Ten-Minute Blog Break - 2nd December

Christmas rumbles towards us, like a brightly-coloured tank playing Jingle Bells while simultaneously mowing down everything in its path. But the Blog Break stands firm from festive concerns (at least for this week, anyway!)

One of the many challenges of parenting is persuading a reluctant child to read, something that can easily turn into one of those battlegrounds like room tidying or eating broccoli. Sally Poyton is blogging at Space on the Bookshelf about a new book by Alison David, Help your Child Love Reading - a Parent’s Guide. The book is full of non-judgemental advice about how to foster a reading culture, and Sally even finds some useful tips for her own book-mad family.

Katie Dale is putting her thinking cap on, and taking part in the annual Kids' Lit Quiz. Pitting school teams against children's authors, the quiz is a fun and fiendish event that you can read all about in Katie's blog post.

For this week's adventures in self-publishing, Larisa Villar Hauser is delving into the mysteries of Amazon rankings and doing lots of promotion. Meanwhile, Olivia Bright has been experimenting with Amazon's new Kids' Book Creator to self-publish a picture book, and shares a useful how-to video guide on her blog.

Still in picture book territory, Claire O'Brien delivers the second half of her blog guide on creating a picture book illustration portfolio. Bravely analysing her own portfolio, Claire finds a surprising amount of room for improvement.

Who doesn't love receiving feedback from child readers? Sam Zuppardi has some fun letters from a primary school class who've been using his book The Nowhere Box for Literacy lessons, and making some stupendous cardboard collages in the style of the illustrations.


A SCBWI member since 2009, Nick Cross is an Undiscovered Voices winner who writes children's short fiction for Stew Magazine.


  1. Great wrap - as always - Nick. Such a wide range of subjects. Thanks. Re Larisa Villar-Hauser's bafflement about the variable relationship between sales via Amazon and Amazon sales ranking, does anyone out there in publishing land have a definitive answer?

  2. Thanks Nick - really appreciate your pick of the blogs. Always a carefully chosen selection of interesting reads :-)

  3. A nice varied selection, thanks Nick!

  4. Thanks Nick. You just made my short bus trip a lot easier. Though now have the OMG I haven't blogged for ages bus-angst x

    1. I have that angst a lot at the moment! But trying to forge ahead with the WIP instead...

  5. Yes, me too Nick. Been too distracted by other things, time to focus!


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