What It Really Takes to Be a Children’s Book Author

  • Wednesday, May 11, 2016
  • 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
  • THE HEIGHTS: Richmond Heights Community Center Argus Room

Publishing a children’s book requires some very specialized skills. It might surprise you to learn that those skills include running a business and selling your books in addition to writing and illustrating them. As a children’s book author, you are constantly switching roles, which can be a difficult juggling act. What does it take to be an author, a businessperson, and a marketer all at the same time?


At the St. Louis Publishers Association’s May 11th meeting, a panel of experts will share their experiences and lessons learned over the years. Mon Trice is an author, Shelly Dieterichs is an illustrator, and Dan Killeen is both an author and illustrator. Together, they will explore:


  • The role of an illustrator

  • How to work with an illustrator when you’re the author

  • How to balance all your roles as an entrepreneur

  • Timelines, production calendars, printing

  • How to reach your readers

  • School visits, personal appearances, library readings

  • The ups and downs of marketing

  • The cost of self-publishing a children’s book

  • And more!


    Mon Trice is the author of Changing Seasons and Cannon’s Crash Course. Her entrepreneurial spirit and desire for children’s literature to reflect our pluralistic society are the passions that drive her. She believes children should see themselves reflected in the literature they read and that if elementary school literacy statistics can be used to forecast the number of prison cells we will need, those same statistics can be used to keep those cells empty. Visit her at http://www.montrice.net.



    Shelley Dieterichs has been a freelance designer and illustrator for thirty-six years. She has illustrated numerous children’s books and educational materials. Her recent work includes a Fairies Coloring Book for Dover Publishing, a Princess Bible for Tyndale Publishing, and Noodle and Nugget (A Tale of Two Kitties), self-published by the author in California. Shelley has created numerous illustrated alphabets to personalize products for children, pets, and teachers. Shelley’s illustrated products, books, and blocks are available at her website: http://www.goodbuddynotes.com.



    Dan Killeen is the author and illustrator of three children’s books: Derrick and the Dinosaurs and two Tillie & Clementine titles. Dan grew up reading old Peanuts collections that his mom picked up for him at garage sales. While he was studying at Indiana University, Dan contributed a strip featuring the beloved character Implosion Boy to the Daily Student newspaper. He was later awarded a fellowship honor from the Washington Post Writers Group for his comic strip called Steve. Dan lives down by the river in good ol’ St. Louis — http://happyfunbooks.com.



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