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.

Appearances, Author Visit, book events

Fall 2022 AUTHOR EVENTS with Laura Sassi (Plus Unboxing my New Book with my Pooch!)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS. I have several events at book stores and a library planned for fall 2022 with more on the way. I hope you’ll be able to join me at one or more of them. And if you are a school, church, mom’s group, library, or daycare, I’m booking now for fall and winter. Learn more in the “Author Visits and Speaking Engagements” tab. And now… the fall line up, plus your first peek at my first peek of my newest book HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD with an unboxing video presented by Sophie, my literary cockapoo, and cute assistant.

First the line up:

Then the cute canine unboxing video:

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, Christmas, signed books

SIGNED Copies of HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD Available Through Premiere Collectibles!

Signed books make wonderful keepsake gifts for the little ones in your life. They can also be given as gifts to teachers, pastors, caregivers and more. And now you can give signed copies of HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD: A COUNTING NATIVITY BOOK even if you can’t make it to a signing.

That’s because Premiere Collectibles, America’s largest autographed bookstore, is now selling signed bookplated copies of my new board book available to all, no matter where you live. I will be signing special gold book plates that that will be affixed to the book. Each book will also come with a Certificate of Authenticity – making it an extra special keepsake.

Here’s the link where you can learn more: https://premierecollectibles.com/happybirthday

Thank you, Paraclete Press and Premiere Collectibles for making this special opportunity possible!

Author Visit, board books, book events, Christmas

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD: Schedule a FREE Author Visit!

 HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHRISTMAS CHILD: A COUNTING NATIVITY BOOK (Paraclete Press) releases October 4, 2022. 

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. 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!

And here’s the book trailer:

Now, in celebration of the book’s release, I have a special offer.

From now through December 24th, 2022, I am offering free 20-minute HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD author visits to the first TEN groups who reach out to me via my contact tab and book a visit. This special visit is ideal for preschools, church ministries, homeschool coops etc. and can be in–person (within 20 minute radius by car) or VIRTUAL.

IMPORTANT DETAILS:

For each FREE 20-minute HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD visit I will:

Introduce myself and the story with the help of my mouse puppet.

Engage the children in an interactive reading which includes having them count along and notice fun details on each spread.

Review the message of the story asking “Whose birthday do we celebrate at Christmas?” and close by singing Happy Birthday to Jesus. 

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. The publisher also has a great deal on bulk purchases with significant discounts starting orders of 10 or more. 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 Christmas joy in this special way.  

P.S. If you decide to pre-order a copy today, you can head over here to redeem the free activity kit the publisher created to go with the book. It’s chock full of printables and even includes Happy Birthday, Christmas Child party plan!

Bible, board books, Christmas

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD! Enjoy a SPECIAL PRE-ORDER OFFER from Paraclete!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD invites children and their families to join Mary and Joseph as they wait for Jesus to be born. 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, it is my hope that by infusing counting into HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD, littlest readers and their caregivers, will similarly slow down and explore and count and marvel with Mary and Joseph across each and every spread.

SPECIAL OFFER! Will you help me celebrate Christmas in July (and get a nice little start on your Christmas shopping done) by pre-ordering copies of my new board book HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD?

Here are FIVE wonderful benefits of pre-ordering today:

  • You will be among the first to receive the book!
  • You will be ahead of the game in your Christmas shopping… and perhaps better able to slow down and savor Christmas when December finally rolls around.
  • Paraclete will send you a FREE PRE-ORDER GIFT in the form of a downloadable jam-packed activity kit that includes the items pictured below plus coloring pages and a “Happy Birthday Jesus” party plan full of ideas. To redeem, simply purchase a copy of the book at the vendor of your choice, then head over here to claim your gift. 
  • If you order from Paraclete Press, the book will be mailed to you in August.
  • If you order from Paraclete Press, they offer discounts for multiple copies and free shipping for purchases totaling $60 or more. They are also having a Christmas in July sale through 7/29/22 with lovely savings of $12 off purchases of $40 or more and $25 off of purchases of $80 or more.

All the details can be found on the special landing page Paraclete created just for the book. This page is worth a special visit.  It includes not just information about purchasing the book and redeeming the activity kit, but lots of FUN things including the book trailer, a lovely endorsement, information about author and illustrator, an inspirational video, event details and a contact form. Here’s the link.

Blessings to one and all this Christmas in July. Let me know if you are interested in having me visit your school or church or group this holiday season. I’m started to book events now. Learn more here.

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.