Posted by: nancyisanders | April 8, 2021


I’m so excited to share the cover reveal for my newest title!


It’s a board book. Yay!

It’s a snugglewumpums bedtime book. Yay!

It’s an adorable “I love Mommy” book. Yay!

And it will be here in August to share with your favorite littles.

Thanks Felia Hanakata for your delightful art!

Thanks End Game Press for believing in this new book!

Thank you, Mommies everywhere, for snuggles at bedtime with your cherished ones!

I love trees! And I love hanging out with these amazing creatives who have published some of my favorite KidLit books on trees!

Earth Day 2021 is April 22 and it’s just around the corner. There’s just enough time to order these books in at your local library or purchase them from your favorite online or local bookstore. Let’s share these treasures with the littles in our life and nurture a love for trees!

  • A Leaf Can Be…by Laura Purdie Salas. Art by Violeta Dabija
    • With soft illustrations and a simple poetic feel, young readers will be inspired to think of leaves and trees in meaningful ways.
  • A Swinger of Birches: Poems of Robert Frost for Young People. Art by Peter Koeppen
    • A wonderful way to introduce the joy of trees to children through the eyes and voice of Robert Frost. Beautifully illustrated.
  • A Tree is Nice by Janice May Udry. Art by Marc Simont
    • From climbing its branches to sitting under its shade, this award-winning classic reminds readers of all the wonderful ways a tree is nice.
  • Almost Time by Gary D. Schmidt and Elizabeth Stickney. Art by G. Brian Karas
    • Sweet story of Ethan waiting for spring to arrive (and his loose tooth to fall out!) so the sap will run and he can have maple syrup on his pancakes once again.
  • Because of an Acorn by Lola M. Schaefer and Adam Schaefer. Art by Frann Preston-Gannon
    • With lovely art and simple text, this beautiful book demonstrates the magnificent result of little acts in nature such as how a tree can grow…just because an acorn falls to the ground.
  • Maple by Lori Nichols
    • A sweet and refreshing book about a little girl who is named for a tree that is planted in honor of her birth…and the arrival of a baby sister who continues the wonderful tradition in their family who loves trees.
  • Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors by Joyce Sidman. Art by Pamela Zagarenski
    • The joy and poetry of celebrating trees (and nature) all through the year in the rich palette of colors they provide.
  • The Camping Trip That Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and our National Parks by Barb Rosenstock. Art by Mordicai Gerstein
    • This rollicking good fun read tells the story of how Yosemite National Park and the preservation of the giant sequoias came to be.
  • The Tree Lady by H. Joseph Hopkins. Art by Jill McElmurry.
    • This true story tells how one woman transformed a desert-like community into an oasis of trees because of her love of trees.
  • The Very Oldest Pear Tree by Nancy I. Sanders. Art by Yas Imamura
    • The exciting history of an amazing tree…the first pear tree that was ever planted in America and is still alive and strong at nearly 400 years old today. Beautifully illustrated.
  • Trees Make Perfect Pets by Paul Czajak. Art by Cathy Gendron
    • This delightful story will inspire every child to grow a tree of their own. Why?! Because a tree makes a perfect pet, of course!
  • Who Will Plant a Tree? By Jerry Pallotta. Art by Tom Leonard
    • From an owl coughing up an owl pellet and an elm tree growing to ants carrying a pine nut into their tunnel and planting a pine tree, this engaging book demonstrates a variety of ways seeds are planted and trees grow.
  • 1,000 Things in Nature by Usborne. Art by Mar Ferrero
    • With sturdy board pages and a thousand labeled illustrations, young readers will identify lots of trees as well as fruits, leaves, seeds, and other natural wonders.

Love these KidLit authors and illustrators! Love these books! Which books about trees are your favorites? I’d love to add more to my list.

@laurapsalas @violeta.dabija.illustrator @lorinicholsbook @joycesidman @sacredbee @brosenstock @jillmcelmurry @yas.illustration @paulczajak @cathgendron @jerrypallotta

#earthday #earthdayeveryday #earthday2021 #trees #treestreestrees #treeslover

Posted by: nancyisanders | March 4, 2021

KidLit Writers Connect With Homeschoolers

Thank you, Mary, for asking such great questions about my previous post. Rather than write a lengthy comment in the comments section, I thought it would be more helpful to all of us to answer your questions in this post.

