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12 X 12 October Featured Author – Lauri Fortino

12 x 12 October Featured Author – Lauri Fortino

12 x 12 member Lauri FortinoThank you, Julie! I’m honored to be the October 2016 featured author here at 12 x 12.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m the author of the picture book The Peddler’s Bed, which was published by Ripple Grove Press last year. Most of you should be acquainted with Ripple Grove Press thanks to exclusive 12 x 12 webinars, submission opportunities, and the recent writing contest. But just in case you’re not, allow me to share a bit about them.

Ripple Grove Press is a family-run company, owned by Rob and Amanda Broder. They’re a small, independent publisher that publishes children’s picture books exclusively. They’re just under four years old, having opened their doors in January of 2013. My book, The Peddler’s Bed, was their third book. Monday Is Wash Day by MaryAnn Sundby and Tessa Blackham, their seventh book, was released last month.

I first heard of Ripple Grove Press in September of 2013. They were featured in that month’s issue of Jon Bard and Laura Backes’ CBI Clubhouse newsletter as a new publisher seeking submissions. I hadn’t submitted anything to anyone in quite some time, but I had a few stories ready to go, so I decided to take the chance. In fact, I sent them four manuscripts. (I sent four, all separately, only after inquiring if it was okay. I don’t recommend sending more than one at a time. Publishers don’t like that.) To my surprise, I received a phone call from Rob Broder only a month later. They loved The Peddler’s Bed! After careful consideration of the contract, I signed and returned it via e-mail on October 31, 2013. Nearly two years later, The Peddler’s Bed was released into the world. The Peddler's Bed

As an unagented writer, using a small, independent press was my best option for breaking into the traditional publishing industry. Working with Ripple Grove Press has been a rewarding, exciting, and educational experience. Here’s why.

1. I’m part of a growing family.

kirkusjuly1_20152

Since my book was just their third book, I feel I’m part of something extra special. As their business grows, they share their latest news with all of us. When they announce upcoming books with new authors and illustrators, we cheer for them and help spread the word. We’re all connected.

But we maintain a professional relationship. I don’t bombard them with e-mails or phone calls. I don’t send them funny animal videos on Facebook. I do let them know when I come across new reviews or mentions of The Peddler’s Bed, or about book signings and events in which I’m participating. But I don’t text them just to chat. And I certainly don’t have unrealistic expectations that they will publish everything I’ve written.   

2. They valued my opinion.

peddlersbed_00coverBefore bringing the amazingly talented illustrator, Bong Redila, on board, Rob wanted to hear my thoughts on illustration style. We discussed at great length, over the phone, various books and illustrators whose work represented styles that we could envision in The Peddler’s Bed. Once the illustration process was underway, sketches of the cover and first spread were shared with me. Near completion, proofs of the entire book, in PDF form, were e-mailed to me. (It was incredible to see the book coming together and nearly done.) Rob and I went through it together, page by page, via Skype. He was genuinely interested in hearing my opinions, answering my questions, and addressing my concerns.

But they made the final decisions based on what they believed was right for the book and the business. We didn’t agree on everything (though mostly we did). I knew enough to leave things in their capable hands. The result: an absolutely fabulous book.

3. I can send new manuscripts at anytime.

Having established a relationship with Ripple Grove Press, I no longer have to query or include formal cover letters with submissions. Just a quick e-mail with the manuscript attached will do. I’ll receive a response within weeks instead of months. If I haven’t heard back, I’m free to follow up.

But I’m no more likely to be published (again) by them than a writer who sends them something for the first time. As a small publisher that puts out just a few books per year, they must be highly selective. This is their livelihood; they simply can’t publish everything.

peddlersbed_02-03

 

4. They market their books.

Ripple Grove Press mails catalogs to booksellers. They attend conventions and book festivals. They send advance copies to big name reviewers, including Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly. They enter their books into national contests. They get their books up on Amazon and other online bookstores. They’re also active on social media, including their blog, Twitter, Facebook, and others. They do a lot to promote their books.

