So, the first ten days of January flew by, and it’s a quiet chaos in the offices as we prepare for the items on our to do list for 2017, but I wanted to take a minute to look back and review some of our memorable 2016 highlights.
For those of you who are new to our little corner of the publishing globe, Little Lamb Books is a children’s book publisher focused on producing faith-based fiction for elementary, middle grade, and young adult readers. We opened our doors in the fall of 2015, and spent most of 2016 laying our business foundation, networking with industry professionals, setting up organizational structures, and meeting with authors, agents, writing groups, and more. As with any new company, we faced a few set backs during the year, but 2016 was a good year for growth and investment in the mission God gave us.
The first part of the year, we were excited to participate in DFWCon hosted in Fort Worth by DFW Writers’ Workshop as well as attend Christy Wright’s Business Boutique, a conference endorsed by Dave Ramsey. Both conferences were informative and engaging, and we not only spoke to attendees about writing with a faith perspective in a few classes, but also gleaned as much as we could in sessions taught by passionate speakers, like Christine Cain and Rachel Cruz, who inspired, encouraged, and motivated us as believers, authors, and entrepreneurs.
Throughout the year we also participated in a variety of online pitch parties, including #Pit2Pub and #PitMad. These pitch parties were full of writers willing to narrow their amazing manuscripts down to 140 characters on Twitter in order to grab the attention of agents, editors, and publishers. We thought it was such a great avenue for faith-based writers as well so we decided to co-host one called #FaithPitch. Due to its success, we will be hosting two more in 2017, so stay tuned for more details and updates!
Moving offices, joining several industry organizations, being interviewed for a local magazine article, hosting our first online giveaway, and meeting with local publishers over lunch round out a long list of accomplishments in 2016.
Of course, the biggest highlight of our year was signing debut author Shelly Roark and her children’s picture book, The Bubble Who Would Not Pop! We are super honored to partner with Shelly and release this precious story Fall 2017. You can learn more about Shelly here and here. Welcome to the Little Lamb family Shelly!
Looking ahead, all I can tell you is that 2017 is going to be filled with ambitious days and exciting announcements! We are busy securing up to a dozen more debut authors and partnering with a variety of illustrators to create our Spring and Fall 2018 catalogs. We will be traveling to NYC to attend BookExpo America (BEA), one of the largest gatherings of industry pros each year, as well as attending the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) conference, which is being held in our own Dallas-Fort Worth backyard this fall.
While sometimes daunting, there will be housekeeping tasks on which we will focus our attention, including making adjustments to our website, pursuing partnerships with retailers and distributors, securing additional funding, and continuing to build a marketing plan that incorporates the needs of our authors and the desires of our readers. And, as previously mentioned, we are actively accepting solicited and unsolicited submissions in genres ranging from inspirational to comedy to historical fiction for kids ages 5 to 18.
Overall, I’m very excited about fulfilling the mission God gave us over two years ago, and I look forward to all that He is going to lead us to and through each day, week, and month of 2017. I hope you will follow along with us for this exciting time either by bookmarking our website, signing up for our monthly newsletter, joining us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or meeting us in person during our travels this year.
Wherever God takes us, we wish you blessings and lots of time to read!
Happy New Year,