Thursday, September 28, 2017

Evelyn B. Christensen, Lady of Logic and a PRIZE!

I absolutely adore Evelyn B. Christensen's work. One thing you may not know about me is that I was homeschooled. Evelyn's books are the kind I wish I had to learn from when I was young. She has a wonderful gift in making learning fun! Be sure to check out Evelyn's webpage for sample puzzles you can print and solve also be sure to visit her store at this link: (https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Evelyn-Christensen-Puzzles-math-and-more) to see all of the lovely books Evelyn has created!

Be sure to check the end of this post for a PRIZE!

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Hi to all you wonderful illustrators! I’ll admit I was a little intimidated by Dani’s request that I provide a post for Smart Dummies. I don’t claim to be an illustrator and am in awe of those of you who are.

A bit about my background. A former teacher, I love to create resources to make learning fun. I’ve authored, or co-authored, forty-four puzzle books published by educational publishers. I actually did create the drawings for eight of those. But my illustrations were just simple line drawings, without color or background, so I still don’t consider myself an illustrator. I also have created the covers, and any needed illustrations, for the puzzle books I’ve self-published on Teachers Pay Teachers.

I’ve had one picture book published, The Twelve Days of Christmas in Kentucky, by Sterling Children’s Books. Kent Culotta was the illustrator for it and I think he did a great job. I’m sure that illustrators appreciate the fact that, in general, authors don’t get to have any input in the illustration process. However, this book, although it’s fiction, is intended to provide information about Kentucky. Since Kent didn’t live in Kentucky, my editor wanted me to check his sketches and his final art for accuracy. I tried to stick to just factual feedback. I did say, in an aside to my editor, that I wasn’t a fan of Kent’s noses, but that I understood that was his artistic style and I wasn’t suggesting that they ask him to change it. I’m just saying this to remind you that, no matter how wonderful your art is, not everybody is going to like every aspect of it. People simply have different tastes. So if you’ve not gotten positive responses from agents or editors, don’t get discouraged. Maybe your style just isn’t the style for those particular agents and editors. Please keep trying.

I do want to mention a couple of publication avenues you may want to consider, if you haven’t already.

  • Educational publishers. Many authors and illustrators have found that it’s easier to break into publishing with the education market than with the trade market. These are usually work-for-hire contracts. Some pay better than others. Once you get in with a publisher, they may offer you repeat assignments. If you’re interested in this type of work, I maintain a list on my website of Educational Markets. http://evelynchristensen.com/markets.html
  • Children’s magazines. These will generally not pay as well as books, but if you’re unpublished, this can be a way to build your resume. Also, if you’re wanting to reach children with your work, some magazines have a bigger readership than you’ll get with some picture books. If you’re interested in illustrating for children’s magazines, I offer a free ezine, published quarterly, on my website and maintain a list of children’s magazines with links to their submission guidelines. http://evelynchristensen.com/mags.html



A bit more about my own illustration journey. Recently, I decided that I wanted to self-publish one of my picture books for my grandchildren. Since I obviously wanted to do more than simple black and white line drawings, I signed up for a graphics design course. (In Kentucky you can take free university courses when you reach 65. Yay!) It turned out my instructor was the grown-up kid who’d lived next door to us when my kids were little. Yay! Since I was auditing the course, he let me work on whatever project I wanted, which, of course, was illustrating my picture book. I’m not quite finished with my project, but what working on it has taught me is that illustrating picture books is not easy. My respect for all of you who do it has grown tremendously!

Dani asked if I could donate a prize. I’m offering to two lucky people the choice of any of my books on my Teachers Pay Teachers site. https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Evelyn-Christensen-Puzzles-math-and-more Many of the books posted there were originally published by traditional publishers, but had gone out of print. When the winners let me know their choice, I’ll email them a pdf file of the book. (So, you’ll need to have the ability to open a pdf file on your computer.)

Best wishes with your Smart Dummies challenge!

-Evelyn





Follow Evelyn:

Website: http://evelynchristensen.com/
Store: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Evelyn-Christensen-Puzzles-math-and-more

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PRIZE

Evelyn is giving away one (your choice) of the puzzle books and resources she have posted on Evelyn's Teachers Pay Teachers site! She'll send you a .pdf of the book of your choice -- https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Evelyn-Christensen-Puzzles-math-and-more

To win this prize you must:

Comment below and tell Evelyn how much you like her post! 


13 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing with us Evelyn... I love your puzzle page on your website and have signed up to receive your updates. What a wonderful resource!

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  2. I appreciate your feedback, Phyllis. Best wishes to you on your illustration projects.

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  3. Thanks, Dani, for hosting me today! I appreciate getting to be part of your fun Smart Dummies challenge and have such respect for what you're doing here.

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  4. Thanks for sharing your great insights and resources! I enjoyed reading your article.

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    1. I appreciate your post, Kristin. As I said in the article, I have great respect for those of you who are illustrators.

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  5. I'm so inspired by teachers that make learning fun! Thank you for sharing your wonderful work, Evelyn.

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    1. Best wishes to you if you're doing the Smart Dummies challenge, C.L. Thank you for taking time to respond to my post.

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  6. Thank you for the resources Evelyn! I didn't consider illustrating for the educational Market. I'll look into that and keep it open as an option. Thank you.

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  7. Wishing you the best, Brittanny, if you decide to try the educational market route.

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  8. As a former teacher, I LOVE hearing this!

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    1. Teachers and former teachers all rate high in my regard, lcrackham, so I've got my fingers crossed for you for whatever projects you're working on.

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  9. Thank you for sharing your work and the resources Evelyn. I am curious to look into the educational market now.

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  10. Best wishes to you, Heidi, if you try the ed market route. I hope it's a successful venture for you.

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