But that doesn’t mean I should sit back and watch. The Peddler’s Bed was a collaborative effort. It belongs to all of us–author, illustrator, and publisher. I’ve done my best to help. I’ve participated in book signings. I’ve sent the book out to reviewers and contests. I’ve done school visits, interviews, and giveaways. I’ve donated copies to libraries and other literacy organizations. And I’ve shared The Peddler’s Bed at my local SCBWI’s annual conference. Ripple Grove Press didn’t ask me to do any of that. But why wouldn’t I want to promote our book? If I could do more, I would.

The Ripple Grove Press submission guidelines state that they want “an interesting story that captures a moment with a timeless feel.” I encourage you to read all of their beautifully illustrated books to get a sense of what that means. The Gentleman Bat evokes a bygone era. Too Many Tables is silly and lighthearted. The Peddler’s Bed has a folktale-like feel. Mae and the Moon is a cozy bedtime book. Salad Pie is a super sweet friendship story. Lizbeth Lou Got a Rock in Her Shoe is a fun, full-circle tale. Each of these books is very different. But all of them captured the attention of Rob and Amanda Broder.    

Rob and Amanda are passionate about publishing exceptional children’s picture books. I’m thrilled to be a part of that. I’ll continue to submit my work to Ripple Grove Press with the hopes that one day I’ll hit on something that they love as much as The Peddler’s Bed. Perhaps they’ll love your story too.

I’d be happy to answer your questions about my experience with Ripple Grove Press if you leave them in the comments.

In celebration of its first birthday, I’m giving away, exclusively to 12 x 12 members, five signed copies of The Peddler’s Bed. In addition, I’m offering a manuscript critique to one 12 x 12 member (non-rhyming preferred).

 

Lauri shares and celebrates picture books on her blog Frog On A [B]log. Besides writing, she works at her local public library. One of the perks of her job is being the first person to take home all of the new picture books. She enjoys spending time with her husband Chris and their dog Java (both of whom inspire her writing) at their home in Syracuse, NY.
Follow Lauri on social media.
This Post Has 383 Comments
  1. I absolutely LOVE this book….bought it right after I viewed the 12 by 12 notification of the Ripple Grove Press Summer Sizzle contest. Beautiful words and stunning illustrations!

  2. Thank you for sharing your success story! It really must be exciting to be part of a growing publishing company.

    “An interesting story that captures a moment with a timeless feel”–I love this!?

  3. Lauri what a beautiful book! Also, thank you for sharing your insight on the publishing process with Ripple Grove and how the relationship works. I’m sure I’m not the only unagented writer who has wondered about working with a publisher. Thank you!

    1. You’re quite welcome, Rebecca! I’m glad you found my post helpful. Keep in mind that every press is different. There are small publishers who may not be able to do as much to promote their books, for example.

  4. This was enlightening. I had never thought about the relationship with a
    publisher and what happens after one book is published and how to contact
    them again. The big publishers are probably more business like than a small
    publisher who remembers your work and what it took to produce the book
    you wrote and they liked. Congratulations on your book Lauri, I read it and
    liked it.

  5. Congratulations, Lauri! How awesome to be one of the first authors at a publishing house. And thank you for the detailed information on how things work at Ripple Grove Press. The Broders seem like such a genuine team.

  6. Thanks for the great post, Lauri! I was busy this summer and missed all the contest fun but I’ll be keeping all this great info in mind for future submissions. 🙂 And thanks for the offer to answer questions–I’ll be thinking!

  7. Thanks Lauri for sharing your insights into publishing with Ripple Grove Press – and for your generous giveaway. I love the sound of your book. I will definitely look out for it.

  8. Lauri, what a beautifully written review of your experience with Ripple Grove Press. And your giveaways are extremely generous. Thanks for sharing your story with us–and congratulations on The Peddler’s Bed! It certainly does seem to have that timeless feel that captured your publisher’s attention.

  9. Lauri, your post is very helpful for those of us considering Ripple Grove Press. I appreciated hearing about your experiences as the personal interactions are so important. You are very generous to share your insights and your books with us!

