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How to Post a Goodreads Giveaway

We just did this and it was so easy! They’ve done a great job making it flow smoothly, but here’s a little list for anyone who likes to know what they’re getting into…and we highly recommend you get into one!

Step 1 – Go directly to the giveaway page: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway (or goodreads.com > explore dropdown > giveaways)


Step 2 – Look around and decide things (how long, how many, what to say, and what your goal is with your giveaway)
Step 3 – On the right hand side, choose to list a giveaway
Step 4 – Now this is where all your hard work in decision making pays off! Just write what, when, by who, and click save – almost there!
Step 5 – Reap the rewards, wallow in your admirers, and don’t forget to post to any social media you may be using!
And yes, please do enter our giveaway which has almost run it’s course as of the writing of this blog!
Good luck!

It takes strength to lift others up…

I love this idea, and it seems particularly apropos during National Bullying Prevention Month (We came out with a great kids book on kindness recently, for anyone who missed that). I also think this is a great way to get the message across to kids. Of course we should help others and be kind and compassionate, but what kid doesn’t want to be seen as a superhero? If we teach them to value strength, then we need to teach them that standing beside others TAKES strength.

Ok ok, I’m off my high horse now. All I really wanted to do was share this quote image, since I’m working on my lettering. I had a lot of fun making it and it seemed to fit. I’ve seen various versions (for example, Michael Watson is quoted as saying “Strong people don’t put others down… They lift them up.”), so the wording is mine, but the idea comes from standing on the backs of giants 😉


art by Anna Skarie


Be strong, be kind, and most importantly, be yourself today…or be the gorilla! Because sometimes that’s just more fun.


Half Price Books Fall Sale

Half Price Books holds a BIG sale each fall in the grandstand at the Fairgrounds in St. Paul. It’s fantastic. Bring your friends, your kids, your grandma, and especially bring a commodious bag or two. There’s nothing like having stacks of books that haven’t found a home on your windowsill or wherever, waiting to be and read during the winter days to come. Sorry to say, it’s over this year, but look for it next fall. Meantime, shop your neighborhood independent bookstore for that special book for yourself or a lucky friend or relation.


The Heartland Fall Forum

We spent today at the Heartland Fall Forum, put on by the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association in partnership with the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association. The combined membership represents several hundred booksellers.

“The Heartland Fall Forum is a regional trade show that supports and celebrates independent bookselling.” [from their website]

Nikki Johnson, Joy Dey, and Anna Skarie (all of us!) visited the Partners booth for in-booth signings of Just Another Monday and One Gorilla.


It was a blast – we met so many great people. Nikki, the illustrator for One Gorilla painted TWO fabulous turtles, with pink highlights

and it was fun to have SWAK Publishing’s presence so appreciated. Here’s my spot for a shout out to all the Wisconsinites that showed up and especially those who brought their book coupons too – you guys rock!


The Forum was an exciting reminder that publishing is thriving. There were so many excellent books and the people who make them and make them happen.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month

Here at Sit With A Kid, we obviously (see our motto) believe in spending time laughing, playing, and reading together. Teaching kindness by example is the best way we know to prevent bullying. That said, let’s start with the bad.

Did you know…

  • 1 in 4 kids are bullied at school?
  • 40% of children report being cyber-bullied?
  • each day 160,000 students miss school for fear of being bullied?
  • 1 in 10 children drops out of school every year due to bullying.

That is a crazy, horrible statistic. I wish I could un-know it, but I wish even more that it wasn’t true.

So, I could quote more stats, or we could talk about what a great idea it is to have a month of awareness for 10% of our children. I salute whoever came up with this idea.

There are 11 other months this year in which we should be strong in our kindness and compassion, but this month especially: wear orange to raise awareness, pay a compliment, don’t be a bystander, make peace, hold hands, and remember, one kind word from you can ROCK SOMEONE’S WORLD. 

In the last page of our book, the gorilla has a choice. He can choose to turn the turtle’s world right side up…or not. I challenge all of you to be the gorilla and make the choice you know needs to be made.

Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found.  It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay.  Small acts of kindness and love. –Gandalf


To learn more about how to participate this month, visit PACER’s site (National Bullying Prevention Center)


Book Launch Excitement!

So much goes into getting a book ready for it’s big day: The Book Launch. And while you know that day is really only the beginning of making your book the success you know it can be, it’s a day to be savored, too. Our approach involves three steps. (Notice we don’t say easy steps, but at least there are just three.)

1.  Get the word out.
Who ever does a good enough job of this? But you have to do your best. To help focus your efforts, take a look at John Kremer’s Book Launch 101 list of The Top Ten Most Important Priorities When Launching a New Book blog at www.bookmarket.com/book-marketing-plan.htm

2. Pull out all the stops.
Because we specialize in children’s picture books, we print an oversized book for story-telling and get the artist to paint a demo. There are treats, handouts (activity books, bookmarks, buttons, etc.). And we bring a big, life-sized cutout of the central character for the book.

IMG_3713   IMG_1916

3. Enjoy! To see the kids’ excitement and to have them engage with the message you want them to take away is worth everything. Adults, too—everybody loves a story.

We’ll be at Barnes and Noble in Duluth Minnesota launching two new books—One Gorilla and Just Another Monday—on Saturday, August 16, at 1:00. Come party with us!

JAM 3"              OG front

Light Up Card (and Ben Franklin Award)

We are incredibly excited to announce that our book has been nominated for a Ben Franklin Award (Children’s Picture Book). One friend asked: so you get stickers? Haha – Yes! So much more, but yes to that as well.


Because this is such a big deal for us, I decided I would find a light-bulb related craft to share with you. (Ben Franklin, light-bulb, get it? I’m so clever! Ok, I’m done.) Here it is, and it is remarkably cool. People are so inventive!


You press on it and it lights up! What a cool father’s day card. A little crafting, a little science, and a little awesome factor.

We will definitely be making this this year. I’ll try to remember to post how ours turn out. Let me know if you put any of these together too!



Ode to SWAK

The best thing that I ever did
Was to grab a good book,
Find the coziest nook,
Snuggle up, and sit with a kid.

You can learn about giant squid,
Fly to the moon,
or escape from a goon,
It’s exciting to sit with a kid.

Not to sermonize, heaven forbid,
But all will be fine,
The stars will align,
If you take time to sit with a kid.

Day Six – Book Review Printable

Book Review

Day Six – 30 Days of SWAK

As always, here’s a thank you and a linked badge to the brilliant lady I got this from:

…and here’s where you’ll get after you fold the printables (on the lines provided) and staple…see the link below my little ramble:


We’ve been working on our “Orange Box” lately – inspired by the white box. A white box is a mailer publishers send out to prospectives (usually independent bookstores). We really love going to schools to entertain and be entertained by the kids, so with that in mind, we’re creating our “orange box” for Just Another Monday and sending it out to schools. Yes, we’re spray painting them orange and I’m sure I will be posting pics for you later. For now, you just need to know that I’m getting my inspiration from all of the amazing teachers out there. You guys are so creative!

Here are the printables as promised – as the good sportsmen say in video games “gl hf” (good luck and have fun)!





Day Five – Picture Frame Scheduler

Picture Frame Scheduler (Dry Erase and Stickies!)

Day Five – 30 Days of SWAK

SWAK is getting bigger and busier! We’re trying different ways to keep on top of things (including the ever lovely google calendar). Here’s our latest and greatest:


It needs some filling in, but did you see the Austin Artworks event on the 25th? We’re pretty excited for that since it’s hosted in Austin, MN – where Joy grew up.


As far as making the scheduler, here are a few “in-process” pics. The first is the initial design and the second is after actually measuring and cutting. The frame is a 20″x30″ – it was inexpensive because there’s a crack in the corner of the glass. I also found the black wood letters to glue on – sweet, right?

IMAG0214 IMAG0215


So far it’s a great way to keep track of things for the month.


Good luck with your organizing and maybe we’ll see you in Austin!