Thursday, December 10, 2009

Kirkus Reviews shut down

Nielsen announced this morning that they have closed their Kirkus Reviews book review publication. Here are a couple of articles on the closure:

First They Came for the Trade Publication: Kirkus Closes (New York Magazine)

Kirkus Reviews Closes; Twittersphere Ponders Future of Book Reviews (MediaBistro)

Nielsen's Editor & Publisher has also been closed down. See the article on the E&P closure from Shawn Moynihan, E&P's managing editor/online editor.

As many of us know, the world of book reviews has evolved to include hundreds if not thousands of online review sources. One only has to browse through the reviews category in JacketFlap's blog reader to get a taste of what I'm talking about.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Video from New Moon Premiere

As a follow-up to my last post, here's a short video of the crowd at the New Moon premiere:



Live Pictures From the New Moon Premiere

One of the fun things about living in Los Angeles is the fact that movie premieres happen pretty regularly. I happened to be at lunch in Westwood Village today, and that's where New Moon is having its premiere. There are several thousand people fans lined up to see the stars, and they're screaming their heads off. Forget about parking. You can't find a parking spot for under $30. The craziest thing of all is that 500+ fans have been camping out along the street with sleeping bags and tents for the past four days. Wow, that's dedication!

Here are some pictures I took a few minutes ago. Here's wishing all of your books get a movie deal!


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Meet the Winners of the JacketFlap OC Book Festival Booth Contest

The Orange County Children's Book Festival will be held this Sunday, Oct. 4, 2009 from 9:30AM - 4:30PM. The Festival is free to attend and is expected to draw 20,000 people. Just like last year, JacketFlap held a contest for authors and illustrators to win space in the booth to display, sign and sell their books. I'm excited to announce the six winners whom will be sharing the JacketFlap booth this weekend are Joy Allen, Erik Brooks, Merrily Kutner, Susan Lendroth, Dan Santat, and Ashley Wolff!

Following is some information on each of the winners. Please click on their names to visit their profiles and wish them congratulations!

Joy Allen will be promoting her latest work - PRINCESS PARTY (Putnam Children's Books). Joy's board book BABY SIGNS is on Oprah's website ( as recommended reading for infants ; she received the Oppenheim Toy Platinum Award for her artwork in books with American Girls; the Silver Angel Award for her illustrations in Mud Pie Annie (Zonderkidz); the Bank Street choice for BEING FRIENDS (Dial). She is the illustrator for the CAM JANSEN series (Viking).

Erik Brooks is an author and an illustrator. He will be promoting his latest illustration project - BOO'S SURPRISE (Henry Holt), which was written by Betsy Byars, and is a sequel to their 2006 collaboration BOO'S DINOSAUR. Erik has illustrated several books, including MONKEY BUSINESS: STORIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD, 2005 Bank Street "Best Book" and New York City Public Library's "100 Titles for Reading and Sharing" selection.

Merrily Kutner will be promoting THE ZOMBIE NITE CAFÉ (Holiday House), which won a Children's Moonbeam Award (gold medal) for best picture book of the year in the Holiday Category. She is also the picture book author of Z IS FOR ZOMBIE. Her next book ALPHABET MAGIC is forthcoming from Roaring Brook Press/Neal Porter Books in the fall of 2010. Merrily teaches an online course given through the UCLA Extension Writers Program entitled Structure Your Picture Books Like The Pros. She teaches a unique course on picture book diagramming and offers one-on-one online instruction and written critiques.

Susan Lendroth will be promoting OCEAN WIDE, OCEAN DEEP (Tricycle Press). Susan has had a lifelong fascination with history. The seaside setting of OCEAN WIDE, OCEAN DEEP, which follows her first picture book, WHY EXPLORE?, also depicts her love of the ocean. When she's not working on picture books, Susan writes essays and freelance travel articles for a variety of newspapers and magazines.

Dan Santat will be promoting BOBBY VS GIRLS (Arthur Levine Books). Dan appeared on the scene with his first book THE GUILD OF GENIUSES in 2004 (Arthur A Levine Books) which won several awards including the Marion Vanett Ridgeway Award for best debut author/illustrator. He illustrated the OTTO UNDERCOVER series written by Rhea Perlman and THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER KITTY by Barbara Jean Hicks (Knopf). He is also the creator of the new animated series, "The Replacements" which is currently featured on ABC and the Disney Channel. He is currently working on THE DOMESTICATED FOUR (Arthur A. Levine Books) and illustrating THE GHOSTS OF LUCKLESS GULCH written by Anne Isaacs (Atheneum). Dan graduated with distinction from the Art Center, College of Design in 2001. He was recently one of the 2009 National Green Earth Book Winners.