  10. Thank you for sharing all about your experience with RGP! I remember Rob talking about your book in his presentation the other month. I’ll check back if I come up with specific questions per your experience with them–thank you for extending the offer to answer them! Wishing you continued success!

  11. How wonderful to be a part of Ripple Grove’s family! Congratulations to you. Your book looks and sounds beautiful, and I can’t wait to read it!

    1. You’re welcome, Virginia! Keep in mind that RGP is open to unsolicited submissions. So even if the window to submit as a 12×12 member and avoid the slush has passed, you can still send them your manuscript.

  12. Great to hear about your road to publication. Love the fact that it’s still possible to submit PBs directly to publishers and editors. Something that is far less common with MG and YA.

    1. Interesting, Cathy. I didn’t realize it was more difficult to submit MG and YA directly to publishers. I’ll keep that in mind for the future. I’ve been working on my first chapter book, but I’m not even close to being done.

  13. Congratulations and Happy Birthday to the Peddler’s Bed – it’s a beautiful book! Thank you for sharing your journey

  14. Lauri,
    thanks for showing us how taking a chance on a new publisher worked for you and your story. So often unpublished writers think they have to go with a traditional press. Your success inspires me to get my MS completed and then look for just the right home for them.

  15. Thank you for sharing your story and insights, Lauri! It’s great to hear the process of how you work with your publisher. Congrats!

  16. Laura I love the look of “The Peddler’s Bed” cover and the sound of the title which makes me think of folk lore. I’ve been trying to get it at the Windsor Library( ourEssex libraries are on strike!) for 2 months without success. I’d love to read it so will persist. It seems to have an old worldly feel that I really like. The RIpple Grove Press must be special. I finished a picture book and didn’t have the nerve to send it in! I like the idea that they look for something that holds through time and yet pinpoints a special time. That makes it a classic. Well done Laura.All the best for your other Manuscripts.
    Jane

    1. Thank you so much, Jane! You’re very sweet. Should you get a chance to read Peddler’s Bed, I’d love to hear your thoughts. 🙂 P.S. Don’t be afraid to take a chance. You never know where it could lead.

  17. I can’t wait to read your book. I just reserved it! It sounds like you’ve had a wonderful experience with Ripple Grove Press. Thanks for a great post.

  18. Thank you for sharing your story with us! I enjoyed reading what it was like to work with a small publishing house.

  19. Thank you for allowing us a behind the scenes peek at your process in becoming one of Ripple Grove Press’ authors. Congratulations on The Peddler’s Bed I can’t wait to read it!

  20. Thank you Laura for the very interesting information about working with a small publisher. Congratulations on your book!

  21. Your book is beautiful, Lauri — congratulations on its publication! And thanks a million for sharing your RGP back story. What a valuable peak behind the book covers!

  22. Thank you Laura for this insider’s view of the Ripple Grove Press experience. It sounds like a very special relationship – one that smaller publishers are able to give. It is so reassuring to know that there are publishers like Rob and Amanda still out there. I like the family analogy. I have heard retired publishers and editors talk about what they feel has been lost by the move to larger houses. It was also interesting to hear you talk about how you were consulted about your vision for the illustrations. Again, that doesn’t seem to happen very often. Congratulations on the publication of The Peddler’s Bed. I wish you many years of successful collaborations.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Jane. And yes, I’m sure it’s true that smaller publishers can form more of a relationship with their authors and illustrators because they’re just focusing on a few books each year rather than dozens. Going into my first publishing experience, I didn’t know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised that they wanted to hear my ideas about illustration style. It turned out, we were on the same page anyway. 🙂

  23. Wow! Thank you so much for sharing your journey to publication with Ripple Grove Press. What a fascinating process — past an ongoing. I have found that, in general, the kid lit world is much like a big family. I have loved the support & friendships that have come out of the relationships via on-line groups (like 12×12, of course, and others) and in person conferences & critique groups. But your relationship with Ripple Grove sounds like a special one, indeed! How wonderful for you! And how generous of you to offer your books AND a critique as prizes. Thanks again.

