at TLA today (visit booth 2531 if you are too!) so I'm popping in from the PILE of red folders and last-minute rush editing on my desk to give you this week's Words of Wisdom, which is . . .


(Ours are here, with more info from me here.)

And bonus tip: DO YOUR RESEARCH. When I get a submission pitching a nonfiction book, or a book for adults, I roll my eyes and ignore it--we don't publish those books here, and those authors are clearly not trying. (Though nonfiction writers for kids should follow the nonfiction guidelines on that link above to reach our nonfiction editors.)

However, when I get a good submission, addressed to Samantha, or a submission for a book exactly like one we've already published, or a query for an idea that seems cool, but hasn't hit its target market at all (like a picture book for teenagers), it especially bugs me. Those people clearly didn't do their research, and it's frustrating.

Writing, my friends, is a business like any other. You wouldn't assume you could set up shop as a dentist without going to medical school, right? And you'd never hire a contractor who showed you photographs of the lovely roof he'd built in the basement. Do your research, take your time, find the right publisher, and work hard at revisions (there's another post right there). You'll find your queries reaching far more appreciative eyes if you do.

Questions? Let me know!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Poetry Friday: Cheer Challenge

Check out this fantastic cheer, written by an 8-year-old as her book report on the Jake Maddox book Cheer Challenge!

I like the book I read
Cheer Challenge is its name
The story of two friends
That really like to dance
They both are in a squad
That dances really bad
Arms and legs are flying
The Cougars are terrible no lying
The captain Amanda comes with a plan,
She thinks competing would be fun,
They practice every day,
Nobody can stand in their way,
This girl’s friendship is put to the test
For what these two friends love doing best.

--Victoria Fraser

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

We thought we'd try something new on the blog. Every Wednesday, we will post some words of wisdom . . . this could be a quote, a famous saying, an idiom, tips, tricks, etc. We would love to hear from you too so please share your words of wisdom with us!

"Students who read independently become better readers, score higher on achievement tests in all subject areas, and have greater content knowledge than those who do not." (Cullinan, Independent Reading and School Achievement, NYU).