Wednesday, November 22, 2006

| View Show | Create Your Own

Savannah Children's Book Festival
November 16 - 19th 2006
Quest for the Dragon Stone

Me and Lance hit the road early Thursday morning, and after checking into the Hilton DeSoto we headed over to DeRenne Middle for our first presentation of the weekend. The kids were great & really responded to my work.

Friday we did three Author Visits: 2 were at St.Andrews School : these kids were really interested in Book Production. I've been emailed by their teacher who said I've inspired some of them to become authors & illustrators! How cool is that. After a quick bite to eat, we headed to Blessed Sacrament. My Production Manager couldn't get the projector to run ( all my illustrations are programmed in Powerpoint for big crowds). As the Pricipal announced me, infront of 300 students, I gazed at Lance. He shrugged. No illustrations!

What is an author to do?

I remained calm and introduced myself - and by the time I was done the projector decided to play nice and the presenatation went off without a hitch. It was awesome! I loved every minute of it and so did the school. A gymnasium full of enthusiastic kids and applause can give a humble author quite an exhilirated rush.

Saturday I sold a book every three minutes. It was amazing! For all who live in this area, you must register and particiapte in the festival next year! I will go every year from now on. It was a memorable experience!

-Ami B.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Chair, A Fireplace and A Tea Cozy
Hi There:

i thought you might be interested in helping to spread the news of a truly unique and interesting new children's book publisher, called Red Cygnet Press. You can find out all about us by going to our web site: and you can read a little bit about us below. Thanks!
New Small Independent Children’s Publisher Offers
First “Big Breaks” to Next Generation of America’s Most Talented Author-Illustrators

“It’s kind of like American Idol for young children’s book illustrators,” explains Bruce Glassman, president and co-founder of Red Cygnet Press, a small, new, independent children’s book publishing company. Glassman says that Red Cygnet has come up with a unique concept for children’s publishing. The San Diego-based company has formed partnerships with America’s most respected art schools and fine arts departments so each school’s most talented graduate and undergraduate students can submit proposals for the opportunity to be published.

“It’s a win-win for both the students and for us,” says Joshua Gravin, the company’s vice-president and other founder. “Red Cygnet gets a highly motivated, exceptionally creative talent pool and the students get to begin their careers with a beautiful published book in their portfolios.”

In September 2006, the company published its first 8 titles, which will were created by students from prestigious schools, such as Atlanta College of Art, California Institute of the Arts, California State University, Long Beach, Corcoran College of Art & Design, Savannah College of Art & Design, School of Visual Arts, University of Georgia, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, Western Connecticut State University, and others. The books will be distributed nationally and internationally and will be available through all major wholesalers, retail channels, and at the Red Cygnet Press website (

Red Cygnet Press was the original idea of co-founder Bruce Glassman, who had previously been in children’s publishing for more than 20 years. “The idea had been brewing for quite a while,” Glassman says, “I had always wanted to create a company that could tap into something new-- underutilized resources—in this case, the talent pool of America’s best art schools.”

Glassman and Gravin got the company started by launching a highly targeted email and letter campaign to professors and administrators across the country. “We contacted more than 2,500 individuals in all 50 states,” Gravin explains, “and the response was overwhelming.” By the time their submission deadline arrived, Red Cygnet had more than 150 book proposals to review. And they only had 15 contracts to award. “The final decision-making was really tough,” Gravin says. “There were so many incredible submissions, we would have published most of them, if we could have.”

The concept of the company, and the opportunity it provides, seems to have struck a chord with art students everywhere. “The one thing you hear from almost all young illustrators is that they want to break into publishing but they have no idea how,” Glassman adds. “Through Red Cygnet Press, we’re saying to those people ‘Here it is. Here’s how.”

Professors and college/university administrators have been equally supportive of the company’s mission. The professors have welcomed an opportunity to have their students gain more recognition from the “outside world” as well as get a leg up before becoming professional artists. For the colleges and universities, the finished books provide wonderful examples of the talent and creativity that can be found in their art programs. “The books are also great P.R. tools,” Gravin says with a grin. “Every book that gets out there is basically a beautiful advertisement for a school.”

The two publishers plan to expand their program every year. Currently, 20 titles are planned for 2007 and 30 for 2008. “We’d love to do more, but we can only grow so fast,” Gravin says.

And what about the name? Glassman explains, “Well, a cygnet is a baby swan. When they’re first born, cygnets look kind of drab and unremarkable, like baby ducks. After they are nurtured, however, they grow into sleek, beautiful and graceful creatures. Our mission is to find the cygnets of today and help to turn them into the swans of tomorrow.”

For more information, go to