Clarbojahn Presents! Author Carol Cole! Part Two.

Hi Friends!  

Before we welcome Carol to answer questions five through eight, I would like to invite you to come to my blog tour this week. It’s celebrating my new book Annie’s Special Day and each day you’ll learn something about how I wrote it.

My blog tour of my blogging friends.  *YaY* friends!! a book review and Q&A by the author of Annie’s Special Day on Friday, November 12th  the illustrator story from Clara’s side of Annie’s Special Day on Wednesday, November 14th  author Clara Bowman-Jahn’s publishing story on Thursday, November 15th  the idea to story of Annie’s Special Day on Monday, November 19th a post from Annie’s Special Day’s illustrator, Claudia Wolf, on Tuesday, November 20th

Now on to Clarbojahn Presents! Author Carol Cole.

Welcome back for questions five through eight with our author, Carol Cole, who wrote The Penguin Lady. We enjoyed the first part so much we can’t wait for part two which will be covered today. Part one, which covered questions one through four was published last week and can be found here. I reviewed her book The Penguin Lady last Friday as part of Perfect Picture Book Friday.

Book Cover for The Penguin Lady
By Carol Cole

Hi Carol,

5—How long did it take from the idea of the book to actually getting a book in your hands and did you encounter any problems along the way and what were they? And how did your solve them?

As I mentioned before, the original idea and story was back in 2004.  After several years of critiques, revisions of the story, and submissions, I met Donna German in October 2009.  I revised the manuscript again with most of her suggestions and put together the submission packet including Standards of Learning for Virginia, several other books about penguins that have been published and why mine was different, the fact that I’d had many short stories published although they were not for children, and the finished manuscript.

 I emailed this packet off in March 2010.  Donna replied 4 weeks later that she liked what I had done but couldn’t give me an answer at that time and to keep submitting it elsewhere.  I contacted her again in January 2011 to ask about the progress and she finally emailed me an acceptance and a contract in April 2011.  There were two very minor changes that were made to the story and the first book was sent to me in December 2011.  The official publication date was February 10, 2012.

6—You told me you wrote an article in the SCBWI highlighter about marketing. Can you sum up the article here for us?

Actually, the article was about getting a contract to publish my book through a critique session at an SCBWI conference, titled: Would Somebody Please Publish My Book?  It can be found in the Winter2012 issue. I also emphasized that you need to have an idea, attend conferences, send your manuscript in for a critique session and above all have faith in yourself and persistence to follow through.

7—How was the submission process of getting an article in the highlighter and actually getting published in it? Can you tell us the story?

I was actually asked to write an article about getting a contract to publish my book through a critique session at an SCBWI conference by Moira Donahue, one of the newsletter co-editors who I knew from several conferences.  She knew that my book was being published in February and thought it would be great for other members of the Mid-Atlantic SCBWI group to know that a critique session could lead to publication.

8—It’s been real fun getting to know a little about you here but can you tell us a small horror story about marketing it since you got it in your hands?

The week of May 7 -13, 2012 was Children’s Book week and my publisher sent out invitations for any authors who could participate.  The only book stores with openings for book signings anywhere near me were two in the very south/west tip of North Carolina. I contacted the owners and drove 9 hours on Friday, May 11th after leaving work early to one of the towns. 

The next day there were 6 authors in one of the bookstores for 3 hours and only one of the other authors sold one book and that was to her old piano teacher.  I then drove 20 miles to the next store and two little 6 year-old girls were there, one was the daughter of the owner.  One of the other authors came about 45 minutes after I did and we read our books back-to-back to the little girls and a second grade teacher from the town.  The teacher bought one of our books.  

I then drove 5 hours to Blacksburg to visit a friend and stay overnight before heading home the next day, which was Mother’s Day.  Lots of driving, hotels for 2 nights, lots of gas money and food on the road to sign one book.  At least the 2 stores bought several copies of our books, so I didn’t have to buy the books first.

And how can we get in touch with you? What is your face book page, your web site and twitter handle?

I can be found on face book under my name and also under The Penguin Lady.  My website is: where you can find out about my other writing, email me and sign my guest book.  I do not use twitter.

author Carol Cole

Author Carol Cole

Carol Cole has have worked with young children in schools for about 30 years as a pediatric physical therapist before she retired in June 2012.  She started writing “scripts” for a favorite TV show when she was ten years old and hasn’t stopped writing since!  Carol is the author of over 45 articles and short stories found online and in anthologies.The Penguin Lady is her début picture book. She lives with her husband and son and their dog and 2 cats in Northern Virginia. 

Thanks so much for your time in answering these questions, Carol. My personal favorite was the horror question of marketing and your answer about how many miles you drove to sign one book. It makes me realize there is no easy event to sign our books at. Even the day I met you we were rained out after one hour and one sale. My author friends who had sat there all day Saturday didn’t even make one sale and didn’t come back Sunday to sign and autograph again. I guess the rain saved us from boredom and no sales but I am so glad I met you. I wish you luck in all your endeavors. I am so glad you will be here to answer any questions in the comments. It has been an honor to have you here.


About ClaraBowmanJahn

Journal writer. Author of "Annie's Special Day" And coauthor of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story." Proud mother and grandmother of wonderful kids. Wife of brilliant husband. Servant of two cats. Member of Pennwriters and SCBWI.
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10 Responses to Clarbojahn Presents! Author Carol Cole! Part Two.

  1. Richa Jha says:

    Will keenly follow your blog tour, Clarike! Thanks for getting Carol here. I’d missed the first part of this; in a way I am lucky to have read through all at the same time, Yay!

    Carol, what a lovely and informative interview! Thanks for stressing on the bit about attending conferences and joining critique sessions, both of which I need to start getting down to doing. Your horror story has kind of clung to the mind. I’ve heard this again and again about how disappointing author signing sessions get. And yet, these are integral to promoting the book.

    Thanks again, Carol and Clarike, and good luck with your books!


    • clarbojahn says:

      Thanks so much, Richa, for the encouraging comment. Yes we need to get out even if it doesn’t result in sales. Exposure is a good thing regardless. 🙂

      I think conferences and critique sessions are so worth while when writing a pb. Good luck in trying to attend them. You won’t be sorry you did. 🙂


  2. Enjoyed the interview. Guess what I learned from Carol is persistence and that book signings/promotions can be very discouraging. Must have been frutrating — but I like your spirit. Nice to know you better.


    • Carol Cole says:


      What do you write? Do you belong to any writing groups? I don’t know where you live, but if you write children’s stories, you could join SCBWI – they have chapters all over the

      Thanks for the comments.


  3. All the best with your blog tour, Clar.
    And thank you, Carol for sharing your horror story.


  4. Margot Finke says:

    Clar, I see your book tour is everywhere these days. I left comments a couple of times and added a blurb and link on Facebook and Google+ Your cover alone should sell it, mate. It just jumps out at me every time I see it.

    Books for Kids – Manuscript Critiques


  5. Pingback: Clarbojahn Presents! MMGM Author, Stuart Schadt! -Part One | Clarbojahn's Blog

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