Book Launch, Christmas

You’re Invited to the HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD Virtual Book Launch Party!

Who’s ready for a HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD Virtual Book Launch Party? I am and so is my storytelling companion, Mouse. That’s why we’re inviting you to join us on Instagram Live on Thursday, December 1st at 7pm Eastern to celebrate the release of HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD. Enjoy a reading, games, a virtual BYO snack, and a simple book-inspired craft. To access the party, simply stop by my Instagram page at 7pm Eastern on the 1st.

Here’s the description: Count to TEN with Mary and Joseph as they await the birth of Baby Jesus in this sweet rhyming board book for littlest ones. Published by Paraclete Press and illustrated by Gabi Murphy with plenty to notice and count on each spread, it’s a charming introduction for littlest ones to the real gift of Christmas – Jesus!

Here’s the book trailer, if you want a sweet sneak peek:

BUT, WAIT. THERE’S MORE!!! Since SIGNED copies are part of the fun, I’m delighted to share that signed book plated copies are available (at a great price!) at PremiereCollectibles.com/happybirthday. So, if you want signed copies – and live too far to come to one of my in-person events, this is a great option. I’m grateful both to my publisher and to Premiere Collectibles for making this possible.

Mark your calendars! Stay tuned, very soon for the “party craft” reveal so you can be sure to have your materials ready for the party. I thought this was a fun way to celebrate with friends near and far, so please let your friends know so they can mark their calendars too.

Book Launch, Christmas

Happy Book Birthday to HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHRISTMAS CHILD!

In her memoir A CIRCLE OF QUIET, Madeleine L’Engle writes, “Those of us who write are responsible for the effect of our books… Like it or not, we either add to the darkness… or we light a candle to see by.”  As a writer for children, I take those words to heart and I hope my my newest board book, HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD, will do just that.  

Inspired by a favorite Christmas verse from Luke 2:19 that describes Mary’s soul-filling wonder as she pondered the events surrounding the birth of Baby Jesus, HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD offers littlest readers and their caregivers a chance to slow down and point and count and marvel on each and every page as they celebrate the birth of the Light of the World.

Here I am sharing that inspiration on my porch this summer:

Learn more about the book on my brand new book page or by heading over to happybirthdaychristmaschild.com. Both spots include easy links for purchasing at a variety of vendors.

Happy birthday, brand new board book!  And happy reading, all!

Book Launch

A Web Update, Countdown to BOOK LAUNCH DAY (plus two fun HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD posts)!

Happy news! The process of updating this website is almost complete, and I think it’s time to welcome you back. I hope you enjoy perusing the fresh pages and soaking up the new look. Keep in mind that I’m still working on many details including adding social media links “above the fold”. Any guesses as to what that means? The books page and links are also still a work-in-progress, but I hope to have those complete by next week.

Now here’s a fun challenge for you. Remember how I said I wanted to somehow honor my mom – whose beautiful banner graced this blog for its first ten years? Well, I figured out a way to do just that. If you discover it, please let me know in the comments section.

Finally, it’s hard to believe, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHRISTMAS CHILD releases in FOUR days! The virtual blog/podcast tour kicked off this week with these two wonderful blog stops.

Tour Stop #1: Have you ever wondered about the journey a book takes from inspiration to publication? Find out HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD’s journey in this post over at Kathy Temean’s blog. And while you are there, be sure to enter her giveaway for a fresh-off-the-press copy of the book. All the details are on her blog. And only a handful have entered so far… just sayin’.

Tour Stop #2: Head over to Write2Ignite for a thoughtful review of HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD by Kathy O’Neill. Also included are thoughts on “7 Ways Happy Birthday, Christmas Child Helps Us Slow Down and Allow Little Hearts and Souls to Fill with the Wonder of Jesus’ Birth.”

Happy Friday, all.

board books, Book Launch, Christmas

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD is at the Warehouse (And a 20% off DISCOUNT Code!)

Hooray! HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD which releases October 4th, 2022 is officially in the warehouse! Here are pictures of the books being unpacked taken by the hardworking team at Paraclete Press.

