How To Draw A Coloring Book

One of the upcoming fall books we are most excited about here at Abraham Associates HQ is Chronicle Books' entry in the hottest trend of 2015: coloring books! Here's a blog post from the always-illuminating Chronicle blog by illustrator Steve McDonald, creator of FANTASTIC CITIES!

His method involves photographs and sketches, a digital projector, and originals up to six feet square:

I’ve always loved drawing buildings. When I was young, I even had aspirations of becoming an architect, but ended up as an illustrator instead. When creating a piece of art, the most appealing part for me has always been the line work. Even when I’m working on a painting, the part I enjoy most is always the initial drawing. I really love lines, and I think that shows in the finished work.

I have my daughters to thank for how Fantastic Cities came together as a coloring book. After creating artwork focusing on individual and small groups of buildings, I started to veer toward larger groups and then aerial views of cities. My daughters saw this work and told me that they thought it would be fun to color in the lines themselves (whereas I might normally keep going past the line-work stage to color it myself).

Fantastic Cities: A Coloring Book Of Amazing Places Real And Imagined
Steve McDonald
9781452149578 | $14.95 | Paper
Chronicle Books

Chelsea Green announces a crash drop-in title on presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders!

Coming in (hopefully) early September!

Chelsea Green's early announcement on the book describes it this way:

"Meet the essential Bernie Sanders—an authentic and uncompromising champion of the people.

Independent United States Senator Bernie Sanders—with a thirty-five-year career in public service, first as Burlington, Vermont’s mayor, then as Vermont’s sole representative to Congress, and currently as a United States senator—is now campaigning to become president of the United States. His goal is to build a movement to take back our country from the rich and powerful, and return it to its rightful owners—we, the American people.
Sanders’ common sense, populist message is resonating with Democrats, Republicans, independents, as well as ordinary working- and middle-class Americans from all walks of life, including millennials, seniors, veterans, immigrants, environmentalists, union workers, and more.

In this short, accessible book, author Jonathan Tasini draws heavily from Sanders’ ample public record of speeches, statements, and interviews, and couples his working-class spirit with specific legislation he has championed on a number of core proposals that comprise a broader people’s agenda for America, including:
A national, single-payer health care system; 
Free public higher education;
Taking on wealth and income inequality; 
Preserving Social Security;
Caring for our veterans;
Ensuring civil rights for all; 
Combatting climate change;
Reforming Wall Street, and much more."


Essential Bernie Sanders and His Vision for America
by Jonathan Tasini
Chelsea Green | 9781603586672 | $14 | Paper
pub date (as of now): 9/30/15



Accusing Amazon of Antitrust Violations, Authors and Booksellers Demand Inquiry: NY Times

"Five years after Amazon secretly asked regulators to investigate leading publishers — a case that ended up reinforcing the e-commerce company’s clout — groups representing thousands of authors, agents and independent booksellers are asking the United States Department of Justice to examine Amazon for antitrust violations.


"The Authors Guild, the American Booksellers Association, the Association of Authors’ Representatives and Authors United said in letters and statementsbeing sent this week to the Justice Department that “Amazon has used its dominance in ways that we believe harm the interests of America’s readers, impoverish the book industry as a whole, damage the careers of (and generate fear among) many authors, and impede the free flow of ideas in our society.”

A great tip today from Books & Whatnot for store owners and managers.

Beth Golay offers up solid advice for bookstore staff every weekday in her email newsletter, Books & Whatnot. (Seriously, it's worth the five minutes she asks of you each day.) 

Today's advice is on getting control of your social media logins and passwords:


"If your bookstore has been around for a while, your social media history probably began with a website. Then you might have added a MySpace profile, which was abandoned to create a Facebook page, closely followed by a Twitter account. Later you probably considered Flickr, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat.

And if you're like most businesses you either created these profiles yourself or, more likely, you had a younger person on staff create them. Login names are probably a litany of email addresses from staff members come and gone, and some might be personal email addresses instead of logins related to the store.

If you only have 5 minutes to devote to marketing today, use those 300 seconds to create a social media master spreadsheet. Make a list of login names and passwords for each account you have for the store. Take a look at the administrators with permission to edit your Facebook page. Does everyone on the list still work for you?"


New Harbinger to publish the Gender Quest Workbook – a new book for teens exploring their gender and identity

There's been a lot of gender identity discussion in the media lately (thanks, Caitlyn!), and a lot of the dialogue has probably been more sensationalistic than actually sensitive and meaningful. Into this gap, New Harbinger Publications (the noted publisher of hundreds of helpful books on therapy, personal growth, mental health, development, and coping strategies) has moved up the publication date of the latest volume in their Instant Help Books for Teens series – The Gender Quest Workbook. Originally planned for next February, the book now has an early November ship date.