Here is a recap of Mary’s questions:

  1. How can a KidLit writer connect to the homeschooling market?
  2. Where would I find homeschooling groups to follow?
  3. How did the homeschoolers find your books?

Q: How can a KidLit writer connect to the homeschooling market?

A: My goal is to connect with the homeschooling market on various platforms. In other words, I want to hang out online where they are hanging out.

Q: Where would I find homeschooling groups to follow?

A: On Instagram, I follow two very influential homeschool bloggers. (CLICK HERE to follow me on Instagram @nancyisanders and I’ll follow you back!) I also like to follow people who comment on their posts because most are homeschooling mamas and families who love children’s books.

@wovenchildhood has 47.6K followers and will get 1.5K comments on her posts.

@Lacy.arrowsmith has 46.7 followers and will get close to a thousand comments on each post.

On Facebook I have joined a couple of homeschool private groups. (CLICK HERE to like my Author’s Page on Facebook. Then post the link to your page in the comments and I’ll like/follow you too!) I am just starting here but I am commenting and getting to know these folks. Already I’ve been able to recommend some of my books as answers to their questions. And unlike if you make a post on Facebook and only a small amount of your followers actually end up seeing it, every person who is reading the posts in these private Facebook groups will read your post, too. And that’s a lot of eyes!

Christian Homeschool Families has 45K members.

Hip Homeschool Moms has 36K members.

On Pinterest, I am just getting my feet wet, but the gal to follow as the Homeschooling Queen of Pinterest is @writebonnierose. Bonnie Rose Hudson has 124.3 monthly views and 5.9K followers. All looking for homeschooling products to use. Follow her on Pinterest. Repin her pins. Help her amazing audience connect with you. (CLICK HERE to follow me on Pinterest. @nancyisanders. Then post the link in the comments below and I’ll follow you back!)

Q: How did the homeschoolers find your books?

A: I have written a 6-book homeschooling writing curriculum called WriteShop Primary and WriteShop Junior. When Covid hit and many parents suddenly found themselves homeschooling, sales of these 6 books skyrocketed. Where did they find these books? Kim Kautzer, publisher and editor (and writer for some of the primary/junior material) is very active on various social media platforms where she engages with homeschoolers and promotes WriteShop. WriteShop has its own website and it also has its own private Facebook group for homeschooling mamas to join.

Hopefully these answers will help you find WHERE to connect to the homeschooling market. But for the HOW to build your platform so that homeschoolers and others in your target audience connect with you and your books, I highly recommend a year-long class on marketing that I’ve been taking since last May. It has been a game changer for me as a KidLit writer. The best thing is that it’s a very reasonable pace. We learn one platform a month with one new video class every Friday—and it’s all for a very reasonable monthly fee.

So if you would like to learn marketing strategies at a nice pace, with an author who is a social media guru to hold your hand and help inspire you each step of the way, CLICK HERE on this affiliate link to find out the amazing details and pay a monthly fee.  CLICK HERE on this affiliate link to sign up and pay all at once for the whole year.

Let me know if you have any more questions to add to Mary’s list!

Posted by: nancyisanders | February 27, 2021

KidLit Writers and Homeschoolers

I’ve always had my ear to the ground, so to speak, regarding homeschooling families, even though my husband and I didn’t homeschool our two sons. For one thing, two of my sisters homeschooled their children, so I learned how wonderful this experience can be.

But now that our grandson is being homeschooled, I feel even more connected with the homeschooling community. And little did I expect that every child in our neighborhood and many in our nation and countless around the world would be homeschooled over the course of this last year…and still continuing!

Yes, homeschooling families have become a big part of our current culture, whether by choice or by circumstances.

So what does this have to do with KidLit writers? With you and me?

Plenty! As I discovered this last year when some of my books and products for homeschoolers skyrocketed in sales, this is a valuable target audience for us authors who write for children.

And as we’re building our social media platform, it’s important to include homeschooling groups on our radar as we spread the word about the books and products we create and publish for kids.

Even if you’ve never homeschooled before, it’s a good time to start connecting with homeschooling groups who use your favorite social media platforms. Join their groups. Follow their loops. Connect with members. Get to know their needs and wants. Not only will this help generate ideas for you to write about in future book projects, but you can connect with folks who will want to read your current published books. And that’s good news for marketing!

