This time around, the experience was tinged with a teeny, tiny bit of disappointment because the timing didn't work out to include the illustrations in the ARCs. Bummer. (<--does anyone say "bummer" anymore? I just looked at that and realized I hadn't heard it in like forever).
I was at the bookstore recently, looking at some of the newer releases and realized that very few middle grade novels are illustrated anymore. Publishers are cutting costs, obviously, which is a shame because I think artwork enhances a book in a big way. I'm a grown-up and even I like photos, maps, and drawings in books. The truth is that our society has become increasingly more reliant on the visual as people read the news online etc. Illustrations in a kids' book seems like an obvious solution for reaching reluctant readers. I'm fortunate that my publisher was on board with the extra expense for this book.
As I page through the advance copy of the book, the spaces where the illustrations eventually will be are marked with captions and the phrase "Picture to Follow." A promise of things to come. I've already seen the artwork, so when I read "Jasmine watches the party from a tree" on page 52, I can imagine this:
Isn't she pretty? And look how well she blends in with the tree! No wonder there are so few fairy sightings. They're like chameleons.
In honor of the delivery of the ARCs, I'm hosting a free book giveaway. The same rules apply as in the past.
1) Leave a comment at the end of this blog post. Any nice comment will do. Also leave a way I can reach you in the event that you win.
2) In one week's time I will do a random drawing and three people will be chosen to receive a paperback copy of Secrets of the Magic Ring.
3) You can live anywhere in the world and still enter.
4) Previous winners of my contests are welcome to enter this one.
That's all there is to it!
I'll be offline for the next few days, working feverishly on my novel, so I may not comment right away, but I will be back.