My first children’s picture book, Gabby Makes a Friend, was published in June of 2020! Since then, many exciting things have happened. This post is a running log of the book’s milestones, and also a great place to see past and upcoming events.
Gabby Makes a Friend: Launch Timeline
June 16, 2020 My brilliant illustrator Sofie Schollaert translated Gabby Makes Friend into Dutch, so that it could be blown up and put on the windows of a library, while it was closed during quarantine.
July 1, 2020 Gabby’s first Amazon review came in (spoiler: she received 5 stars)!
July 5, 2020 My first batch of paperback books arrived!
July 7, 2020 I hosted a virtual launch party for Gabby (and Katie). Moving forward, I’ll consider this their official birthday!
July 12, 2020 The first photos from a fan rolled in!
Relevant Author Profiles and Interviews
- Jon McBrine featured me in one of his Author Spotlights
- I participated in an Inspirational Interview Series for Meraki Musings
(there is an excerpt of the larger post on this site)
- Laura’s Books & Blogs published a combo interview & review on Nov. 6, 2020
Gabby’s Reviews and Recommendations
Pride and Proof posted a 5-star review of Gabby, on their website
Gabby was reviewed on, and recommended by, Doodle Stories!
And also by the Historic Poteau Library!
She received a 4 out of 4 on a review that posted to the Online Book Club!
Take a look at the Caffeinated Reviewers Nov. 25th post about Gabby!
Gabby Makes a Friend: Storytime Videos
Gabby has her video debut on Storytime with Ms. Rita, a program from City of Coral Gables’ Parks & Recreation Department, created as part of the #PLAYGABLESATHOME initiative, intended to entertain families during the pandemic.
I was thrilled to be selected, from the many books submitted, to be read on Storytime with Mel!
Hajira, from Story time with Hajira was the first child to read Gabby!
The latest reading was on Storytime by Magu!
Gabby Finds a Home in Local Stores and Libraries
Gabby went “brick and mortar” for the first time, when twelve copies are delivered to Gingerbread House Toys, a wonderfully magical store in Bloomington, Illinois.
Gabby Makes a Friend is placed in the first, of many, Little Free Libraries near my home. A few other people, including Rose Hahn, let me know they purchased an extra copy to leave in Little Free Libraries where they live as well!
July 15, 2020 Many kind and wonderful people donated enough $$ to put 22 copies of Gabby Makes a Friend into libraries.
Gabby Makes a Friend: Marketing and Promotions
Mark your calendars! Gabby Makes a Friend (the eBook) will be FREE on September 18 and 19, 2020!
August 2-3, 2020 Gabby ranked #1 on Amazon, in multiple categories, during a FREE eBook promotion!
- Children’s Baby Animal Books
- Children’s Dog Books
- Children’s Pet Books
- Children’s Bug and Spider Books
Gabby’s Past and Upcoming Events
August 16, 2020 Read Gabby at the Founders Grove Neighborhood Association’s Annual Back-to-School Ice Cream Social.
August 26, 2020 Read at Carle Health and Fitness Center.
Ongoing Saturday Morning Storytime Reading 2-3 books and bringing activities for children in my neighborhood (an ongoing event)
Readings are tentatively on hold due to COVID-19
Order Gabby Makes A Friend, Today!
Gabby and Katie is available online, and on on shelves, now!
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Why Reviews Matter
- The number of reviews a book has can open, or close, doors to promotional options and opportunities
- Reviews can “make or break” rankings on sites like Amazon, Goodreads, etc.
- Having lots of reviews is crucial to getting books picked up by libraries, bookstores, and other entities involved in mass distribution