This early arrival is exciting news for a couple of reasons. First, it means the book is right on track for release day. Second, it means it’s available NOW if you order directly from Paraclete Press. Yep, and it get’s even better because if you use the code SASSI when you order, you will receive 20% off the list price. And in the “living the dream” category, this is the first time I’ve had my last name as a discount count. That’s a snazzy sounding discount code, don’t you think? Just saying. =)

If you decide to order from Paraclete (or anywhere) remember to go to the book’s landing page https://happybirthdaychristmaschild.com to get the free downloadable activity kit that goes with the book. It’s full of all sorts of fun things including a birthday party plan, printable cupcake toppers, printable sticker templates, coloring pages and more. (See sampling below.)

Note: If you enjoy knowing the latest about my books and more, please consider following my blog. I post once or twice (and occasionally three times) weekly. Posts are devoted to celebrating reading, writing and life!

board books, Book Launch, Christmas

Book Trailer Premiere on KidLit TV: HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD

Happy Christmas in July! I wasn’t familiar with this summery nod to Christmas as a child, but I think it’s a delightful excuse to premiere the book trailer for my new Christmas board book!

Here’s the scoop from Paraclete Press:

Join Mary and Joseph, angels, shepherds, sheep, and various stable critters as they celebrate the birthday of a very special baby in this rhyming counting book for little readers and their families. 

Written by bestselling author Laura Sassi and illustrated by Gabi Murphy, HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD! celebrates the warmth, wonder and excitement of the night Jesus was born. Written in gentle rhyme with bright illustrations and lots of things for little ones to notice and count, it’s sure to be a Christmas favorite. 

Thank you, KidLit TV for hosting the reveal. Now, top up that cup of coffee and head on over for the trailer premiere. I’ll make it easy for you. Here’s the link. Enjoy!  

Interested in pre-ordering copies for Christmas?  Here are details from the publisher about a really terrific PRE-ORDER SPECIAL they are running.  (I’ll be sharing more on this tomorrow.)

Happy Monday, all!

Bible, board books, Book Launch, Inspiration

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD: Inspiration Video (Plus a Giveaway Winner!)

Every day recently, I’ve doing a little something special to get ready for my newest board book to release. Earlier this month these special efforts included producing a short video, filmed on my porch, sharing the inspiration behind HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD. Well, I just noticed that the video is now up on Paraclete’s website as well as their YouTube channel, so that means I can share it!

Enjoy the video and I hope it inspires you to pre-order copies for the little ones in your life.  You can preorder through the publisher, on Amazon , Barnes and Noble, ChristianBook or through the vendor of your choice. And if you want to add it to your Goodreads shelves that would be amazing.  

GIVEAWAY WINNER ANNOUNCED!!! It’s also time to announce the winner of last week’s giveaway of a SIGNED copy of Patti Richard’s debut picture book MRS. NOAH.  Drum roll please… the winner is… GAYLE!!! I will be in touch with you today so we can get the book to you.  

Book Launch, marketing tips, time management

ORGANIZING a BOOK LAUNCH: Notebook Style!

In just under four months my seventh children’s book, Happy Birthday Christmas Child, published by Paraclete Press and illustrated by Gabi Murphy will release.  For a couple of months already, I have been busy preparing for release day. And as I have been doing so, I’m realizing that over the course of these seven books, I have hit upon a strategy that really works for me in terms of keeping track of all the many moving parts that go into successfully welcoming a new book into the world.  The moving parts include communicating with the publisher to see what their plans are and complementing/enhancing those with your own publicity efforts including setting up social media/blog/podcast opportunities, building and working with a launch team, setting up in-person and virtual book events at stores, schools etc., creating ancillary materials for your book like lessons, activities, etc. and more. 

All this can seem a bit daunting, but I think I’ve found a way to keep it manageable. What’s my secret?  For each of my books I have created a book launch notebook which serves as ground control for all aspects of the launch.  And today, I thought I’d give you a sneak peek into how I have organized it. 

