Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Andia Houdek Review Stop that Pudding

Title: Stop that Pudding!
ISBN: Print: 9781616330798, eBook: 9781616330804
Price: $9.95 U.S., $12.95 CAN
Format ebook, paperback
Genre/age group/type of publication: Children’s Picture Book, Readers age 5-8.

Brief synopsis: Passing up fruits and veggies for an afternoon snack, Kevin grabs a chocolate pudding and heads out the door. His adventure begins as he opens up his pudding cup and watches it spring to life! Find out if Kevin and his spoon are fast enough to catch his quick snack!

Stop that Pudding! Review

Wouldn’t you eat a pudding cup if you had the opportunity to do so? Kevin disobeyed his mother and snuck outside to eat the treat. Before he knew what had happened the pudding ran away. Kevin chases the pudding through town, and townspeople join in the chase.

The story is reminiscent of “The Gingerbread Man.” Runaway food has been a popular theme in chidren’s literature in many countries sine the 1800 ‘s.It is a staple in the pantry of children's literature.

The majority of the book is written in prose, but the pudding speaks in a catchy rhyme. The suggested age is 5-8, but younger children will enjoy sitting on someone’s lap and hearing about the pudding’s antics. Andi Houdek’s prose is entertaining. Partnered by Kevin Collier’s lively and humorous illustrations children will giggle and point as the pages are turned.

This book is recommended.


Book Marketing Brainstorm

Research the possibility of partnering with a pudding label like Jello. They could purchase a certain # of your books to sell to their customers with proofs of purchase (like I remember cereals did when I was a kid or like Yoplait offers to make a donation for it's lids).

Hold a book signing at your grocery store. You can go one of two ways: promote healthy snacks or chocolate pudding, pudding pops and chocolate treats. Work with them and coordinate an in-store promotion. A local store might purchase books from you as giveaways.

Host a pudding cup eating contest. Contestants must eat and thoroughly lick all residue from a pudding cup (this would be fun at a craft fair or outdoor event.

Make a pudding recipe/activity booklet. What are some entertaining ways to prepare pudding treats? One example is on the GAP family blog.

Do you have food references in your book? Animals? etc... I challenge you to leave a unique marketing idea in a comment. Let's start a marketing brainstorm.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Stop That Pudding! by Andia Houdek Interview

Stop that Pudding!

ISBN: Print: 9781616330798, eBook: 9781616330804
Price: $9.95 U.S., $12.95 CAN
Format ebook, paperback
Genre/age group/type of publication: Children’s Picture Book, Readers age 5-8.

Brief synopsis: Passing up fruits and veggies for an afternoon snack, Kevin grabs a chocolate pudding and heads out the door. His adventure begins as he opens up his pudding cup and watches it spring to life! Find out if Kevin and his spoon are fast enough to catch his quick snack!

Author: Andi Houdek
Blog Address:
Website Address: n/a

Email: andihoudekATyahooDOTcom
Bio: Andi Houdek lives in Colorado with her husband, two dogs and a cat. She has been writing for about 12 years. This is her third book with illustrator Kevin Collier.

Interview of Andi Houdek

Aday: Welcome to my blog, Andi. If you’re half as informative as your book is entertaining, we are going to learn a lot..

Andi: Thanks Aday! I appreciate being here. Learning is a life time pursuit of mine, so let the fun begin!

Aday: Can you tell us a little about publishing with a POD (print on demand) publishing house? Share some of the pros and cons.

Andi: I researched parameters on POD and found it is used for short print runs and small quantities of books (usually under one thousand books). This makes it attractive to self publishers. POD’s print only when there is a demand for a certain number of books.

Guardian Angel Publishing (GAP) is not a POD publishing house. When I signed my contract with GAP it was with the understanding that my book would be published as an eBook. I was offered the opportunity to receive print books through POD printer Lightning Source Inc. GAP chose them as part of their business model.

Lynda E. Burch GAP Publisher explains it this way. “That choice does not make us a POD publisher. By utilizing Lightning Source we are global, placing our books into the world's most comprehensive distribution channel-- U.S, Canada, Europe--Great Britain and France, and now in the Asia Pacific market. GAP chapbooks are available with The Espresso Book Machine®, the latest pioneering distribution channel to join the Lightning Source™ family of publisher-to-market pathways. With this revolutionary process, titles in our digital library can be printed, bound, and delivered at point of sale, on demand, in minutes. Guardian Angel ebooks are available or will be shortly in most ebook markets: Fictionwise, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Amazon, Follet Digital Services, Lightning Source Digital,, B&, & recently launched in”

In my eyes, GAP is a modern publishing house that is creating a new business model for publishing houses today. As Guardian Angel Publishing in not a POD, I don’t have any pros or cons for this question. Hopefully I will learn more about the author/publishing world through my experience with GAP and then have knowledge to pass on.