    1. Hi, Heather! So glad you enjoyed my post! I completely agree, the kidlit community is full of wonderful, supportive people. I’ve met so many lovely people within the last few years, both online and in person. And I have to say, 12×12 is overflowing with sweethearts! 🙂

  24. The Peddler’s Bed is a lovely story and beautifully illustrated. Thank you for sharing your journey to publication and your experience with Ripple Grove Press.

  25. Lauri, your words of encouragement about working with a small press such as Ripple Grove Press hit just the right spot with me. I entered the summer 12×12 contest with them and also submitted another story to them so after reading your affirmation about working with them and knowing you are part of their publishing family has made me even more excited that I submitted to them. I was pretty giddy before as I have read a couple of their books (all of the rest, including yours are on my mustread list).

    Best of luck to you with this book and after I read it, I will review it on Goodreads and Amazon like I do the rest of the books I read.

    p.s. The book cover looks amazing, so cool you were a large part of the whole process of publishing it. I am not sure the big name publishers let the authors get that involved. Very encouraging!

    1. Hi Traci! I’m so happy my story resonated with you! I was so honored that Julie invited me to share my experience with RGP. I’m always more than willing to share what I know. I probably could have added a lot more, but I didn’t want to bore everyone with an overly long post.

      Thanks so much for offering to review Peddler’s Bed on Amazon and Goodreads. I always feel funny asking for reviews, so I really appreciate it. 🙂

      I believe you’re right about the bigger publishers not involving the authors in the illustration process very much, if at all. I’ve heard many stories of authors not even seeing the book until they receive their author copies in the mail.

      P.S. Thanks for sharing this post! 🙂

    1. Oh yah, I forgot to mention that in my post, didn’t I? We only did one round of edits early on, maybe just a couple of weeks after I signed the contract. Rob and I discussed changes over the phone. I took notes while we were talking because I didn’t want to forget anything. He gave me a few weeks to make the changes, but I didn’t need that long, and I e-mailed the revised manuscript back to him before Thanksgiving. Then much later, after the illustrations were complete, but before everything was final, we went through the entire PDF version of the book together via Skype. We realized then that we could actually cut more of the words because the illustrations were enough. I hope that answers your question. Feel free to ask more!

  26. Lauri, thank you for sharing your journey with Ripple Grove Press with us. It’s helpful and so interesting.
    I am waiting for my local library to bring in a copy of The Peddler’s Bed for me to read. I know it’s one of those books I’ll love – and very possibly will purchase my own copy.
    It’s wonderful what you have accomplished, and I wish you continued success.

    1. Thank you so much, Lynn, for your kind words. I’m glad you found my post useful and interesting. Should you pick up a copy of Peddler’s Bed, I’d love to hear your thoughts! 🙂

  27. Congratulations and thanks for sharing about your experience with Ripple Grove Press! You’ve convinced me to look into small publishers, especially Ripple Grove.

  28. Thank you for sharing. It is such a positive feeling to know that in the vast realm of publication there are publishers who show how much they care for the writer in all aspects of making a manuscript into a book to hold and cherish.

  29. What a great experience for you to be part of a growing company, and Ripple Grove Press sounds like a great publisher. I will certainly keep them in mind when submitting.

    Good luck with your book.

  30. Thanks Lauri for sharing your experience in such a thorough and understandable way. I learned about the process, the publisher and even about marketing. I wish you success in your future projects.

  31. Thank you for sharing your publishing story with us! It sounds like it was a wonderful opportunity working with Ripple Grove. Wishing you the best in your future writing!

  32. I read your book this summer, Lauri, with my kids and we all enjoyed it. So thank you for that, and for your insightful post. It is fascinating to hear what the process has been and is like for you. Lastly, thank you for your generous offer of giveaways! Much appreciated. I wish you much continued success!

