Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Enter JacketFlap's contest for space at the Orange County Children's Book Festival

Hi everyone!

As you may know, The Orange County Children's Book Festival is a huge interactive and fun family festival in southern California that invites children of all ages to experience the magic of books. The Fifth Annual Orange County Children's Book Festival is scheduled for Sunday Oct. 5, 2008 from 10:00AM - 4:00PM. The Festival is free to attend and draws 18,000 people. A few of this year's featured celebrity and popular authors are Jamie Lee Curtis, Gary Soto, and Barney Saltzberg; and Guy Gilchrist and Steve Gray are two featured illustrators.

JacketFlap will have a booth at this year's festival, and we're going to use it to help promote the work of our incredible members. We are giving away space in our booth for six people to sign autographs, display, and sell their books. To qualify, you must be a published author or illustrator of children's or young adult books, and at least one of your books has to be listed on your JacketFlap profile in your published works section. How do you enter? All you have to do is post a comment saying "I want the space" on the Event's page on JacketFlap.

Six winners will be randomly selected from the entries between now and September 19th, 2008. If your name isn't selected, don't be too disappointed. We'll also have a flat screen monitor showing a slideshow of our members books. If you have books listed in the published works section of your JacketFlap profile, your books will appear on our monitor throughout the show.

If you want to purchase space in this year's festival, authors, illustrators and storytellers have the opportunity to participate on one of three presentation stages, personal and/or shared exhibitor booths and in one of three book stores. Contact the Festival organizers (see below) for how you can bring your books to thousands of families in southern California. We're told that the spaces are almost full, so hurry up!

Exhibitor Booths are fully enclosed with three walled. As a (full booth) exhibitor you'll be posted in the Festival guide. You will also be given a 6 X 1 foot name banner, a table, two chairs and a waste paper basket. Everything is included at a cost of $495 plus all day exposure to thousands of families. Authors (up to two) are permitted to share a booth. Martha's Bookstore is featuring author book signings for three hours time slots for $75.

To find out how you can be apart of this extraordinary event, email the Cofounder and Executive Director Pat Burns - or call her Mobile - 949.836.4722. Visit for more information. You can also see a short video about the Festival on YouTube:


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Zoom! JacketFlap is MUCH faster now!

We've been hard at work for the last several weeks improving the software that powers JacketFlap. I don't know about you, but for me, the speed increase is incredible! Pages that took 10 - 20 seconds to load last week now load in less than a second. We have a bunch of new features that we'll be releasing shortly, but we want to be sure the overall site is as fast as possible first. Please leave a comment here if you run into a slow-loading pages or other problems, and we'll get them fixed ASAP.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

JacketFlap BEA Meet-up!

I had a great time this weekend at BEA (BookExpo America). Walking the floor in the expo halls was a great deal of fun. It's truly overwhelming when you see how many new titles are being promoted. I have a great deal of respect for the publicists, sales people, marketing people, authors and illustrators that tirelessly worked to promote their titles to the tens of thousands of booksellers, librarians and other people walking the floor (like me). My favorite part of the show was meeting hundreds of JacketFlap members, many for the first time.

Some people literally shouted out to me as I walked the floor wearing my JacketFlap hat. Then came the JacketFlap meet-up, which we held Saturday at 3pm. It was a great time! People got to meet virtual friends in person, and there was a lot of hugging and great conversation. I'm not sure how many people were there in total, but I know we gave out about 200 hats during the show. If you were there and didn't get a hat, please send me a message from my profile page with your address, and I'll put one in the mail. It was terrific being able to meet so many JacketFlap members. We're now planning to have a meet-up during ALA. I'll post details about that in an upcoming post. I've posted some of the photos from the meet-up below. If you were there, please feel free to post a message in the comments. I really loved meeting everyone, and I can't wait for our next event!


The one & only Peter Hannan "Joe Hemingmouse", creator of the Nickelodeon animated series CatDog, and author of the series Super Goofballs talking with Ron Yurman, founder of Storytime To Go and Short Hills Media Group.
Our wonderful Flappers!
Thora Gabriel, Author of Chessie Bligh and the Scroll of Andelthor meeting another JacketFlap member.

BLISS literary agency international principal agent Jenoyne Adams with other JF memebers, including Cynthia Polansky.

Pat Burns (Co-founder, Orange County Children's Book Festival) with Roice N. Krueger and founder of and The Creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul Mark Victor Hansen.
The amazing Editor of Blooming Tree Press and Writer's Digest 2008 101 Best Websites for Writers - Buried in a Slushpile - Madeline Smoot with Cynthia Polansky, the fabulous author of Far Above Rubies.
Pat Burns (Co-founder, Orange County Children's Book Festival) and author of Grandparents Rock: The Grandparenting Guide for the Rock-N-Roll Generation.

Other members who stopped by at the meet-up were Elizabeth Bluemle author of My Father the Dog and owner of The Flying Pig Bookstore, Michael Reisman author of The Gravity Keeper, and Debi Durst owner of Holy City Zoo Productions, to name a few.

