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2014 Outstanding Illustrator Awards

   Congratulations to our 2014 Outstanding Illustrator Award Winners – Amanda Erb and Tim Williams!

You know the old saying – don’t judge a book by its cover, but at Mascot Books we know just how much work goes into those covers and the illustrations between them. So much goes into making a book AFTER the author has finished putting pen to paper, or fingers to a keyboard as it is in this day and age. We are thankful to be able to work with so many talented Illustrators throughout the year, which caused the task of picking two stand-out artists among the group to be a daunting one! Our illustrators really listen to and understand our authors’ viewpoints and can translate that into beautiful artwork that not only complements the words, but helps the reader cross into that land of mystery and wonder that drew us all to a love of reading before we could even say the words. Over half of the books we publish are children’s books, so this is a topic that is especially important to us as we continue to introduce children to engaging and educational characters to start their love of reading at an early age! piginmudsketch headswhirlybird pic Amanda Erb, based in Boston, MA, graduated from Ringling College of Art and Design in 2013 with a BFA with Honors in Illustration and has been one of our go-to illustrators ever since! Amanda has worked on numerous children’s books with Mascot Books including A Whirlybird Ride by Teresa Zabierowski and Stinky Blinky by Troy Kent. This week we released her latest – Mr. Gobble Chops and Lady by Robert Burns, currently available in our online store. The creativity and energy that Amanda brings to her work shines through in each and every sketch. She truly does bring the story “to life”! timwilliams After winning a nationwide scholarship competition, Tim Williams graduated from The Art Institute of Atlanta. He spent time designing and illustrating billboards while employed by Ted Turner’s company – Turner Advertising. Tim started freelancing in 1984 and has since worked for ad agencies, corporations, magazines, publishers, and all 3 professional sports teams based in Atlanta. Tim has worked on a variety of projects for Mascot Books, specifically bringing his keen eye for detail to our Mascot A to Z series. We want to thank Amanda and Tim for their contributions and congratulate them both on being Mascot Books 2014 Outstanding Illustrators!

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The Book Production Process at Mascot Books

For my first blog post, and as senior project manager here at Mascot Books, I thought going over the book publishing production process in a general sense would be a good place to start. Each month following this post, I will delve more in depth into each stage of book production. I will also cover frequently asked questions (FAQ) within each post. Take a look at one of our children’s books in production: IMG_20150113_115615 (4) First Contact Once the contract comes in, the project is handed off to one of our two project managers (PM). The PM will contact the author asking some of the same questions each time (do you have a deadline or date to have books in hand), but many are specific to each project as no two are the same.   FAQ: How long does the production process take? Answer: It depends. There are many individual factors within each project that alter the timeline (illustration details, licensing, etc). However, we have found that on average a book takes about 4-5 months from when the contract comes in to when the author will have books in hand.   Script Children’s Book – The PM will also be your editor. This is when any suggestions for changes are made. Proofreading here is also a focus, but that is something that will also be done throughout the rest of the process. Once the script is finalized (though this doesn’t mean set-in-stone), it will be split into the spreads that will correspond to the illustrations. Novel – The PM will contract one of our freelance editors to work on your script. The edited script along with a message from the editor will be sent to the author for their review.   FAQ: Can I make changes to my script throughout the process after it’s been determined final and we’ve moved on to the illustration stage? Answer: Yes, but only minor edits and only they do not affect the illustrations.   Illustrations/Cover Design and Photo Insert Children’s Book – If the author is providing their own illustrations, the PM will provide them with the required specs. If illustrations are being done through Mascot Books, the author will then provide descriptions of the characters as well as descriptions of the spreads. The illustration process consists of a test sketch, storyboard, and final illustrations. I will go into this process in great detail at a later date. Novel – With any guidance provided by the author, our design department will create a couple cover options to select from and edit. Once all the photos for the insert are provided along with captions, the designer will lay it out for your review.   FAQ: How long do illustrations take? Answer: This timeline varies on the number of illustrations, level of detail, and kind of illustrations that are being created. For example, watercolor paintings will take much more time than digital images. On average, illustrations take about 6 weeks from the time the artist is contracted to when final illustrations are received.   Layout Once all materials are obtained, the project will be put in the design queue to be laid out from cover to cover.   FAQ: Can the designer start laying out my book with some of the illustrations to save time? Answer: No. We cannot proceed to the next stage of the process until the previous stage is complete.   PDF This is a fully laid out version of your book from cover to cover. Three versions of the PDF will be created that will include any edits the author requests and any edits found by the PM that are correcting errors.   FAQ: Will I get to see the final version of my book before it’s sent to the printer? Answer: Yes. We will only send your book to the printer once you have reviewed and approved the final version.   Licensing Not all projects require this stage. If so, the PDF will be provided to the licensing company or directly to the school as soon as it’s approved by the author. After any changes have been made that the school requested and we have received their approval, the PDF will be sent back to the author for a final review and approval.   FAQ: How long does this process take? Answer: It depends on the school or professional team, the time of year, and the amount of content for them to review. On average, it takes about 4-6 weeks.   Printing Once the final PDF is approved by the author, the files will be sent to the printer. Our office receives a physical proof from the printer (unless otherwise agreed to with the author) to check color and layout. All children’s books are read a final time in this stage. All novels will have their covers and dust covers read a final time in this stage, and the interior will be briefly reviewed for overall layout.   FAQ: How long does printing take? Answer: This depends on the printer and the time of year as each printer has busy seasons. On average, it takes 4-5 weeks.   Shipping from the Printer The author will be contacted with their estimated ship date and information to help them decide how many books to have shipped to them, and how many to ship to our warehouse.   FAQ: How much does shipping cost? Answer: This depends on the number of books being shipped, where they are going, and what time of year. Once the author has been contacted with the estimated ship date, they can request estimates on shipping to know what to expect on the invoice for shipping.   In my post next month, I will go more in depth on the First Contact part of the process. Feel free to contact me with any burning questions you’d like answered about the production process.