  33. Thank you. I agree that it’s so important to have a professional relationship with those with whom you work. You have time enough for a joke or two but essentially it’s about business. And you ought not have any qualms about contacting them to discuss concerns or queries that you might have. A very ‘to the point’ article. Thanks

    1. Hi Sue, you’re absolutely right! It’s a professional relationship first and foremost. Thanks for commenting on my post and noticing how hard I tried to “get to the point.” 🙂

  34. This was great to read, Lauri, because I like the idea of a small publisher, but was afraid they might not be able to get a book seen by the world as effectively as a large publisher. Great to hear that they do their due diligence with marketing!

    1. Hi Kate, I’m glad you enjoyed my post! Keep in mind that every publisher is different and I can only speak from my experience with Ripple Grove Press. RGP certainly does do their due diligence with marketing and I’m very pleased about that. I’m sure there are many things that they do that I’m not even aware of. Thanks for commenting!

    1. Thanks so much, Wendy! I really tried to do a good job on this post. I’m sure I left out a bunch of stuff. Feel free to add your thoughts about your experience with RGP and your wonderful book Salad Pie, here in the comments! 🙂

  35. Thanks for sharing info about your relationship with Roaring Brook Press. Very interesting. I love that you can skip the query letters and drop formalities (while still being professional, of course!).

    The Peddler’s Bed is on my TBR list.

    1. Hi Polly, thank you so much! Interestingly, I didn’t set out to write a book with a folktale-like feel. It wasn’t until after it was published that people began telling me it had that feel. Who knew?! 🙂

  36. Thanks for the post, Lauri. It is encouraging to hear of your success with a smaller publishing house. Bigger is not always better! Ripple Grove Press puts out quality and your book, The Peddler’s Bed, fits right in. I love the story and have read it several times, always seeing something new—the sign of a timeless story that touches the heart. All the best to you in publishing pursuits. I’ll be looking for more of your stories to add to my shelf. Stories like yours keep me at it!

    1. Thank you, Karen! It makes me so happy to hear that you enjoy my book! And I’m glad that my post may have inspired you in some way. I wish you all the best in your publishing journey as well! 🙂

  37. Your book arrived on my stoop today. I read it, then read your interview. Congratulations Big Time!

    I would like to ask you if you believe that your tweet, blog and FB presence created a lean in your direction when RGP selected you. If I were RGP and had to decide on your book over someone else’s, I would definitely choose the author with an up and running online presence. Do you think this weighed heavily, or do you think RGP went for the gold in the story line first and foremost, whether or not there was an up and running online presence by the prospective author?

    Again, congratulations on being chosen by some of, what seem like, the finest people in the industry. I got tremendous information from their submission guidelines, and with a tone, I must say, that was sincere and well thought out, clearly aimed at helping potential authors learn, save time, and reach their goals.

    1. Thanks so much, Jeannie! 🙂
      If they absolutely fall in love with it, I don’t believe that RGP would reject a story because the author lacks an online presence. On the flip side, I don’t think having an online presence would necessarily cause them to choose one over another. It all comes down to the story. That said, I think they appreciate that those of us who are on social media can help promote their books by sharing on Facebook, retweeting their tweets, etc. I hope that answers your question. Feel free to ask another!

  38. Lauri, I’m really in awe of all the collaboration that has gone into making your tale a published book. And I don’t mean just the work between the writer and illustrator, but the joint efforts made by you, the illustrator and RGP. It’s quite refreshing to see that level of interest and integrity going into a work of art, esp on the publisher’s side. Certainly, they want to see the book prosper and have economic success, which is why they’re working so hard at marketing it! And so are you, which is wonderful. I also admire that you’ve commented &/or answered nearly every comment above! That takes quite some time 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing your journey and in such depth. I wish you much success with your book!

