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Month: March 2014

  • Free Author Readings for K-8 Classrooms Nationwide on April 4, Now with the Chance to Win Complete Classroom Sets of the 2014 Children’s Choice Book Awards Finalists!

    Contact:Shira Schindel, Qlovi(551) 697-1983sschindel@qlovi.com New York, NY – March 27, 2013 — Qlovi, the classroom eBook and literacy software company, partners with the Children’s Book Council, the non-profit trade association for …

  • Coffee County Students Make Dramatic Reading Gains in First Semester of Literacy Grant

    Data from Students Enrolled in iRead™, READ 180® and System 44® Programs Show Outstanding First Semester Gains in Reading Achievement  DOUGLAS, GA – In reviewing early data from the first few months of a …

  • Lifetime to Adapt Four More V.C. Andrews Books

    “Heather Graham and Ellen Burstyn have already signed up to reprise their Flowers roles for Petals on the Wind, and the Dollanganger kids’ parts have been recast with older actors …

  • Librarian Draws 1,530 Kids to Sign Up For Summer Reading Program

    “That summer slide also accounts for about 80 percent of the reading gap between kids from low- and middle-income families—three years by the end of eighth grade, according to University …

  • Educators! Sign Up for FREE Virtual Readings with Beloved Authors & Illustrators

    Educators! Sign Up for FREE Virtual Readings with Beloved Authors & Illustrators:

    Tune in and connect with acclaimed children’s book authors and illustrators via YouTube and Google Hangouts on Air.

  • National Golden Ticket Sweepstakes Kicks Off On April 1st

    Five lucky winners will walk in Willy Wonka’s shoes for one day in a New York City-based Dylan’s Candy Bar store. The prize package also includes “two roundtrip tickets to New York …

  • Jeff Kinney to Create 9th ‘Wimpy Kid’ Book

    At the moment, no title has been revealed. Kinney has revealed in a statement that “I’m taking the Heffleys out of their home environment and sending them out on the …

  • Harry Potter Alliance Shares Tips For How to Run a Successful Book Drive

    To encourage followers to sign up and organize their own book drive, they created a how-to video. A successful “Accio Books” campaign can be broken down into seven steps. They …

  • Ready, Set, Vote in the Children’s & Teen Choice Book Awards!

    If you have already visited ccbookawards.com today and are having trouble with the site, please clear your browser cache and then hit refresh. This will show you the updated version. …

  • Second Part of J.K. Rowling’s New Writing on Quidditch Now on Pottermore

    Today the second part of J.K. Rowling’s entertaining new writing on the magical sport of Quidditch, is released on Pottermore, the digital platform for Harry Potter. The first part of …

  • CBC Diversity: Mark von Bargen — How I Got into Publishing

    Senior Director of Trade Sales for Children’s Books at Macmillan

    imageGrowing up in South Jersey, my dream was to work in a record store. Remember those? Specifically, the Wee Three Record store in the Moorestown Mall. The closest I ever got was a summer job at Kay-Bee Toys. Going to the mall in those days was THE EVENT. First with your parents, hoping you’d be able to spend time in YOUR stores, and then getting a little older, riding your bike across forbidden busy roads to get to … THE MALL. Wee Three wasn’t a great store if you compare it to bigger brothers like Sound Odyssey and the epic Tower Records in Philly, but it was ours. This was the place my friends and I would go to get the music we loved to hear on FM radio. Among the other stores in that mall was a little shop at the Sears end called, appropriately, The Book End. They had a robust selection of my favorites: Mad Magazine books, Beatles books, and Zander Hollander Baseball Annuals. I never thought about working there. It all seemed too intimidating.


    Flash forward to the late 80s. Armed with a History degree from Rutgers, I was living in Philadelphia and needed to get a GRE test book.  I went to the Encore Books store in Rittenhouse Square. This was a beautiful split-level store in Center City. They had everything. They had the Barron’s book I needed. They had a sign in the window for their Management Trainee Program. They also had a beautiful girl working behind the counter with a Welsh accent. I was interested in all of the above. The Management Trainee program sounded great, especially if it would help me on the Welsh front. I had lots of questions about the job, most of them revolved around whether this would be in the same store.  Answer:  “For now, yes, but there is an opportunity to work in lots of stores!”  Who wanted that?  I got the job, worked there for a month, and was transferred to the store in North Philly on … Welsh Road. Oh, the irony.


    My Book End feelings re-surfaced. It was intimidating at first, especially dealing with customers. I was amazed at how the staff knew every book that was in their store. And where it was! After a while, I also became versed in what we had, down to the exact shelf. Something about working 50+ hours a week will do that to you. The other part of working in a store that impressed me was that our store was like a little library. Whatever subject you were interested in, we had something there. I loved that feeling. The store was like our home. We could also order books to build up certain sections, but they had to be sections that were popular. We had a lot of fun building up our Science Fiction, True Crime and Romance section. Fantasy, Sex and Violence was in the air. And it was selling. I worked at Encore for six years, moving up to store manager and then spent 2 years on the road as a merchandiser setting up new stores. Looking back, I have many fond memories of those days, except for the awful maroon aprons they made us wear.


    Flash forward to the mid 90s.  Unloading trucks in the rain, covering absentee shifts on Friday nights, and wearing maroon aprons can get tiring after a while. Some of my friends had made the big time, and worked at … Baker & Taylor. Cue the angel music. The more I heard about THAT, the better it sounded. No more straightening the computer book section at 10PM. No more counting out the cash register. Weekends off! In the fall of 1994, I got a job as a book buyer at B&T. I would be buying the new titles and reordering books for their warehouses. At first, I was given a handful of smaller presses to manage. I suppose they wanted to limit the damage I could do.  I embraced the sales patterns of Michelin Travel Guides, Van Nostrand hair cutting manuals, and Latino fiction of Arte Publico Press.

