I had a secret plan to not allow them into my house ... you know, the children's books ... written by celebrities.
OK, I admit ... I've stood in the corner at Barnes and Noble once or twice ... maybe five times ... and read a few of them. But, from what I'd heard, I was pretty much not supposed to admit to liking them (even though I kind of sort of DID like them).
After all, how can someone like me compete with the likes of Jamie Lee Curtis, Madonna, Katie Couric ... and the list goes on ... and on. I mean, really ... it seems like every time you turn around, a celebrity has written a children's book. And, why wouldn't publishers jump all over that?! Their books equate to instantly successful marketing ... just like that! These people can easily land an interview on the Today Show and sell gazillions (OK, maybe a little less) of children's picture books in the blink of an eye. It's quite amazing ... and a bit daunting!
So, I figured I would keep plugging away at my own efforts, and - in the mean time - not contribute to the mass purchasing of said children's books.
Then, it happened ... my children were given two celeb-authored books for Christmas. One by Jamie Lee Curtis ("Big Words for Little People"); and the other by Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York. "Goodness," I thought to myself as I watched wrapping paper fly across the room, "now I'm competing with celebrities AND a DUCHESS!"
So, I'm here to admit that I like them. The stories are adorable and the illustrations ... well ... they're just phenomenal and bright and cheerful.
My daughter's favorite is "Tea for Ruby" (that's the one by the Duchess!). The story line is very simple and sweet. But, oh my ... the illustrations ... I just stare at them and wonder how long it took Robin Preiss Glasser to complete the intricate, detailed drawings. They're amazing.
So, I guess my ban on celebrity-authored books is officially over. I probably won't purchase any, but I will allow them to enter my house. :-) After all, while their books may have taken some of ours out of the running ... they've also done a huge service to the industry by turning the spotlight on children's picture books. And that's a good thing for everyone ... especially the kids for whom we write!
In the mean time, I'm going to re-read "The Non-Celebrity's Guide to Getting a Children's Book Published" by Jon Bard, Managing Editor of The Children's Book Insider, LLC (http://www.write4kids.com/). It's a refreshingly straightforward look at how to get published when you're only a celebrity in your own small circle of the world!