1. You might land a movie deal or an animated special like me! It all started with a tweet!
2. Your book might get noticed by a famous store like Pottery Barn Kids who wants to sell it!
Click here to see! I found out when Penguin Kids tagged me on Instagram! And this weekend I have to make a video for them!
3. Librarians and book reviewers want to tag you as they showcase your book. This happens to me mostly on Instagram.
4. You meet incredible people--writers, readers, bloggers, agents, editors, etc...
5. You find your tribe. (See #4) Those with common interests and passions will follow each other! For example, author Linda Sue Park put together Kibooka (Kids' Books by Korean Americans & Korean Diaspora) in which we knew of each other via social media.
6. You find ideas for books. The Ocean Calls started with a tweet. I love Twitter!
7. You might find your agent. (Again, like I said in #6, it all started with a tweet. I found my agent via Twitter.)
8. Your publisher wants to promote & tag you.
9. You can inspire others, and they will inspire you.
10. People care. As I've gone through the past few months having breast cancer surgery & radiation, many have reached out via social media offering encouragement, prayers, and thoughts.
So there you have it. My 10 reasons why writers should be on social media. And during the pandemic and when I lived overseas, being online with others has really helped with that missing social piece!
I'm thankful to God for all of you and for His blessings so far this year!
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your family in spite of having to stay close to home this year. For us, it was our first time to have Christmas with my side of the family in over ten years.
This week I'm on Kim Chaffee's & Kirstie Call's podcast, The Picture Book Look with my wonderful editor, Joanna! It's only about 15 minutes long.
And I'm the featured author at Linda Sue Park's KiBooka's page, Kids' books by Korean Americans.
In other good news for THE OCEAN CALLS, it comes out as an audio book on January 19!
You can hear a sample here.
Lastly, Teaching Books emailed that my name is now part of their list of authors' names! You can hear me pronounce my name!
What have I been up to? I just finished scouring over sketches of my lyrical graphic novel coming out from Harper Alley in 2023. The title changed to The Other Side of Tomorrow. About North Korean refugee kids. Illustrator Deborah Lee is doing an awesome job bringing my text to life. It's been fun seeing them as she progresses through the manuscript.
I'm also enjoying my short winter break from school. I ordered some library books and did the curbside checkout for the first time. Some fabulous books I just read:
*When Stars Are Scattered, a graphic novel built on a true story, a necessary read for all upper elementary & teens. This book shows what life in a refugee camp is like.
*Fauja Singh Keeps Going, a picture book biography about the 108 year old Sikh who runs marathons!
*Playing from the Heart, a picture book in which a father never stops loving his son's piano playing.
Next on my list: Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park
What children's book do you recommend? Happy New Year!
I've been a part of a critique group called Pens & Brushes since 2008. Members have come and gone, but four of us inaugural members are still a part of this group. With the idea of Diane Hower, we met for the first time, hearing each others' voices along with seeing each other! If you haven't done a Zoom with your critique group, I highly recommend it, unless you can meet in person!
In October, author Kate Narita invited me onto her podcast, Chalk & Ink: The Podcast for Teachers Who Write & Writers Who Teach. Scroll down to October 9th to hear our conversation.
Being back in the states, I'm ecstatic to see all the Christmas decorations and Christmas candies! With that in mind, some of you have asked how to get autographed books.
If you want an autographed THE OCEAN CALLS, I recommend ordering from the website of The Learning Post & Toys. I can go into the store & personalize it if you want. Just let me and them know.
If you want an autographed MY BREAKFAST WITH JESUS, I recommend ordering from Choices Christian Bookstore. I can go in & personalize it if you want. Just let me and them know.
If you want an autographed RICE FROM HEAVEN, I recommend ordering from Barnes & Noble at Jordan Creek Mall in West Des Moines, Iowa, as I can go in & sign their books.
With so many children now at home, it's good to get books into their hands!
Well, moving during a book launch in a pandemic--I wouldn't recommend it. But I'm so thankful to all of you who have supported me, through watching my online activities or even buying and sharing about the book!
If you missed out, you can see me and the illustrator Jess at Little Shop of Stories on Facebook here or me reading the book at Warwick's Bookstore on Instagram here.
And good news--The Ocean Calls is on the Fall 2020 Kids' Indie Next List by the American Booksellers Association!
I'm in Iowa now. Big difference from the lightning fast Internet of Korea. That's the main thing we miss. In fact, it took over two weeks just to get service. Which means I had to go to a hotel to use their Internet to do my LIVE book launch online!
And now I'm back in the classroom with two hybrid groups of kindergartners teaching them how to walk in a line like zombies, arms out to measure social distancing.
What are some new things you're adjusting to? How's your writing?
You could win a picture book critique from me OR this swag which includes a Korean bag, haenyeo stuffed animal, a Jeju Mirror, a Korea magnet, and Korea bookmark. (US residences for the swag. Anyone for the critique.) To enter the contest, you must pre-order the book and then fill out the form below. I'll announce the winner on my blog & at my virtual launch. Details about that coming soon.
With two books out this summer, it's time my website gets a new look. Please take a look around. What do you think? What could I do to make it even better?
News: My new picture book My Breakfast with Jesus is getting reviews on social media. If you've read it, I'd love for you to leave a book review on Amazon, Good Reads, B&N & share about it. It's a great way to segue into a discussion about race and culture with kids. I'm @TinaMCho on Instagram & Twitter.
