The Loft Wordplay Festival-May 2019

Last weekend (May 11-12, 2019) was packed with amazing speakers, workshops, books, food trucks and more. I had lots of fun at our book signing with several other fabulous Minnesota authors and illustrators in the Children’s Expo Area E. We are looking forward to next year’s event!

From Left to Right: Alicia Schwab, Yvonne Pearson, Amanda Huneke, Quinette Cook, and Rebecca K. S. Ansari


SCBWI Minnesota Postcard Gallery

As the Illustrator Coordinator of SCBWI Minnesota, I started a program earlier in 2017 called the SCBWI Minnesota Postcard Gallery. It is an online gallery for our members to showcase their self-promotion postcards.

I really enjoy seeing it grow from the ground up.  And I look forward to many posts to come. We will update this gallery 4x/year. See you July 15th!

Shoutout onTwitter #mailersandcoffee

Each week Giuseppe Castellano @pinocastellano shares on Twitter #mailersandcoffee — a weekly illustration mailer review with his design assistant @jayrosenfeld. This week he featured my illustration!  Here's a link to Giuseppe Castellano's tweet.  My postcard is also featured over at SCBWI-Minnesota Postcard Gallery page. You can find me on twitter @aschwabart.

2017 MN SCBWI Banner Contest

I am the Illustrator Coord. for SCBWI Minnesota. In 2015, I began hosting an annual Banner Contest for MN SCBWI members to participate in.

We have had great participation in years past when the contest was displayed at the MN SCBWI Fall Conference, but this year we moved the event online so that everyone can view the art at anytime.

The winning entry will be displayed in the regional SCBWI Minnesota website and the new! SCBWI Minnesota Postcard Gallery for one year. All MN SCBWI members are eligible to vote on the entries through a survey sent to their inbox.

Postcard Gallery

As the Illustrator Coordinator for SCBWI Minnesota, I created a Postcard Gallery for the SCBWI Minnesota illustrator members to showcase their postcards 4x/year!

This website gives participants the initiative to work on their marketing skills by submitting their postcards to the gallery up to four times a year.

The participants can increase traffic to their portfolio website by creating buzz on social media.

Paths to Publication

How do you get your book into stores and in front of readers? Let’s talk about the path to publication. What is traditional publisher? Writers Digest’s definition is, “Traditional book publishing is when a publisher offers the author a contract and, in turn, prints, publishes, and sells your book through booksellers and other retailers. The publisher essentially buys the right to publish your book and pays you royalties from the sales.” You do not pay up front to have your book produced but you also do not earn all the profits. A publisher shoulders the risk and can distribute it even further with media coverage and reviews. The publisher will use their expert knowledge in book editing, production, marketing and publicity to sell the book for you. And your book will more likely get on the shelf at bookstores. Traditional publishers include the big five, New York publishing houses. (like Scholastic) and small presses & University presses. 

When embarking on your journey as an author or illustrator, you will want to pitch your work to the right publisher or to the right agent. This takes time to practice your craft and research which topics are a good fit for your genre. You can learn more about how to practice you writing and illustration skills with the books list from this blog. 

Once you have your work ready to send out, you will need to research which publisher is the best fit for your book. Visit your local bookstore or library to see what is currently being offered. The books you grew up reading are different than the books on the market now. Visit the Publishers Weekly to research which house or agent is the best fit for you. SCBWI has a publication called THE BOOK, which has loads of useful information for members, as well. Another source book is the CHILDREN'S WRITERS & ILLUSTRATOR MARKET.

I should also mention self-publishing. With this route you can choose to pay for a fully assisted publishing service. The cost varies depending on the services offered and can be beneficial for those who have no desire to handle the business side. The Author receives better royalties than a traditional publisher contract. However, with the following Do-It-Yourself options you may earn more: EBooks-only Publishing Services such as, Print-on-Demand (POD) Services or Traditional Print Runs.

For more details on the different paths to publication, Jane Friedman, CEO and Co-Founder of Open Road Integrated Media has created a very helpful info graphic that you can link to here.