  39. Jenny, Thanks so much for leaving such a thoughtful comment! Since this was my first experience with a publisher, I didn’t know what to expect going into it. I was very pleased that my opinion was valued and that they shared those early sketches with me. But after those first couple of sketches, I didn’t see anything until the book was nearly completed, over a year later. I would have loved to be more involved, but I just had to leave things in their hands and hope for the best. Of course, everything turned out wonderfully. I give RGP and the illustrator, Bong Redila, all the credit for that. 🙂

  40. Thank you for sharing about your process and how you work with Ripple Grove Press. Good luck with your book! I really enjoyed reading it.

  41. Congratulations on your book, Lauri! I am excited to read it. Thank you also for your inside look on working with Ripple Grove Press. Your book and critique giveaway is very generous. Do you offer signed books for sale? Do readers order through RGP (is this better for you or them than regular book stores) or do you have your own stock? Can you explain how the book sales work best to your advantage?

    Thanks!
    Susan

    1. Hi Susan, I purchase copies of my book through RGP at a 40% discount; however, per my contract, they’re not for resale. So any books I buy from them I give as gifts, send to reviewers, or offer as giveaways. When I do book signings, I contact my local bookstore (in my case, it’s B&N) and they provide copies for me. The cash for any I sell goes back to B&N along with the unsold copies.
      Readers get (or order) the books from bookstores or Amazon, not directly from RGP.
      I’m considering offering signed bookplates that I can send to those who purchase my book, but live too far away to attend a signing.
      Also, I haven’t done this yet, but there are ways to sell books at school visits.
      You might also be interested to know that I received ten free “author” copies from RGP. I kept two, gave a few to family members, and sent the rest to reviewers.
      I hope I answered your questions. Feel free to ask more if you’d like.

  42. I loved hearing about your wonderful experience with Ripple Grove Press. I, too, am published by a smaller, independent press and I’ve had the same type of fantastic experience. In fact, I refer to them as my “family”. Wishing you every success with this book (which is GORGEOUS) and all of your future stories!

    1. Thank you so much, Jodi! I love your dragon books! They’re so much fun! Do we have more to look forward to in the near future? I wish you tons of success with all of your future stories as well! 🙂

  43. Congrats, Lauri, on having a published book under your belt. Wishing you tons of luck as you now set out on the quest to secure an agent!

  44. This book is by far the best one I have read this year(and (being a member of 1000 Picture Books in a year) that has been a LOT!
    Congrats on your success!

    Gabrielle

  45. Thank you, Lauri, for sharing your experience and the benefits of working with a small press! I love your book and believe it will be a favorite for many years! Congratulations…wishing you continued success!

    Linda

  46. Thanks for this window on the small press processs. It’s so interesting to hear about how things work from the inside!

  47. Thanks for sharing your process! Makes the “getting published” seem less intimidating and possible! Appreciate your suggestions as well.

    1. Hi Mary! Getting published is possible! It just takes time. I began writing, with the hopes to be published, back in 2005. If I can do it, every member of 12×12 should be able to do it too! Perseverance is the key.

  48. It sounds like working with Ripple Grove Press has been a great experience for you. Congratulations! I am looking forward to reading your book.

  49. Thanks, Lauri, for sharing your remarkable experience with Ripple Grove Press and also what happens after the book is published (in the comments). I look forward to checking out THE PEDDLER’S BED!

  50. Laurie,
    I look forward to reading The Peddler’s Bed.

    The illustration and title intrigued me… Is the Peddler homeless? Lonely? Selling something I want to buy? Traveling forward with a prized item? Helps others or swindles them? Hummmmm?!

  51. Enjoyed reading about your publishing journey with Ripple Grove Press, very exciting. Look forward to reading the Peddler’s Bed.

  52. Congratulations on your book; it sounds fabulous! Also, thank you for sharing your publication story with 12×12 – I always love to hear about the success of other writers – it serves as great inspiration.

  53. Congratulations on The Peddler’s Bed! Thank you for sharing your experience with a publisher. As I am unpublished, the process often seems rather mysterious to me.

  54. Thank you for sharing your experience of publishing your first picture book, Lauri. I really enjoyed reading it! It certainly sounds like Ripple Grove Press is a very supportive publisher. Way to go!

