Sep 28, 2012

What Is an ARC?

Some of theARCs for our spring 2013 books

If you've been on our Facebook or Twitter accounts in the last week, you may have noticed that we've been posting a lot of pictures of ARCs. For those not in the book business, an ARC (or advanced reading copy) is an unproofed, bound copy of a book that is printed prior to publication. They can also be called galleys, AREs (advanced reading editions) or in the case of picture books/highly illustrated books you might hear the terms F&G (folded and gathered) and BLAD (book layout and design).

All of those acronyms boil down to one thing: a free book given away by publishers in order to generate excitement and buzz about an upcoming title. We have ARCs printed and send them to reviewers, bloggers, booksellers, librarians, and media contacts; give them away at trade shows and in online giveaways; give them to our sales reps; and give them to our authors so that they can have a good idea of what their book will look like once it's published.


Sep 21, 2012

Building Author Relationships Online

Was it just us, or did authors used to have an air of mystery about them? Maybe you saw them once at a book signing, but mostly they were just names on the covers of your favorite books. You felt a connection to them because of the words they wrote, but it didn't go far beyond that. Now things are different. With social media and the internet, authors, like everyone else, are searchable, followable, and accessible to everyone (not just those able to come to a signing). So what does that mean for readers?

I sent a tweet last winter that said my plan for the night was to curl up with some takeout food and a new book I had gotten. With Twitter, I usually expect my tweets to get lost in the chatter, but not long after, the author of said book tweeted me back to say it sounded like a perfect night. Did she have to do this? Not at all, and not every author does. But it certainly made me excited to read the book, and more willing to check out her other titles. And obviously, it made me want to talk more about her and her book to friends. And we can all agree that these things are important for an author. That's why it seems like more and more authors are taking the plunge and getting involved online.

Scarletta authors, and the authors of our imprints, get involved in different ways as well, and we do what we can to support whatever avenue they choose to take. Some of our authors run blogs and websites, which you can find by going to the authors section on the left side of this page, and some are on social networking sites*. We even feature our new authors on this blog so you can read about them before their books have even come out. (Have you read the interview we did we Betsy's Day at the Game author, Greg Bancroft? Or the guest blog written by The Mighty Quinn author, Robyn Parnell?)

We want readers to get to know our authors and be as excited as we are about their books. So we want to know, in this day and age of accessibility, how much to you like to connect with authors online? And what is your preferred outlet--reading a blog, chatting on Twitter, getting updates in your Facebook newsfeed, or maybe all of the above?


Click here for Pendred Noyce's Facebook page for Lost in Lexicon: An Adventure in Words and Numbers and here for her Twitter profile

Click here for Anne Sawyer Aitch's Facebook fan page for Nalah and the Pink Tiger

Click here for Bob Macdonald's Twitter account

Click here for Pamela Cory's Facebook page

Sep 13, 2012

Lost in Lexicon: A Great Tool for Teachers

We've been talking a lot lately about Penny Noyce's newest book, The Ice Castle: An Adventure in Music, but we don't want to forget the first book in the Lexicon Adventure series, Lost in Lexicon: An Adventure in Words and Numbers, which we published in 2011. In fact, Lost in Lexicon is such a great book and tool for teachers to use in the classroom that the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics reviewed it this month in their Teaching Children Mathematics magazine. Now the bad news is that you need a subscription to read the entire magazine, but fortunately we've posted the review here for you:

"Two thirteen-year-old cousins travel through an imaginary land called Lexicon, searching for clues to help them locate and return children who have gone missing from their villages. As the cousins, Ivan and Daphne, use a compass and Cartesian plane to make their way across Lexicon, they encounter a village overrun by punctuation, are joined by a four-legged thesaurus, and use mathematical formulas to help repair a town. In their travels, the cousins use words and numbers to gather clues that eventually lead them to the location of the missing children. Here they call on their growing confidence and knowledge of language and mathematics to rescue the children and help them return to villages.
Noyce’s imaginative, playful use of words and numbers keeps readers engaged throughout the story. Most tween and teen students will likely recognize an underlying message about the dangers of mindlessly watching television and playing video games. This book also answers the age-old question asked by students: “When will I ever use this in real life?” The charming story, along with the focus questions and extension activities at the end of the book, make this an entertaining selection for student-led reading discussions at the upper elementary and intermediate level."
—Jennifer Geoffroy, D.C. Public Schools, Washington, D.C.

A big thank you to Jennifer and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics for saying such great things about Lost in Lexicon.
And if you're a teacher or educator, we want to know, what do you look for when picking books to use in your classroom?

Sep 12, 2012

Help Donate Books to Children

Anne Sawyer-Aitch needs your help!
On September 23rd, children's book author and puppeteer Anne Sawyer-Aitch will be completing a marathon! Sure it's great exercise, but her motivation comes from somewhere else. Here's what she had to say:

Will you walk a mile to give a kid a book? I will. In fact, I’ll walk twenty six. In the winter and spring of 2013, I’ll be touring the Spanish puppet show version of
Nalah and the Pink Tiger to social service agencies that serve Latino children. Kids will not only get to see the puppet show, they’ll get to make a puppet too. Afterwards, each child will get their own copy of Nalah and the Pink Tiger to take home. Have I applied for a grant to do this? You bet. But Metropolitan Regional Arts Council grants require matching funding. For this project, I need to raise $2,400. To do this, I’m walking in the Community First Fox Cities Marathon in Appleton, WI, on September 23rd. You can help make this project a reality by sponsoring my walk.

Why do this? Because I want to get my book Nalah and the Pink Tiger into the hands of kids who may not have access to lots of books at home. If you need more reasons, read on.

Sep 6, 2012

Wonderful Reviews for Knives on the Cutting Edge

When we have great books, like Bob Macdonald's Knives on the Cutting Edge: The Great Chefs' Dining Revolution, we can't help but be proud of them. And when other people love them, well that's even better. So we just wanted to briefly share the great reviews we've received so far.

From Foreword Reviews:
"Highly innovative gourmet meals and the exquisitely selected wines to accompany them may be as intricate as a symphony, and as tricky to explain, but here the author has taken an orderly approach to describing the hunt for culinary perfection....Yet, just when one eating tale seems like another, MacDonald lets loose with an unexpected account, often brimming with intrigue, that puts a reader in mind of the ultimate dining compliment: 'I’ll have what he’s having.' At least, in a vicarious way, his hungry readers can." Read the rest here.

From Jesse Kornbluth on Huffington Post Food, and on his website (

What keeps him human -- what keeps this book from a wallow in meals that read like NC-17 movies -- is his lack of snobbery about his good fortune. 'Our meals in local bistros and even picnics with fresh French bread and favorites such as pork rillettes, sliced sausages and hams, celery remoulade and Comte cheese could be just as memorable.'
...You get the idea: the Macdonalds have had decades of the kind of experiences that are unrealized dreams for most foodies. For those dreamers, as for me, this is armchair dining, and at the highest level." Read the rest of the article here.