More JF flappers we saw throughout the expo were author & illustrator Ev Stanton, illustrator JR Johnson, Andy Mitchell, illustrator & toymaker Marilyn Scott-Waters, Jay Asher author of the incredible book THIRTEEN REASONS WHY, Sondra LaBrie of Kane Miller Publishing, Mom's Choice Awards Dawn Matheson & Tara Paterson, Laurel Snyder author of Inside the Slidy Diner, and Mary McAveney vice president of marketing at Simon & Schuster.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The server move is complete!

As many of you noticed, JacketFlap has been busily moving our servers over the last few days. Why did we move? Well, for the second time in the past year, we grew too large for our prior host's servers. We decided it was time for an upgrade. As of this morning, JacketFlap is now hosted on a set of brand new, much faster servers at ServerBeach. They hosted YouTube, so I think we're in good hands. Thanks everyone for your emails of support and your patience during the move. I'm sure there are still a few kinks to work out, so please post a comment if you see anything not working right. We'll get it taken care of right away.

Now that the move is pretty much behind us, we can get back to finishing up a bunch of great new features. I'll post about them soon!


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Children's Choice Book Awards Widget

Children's Book Week is approaching, and a new feature of this year's Children's Book Week is a national child-selected book awards program called the Children's Choice Book Awards. Kids across the country can vote electronically online or in their school, library, or bookstore via paper ballot for the five favorite books published in 2007 in five categories - three grade categories: K-2, 3-4, 5-6 as well as Favorite Author, and Favorite Illustrator. The winner in each category will be named at a gala during Children's Book Week 2008 in New York City. You can see a list of the 25 finalists as well as information on voting at the following URL:

To enhance the awareness of the awards, the Children's Book Council worked with JacketFlap to create a Children's Choice Book Awards Widget. The Widget displays a different finalist book every time it loads on a web site or blog, and there are links where people can click to vote for the Children's Choice Book Awards. You can get the Widget for your own blog or web site here:

In the past 24 hours, Publishers, authors, illustrators, librarians, and children's literature bloggers have been adding the widget to their blogs and web sites, effectively bringing the voting to the places where people learn about children's books. Below are some examples where you can see the widget live from the 40+ web sites that have installed the Children's Choice Book Awards Widget in the past 24 hours:

Publisher blog examples:

Author blog examples:

Illustrator blog examples:

Librarian blog examples:

Children's Literature blog examples:

Robin Adelson and the team at the Children's Book Council have really done a great job with this year's Children's Book Week! Be sure to visit the web site at:


Monday, March 3, 2008

JacketFlap article in Publisher's Weekly

In case you missed it, Sally Lodge wrote a great article about JacketFlap in Publishers Weekly's Children's Bookshelf on 2/14/2008. It was a perfect present for Valentines Day! The article is titled "JacketFlap on the Rise", and you can read it here:


Monday, January 21, 2008

A fresh cup of Joe on JacketFlap

It's Monday, and you know what that means... a nice fresh cup of Joe is waiting for you on JacketFlap. Joe Hemingmouse, that is...

Here's a link where you can leave a comment and read comments by Joe himself and other JacketFlap members.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Award winning JacketFlap members and new Joe Hemingmouse

What a great way to start the week!

New Joe Hemingmouse

As many of you know, our new Joe Hemingmouse cartoon by Peter Hannan is updated every Monday, and this week's cartoon is to the right.

As always, you can click the link below this week's cartoon on our home page to leave a comment and read comments from other members.

If you missed last week's debut cartoon, you can still see and comment about it.


I've been busily reading posts in our blog reader about the ALA (American Library Association) award winners, which were announced yesterday. Please join me in congratulating two JacketFlap members for their award winning books:

Tracie Vaughn Zimmer is the winner of a Schneider Family Book Award for Reaching for Sun!

You can leave a comment on Tracie's JacketFlap profile to congratulate her.

And, Yuyi Morales received the Pura Belpre Illustrator Award for Los Gatos Black on Halloween.

You can leave a comment on Yuyi's JacketFlap profile to congratulate her.

Congratulations to Tracie, Yuyi, and all the other winners!


Tuesday, January 8, 2008 Signs CatDog Creator Peter Hannan for Weekly Cartoon about Children's Book Publishing

Hi everyone!

I wanted to share some exciting news with you. We've signed CatDog creator Peter Hannan to create a weekly cartoon on JacketFlap about Children's Book Publishing. The cartoon, "Joe Hemingmouse", will follow the trials and tribulations of a mouse aspiring to be a children's book writer and illustrator. The first cartoon is live on JacketFlap's home page now:

As you may already know, Peter created and executive produced the popular Nickelodeon animated television series CatDog and is the author and illustrator of Super Goofballs, a series of illustrated chapter books from HarperCollins. He has long wanted to write a regular cartoon about the life of a writer/illustrator. Here's what Peter said about why he's working with us on this cartoon - "After working in television with a big crew and bigger hysterics, writing and illustrating children's books is a refreshing change of pace. However, the independence can sometimes feel curiously like solitary confinement. Any creative endeavor is a series of setbacks and successes, and it's crucial to keep one's sense of humor. Luckily, I've always found my foibles, and those of friends and colleagues, funny."

Please take a look at Joe Hemingmouse, and use the discussion link below the cartoon to let us know what you think!