Ashley Wolff will be promoting I CALL MY GRANDMA NANA and I CALL MY GRANDPA PAPA (Tricycle Press). Ashley is an author/illustrator of more than 60 books including ONLY THE CAT SAW, BLOCK CITY by Robert Louis Stevenson, BABY BELUGA by Raffi, STELLA AND ROY GO CAMPING, The Miss Bindergarten series by Joseph Slate, ME BABY, YOU BABY, SHE'LL BE COMIN' ROUND THE MOUNTAIN by Philemon Sturges and MAMA'S MILK by Michael Ross. Her books have won numerous state and national awards.

For directions and more information about the event, you can visit the event website at:

Congratulations again to the winners, and if you're at the OC Book Festival this Sunday, please stop by the JacketFlap booth to say hi!


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Win booth space at Orange County book festival - Aug 17th entry deadline

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. This year's festival is scheduled for Sunday Oct. 4, 2009 from 9:30AM - 4:30PM. The Festival is free to attend and draws 20,000 people. A few of this year's featured authors and illustrators include Robin Preiss Glasser, Frank Beddor, Kathleen Krull, Kathryn Hewitt, Jim Gilbert, Paul Brewer, and Diane Adams.

JacketFlap had a booth at last year's festival, and it was a great success. We will have a booth again 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 August 17th, 2009. If your name isn't selected, don't be too disappointed. JacketFlap's booth will 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.

Finally, there is also the opportunity (first come first served) to purchase time in one of the bookstores that are offering 3-hour blocks of time for $75. To find out how you can be a part of this wpnderful event, email the Cofounder and Executive Director Pat Burns - or call her Mobile - 949.836.4722. Visit for more information.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Introducing JacketFlap Chat!

We've just released a new feature - JacketFlap Chat!

JacketFlap Chat lets you:
  • See which of your JacketFlap friends are online now
  • Chat live with your online JacketFlap friends
  • Leave messages for your offline friends
  • Visit friends' profiles or send offline messages
  • Share pages you are viewing while you chat
  • Get friends' activity updates as they happen
How to Use JacketFlap Chat

You can start a chat with online members in one of 2 ways:

1) Click the Friends Online link in the chat bar at the bottom of your screen:This will pop up a list of your JacketFlap friends that are online. Click their name, and a chat window will open where you can chat with that person. Type a message and hit return / enter. They'll hear a beep on their end, and a window will pop up with you message. It's that easy!

2) Look for the new Chat Now link when you're viewing someone's profile. The Chat Now link is only visible when the person is online. Click Chat Now, and a chat window will open where you can chat with that person. Receiving Notifications

In addition to chatting, the Chat Bar contains a Notifications alert system. When you receive a notification, you'll see the Notifications icon change colors to the right of the number of Friends Online. Click that icon, and a list of your new notifications will pop up.
Currently, you'll get notifications every time someone leaves a comment on your profile, invites you to be a friend, accepts your friend invitation, or sends you a message using the Send Email link on your profile. Please let us know if there's any other notifications we should add to the list.

Updating your Chat Preferences

By default, the only people that can chat with you are people on your JacketFlap friends list. However, you can also choose to allow the Chat Now link to be visible when you are online to all members or just certain types of members. To set your chat preferences, click the Account Settings link in the upper-left of JacketFlap. Then, scroll down to the JacketFlap Chat section to se your Chat preferences. Be sure to click the Save profile settings button when you are done.

For more information about JacketFlap Chat, you can read the JacketFlap Chat FAQ.
Please send us any feedback to

Happy chatting!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Amazing blog events during National Poetry Month

Hi everyone!

As you may know, April is National Poetry Month. Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996, National Poetry Month brings together publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools, and poets around the country to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. To keep up on all the latest posts, be sure to bookmark JacketFlap's blog reader tag page for the keyword poetry.