Image by Jozef Mikulcik from Pixabay

Posted by: nancyisanders | February 25, 2021

A Helping Hand for Indie Authors

I am a traditionally published author. This means that I have more than 100 books published with traditional publishers such as Scholastic Teaching Resources, Chicago Review Press, Tyndale Publishers, Zonderkidz, and Albert Whitman, among others.

But I’m also an indie author. This means that like many of you, I have self published a number of my own books. And as you know if you’re also an indie author, this means I am sole marketer and publicist for these books. If I don’t initiate getting the word out, the books don’t sell.

Well, as you may have already experienced, this basically means that my self-published books haven’t been selling. (Do I hear an “Amen”?)

But I’m excited to share…in 2021 that will not be the case! I now have a helping hand to guide me as I sail my course and set off on my personal adventure towards indie success!

This helping hand has come in the form of a year-long class I signed up for last May to learn how to build my platform as a writer. Every year I invest in some form of learning to help me grow as a writer. This year, for a very reasonable monthly fee (think the cost of one restaurant date with a writer friend each month) I have made MILESTONES and I mean MILESTONES on learning how to build my brand, build a solid foundation on key social media platforms, and gain the tools and the confidence I need to market my books as an indie author. This class has been a game changer for me both as an indie author AND a traditionally published author.

But one of the best perks of all is the helping hand. This hand is in the form of our amazing and wonderful teacher and group leader, Victoria Duerstock. I mean, does this woman ever sleep? She’s there to answer each and every one of my personal questions. She’s amazingly assessible and offers monthly in person group Zoom meetings as well as live chats a couple of days each week during office hours. She leads our awesome private Facebook group where she’s just a question away from answering and encouraging and helping us get in the KNOW and experience success.

Plus did I mention how fun she is?!!! She mailed me a hardhat! Yes! My own personal hardhat to wear because I’m a builder building my amazing platform. And as I complete each month’s class where I’m learning and building and growing on a different platform, she sends me these awesome stickers to stick on my hardhat. Is that fun or what?!!!!

So if you would like to learn marketing strategies at a nice pace, with an author who is a social media guru to hold your hand and help inspire you each step of the way, CLICK HERE on this affiliate link to find out the amazing details and pay a monthly fee.  CLICK HERE on this affiliate link to sign up and pay all at once for the whole year.

Happy marketing and may your books get in the hands of the people you are trying to reach!

Posted by: nancyisanders | February 2, 2021

Exciting News to Share

I’m so excited to share that my brand new board book, Bedtime with Mommy, will be one of the inaugural titles in the brand new publishing company, END GAME PRESS. Its scheduled release date is this fall, August 24, 2021!

I wanted to share a little bit of the story behind the story…as you may already know, I’m a grandma to four adorable little chickabiddies. And as you may already guess, I love to read books to them.

So this past year as we were Christmas shopping for them (we were able to shop at our favorite local bookstore on a day when it was actually open!) we bought them a set of Mommy and Daddy books to gift to their parents as a surprise gift under the tree. Of course, they each got to sign both books, which was cuteness in itself.

They were so excited and the books were so absolutely adorable, that I just had to sit down and write my own book about Mommy’s love for her little one.

And since I had recently finished writing a set of 48 mini-books for teachers all about animals and their habitats, I decided to make the unique slant for my new board book to feature animal mommies in a variety of habitats putting their babies to bed.

The result is Bedtime with Mommy, featuring a mommy and baby animal in 8 different habitats getting ready for bed. And to quote my publisher, “A super cute book for baby to age 4!”

I want to also give a shout-out for my wonderful agent, Cyle Young, who was instrumental in this deal with End Game Press as well.

Thanks for sharing in my joy!

Posted by: nancyisanders | January 18, 2021

2021: A GREAT Year for Writers

I don’t usually pick a theme for every year, but after 2020 threw us all such a curve ball, I felt inspired to choose one for 2021. It started with picking a theme Bible verse:

“Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven,” Matthew 5:19, NKJV.

I don’t know about you, but in my life in 2020, I was controlled by restrictions that were outside of my power to change. I couldn’t go grocery shopping late at night like I prefer when our city was put under curfew. I couldn’t host my local writing friends in my home as I’d been planning on doing. I couldn’t attend a local writing conference because it got cancelled. I couldn’t attend funerals with friends and neighbors who lost a loved one. The list goes on and on and I know you have tales of your own to tell. Yes, 2020 is a year many of us would like to forget.

