Ten-Minute Blog Break - 25th February

Numbers seem to be a big theme in the world of SCBWI blogging this week, whether it's:
1) how many books you've sold
2) how many you've read, or
3) how much better it is to have three things in a list!

Katie Dale blogs at The Edge this week, with an honest (if slightly depressing) look at author finances. Clearly explaining concepts such as advances and royalties, Katie breaks down the language of publishing deals and even tells you how many copies J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer had to sell before they broke even. Writing is by no means a guaranteed money-spinner and Katie's inevitable conclusion is Don't Give Up The Day Job.

Lists are everywhere at the moment, as Buzzfeed-esque articles threaten to make the Internet collapse (or maybe that's just how they make me feel!) But here's a list that provides a nice break from "10 GIFs of Puppet Characters That Look Like Michael Gove", as K.M. Lockwood takes on The Hundred Book Challenge, listing the 100 books that made her the author she is today.

There was nowhere else I could put this next post than as the third item in the Blog Break. SCBWI-BI Regional Adviser and picture book supremo Natascha Biebow is telling us all about The Wonderful Rule of Three and its myriad uses in storytelling.

It's always nice to discover someone new, and I was very pleased to stumble upon Zoe Boyd Clack's blog this week. Zoe's post Capturing The Castle takes an engrossing look at the importance of setting in children's books, and gives examples of Middle Grade and Young Adult books with a superlative sense of place.

Finally, regular readers will know that I got shanghaied by a sea monkey last year and am more than a teensy bit excited by the forthcoming Sarah McIntyre and Philip Reeve book. Well, it got even better this week when I discovered that the book is about two of my favourite things - cakes and space! Read Sarah's blog post as she introduces some new characters from Cakes in Space, and talks about the unusual inspiration for their look.


Nick Cross is a children's writer, blogger and all-round techno-ninja. In 2010 he was a winner of Undiscovered Voices with his zombie comedy Back from the Dead and currently writes short fiction for Stew Magazine, an event that was recently celebrated on this site.


  1. Fascinating stats from Katie. Especially JK Rowling's first advance, and the 70p royalty payment on a book priced £6.99. I'm now very happy having compared that to the £2.10 I receive for my indie kindle book, priced at £2.99. Woo hoo!

  2. Really enjoyed this selection again, Nick. Lots to bookmark!


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