Here are some examples of the blogs you'll want to visit every day in April and the really fantastic ways they're celebrating National Poetry Month:

Greg Pincus at GottaBook has put together a really fun celebration - the first annual 30 Poets/30 Days. Every day in April, he'll be posting a previously unpublished poem by a different poet. Here's the alphabetical list of who's participating:

Arnold Adoff, Jaime Adoff, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Douglas Florian, Betsy Franco, Kristine O'Connell George, Charles Ghigna, Nikki Giovanni, Joan Bransfield Graham, Nikki Grimes, Mary Ann Hoberman, Lee Bennett Hopkins, X. J. Kennedy, Bruce Lansky, Julie Larios, J. Patrick Lewis, Pat Mora, Kenn Nesbitt, Linda Sue Park, Ann Whitford Paul, Gregory K. Pincus, Jack Prelutsky, Adam Rex, Jon Scieszka, Joyce Sidman, Marilyn Singer, April Halprin Wayland, Janet Wong, and Jane Yolen. Visit 30 Poets/30 Days and follow 30poets30days on Twitter.

Poetry Makers Series - At the Miss Rumphius Effect, Tricia Stohr-Hunt will be featuring interviews with 36 children's poets: Kenn Nesbitt, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Avis Harley / Ann Whitford Paul, Joyce Carol Thomas, J. Patrick Lewis, Janet Wong, Joseph Bruchac, Ralph Fletcher / Steven Schnur, Jane Yolen, Linda Ashman / Julie Larios, Adam Rex, Marilyn Singer, Lee Bennett Hopkins, Georgia Heard, Joyce Sidman, Paul Janeczko, Arnold Adoff / Jaime Adoff, Joan Bransfield Graham, Bobbi Katz, Kristine O’Connell George, Jorge Argueta, Carole Boston Weatherford, Betsy Franco, Lisa Westberg Peters / Laura Purdie Salas, Calef Brown, Marilyn Nelson, Helen Frost / Sara Holbrook, Douglas Florian, Mary Ann Hoberman, and Pat Mora.

At Poetry For Children, Sylvia Vardell will be reviewing a new children's poetry book every day.

At the Pencil Talk blog, Anastasia Suen will be collecting school poems written by children throughout April, and she's posting one each day.

And, of course, there's Poetry Friday every week. Keep checking searching JacketFlap's blog reader for the keyword poetry all throughout April to see the latest posts.


Monday, March 30, 2009

How to Filter your My Updates page

An often requested feature from JacketFlap's members has been the ability to filter the content in our My Updates page. I'm happy to report that we've added that feature. You can now use the links in the left column of your My Updates page to see just specific types of updates. For those of you not already using My Updates, just try clicking the My Updates link in the upper-right corner of any page on JacketFlap while you are logged in.

For example, to see pictures recently added by your friends, click the "Pictures added" link. To see books that your friends are reading, you can click the "Books added" link. By default, the updates displayed are those added since you last logged in to JacketFlap. You can also change the time period by changing the "Since" pull-down menu to a different time period. For example, change the Since time period to "Past week" and click the "New blog posts" link to see the blog posts by your friends in the past week. Updates also work for more than just your friends. You can see updates made by choosing Member Updates under the Community tab in our main navigation bar.

On a related note, we've also removed the updates posted when I personally add someone to my friends list. That means you should no longer see a stream of updates like "Tracy Grand added Jane Doe to her friends list". I know those were a bit overwhelming! Please post a comment here if you have any thoughts on the new feature.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Congratulations to Children's Choice Award finalists - get the widget!

The finalists for the 2009 Children's Choice Book Awards were recently announced. I'm excited to say that books illustrated by three of JacketFlap's members are among the finalists! Please join me in congratulating the three finalists by clicking their names below and leaving a congratulations comment on their profiles:

Willow, illustrated by Cyd Moore

Sort it Out!, illustrated by Sherry Rogers

Those Darn Squirrels!, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri

Voting for the finalists is now open. Children and teens are able to cast their vote for their favorite books, author, and illustrator at bookstores, school libraries, and online until Sunday, May 3, 2009. Close to 15,000 children and teens from around the US spent months reading and evaluating books submitted by publishers. The five favorite books published in 2008 in each of these categories are open for a nation-wide vote in March and April 2009 in each of four grade categories: K-2nd, 3rd-4th, 5th-6th, and Teen as well as Favorite Author, and Favorite Illustrator. The winner in each category will be named at a gala during Children's Book Week on May 12th, 2009 in New York City as part of Children's Book Week (May 11-17, 2009), the oldest national literacy event in the United States.

To enhance the awareness of the awards, the Children's Book Council is working with JacketFlap again this year to create a Children's Choice Book Awards Widget, which you can see below:

Powered by

The Widget displays a different finalist book every time it loads on a web site or blog, and there are links where people can learn more about the books and the nominees or click to vote. You can get the Widget for your own blog or web site here:

Please spread the word to children so they can vote. Remember, voting ends May 3, 2009!