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Mascot Books’ Outstanding Author Awards 2014

Congratulations and Thank You to All Mascot Books’ Authors!

Mascot Books is thrilled to announce the winners of our 2014 Outstanding Author Awards! It’s hard to believe, but 2014 was our eleventh full year in business.  Time flies when you’re doing what you love…and working with amazing people along the way.  We’re passionate about great content, and again this year, our authors have produced just that.  It’s gratifying for everyone at Mascot to work with so many imaginative and creative storytellers. You continue to enrich our lives and the lives of our readers. As we continue to publish more quality books in all our favorite genres (fiction, non-fiction, biographies and memoirs, science fiction, sports-related, children’s books, and cookbooks), honoring just a few authors has proven to be a daunting task.  After much debate, passionate back-and-forth, lobbying, and some politicking among the employees, we’ve cast our ballots and are pleased to announce the results below. The 2014 Mascot Books Outstanding Author Awards are presented to: Children’s Picture Books: Since Rebecca Crownover’s launch of the Texas Farm Girl series, Rebecca has been all over the state of Texas in a big way meeting with the Texas farming community and excited children to share her book! Rebecca even had a song written about her and the series by country music recording artist Billy Dawson! Stephanie Sorkin is the author of two amazing and successful children’s books and has a third coming out in the very near future. With her book, “Nutley: The Nut-Free Squirrel” about a squirrel allergic to nuts, she takes delight in helping children with nut allergies and also has a knack for reaching out to create meaningful relationships through social media! Denise Barry has done an excellent job vividly answering the question, “What Does the Tooth Fairy Do with Our Teeth?” and continues her success with Soap on a Rope. Look for Sweeney Mack and the Slurp and Burp Competition coming in 2015! Roselyn Kasmire is a native of Buffalo, New York. She wrote a wonderful and exciting children’s book for the Buffalo Bills in addition to her Mage Magnus series. Fiction: Tom Fitzgerald crafted a suspenseful thriller, Defector in our Midst, that grabs you from the first page and reels you in throughout the book. If your favorite book genre is suspense and thrillers, this one should be on your list of must-reads. J.R. Reiling is a fiction-thriller writer that makes you dig deep into the depths of your mind while clenching onto this book in wonder. Everyone remembers September 11, 2001. J.R.’s book, “Ordinary Day: A Novel of 9/11”  is the story of “what-if” on that deeply tragic and historical date in our country’s history. Non-Fiction: Sean Stellato wrote a true life, inspirational story called “No Backing Down” about his own high school football team, one that overachieved in the face of great adversity. Sean has now become an agent for the NFL. Arlene Krieger wrote two outstanding biographies in 2014. One is about the life of the legendary Las Vegas entertainer, Tony Sacca, called “Tony Sacca, Las Vegas Ambassador of Entertainment” . The other titled, “Little Anthony: My Journey, My Destiny ” is about Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Little Anthony. Look for more excellent writing from Arlene in 2015! Deena Baxter opened up her heart in her book “Surviving Suicide“. In this thoughtful book, she shares the story of her stepson’s suicide and how she and her family coped with the tragic loss. She brings light to the subjects of suicide and mental illness in order to help others cope with similar situations. Cookbooks: Excited for the professional football playoffs as much as we are? Paul Swaney’s Stadium Journey Pro-Football Cookbook will provide you with mouth-watering recipes that are sure to win! This book shares recipes and captures the regional food traditions of every single city in the National Football League. Carla Litrenta, Courtney Matinata, and Matt Matinata created two great cookbooks for hungry fans of both “At the Table with NC State“, a North Carolina State University Cookbook  and the University of North Carolina Cookbook, “At the Table with the University of North Carolina“. Take a culinary adventure through Chapel Hill and Raleigh, North Carolina! Roya Gharavi is the proprietor of Gourmet Pantry on Main Street in Blacksburg, Virginia. She is a connoisseur of tasty food and offers unique and clever ideas for hosting parties and events. Inside this wonderful recipe book titles “Roya’s Recipes” you’ll find healthy, international cuisine!

We’re Proud to be Your Book Publisher and Look Forward to Publishing More of Your Exceptional Writing in 2015!

     

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