  55. You give hope to unagented writers! Most of would love to be a part of a publishing family. Congrats and thank you for your story.

  56. Thank you Lauri for sharing your publishing journey with Ripple Grove Press. I like your insight on working to market your book. I can’t wait to read it.

  57. Lauri, thank you for walking us through your experience publishing with Ripple Grove Press. I look forward to reading The Peddlers Bed.

  58. Love your insights on working with a newer, smaller publisher & so glad your wonderful story found such a terrific home.

  59. My first (and so far, only) book was published at a small publishing house and I had a very similar experience. Lovely people to work with, close connections but high professionalism. It sounds like Ripple Grove would be lovely to work with.

  60. Thank you for sharing your journey! It’s like a back stage pass. I look forward to reading The Peddler’s Bed!.

  61. Ripple Grove Press sounds like they’re there for their authors through every step. Thanks for giving us a peek inside from an author’s perspective.

  62. What an exciting experience for you. I’m attracted by the cover of the book, and will definitely take a look at it on Amazon. Small presses are wonderful–hard to tell if they are flourishing and still selling, or losing ground to the utterly mega-world in which we live. But it looks like Ripple Grove is going places and has great taste in whom it chooses.

    Good luck in future efforts,

    Janice

  63. Lauri, it sounds like you’ve had a dream relationship with Ripple Creek, but also I can tell you’ve worked hard and I bet they’d say you’re a dream writer! Congratulations.

  64. I really appreciate you sharing your journey as you have, Lauri. Congratulations to you and I need to check out your blog more than I do. Cheers! 🙂

  65. Thanks for your post. It’s always nice to learn from other’s experience. It sometimes seems like scary business going with a smaller publisher, but it sound like this was the best choice for you and your career.

  66. It’s nice to hear a personal opinion of working with a small press. Good to see success on your writing journey!

    Megan

  67. Thanks for your insights on small-press publishing, and congratulations on your book’s 1st Birthday. Also appreciated your description in the comments section of the editing process. Thank you.

  68. Lauri, I love your Peddler’s Bed, and I love the story that you share about your relationship with Ripple Grove Press. And I’d love to win copies of Peddler’s Bed. I’m in small, small town USA and I know who’d love a copy. Thank you for being so generous.

    1. Mona, you’re so sweet! I grew up in a small town, smack dab in the middle of upstate NY. Thanks so much for your comments and best of luck to you in your writing and publishing endeavors! 🙂

  69. Lauri- thank you for sharing your writing journey. In two years I would like to be sharing the same kind of success. Congratulations!

  70. Thank you for showing us that you don’t need to be with a big name publishing company to have success. Congrats on your books!

  71. I love you book! In all the webinars from 12 X 12 on Ripple Grove Press I have seen the passion that Rob has for his authors and books. What a wonder way to start your publishing career:)

  72. Thanks for the informative post Lauri. Such an interesting journey for you. Best wishes for a wonderful career.

  73. Thanks so much, Lauri, for sharing your experience with Ripple Grove and giving us so much insight into the process!

  74. Oh, to never have to create a cover letter. Lucky you! But seriously, thanks for sharing this. It’s always nice to get the inside scoop.

  75. Lauri, thank you for sharing! I enjoyed this interview as well as learning even more about RGP and how a small publisher operates, from an insider’s experience with them.

    Small presses are so important and it’s always a treat when one is highlighted and recognized like that.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Rosie! I’m glad you enjoyed my post. I agree that small presses are important, and hopefully, RGP and the other small companies will be around for a long, long time.

  76. Thank goodness for the 12×12 Rafflecopter which encourages us to return to the author of the month post…otherwise, I would have missed this awesome post by you, Lauri!
    Great info…thank you so much for sharing your journey…I love your book…and can’t wait to have more titles by you on my shelf. 😉

  77. Lauri, Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with Ripple Grove Press. And kudos and congrats on “The Peddler’s Bed” which has the feel of a classic. Love it!

  78. Lauri – thank you for sharing your story with us and for giving so much detail about your relationship with RGP. I look forward to reading your book!