We couldn't be more proud to help bring this new tool to bookstores and help teens, parents, and caregivers find the right path.

Here's more about the book from the New Harbinger catalog:

"If you are a transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) teen, you may experience unique challenges with identity and interpersonal relationships. In addition to experiencing common teen challenges such as body changes and peer pressure, you may be wondering how to express your unique identity to others. The Gender Quest Workbook incorporates skills, exercises, and activities from evidence-based therapies—such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)—to help you address the broad range of struggles you may encounter related to gender identity, such as anxiety, isolation, fear, and even depression.

"The activities in this book will help you explore your identity internally, interpersonally, and culturally. And along the way, you’ll learn how to effectively express yourself and make informed decisions on how to navigate your gender at home, school, work, or in relationships."

Gender Quest Workbook: A Guide For Teens And Young Adults Exploring Gender Identity
by Rylan Jay Testa, Deborah Coolhart & Jayme Peta
New Harbinger | 9781626252974 | $16.95 | Paper | Nov 2015


Say hello to SAD SHOP CARDS, the new indie greeting card maker we're representing!

We're very proud and happy to introduce our customers to Katie Davis, proprietor of Sad Shop Cards, a Seattle-based indie greeting card company. You should check out her Twitter, too.

We think her cards are fresh and modern and funny. Sad Shop cards have been featured on the Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, and Zooey Deschanel has Liked them! (And if they're good enough for Zooey, they're good enough for us.)

Many bookstores on the West Coast and East Coast have been carrying Sad Shop cards already, and we're so glad to be able to help spread the love here in the midwest. Check out her line at Etsy – so handy for browsing – and get in touch with your favorite Abraham Associate to place an order today.

Nobrow Press | A Big Victory for William Grill!

The judges said of Shackleton’s Journey, ‘The detailed small illustrations wonderfully bring to life the intricacies of life during the journey, whilst the breath-taking larger illustrations provide a strong sense of scale and highlight the enormity of the natural world. This is an exciting, quality book which provides a true experience and reminds us that it is the people, not the journey, that truly matter’. 

Flying Eye / Nobrow author William Grill becomes the youngest winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal in 50 years for his stellar book, Shackleton's Journey.

Stacy Wakefield Discusses Debut Novel by Akashic Books (courtesy of Galley Cat)

Stacy Wakefield‘s debut novel, The Sunshine Crust Baking Factory (Akashic Books), tells the tale of a young woman’s quest to join the anarchist squatting scene in New York in 1995. Upon arrival, Sid discovers that the East Village is crowded and ends up in the uncharted territory of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The lively novel brings to life the misfits and eccentrics that inhabited the neighborhood decades before The Wyeth Hotel and Blue Bottle opened up.

GalleyCat caught up with Wakefield to discuss the new book. Wakefield talks about how she used documentary research to inspire a work of fiction; landing a publishing deal even though she couldn’t nab an agent; and the process of designing her own book cover.

By Dianna Dilworth on Jun. 18, 2015 - 2:20 PM

Original article here.


'Hansel & Gretel,' by Neil Gaiman and Lorenzo Mattotti, reviewed in the New York Times

The New York Times Book Review has posted a rave review for the new Neil Gaiman book, Hansel & Gretel from TOON Books. And it may well be the best reviewed Gaiman book, from a man who regularly earns rave reviews.

"Written with a devastating spareness by Neil Gaiman and fearsomely illustrated in shades of black by Lorenzo Mattotti, the newest version of “Hansel and Gretel” astonishes from start to finish. It doesn’t hurt that the book itself is a gorgeous and carefully made object, with a black floral motif on its pages’ decorated borders, along with red drop caps and tall, round gray page numbers. (Published by Toon Books, the New Yorker art director Françoise Mouly’s venture into richly illustrated books for children, it comes in two formats, with an oversize one that includes an afterword about the evolution of the tale.)"

Gaiman, who has won every award a writer with a taste for the dark and fantastical could possibly win (Hugo, Nebula, Newbery), ends on an unequivocal high note, reminding us that horror should always be wielded along with some small possibility of brightness.

Standard edition:

Hansel & Gretel by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Lorenzo Mattotti | TOON Books / Candlewick Press | 9781935179627 | $16.95 | Cloth

Deluxe edition:

Hansel & Gretel - Deluxe by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Lorenzo Mattotti | TOON Books / Candlewick Press | 9781935179658 | $29.95 | Cloth