Here’s the cover. There’s logic behind this colorful cover.  I want it to stand out and be easy to find. Having it be book-themed and cute is also motivating to me to persevere with my planning because good things come to those who plan ahead.

Small (but not too small). I have chosen a 5”by 7” notebook with a thick and sturdy cover so it’s small enough to toss into my bag and carry with me, but not so flimsy as to slip between the cushions of my sofa which happened with my first book launch notebook and, oh my, but I was stressed before I found it again!

Front page.  Here I have clearly noted the title of the book that is releasing, the publisher as well as two over-arching goals. 

Five Sections. The notebook is divided into five sections, each marked for now with a post-it, though I may switch those for paper clips as I get going, for extra easy flipping.

Section One: Events. This section has two parts. 

The first is a summary page which will be filled in later, once I have all my events in place so I can list them in date order. This page also include columns with each book title so I can note how many books were sold as a result of each event. (It’s fun to look back and see the grand total of sales I directly influenced over the years and also is good for analysing what worked well (or didn’t) at each event.)

The second is a large, continuing section where I make notes on each of the events as I set them up.  I also fill in dream destinations and then see if I can make them happen. 

Section Two: Blog, Podcasts, Press etc.  This also has two sections. 

The first is a summary page, which again I will fill in later, once I have everything in place.  It will include the date, venue, and topic with the goal of reaching a range of target audiences including teachers, librarians, parents, faith-based ministries, writers and more.  I will also strive for a range of topics and formats so it all feels fresh and fun. 

The second, again, is a large, continuing section where I make notes on each of opportunities as I set them up. I also leave open boxes for dream opportunities and then see if I can make them happen (such as being on a nationally or regionally syndicated show! A girl can dream, right?)

Section Three: Launch Team. This section is for contacts, who aren’t necessarily bloggers etc, but who are active in their communities and who have said they’d be happy to help spread word about my newest book. This list typically includes teachers, librarians, directors, friends, moms in the thick of the preschool years etc.  Again it includes two parts. The first is a list of who they are. The second is a list of tasks/requests for them to do (if they so choose). All efforts are voluntary and doing even just one or two helps!  The tasks include things like telling three friends about the book, suggesting it for purchase at local libraries and schools, taking a picture reading the book and then sharing on social media, writing a Goodreads review etc. 

Section Four: Libraries This is where I record libraries that I or others have reached out to to recommend the book for acquisition – along with a column for the result.  

Section Five: Daily Actionable Steps  This is the secret sauce to the success of the launch.  It’s also what keeps everything manageable.  The secret?  I set myself a goal to take two manageable/actionable steps per day towards reaching my book launch goals and I record them at the back of the notebook, working from the last page towards the front.  I simply record the action taken. This can be as small as reaching out to a venue or creating an order form for a school visit.  Just two small steps per day, recorded at the back of the notebook.  Each daily effort is entered in the left hand column, with the eventual result in the right hand column.  Keeping this list helps me remember what small steps I have taken and serves as a reminder for what I need to follow up on until I have a result.  

And that’s my notebook!  Anyone else have something similar?  I’d love to hear what works for you or if you plan on giving something like this a try. Happy Monday, all. 

board books, Book Launch, Easter

Happy BOOK Birthday, BUNNY FINDS EASTER!

Hip! HOP! Hooray!

It’s on its way!  

BUNNY FINDS EASTER

Releases today! 

Here’s the book scoop on this new board book from Zonderkidz written by Laura Sassi and illustrated by Ela Jarzabek: 

As Bunny bounces through her day she encounters various items that are connected to Easter including colorful Easter eggs, hot cross buns, an Easter bonnet, lilies and an Easter Egg Hunt. All these are fun, but it’s not until she arrives at church and all rise to sing the good news of Easter that Bunny realizes what it’s really about — Jesus!