Aday: What is the most challenging part of having a book released for publication?

Andi: Pressing the send button when submitting the final copy to the publisher… just joking. Really, for me it is the marketing. While writing a book can take months or even years, it is only the beginning of a successful career as a writer. We need to be multi-talented and persistent. Overcoming computer/media challenges along with finding the correct forums/venues to promote a book can be overwhelming.

Aday: What are some of your plans to market and promote your book?

Andi: I am currently looking at bazaars and craft fairs, along with school libraries and local libraries. I also have a friend in Philly that DJ’s on a local radio station. I am working on having him do a radio interview. Some schools have guest author days; this is also a great way to start. I am also trying my hand at blogging. What I have found is there are a crazy amount of bloggers out there and it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. I try to keep up with posts and link my blog with other writers’ blogs. Exhausting! Ideally, I would like to travel the states and visit different schools and libraries to promote my books.

Aday: Kevin Collier is a popular illustrator. Can you describe your working relationship?

Andi: I first met Kevin through an email in Oct 2005. He was assigned my first book by my first publisher (the crook). Kevin is very easy to work with and truly cares about his authors. I have heard from many people that once their work is assigned an illustrator, it is out of their hands. Not so with Kevin. He would send me illustration drafts and ask “Andi, does this look alright?” I had the luxury of saying “Kevin, you forgot to put the spoon in his hand!” He collaborated closely with me on 3 children’s picture books (Mice in My Tummy, J.P.’s Halloween Parade, and Stop That Pudding!) and over the years we have been become friends. His career took off and it’s amazing to see all he has accomplished. I am always impressed by how talented Kevin is. His illustrations bring words to life! He is also an accomplished author along with his wife Kristen. Kevin always ends his emails with “Be inspired always”. I take this to heart and press on with my writing. Sometimes, it just takes a kind word from a friend to provide the initiative to move forward.

Aday: Are there any fairs and festivals during the holiday season in your area you will attend & market your books?

Andi: Yes there are. We just moved into a new home this summer so I am still doing the research. Soon I will be ready to make phone calls and set up some working days. I will actually be shadowing a fellow GAP author who lives in the area. She graciously invited me to spend a day with her.

Aday: What has been your most effective marketing tool to date?

Andi: This is a tough question. Stop That Pudding! just came out in September 2010 so it’s relatively new. I sent announcements out to friends and family. They have accounted for the bulk of my sales to date. Word of mouth and Facebook have been my tools of choice.

My sister is owner of a silk screening/printing company and helps me with posters, bookmarks and such. I am contemplating have some items made with the book characters on them to sell with the books at fairs and bazaars.

Aday: What misperceptions did you have about being published?

Andi: Chuckle, chuckle. There were many! I thought once I was published, the publisher would help with the marketing. Reality: They already have important jobs and marketing my book is not one of them. While being connected to their publishing house is a bonus in itself, it’s still up to me to get my book moving.

I thought once published, my book would show up in books stores around the world. Reality: I found out that hundreds of thousands of books are published every year. Seeing that book stores have limited space, I realized quickly unless I personally went to a book store and spoke to the right people, my book would not magically appear on their shelves.

I thought that once I was published, finding an agent would be a piece of cake. Reality:

Agents also already have important jobs and helping new, unknown authors is not one of their favorite jobs. I hear the pay is not so great.

I also thought once I was published, I would need an agent. Reality: Agents help books find publishers and then if they have enough extra time, they help with publicity.

If I had to sum up what I learned it would be this: Marketing is my job. I am not the only author published in any given year, getting my books into stores is my job, finding an agent is difficult and possibly unnecessary and publicity is still my job. (smile) Writing a book is only the beginning.

Aday: If we turned your “writing calendar” back six months, what would you do differently with regard to your writing?

Andi: Finally an easy question! I would write more, create a daily schedule for me to follow and stick to it! When I think of all the days that have gone by and I have not even sat down to try and write it makes me cringe. I didn’t have writers block, I had writers blank. Days and days of blank pages because I didn’t sit down and try. Writing is lonely only on the days when I am out of touch with my imagination.

Thanks Aday for this very interesting interview! I hope my answers are helpful and give other writers impetus to challenge themselves and keep writing!