But with Matthew 5:19 in mind, 2021 can be a GREAT year, because no matter what restrictions are enforced or new virus strains are discovered, God gives us an amazing promise:

If we follow His commandments, and teach these commandments to others, we shall be called GREAT in the kingdom of heaven.

As writers, this is an exciting prospect indeed! Our efforts do not go unnoticed as we model the life of a Christ-follower within our writing circles, and through the words that we write teach a biblical worldview to a lost and hurting world.

Now, I don’t know exactly what this promise means…does it mean that even while we’re sitting at our computer and writing, God and Jesus are sitting in heaven and Jesus turns to God with excitement in his voice and says, “Look at my scribe! She is doing a GREAT thing today. Truly she is GREAT in our kingdom.”

Or does it mean that on that day when we stand before the judgement seat and the books are opened, that Jesus will step forth and announce triumphantly to all the angels and heavenly host, “Take a special look at this scribe. He is GREAT! In the blog posts, social media posts, articles, stories, and books he wrote, he taught the commandments. And he kept them well. Well done, good and faithful servant!”

I don’t know exactly how this verse will be fulfilled for eternity, but what I do know is enough to make me very, very excited for 2021 and the year ahead. I want to study God’s Word and read the Bible with renewed enthusiasm. I want to be diligent and faithful about my Christian walk to make sure I’m following God’s biblical commandments and not current cultural trends that are deceiving even fellow church-goers and writers to err. 

And then I want to teach God’s commandments through the words that I write. Whether fiction or nonfiction, children’s or adults, in my social media connections or in the writing groups where I participate…oh what a glorious goal for the year ahead, each and every day.

Yes, I’m counting on 2021 to be a GREAT year. I hope you’ll be inspired to do the same!

-Image by ShadOwfall from Pixabay

Posted by: nancyisanders | December 1, 2020

Merry Christmas Book Giveaway

It’s time for some Christmas cheer!

There’s a Merry Christmas book giveaway happening this week over on Instagram. CLICK HERE to hop on over and join in the fun!!!!!

Posted by: nancyisanders | November 30, 2020

40 x 4 Picture Book Challenge: We Did It!

I know a lot of you have been following along and joining in on the adventure to read 40 picture books in 4 weeks. For me, the hardest challenge was actually getting a lot of the books from my local library because it’s still not fully open like it used to be.

What was your biggest challenge?

If you read all 40 books, I thought it would be fun to offer you this image that you can post on your own site. Feel free to use it however you want to because, yes! You completed the challenge.

And now that our reading is over, I want to encourage you to give back to the many amazing authors you’ve learned from and shared your time with as you’ve read their books. If you really liked their book, take a minute and post a glowing 5-star review on your favorite internet sites like Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.

Before you do, just listen to this story, however. A few years ago I was in a group of fellow picture book authors when we decided to read 40 picture books like this and meet together several times and discuss what we read.

We shared the positives, the negatives, the good, the bad, and the awful. One week, I had read a particularly notable book that I thought was awful. It had won an award, which brought it to my interest to begin with, and I fumed about how it the world anyone could possibly have given it an award.

But then our group met. Before I opened my mouth to share my opinion, one of the other gals said she had read that very same book. She was so excited about it! It was her daughter’s very favorite book now, and they had to read it every night at bedtime. Her daughter absolutely LOVED it…it had become THE book for her.

Well, I learned an important lesson. Just because a book doesn’t meet my criteria for wonderful doesn’t mean it isn’t a wonderful book in someone else’s eyes. So if I don’t particularly like a certain book, I just move forward. I only post 5 star reviews of books I absolutely like.

And I don’t post 4 star reviews, either. That’s because 4 star reviews actually hurt an author’s ratings. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve read a review online where the reviewer gives glowing recommendations and then only gives it 4 stars, which actually lowers the rating of that book.

So if I can’t give a book a 5 star review, I simply don’t post a review of it. But I love to post 5 star reviews as a thank you to authors who have made my world a better place with their books. I encourage you to do the same, especially for your favorite books that you’ve read this past month!