  79. Thank you for sharing the process of working with RGP, it takes the scary out for this newbie.

    Congrats for being in on the beginning of what looks like a growing publishing company. I love .

    It’s amazing how The Peddler’s Bed story and illustrations work so well in charming book:)

  80. Thank you Lauri! I enjoyed reading about your publishing experience with RGP. I recently bought The Peddler’s Bed at Powell’s Bookstore and love it. 🙂

  81. What a wonderful experience, Lauri! Thank you for sharing it with us. It’s nice to have an idea of what to expect if / when it’s our turn to publish. I especially love the “what not to do’s”. Those are usually the things I do first! Congrats again!~Yvette

  82. I enjoyed your post, Lauri. I’m intrigued by Ripple Grove Press and their philosophy on publishing books. After taking part in the 12 x 12 webinar with Rob, I’m sure many (if not all) of us would literally drool at the opportunity to have a book published under their name. Congratulations on being part of their family.

  83. Thank you so much for sharing your experience, Lauri. Congratulations on such a beautiful book, may their be many more to follow!

  84. Hi Lauri,
    Thank you for sharing your experience with Ripple Grove Press. As an unagented writer, it is inspiring to hear your story. Congratulations on the Peddler’s Bed and many more successes in the future!
    -Christina

  85. Yours was the first Ripple Grove book I read, Lauri–I found it at my library very early this year. Their books are beautiful! Congratulations on such a wonderful debut, and thank you for sharing your story here!

  86. Hi Lauri. I have read your post a couple of times this month because it is so encouraging for new authors. I am going to order your book (unless I’m a lucky winner) and I am certainly going to study this new publisher!

    1. Hi, Stephanie! It makes me so happy to hear my post was encouraging to you! Yay! And thanks so much for ordering my book; I truly appreciate it! I’ll soon have signed bookplates available. If you’re interested, contact me through my blog. 🙂

  87. Lauri, I was very interested to hear about your experience of being published for the first time by Ripple Grove Press. Congratulations! Their competition and submission opportunity have been much appreciated by 12×12 members and it sounds as if they are really good to work with.

  88. Thank you for your post about your experience with Ripple Grove! I am so inspired by your story and the idea of a couple venturing into the children’s publishing business with such heart and care. Congrats on your success and thanks for your post!

  89. Thanks for sharing your story! I loved hearing about your relationship with Ripple Grove Press. Looking forward to reading your book! Congrats!!

  90. Thank you Laura! It was very interesting to learn of your own process in becoming published with Ripple Grove Press. Congratulations on your success! Now I gotta go out and get your book!

  91. Congratulations, Laura! The description about your process is very interesting. Funny–I just received advice from an editor to approach an editor or agent with more than one project as an author/illustrator. I suppose that may make it easier for them to assess visual storytelling abilities. Thanks for this information!

    1. Thanks, Colleen! Probably the best thing to do is mention in your cover letter that you have more manuscripts completed should they be interested in seeing more of your work.

      Thanks to 12×12, we should all have more than one story ready to share with the world! 🙂

  92. I’m about to head out for the library, but will stop at the bookstore en route to buy “The Peddler’s Bed” so I can support an independent publisher and an independent bookstore. Win-win! Actually, win-win-win, since I’ll have “The Peddler’s Bed” for keeps!

  93. Thanks so much for your thoughts. I love getting the inside scoop. I read a few of your responses to our comments and was shocked to hear you suggest…Probably the best thing to do is mention in your cover letter that you have more manuscripts completed should they be interested in seeing more of your work.
    As a whole, I’ve been instructed not to do this in a cover letter. But I just might give it a go. Not saying something hasn’t gotten me published so I’m willing to give it a go.
    Much success on your book.

    1. Hi Julie, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. My comment about the mention of other manuscripts in a cover letter was in direct response to Colleen’s comment. Generally, I don’t mention that in cover letters to publishers. But I do mention it in queries to agents! Hope that clarifies things a bit.

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