“Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!”
Well, it’s hard to focus on Halloween with another forthcoming KWiL title on my mind: Easter Elf vs. Christmas Elf, by Wisconsin-based author Rochelle Groskreutz. Her double-holiday debut picture book will hit shelves just in time for Easter 2020. (Take that, Christmas Elf.)
A critical question for anybody starting a business is, “How do I balance growth and my budget?” In publishing, this question is further complicated by the amount of time it takes to make a picture book, which is a full two, even three, years. For KWiL, this means that even though our first book will not be released until March, we have almost twelve projects already signed, giving us the ability to consistently release new books every Fall and Spring from our first release this Spring through 2020.
We’ve worked through title profit and loss statements, reviewed our budgets and then—in consultation with industry experts, in response to in-depth market research, and with our “read-it-again” radar turned way up—we have curated our master list.
It is these books that we will use to secure distribution, which means getting our books out into the world through traditional sales channels like Barnes and Noble. It is also the list of books that will allow us to bring our headquarters in downtown Milwaukee to life. With our books, authors, illustrators, young readers and their adults, KWiL plans to become a literary and social hub. Through literacy-themed programming and fun events, we will celebrate the power of literacy and offer a behind-the-scenes look at children’s book publishing.
Every book on our list has been chosen for multiple reasons. Always because we think that young readers will respond with a hearty, “read it again!” And also, because it fits into either our primary niche, “scientific fiction,” or because it has unique commercial appeal, an innovative illustration style, or offers unique opportunities for social engagement. For example, with our debut book, Hide & Go Seek-A-Saurus, we will simultaneously release a book-length coloring book. It will be Hide & Go Seek-A-Saurus, exactly, but without color. Amy Ward’s book, Crunchy Not Sweet, will be the same size as a Beatrix Potter book: a little book for little hands.
There are more books in the works, and over the next few weeks we will be announcing all of the deals we have now signed as well as updating the Book page of our website so that readers can see a comprehensive list of all of our forthcoming titles.
Easter Elf is getting mad at me. I can feel it. I’m how many paragraphs into this blog post, and I still haven’t talked about his big debut! (I’m sorry, Easter Elf! This is how I write! I connect information about our books to bigger stories, usually, the story of KWiL. But you’re right. Now it’s time to talk about the book.)
Because—Oh, what a book it’s going to be! It was consulting with industry experts that helped KWiL realize that we needed to make room on our list for holiday titles. Books that are not current releases are called backlist, and holiday titles make great backlist because every time a holiday rolls around, the books about it can roll back out.
Was it awesome that we could offer Easter Elf vs. Christmas Elf during not one, but two holiday seasons? Yes, but more importantly, we knew that kids would eat it up. (“Like a chocolate egg!”) (“Like a candy cane!”) (That’s ENOUGH, you two!).
But they’re right. Easter Elf vs. Christmas Elf is a laugh-out-loud treat. What’s it all about?
Here’s our synopsis:
When it comes to holiday helpers, Santa’s Elves get all the glory. But this year, one of Easter Bunny’s Elves finally slides into the spotlight. Nothing can stop him from showing the world (aka young readers) his champion grass-shredding, egg-hiding, and hop-‘til-he-drops skills. Nothing at all! Except…wait a minute. What’s that falling out of the sky? A Christmas Elf!? (Figures!) The epic battle: Easter Elf vs. Christmas Elf, has begun. Who will win? Hop on over to Easter Elf Spring Training to find out.
In addition to signing a great book, with Easter Elf vs. Christmas Elf KWiL now has the honor of working with one of Wisconsin’s kidlit greats. Rochelle has published stories and articles in many children’s magazines, including Highlights, AppleSeeds and FACE. She is the Southeast Area Rep for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Wisconsin chapter.
Rochelle has been spotting elves on the shelves for the past few years. She has yet to see an Easter Elf, although she came close when she was ten and caught a glimpse of a bunny-ear shadow on her bedroom wall on Easter Eve. When she’s not busy selling words to companies at www.wordsforsale.info, she’s crafting stories for kids at: at www.rochellegroskreutz.com.
Parents, Easter Elf (AND CHRSTIMAS ELF!) say feel free to let your kids know they’re coming soon. (Well, as soon as these people can get our book made!) And to any writers who might happen upon this post, KWiL is very interested in publishing stories that represent all religious and/or cultural holidays and/or traditions. If you have a story you think we should consider, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!