BUNNY FINDS EASTER is:

  • For ages 0-4
  • A board book perfect for little hands, and in a size that works great for lap reading
  • Ideal for Easter gift-giving and fits perfectly in an Easter basket
  • A conversation starter for a discussion of the true meaning of Easter

This book has an extra special place in my heart because it reminds us that Easter is about Jesus! I hope it is read and enjoyed by little bunnies, er I mean, little ones and their families, for years to come!

Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, ChristianBook.com or from your favorite retailer.

Author Visit, Book Launch, school visits

BUNNY FINDS EASTER: Schedule a FREE Author Visit!

Hip-HOP-Hooray!  BUNNY FINDS EASTER (Zonderkidz) releases February 1, 2022. Told in bouncy rhyme, BUNNY FINDS EASTER is about a little rabbit on a quest to find out what Easter is all about. Is it about chocolate eggs and jelly beans or might it just be about a little bit more?  Light and fun, I think it’s the perfect introduction for littlest ones that Easter is about Jesus – he is the gift of Easter.

In celebration of the book’s release, I have a special offer!

From now through April 30th, 2022, I am offering free 20-minute BUNNY FINDS EASTER author visits to the TEN first groups who reach out to me via the contact tab. This special visit is ideal for preschools, church ministries, homeschool coops etc. and can be in–person or VIRTUAL.

IMPORTANT DETAILS:

For each FREE 20-minute BUNNY FINDS EASTER visit I will:

  1. Introduce the story with the help of Bunny and an Easter basket full of the items we will encounter in the story including colorful eggs, lilies, Easter candies and more.
  1. Engage the children in an interactive reading.
  1. Review the message of the story by re-examining the items in our basket to see how each reminds us of Easter and God’s love. 

REQUEST:  

The visit is free, but I respectfully request that you purchase a copy the book for your class/church library and that you offer families the opportunity to purchase copies as well. I do not sell my own books, but they are available through the major online vendors as well as your favorite local indie book stores. To help spread word to families, I can provide an order form for schools/groups to collect and order as a group from the vendor of your choosing. Be sure keep a list of first names for book inscriptions and, as a thank you, I will provide a signed and personalized book plate for each book purchased!

I look forward to spreading Easter joy in this special way.  

board books, Book Launch, Easter

Pre-Order Your SIGNED Copy of BUNNY FINDS EASTER

Will you help my new board book BUNNY FINDS EASTER make a BIG SPLASH when it releases next month by pre-ordering your copy today? I didn’t realize with my first two books just how important pre-orders can be in capturing the attention of readers, booksellers, reviewers and more. As I have now learned, those pre-order sales get included in the sales numbers for the first week of the book’s release. High numbers can influence how many runs a book has, whether it makes a best-selling list and more. All good and fun stuff!

So, if you are thinking of purchasing copies of BUNNY FINDS EASTER (which is the perfect size for Easter baskets, just saying), I would be delighted if you would consider pre-ordering it from your favorite book store.  It is for little ones ages 0 – 4.

Or…. if you want SIGNED copies, my favorite indie has a special deal for you! If you PRE-ORDER my new book from The Town Book Store, in Westfield, NJ, any time between NOW and February 1st (the book’s release day), owner Anne Laird is offering a 10% discount off the retail price.  Simply mention that you want the “BUNNY FINDS EASTER DISCOUNT”.

If this interests you, please call the store. Be sure to explain that you would like to have the book signed by the author and pass along the names you’d like included. They will take the order and do the transaction. I will then come in and sign the book or books.  Depending on where you live, you can either pick them up in-store at no extra charge, or have them mailed. There will be a shipping fee to cover the cost of mailing, but they can give you those details.

You can reach The Town Book Store at (908) 233-3535. You can also email the owner, Anne, at anne@townbookstore.com. Either way, remember to ask for the “BUNNY FINDS EASTER” discount.

Thank you, The Town Book Store, for making this possible and thank you, readers, for supporting my books!

NOTE: If you are long-distance and prefer to order from the vendor of your choice, I’m also happy to make arrangements for a signed book plate to be sent to you by sending me a SASE. Just let me know and we can make that happen.