And just as another note…you never know who reads those reviews. I’ve received amazing reviews on Amazon that are noticed by the publisher and circulated among the editorial and publishing staff. The reviewers name (and often bio) gets seen and celebrated and shared. You never know what might happen when you post a great review for a book you loved.

So glad you joined in the fun. Hip hip hooray for picture books!

Posted by: nancyisanders | November 23, 2020

40 x 4 Picture Book Challenge: Week 4

Welcome to Week 4 of the 40 x 4 Picture Book Challenge! We’re reading 40 picture books in 4 weeks. What a journey it has been!

For my first batch of books, I focused on a topic. Grief. I wanted to write about how to help little ones through the grieving process, so I ordered in from our local library as many picture books on grief that I could find.

The next batch of books I ordered in focused on 2 authors. Mo Willems and Rosemary Wells. I really admire both authors and am constantly re-reading their books to our grandkids that I already own, so I wanted to expand my knowledge base for more of their awesome titles.

The last batch of books I read focused on an award. The Caldecott, to be specific. I always like to read these award-winning books but somehow I had gotten behind on the most current winners. So I ordered in the winners from our library as well as some of the runners up.

What have you been reading this month?

Posted by: nancyisanders | November 16, 2020

40 x 4 Picture Book Challenge: Week 3

Welcome to Week 3 of the 40 x 4 Picture Book Challenge! Our goal is to read 40 picture books in 4 weeks so we can immerse ourselves in our genre. This has oodles of benefits for us as writers.

One of the biggest benefits of reading so many books in such a short time is that a couple of books will outshine all the others. They’ll resonate within your author’s heart. They’ll sing! They’ll grab you like none of the others did.

These are picture books you’ll want to treasure as mentor texts. You’ll want to dissect them with a fine-tooth comb and ask yourself WHY are these books so special?

When I find a picture book that’s a mentor text, one of the first things I like to do is type it out on my computer and save it as a document file. Why type it out? Because typing out a winning picture book actually trains our brains to get a better grasp on the language, flow, pace, plot, and length of what our own manuscripts want to attain to.

So keep your radar out for potential mentor texts as you’re binge reading picture books this month. And when you find them…treasure them like gold!

Posted by: nancyisanders | November 12, 2020

Sale! Classes for KidLit Authors

As many of you know, I’ve written over 100 books and counting. I’m a KidLit author and have written oodles of books for kids and for teachers to use with kids.

But I seriously believe in helping other writers as I’ve been helped in my career, too. That’s one of the reasons I’m an instructor at Serious Writer Academy.

And all this month my classes plus others are on sale for 20% off!

Here are 4 of the classes I teach:

Developing 3-D Characters

Writing Humor for Kids

Getting in the Writer’s Zone

Pacing the Plot

CLICK HERE to visit the Serious Writer Academy and find a list of classes (plus mine) that you can choose from to take advantage of this exciting sale!

Just type in the coupon code GIVETHANKS2020 at checkout.

Posted by: nancyisanders | November 9, 2020

40 x 4 Picture Book Challenge: Week 2

As you’re plowing through reading lots of picture books this month, 40 to be exact, you might want to keep a handy list of what you’re reading.

I am.

In fact, I created a handy chart to write down my handy list and I want to share it here with you! Just click on the downloadable file to download it and print it out.

What do I do with my list? I’ll put it in my Children’s Writer’s Notebook, a three-ring binder, which is where I’m adding the rubrics I’m creating for the picture books I’m reading this month.

I keep all the rubrics for picture books I read in one handy place so I can refer to it while I’m working on writing my own manuscripts. This handy reading list keeps all the titles I’m reading this month in one quick place so I can remember each title and then look it up among my alphabetical list of rubrics.

Posted by: nancyisanders | November 2, 2020

40 x 4 Picture Book Challenge Week 1

Welcome to Week 1 of the 40 x 4 Picture Book Challenge! The challenge is to read 40 picture books in 4 weeks. Come on, we can do this!

It’s always a great idea to read, read, read in our genre, but if you’re like me sometimes I get too busy working on my manuscript to immerse myself in actually reading. So this month, I’m going for the gold! I’m glad to hear from you that you’re joining in the adventure, too!

For my first batch of books (my library only lets me order in 15 books at a time unless I borrow my husband’s card and up it to 30) I’m focusing on reading a bunch of picture books on a certain topic. Grief, to be exact. I wanted to write a picture book on grief, so I ordered in as many as I could find from a list I found for the best picture books on sharing grief for kids.

