Guest post by Melissa Abramovitz, author of 'Helping Herbie Hedgehog'

I love being a writer. Sometimes I marvel at the fact that I get paid for writing fun poems and stories, and for doing interesting research that allows me to learn so much every day when I’m working on nonfiction projects. But just because I love my job doesn’t mean it’s easy. On the contrary, there’s nothing easy about doing comprehensive research on a topic for several months, then organizing it into a 20,000 word flowing narrative for an educational book that will keep a teenager’s attention. Condensing pages and pages of research notes into a 200 word book that includes the most interesting and important facts about a topic in language that a first-grader will understand and enjoy is even more challenging. There’s nothing easy about revising and revising and revising until a manuscript fits the publisher’s word count requirements and contains no awkward transitions or other errors either. And having manuscripts you have written and submitted on speculation come back rejected by publishers is devastatingly difficult as well. 

Many people tell me they want to be published authors. Many of them look at published children’s books or novels and think wow, that looks so easy, and I’m sure I can do it better than these authors did. They think it’s simple to sit down, write a book or other type of manuscript, and have it published. So they write a story and submit it for publication. When it gets rejected fifteen times, they wonder why. Some of them ask me to take a look. If I have some spare time, I look it over, and see numerous grammatical mistakes, typos, flawed plot structure, weak story characters, and a host of other deficiencies. So I suggest that the individual attend writer’s conferences, sign up for writing classes, and practice honing their writing and revision skills. Whaaaaat? That sounds like a lot of work. Well, yeah, it is. And for those who persevere and become published writers, developing good working relationships with editors, promoting one’s books, and a host of other types of work are heaped on all that initial work. So no, a writing career is not for everyone. But for those of us who love our profession, it’s a dream job.           

About the Author

Melissa Abramovitz has been a freelance writer/author for 30 years. She’s the author of hundreds of magazine articles for all age groups, from preschoolers through adults; more than 40 educational books for children and teenagers; numerous poems and short stories; the children’s picture books ABCs of Health and Safety and Helping Herbie Hedgehog; and a book for writers titled A Treasure Trove of Opportunity: How to Write and Sell Articles for Children’s Magazines. Melissa graduated from the University of California San Diego with a degree in psychology and is also a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature. She is a member of SCBWI, NABE, and The Working Writer’s Club.

About the Book

Herbie has places to go and things to do. But he needs some help ‘cause he hasn’t a clue! If you’ll help Herbie decide what’s right and wrong, he’ll be busy and happy the whole day long! Herbie the clueless hedgehog needs help figuring out how to get places and go about his day. Amusing delightful rhymes invite kids to give helpful advice while learning about everyday things in this early chapter book/picture book. Should Herbie ride his bicycle to visit his cousin who lives across the ocean? Will his TV set cook a meal? He really needs these kids’ help! Recommended for ages 2-7.

Title: Helping Herbie Hedgehog
Genre: Children’s picture book/early chapter book
Author: Melissa Abramovitz
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing

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