Star-worthy news: The Ocean Calls: A Haenyeo Mermaid Story has received THREE stars so far! One each from Kirkus, Booklist, and Publisher's Weekly. I'm grinning from ear to ear. Only my teens don't get it. haha Only my writing tribe understands.
My daughter painted this verse for me for my birthday. It's what I base my writing on.
Happy official summer! How are you doing?
My 3rd picture book released quietly into a troubled world on June 2nd. This nonfiction picture book features children from around the world eating various breakfasts and showing Jesus' love & kindness. How the world needs this now! Use this to teach kids about diversity and that Jesus loves them no matter what color their skin is. On that same topic, I wrote this blog post for the Christian Mommy blog, "9 Ways to Encourage Your Children to Think Globally." My heart hurts for my home country of the USA. I'm praying for you daily!
Leading up to the book's release, I tried something new--doing short videos on Instagram Stories. I featured a breakfast and 1 spread from the book for five days. I saved all the videos on my Instagram Profile under "Breakfasts," if you'd like to see some of them. I'm tinamcho on Instagram. Follow me, & I will follow you.
If you'd like a chance to win this book, check out 2020 Vision's debut June picture books rafflecopter here.
Today was my last day teaching at this international school in Korea. I've taught kindergarten at this school for 4 years. Time to move on. But change is hard! Please pray for us as we seek what God has for us.
Proverbs 22:6 Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
It's Children's Day here in Korea, and we've been blessed with the day off from school & work. If you'd like to know more about Korea's Children's Day, I blogged about it here. My kids are in high school now, and so we celebrated by eating at Subway and doing some light shopping. Plus, it was a rainy day.
Things are easing up in Korea. Korean public schools will start next week with grades staggered. International schools like mine are still working on their schedules.
May is also Children's Book Week. I thought I'd share some favorite books my kids have enjoyed over the years.
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon trilogy by Grace Lin
The War that Saved my Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Stink The Incredible Shrinking Kid series by Megan McDonald
The Lemonade Wars series by Jacqueline Davies
Geronimo Stilton series
Dork Diaries series by Rachel Russell
The Cupcake Diaries series by Coco Simon
Thea Stilton series
Cam Jansen series by David Adler
The Cul-de-sac Kids series by Beverly Lewis
Linda Sue Park's MG novels
Are you seeing a consistency? At least with my kids, upper elementary through teenage years are hooked on a series. Mine were comfortable with a certain author and then would buy/check out all the subsequent books.
I must share one favorite board book of each of my kids.
Can you guess who liked which one? Well, enjoy Children's Book Week with your favorites & the children in your life!
Part of being an author means we learn new things, especially about social media, right? I've conquered Facebook & Twitter. I've been lurking around Instagram and posting photos now and then. Lately, I learned there's a whole new world in Instagram with Instagram Stories. Who knew there were more hidden goodies in the circled rings around people's names? Oh goodness, have I got a lot to learn. I have to beg my teenaged kids to help their elderly mom. haha So TODAY I'm doing my first-ever Instagram live interview with author Jessica Kim, of the new middle grade, STAND UP, YUMI CHUNG. I'm almost done reading this awesome book. One you need to put on your list! Anyway, if you're free this afternoon/early evening depending on your time zone, do check in the Kokila Instagram channel. I'll be waking up super early on my Saturday morning to participate. And I cleaned my office just for you. Hope to SEE you. And please follow me. @TinaMCho. If you have Instagram tips, please leave them in the comments!
Update: Here's the recording of my part: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Wfp9CjAx8TSyo2TV6
I thought I'd update my blog and let you know what's going on in my part of the world. If you follow me on social media, you probably already know. Our school has been closed by the government for 1 week due to coronavirus. We are now starting week 2. And the government just announced schools will be closed through 3/23. God help us all! At the time of this writing, there are 4,335 cases in Korea with 26 deaths. Every hour the number rises.
My day has now given over to online learning or schooling. Since I teach kindergarten, I rewrite my lessons for the parents to teach to their children. I video myself teaching at least 1 lesson every day. I upload videos, worksheets, all assignments to an online platform called Class Dojo. Students work from home and upload their assignments to their online portfolio. Writing lessons in a new way, working with parents, videoing, checking assignments--it's more time consuming than regular teaching. My teenage children receive their instruction through Google Hangouts and Google Classroom etc... They are online from 9 - 3:30 with a break for lunch. We are not the only country doing this. Most countries in Asia are now doing online school. Some have been doing it since January!
Can we go out? Sure, but on our own risk. We wear a mask wherever we go, but as they say, the best protection is washing hands with soap & warm water. There are 5 cases in my big city, most of the cases are in the southern part of Korea. Many times throughout the day, the government sends emergency alert text messages telling us if someone in the area just became infected and what stores and places to avoid.
Because the government says not to have assemblies, we even had online church, live streaming. It's easy to get downcast, having to stay inside all the time. But we have to remember, God is greater than the coronavirus! Pastor shared the popular verse, Isaiah 40:31 "but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Be like an eagle and soar above the storm! Whatever your "storm" is today, rise above it and just keep writing!
Tina M. Cho, children's author
I'm a children's author and freelance writer for the educational market. Welcome!