I already started reading through these picture books, and as I do I am taking notes. I’m filling in a rubric I like to use when I read picture books. If you’d like to use the same rubric I do, CLICK HERE to visit my site Writing According to Humphrey and Friends. On there you’ll find a list of various worksheets I’ve made that you can download and print out to use.

Look for the rubrics for fiction picture book, nonfiction picture book, or informational text picture book. As you evaluate the books you’re reading, it will help you evaluate your own manuscripts you’re working on. Have fun!

Posted by: nancyisanders | October 30, 2020

40 x 4 Picture Book Challenge: Where to Find Books

Today it’s not always easy to find books to read. Here are a few places to check into that just might have what you’re looking for!

  1. Your own bookshelves. During this challenge it’s perfectly okay to re-read books on your very own bookshelf. The goal is to binge read 40 picture books all in 4 weeks and if you already have titles on your own bookshelves that fit into your goals, these can count!
  2. Your local library. My library has been closed, open only for pick-up, and open for limited access during different weeks during this time. If your local library is open for pick-up, you can visit their online site and request books to come in for you to borrow. I always like to encourage authors to support their local libraries!
  3. Local bookstores are sometimes open, too. If you have one near you, it’s a great place to visit to read picture books, even if you don’t purchase any. (But hopefully you’ll buy at least one to support them!) I’ve visited my local bookstore with notebook and pen in hand and read through quite a number of picture books all in one sitting!
  4. Online bookstores, of course. Authors love your support, especially when you’re a fellow author!
  5. WorldCat. This is an amazing site where you type in the title of a book you’re looking for and it tells you the closest libraries that carry it. If you live in a metropolitan spot with various libraries, this is a great tool! Click here to visit WorldCat.

6. Online sites that offer ARCs or Advanced Reader’s Copies for book reviews. If you review books like I do, you might be able to get digital copies of books to review and add these to your reading list. Check out places like NetGalley and Edelweiss to see if you can request a digital copy of the titles you want to read.

Image by Comfreak from Pixabay

Posted by: nancyisanders | October 28, 2020

40 x 4 Picture Book Challenge: What to Read

Welcome to the 40 x 4 Picture Book Challenge! This challenge will take place during the month of November here on my blog.

For starters, what should you read during this challenge? Well, it depends on your goals.

Goal #1: Familiarize yourself with the PB genre.

For one thing, you could read any picture book you can get your hands on. A variety. From all sorts of publishers and on all sorts of topics. From classics to the newest title. This will give you an overview of the genre. This is especially helpful if you want to write picture books but aren’t really sure what a picture book is all about.

Goal #2: Target a specific publisher

If you want to land a contract with a certain publisher, however, a great idea is to search online for the publishers most recent catalogs. Look over their catalogs and collect a list of current titles of the picture books they’re publishing. Plan to read as many as you can find for this 40 x 4 Picture Book challenge.

Goal #3: Target a specific niche or topic or subgenre

Want to write a bedtime story? Want to write nonfiction? Want to write a biography of a famous female? Recently I wanted to write a book on dealing with grief for kids. So I searched online for “The Best Books on grief for children.” Amazing lists came up!

Goal #4: Other goal

Perhaps you have a different goal in mind. You might want to write a book that would win a certain award. Or you might want to write a book that uses a similar style or voice as a successful kidlit author you know. Just search online for lists of those picture books and that will be what you want to read.

In my next post I’ll share some great places you can find these books to read during our 40 x 4 Picture Book Challenge!

Image by Mystic Art Design from Pixabay

Posted by: nancyisanders | October 27, 2020

STEM Book Giveaway!

Are you a parent or grandparent? Teacher, Librarian, Educator or Home-schooling family? Or fellow KidLit author?

If you’re any of these, you’ll want to join this exciting giveaway that’s happening over on Instagram.

CLICK HERE to visit my site nancyisanders on Instagram and join in the fun!

Posted by: nancyisanders | October 26, 2020

40 x 4 Picture Book Challenge

Ready to roll up your sleeves for a fun adventure?! Then join the challenge to read 40 picture books in 4 weeks.

I know there are a lot of challenges out there to write, write, write. November is famous for this already. But what if you don’t have time or the energy or the ideas to write? Then this reading challenge is for you.

