Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

The Buzz About the Biz: Preparing Yourself for Success Webinar Series


 Wouldn’t you love to attend a children’s book conference without traveling? No airports, hotels, gas stations, or expense reports? No work time lost? Register and view our affordable webinars from the comfort of your home or office — wherever and whenever you have access to a computer. Or join your friends and colleagues who have registered and watch together.

So, what’s the Buzz About the Biz? How can you prepare yourself for success in the publishing world? Join 4 industry professionals every Monday evening during the month of October as each takes you through a different look at the business side of the publishing journey. The cost of each webinar is $15 for members and $25 for not-yet-members plus a small online registration fee. Want to become a member? Click HERE!

Registration for all webinars is now open. Register for individual webinars or all. Click HERE to register.  

Can’t attend? Each webinar will be recorded. Links to view the recordings will be sent to registrants and will be available for viewing for two weeks after each webinar. 

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October 7th: 7:00-8:15- Jillian Manning 

The Book Business — Publishing From Start To Finish Through The Eyes Of An Acquisitions Editor: From the editor’s inbox to the hands of a reader, get to know the journey of a book from inside a publishing house. Former acquisitions editor and children’s book author Jillian Manning breaks down each step, including how manuscripts are vetted for publication, the editing process, the basics of cover and interior design, and the early stages of marketing leading up to a book’s release. In addition to hearing about the inner workings of the publishing business, you’ll learn how to make your query stand out in the slush pile, build and leverage your platform, and develop actionable marketing strategies.

Jillian Manning is an author, editor, and public relations professional who loves reading and writing (but not arithmetic). She’s the author of five books with Sesame Street and has worked in the editorial departments at Sourcebooks and HarperCollins. Jillian lives in Northern Michigan with her husband and three picture-book-worthy kittens.

Jillian is offering a limited number of manuscript critiques! Fee: $45. One critique per registrant, SCBWI members only. First come, first served. The material will be due to Jillian on October 7th. Allow 4-6 weeks for critique return.

Any genre will be accepted.

  • 2 YA critiques (query + 10 pages)
  • 2 MG critiques (query + 10 pages)
  • 2 PB critiques (under 1,000 words)

More details about how to submit will be provided at registration confirmation.

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October 14th: 7:00-8:15- Laren Panepinto and Marc Scheff 

Art Business Bootcamp: Learn how to get found, get hired, and get paid from real live industry Art Directors and Curators. Most art schools don’t teach the business side. In this talk, Lauren and Marc will discuss everything you need to build a successful business. Great art is only 50% of an art career; Lauren and Marc will cover the rest!

Lauren Panepinto is the Creative Director and Vice President of the Orbit Books division of the Hachette Book Group. She has 16 years of experience designing and art directing book covers and managing both in-house teams and hundreds of freelance artists. She has also worked in fashion (Perry Ellis), television (MTV) and independent design firms. Lauren is an Adjunct Professor of Design at the NYU Graduate Program in Publishing, and a frequent guest lecturer and teacher at The School of Visual Arts (SVA), Parsons, Syracuse University, the Illustration Master Class, and SmArt School. She has reviewed thousands of portfolios at conventions such as San Diego ComicCon, New York ComicCon, Spectrum Fantastic Art, GenCon, and IlluXcon. Lauren hires many freelance artists every year and gets hundreds of artists’ promotional emails in her inbox every week. She is also the co-founder of the online gallery Every Day Original.

Marc Scheff is a fine artist and illustrator with a degree in Computer Science from Harvard University. His work is available through Rehs Contemporary and Haven Gallery in New York, and Corey Helford in Los Angeles. He is a co-founder of the online gallery Every Day Original. He has worked as a staff artist for Electronic Arts and an art director for a company that produces merchandise and art shows for releases of major video game licenses such as Tomb Raider and Dragon Age. He is a teacher at SmArt School and guest teacher at Illustration Master Class. He has reviewed thousands of portfolios at conventions such as San Diego ComicCon, New York ComicCon, Spectrum Fantastic Art, GenCon, and IlluXcon.

Handouts for the webinar can be downloaded here for free:

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 October 21st: 7:00-8:15- Nancy Castaldo 

Be the Perfect Panelist: Panels are a wonderful way to promote your books at all sorts of events, from community book festivals to librarian conferences. During this webinar, you’ll learn how to propose a panel,  prep for a panel, and have the perfect panel etiquette for the event.

Nancy Castaldo has written award-winning books for kids for over 20 years, including Green Earth Book Award title THE STORY OF SEEDS, and Crystal Kite Award titles, SNIFFER DOGS and BEASTLY BRAINS.  Using her undergrad degree in science, graduate degree focusing on children’s literature and her experience as an author, Nancy has moderated and spoken on a variety of book panels at book festivals, science teacher conferences, SCBWI events, TxLA, and National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). Nancy also serves as the Regional Advisor of the Eastern NY SCBWI region. Her 2018 title is BACK FROM THE BRINK: Saving Animals from Extinction.

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October 28th: 7:00-8:15- Megan Tripp 

Social Media for Authors and Illustrators: An overview of the children’s book market, how social media can drive sales within that market, and how to create buzz around your book using competitive strategies on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Megan Tripp is a graduate of Emerson College and works in social media for Random House and Del Rey Books. She has previously worked at the literary agency, Curtis Brown, Ltd. She is an active member of the “bookstagram” community and lives in New York City with her cat, Kitten.

Megan is offering 10 platform critiques! Fee: $45. One critique per registrant. SCBWI members only. First come, first served. The material will be due to Megan on October 28th. Allow 4-6 weeks for the return of platform critique.

More details about how and what to submit will be provided at registration confirmation.

Click HERE to register for one or any or ALL webinars!