    Over the next four years, I moved on to buying more favorites that included Random House, FSG, Hal Leonard Music Books and Viking Penguin. The more I heard about the stories behind the books’ creation, the more interested I was. One of our reps recommended a new job at Holtzbrinck Publishers selling TSR. TSR? You mean Dungeons and Dragons? Yep. The game manuals and the novels. Game on. Why not?


    I came into the Flatiron Building in New York on a hot May day in 1999. I misjudged the subway time, arrived late, and thought that walking up to the 12th floor would be faster than waiting for an elevator.  I arrived sweaty, out of breath, and dis-shelved. Talk about making a good impression. I remembered how well those fantasy books sold back in the Welsh Road days and was hoping to be able to be a bigger part of their success “further up-stream”.  I got the job and have since moved on to specialize in Children’s books. I feel very lucky to be working with such smart, creative, and fun people.

    I occasionally go back to the mall near my parents’ house. Wee Three is gone. The Book End is gone.  Encore is gone. The aprons are gone. Things change. But, storytelling and publishing always go on …  

  • Global Publishing Sensation ‘Half Bad’ Sets New Guinness World Records Title

    New York, NY – Exactly one year after clinching her first publishing deal, British author Sally Green has smashed two GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS titles for the ‘Most translated book by a debut …

  • Christopher Myers Talks About the Lack of Diversity in Children’s Books

    “During my years of making children’s books, I’ve heard editors and publishers bemoan the dismal statistics, and promote this or that program that demonstrates their company’s ‘commitment to diversity.’ With …

  • CBC Diversity: Hiring Methods for a Representative Work Environment Panel

    From the beginning, one of the goals of the CBC Diversity Initiative was to help create a more diverse range of employees working within the industry. Now in its third year, CBC Diversity is taking a closer look at how we can help bring about this change.

    In February we attended a highly diverse college fair introducing qualified candidates to the many jobs in publishing. We plan to do more career fairs, virtual and in-person, in the future. This, however, is only one part of the equation.

    On March 12, 2014, the CBC Diversity Committee hosted a Lunch & Learn Panel for hiring managers and human resources professionals within children’s book publishing to come together and explore key ideas focusing on how to bring about a more representative industry. The amazing panel was moderated by Andrea Davis Pinkney, Vice President and Executive Editor of Trade at Scholastic, and the panelists included David Bronstein, Cheif Talent Officer at Perseus Books Group; Amy Brundage, Human Resources Director at Hachette Book Group; and Carolynn L. Johnson, Chief Operating Officer at DiversityInc.

    The takeaways were fabulous and below you’ll find just a few that were captured.

    • The hiring manager is the key—understand their behavior, learn how to communicate with them, and educate them. This will have the best influence on who they hire.

    • If you’re in the company, send referrals of candidates that you think would be great to HR. Those usually go to the top of the pile.
    • It’s a numbers game. The companies who get it (that diversity is crucial to the bottom line) win, those who don’t go out of business. There is a business case for diversity.

    • What makes a good mentee?
    1. A person who drives the mentorship process and comes to learn and engage
    2. A person that understands that it’s not all about the mentor giving to them, they should give back to the mentor as well in whatever way they can to add value to the relationship
    3. A person that understands that there’s a difference between a mentor, a sponsor, and a coach. Asking one person to be all of those things won’t work because they have different responsibilities and needs. It’s important for a mentee to always be networking so they have access to many advocates.
    • Training is so important for hiring managers because it shows them that they may have unknown biases and then will help decrease those biases in the future.
    • A way to infuse diversity training into the company is to do it within higher management training.
    1. Include two-way interaction with scenarios
    2. Try to provide a training session where the manager feels like they’ve solved 3-4 problems in the session (presumably through those scenarios)
    • Companies have to do the work if they care about creating and promoting their diversity.
    1. Is it in the job posting description of the company? Where are you posting the job—just within industry-specific websites or only on the company website?
    2. Is there diversity on the company website?
    3. Where and how are your corporate values communicated and where does diversity fit in?

    • Hiring managers need to go to where the people are—to the communities, individuals, institutions that have the diversity that you crave. They aren’t going to come to you—especially if the above bullet isn’t handled.
    • Numbers are important. Ask managers to pay attention to those numbers because when you shine a light on something, there is change.

  • Fans Encouraged to Take Part in ‘The Great Daughter of Smoke & Bone Re-read’

    “Other digital and social media components of the promotion include Facebook and Tumblr book giveaways, and a Daughter of Smoke & Bone Tumblr site showcasing fan-art as well as an …

  • Veronica Roth On Growing as a Writer

    “In the subsequent books I thought more about violence and young people. It’s very serious. That doesn’t mean I’m limiting the content. I just handle it different. In terms of …

  • New Content From Author J.K. Rowling Posted on Pottermore.com

    LONDON, ENGLAND – Pottermore.com, the digital platform from author J.K. Rowling devoted to the world of Harry Potter, today posted the first part of her “History of the Quidditch World …

  • Walter Dean Myers: ‘Where Are the People of Color in Children’s Books?’

    “TODAY I am a writer, but I also see myself as something of a landscape artist. I paint pictures of scenes for inner-city youth that are familiar, and I people …

  • 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Awards Shortlist

    The Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Announces the 2014 Shortlist  Six authors and six illustrators have been selected from 58 candidates submitted …

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