All through the month of November, I’ll be posting here on my blog about an amazing way to recharge, revitalize and revamp your life as a picture book author. It’s all about binge reading in your genre…picture books!

The benefits are many.

  • This will give you ideas about what to write
  • This will give you topics to post about if you post book reviews
  • You can really study a publisher’s catalog and get to know them well
  • Or you can really get to know a lot of the books in today’s market about the topic you want to write about
  • You can really get to know one author if you focus on her books
  • You could choose the most recent books to win a certain award if you want to write an award-winning book yourself
  • I could keep on listing the benefits!

So get ready to get started! I’ll share how and what to do in my posts ahead.

Posted by: nancyisanders | October 22, 2020

Social Media for KidLit Authors: The Good, the Bad, and the Hopeful


Okay, let’s get the bad news out of the way first. If you want to be a successfully published author, you have to have a bazillion followers on all of your social media platforms. And as if that isn’t enough, you now also have to have a ton of engagement…meaning you have to get lots of comments and post lots of replies.

I’m glad that for some of you, this isn’t bad news. You love social media and thrive on it. But for a huge number of KidLit authors I know, this news is daunting. Depressing. Bad.


So now let’s take a deep breath and drink in the good news. If you don’t like social media, you can still have an AWESOME KidLit career!!!!!! Seriously!!!!! Here’s how:

*Team up with a friend who is a social media expert but may not have the skills you have as a writer. Co-author and offer your writing skills as your part of the team. I have co-authored numerous books with writing friends and it’s so much fun!

*Land work-for-hire contracts. Yep. You have to do ZERO social media tasks for a work-for-hire contract. Why? Because they pay you to write the book and take it from there. In my career of writing 100+ books, I’ve written numerous work-for-hire books. I LOVE IT! Some have given me some pretty nice checks. Some have even won big awards. Some have been bestsellers and look awesome on my resume. For some I was flown to the publishing house for meetings with the project editors and other authors on the team. Stuff of dreams! And I didn’t have to spend one minute of social media time in the deal.

*Write for educational publishers. Many educational publishers already have a built-in target audience. Teachers. And they often have their very own platform and don’t require all the social media stats other publishers are looking for. Some even offer royalties. I’ve written for some educational publishers where I’ve earned over $100,000 and still counting! CLICK HERE to tap into Ev Christensen’s amazing resource for the Educational Market.

*Ghostwrite. Yep. This is kind of a mix between work-for-hire and co-author. You name isn’t even on the book usually, but you’re writing for a big name with a big platform and that means big sales numbers that once again look very very nice on your resume. And can often bring in a nice income as well!

*Write for magazines. I love to write for children’s magazines. I have another deadline this month! I get to sign frequent contracts, see my stories frequently in print, and read lots of my stories to my grandkids. Without any social media required.


Okay, but what about the books you want to write for the KidLit trade market and need those social media stats?

There’s hope! I felt hopeless. I simply was not able to conquer this social media thing and I want to write picture books for the KidLit market. So this past May I signed up for the most awesome year-long social media class I know of. Every month we learn a new social media platform and have our own personal social media coach..for very reasonable price and for an entire year! I feel hopeful now as I haven’t in these past few years when social media was added to our author’s plate.

So if you would like to learn marketing strategies at a nice pace, with an author who is a social media guru to hold your hand and help inspire you each step of the way, CLICK HERE on this affiliate link to find out the amazing details and pay a monthly fee.  CLICK HERE on this affiliate link to sign up and pay all at once for the whole year.

I’m so thankful for this librarian’s review of my book! This is a great book during election season to share with kids about a little known part of American history!

Youth Services Book Review

   The Very Oldest Pear Tree – Nancy I. Sanders, illustrations by Yas Imamura, Albert Whitman & Company, 9780807566817, 2020 

Format: ARC (Hardcover available August, 2020)

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

 What did you like about the book? Any time a book encourages me to gather more information, I feel it is a good book. After reading this story, I immediately went to the Internet to see what else I could learn. This story is basically about a pear tree that has survived for almost 400 years. The interesting part is that this pear tree is an important part of American history. In 1630 there was a ship travelling from England to America and it was carrying several different sapling trees–one of them was a pear tree. The Governor at the time was named Endecott and he tended to this young pear tree…

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