Abi Cushman's Newsletter and Cover Reveal

Today, I'm sharing (with permission) an example of what Arree and I think is a fantastic newsletter. As a business owner, building your email list is an essential part of connecting with the people who will read and buy your books, and in order to build your list, you have to offer something of value. Abi Cushman's newsletter is a great example of offering value. I couldn't get all of the design elements exactly the same in my blog post as they were in Abi's newsletter, but this is pretty darn close.

Hi (Reader),

I am very excited to share a few things with you. First is this picture my daughter drew of me the other day. She explained, “You have that heavy ball attached to you because you’re a monster.”

The second thing I wanted to share is that this monster has a 🌟new book🌟 coming out next summer from Viking Children's Books!

It’s a picture book with die-cuts called Animals Go Vroom!, and it challenges the reader to guess what goes roar, hiss or honk. (You may think it’s a goose making the honking sound, but turn the page and the honks are actually coming from the taxi the goose is driving.)

Here’s the cover:

The cover has a die-cut that is perfectly lined up to peek through to the illustration on the title page!*


If you’re wondering how I went about making this book with holes in it, the answer is that I made a lot of little book dummies where I cut out a bunch of holes and then realized they were in the wrong spot a bunch of times.

Here is one early dummy I made of the book:

Here you can see I cut out a little rectangle to show the tiger face on the next spread.

Then turn the page, and it reveals there’s a tiger in a truck that’s going ROAR!, and the “roar” gets incorporated into the dust cloud in the art.

Now take a look at the final art and die-cuts for the tiger sequence in action:

You may have noticed I varied the shapes of the die-cuts so they weren’t just rectangles. And my art director, Jim Hoover, helpfully suggested that we avoid shapes with pointy edges. No fingers at risk of being stabbed by the pages here!*

If you’re interested in seeing even more of my process, head over to Betsy Bird’s blog and read my official cover reveal interview!


Animals Go Vroom! comes out July 13, 2021 and is already available to pre-order!

I will be doing personalized signed copies through Bank Square Books in Mystic, CT. Write the name(s) you'd like the book personalized to in the comments field during checkout.

Bank Square offers free shipping anywhere in the U.S., and each pre-order will come with some cute Animals Go Vroom! stickers!

You can also pre-order a copy from:
Amazon | Your Local Bookstore | BAM! | Barnes & Noble | Target | Walmart

Free Activities!

To tide you over for the next 7 months before Animals Go Vroom! comes out, I started to make an activity guide, and I wanted to share a few activity sheets with you now.

P.S. If there are any activities you’d like to see in the full activity guide, let me know!

Thank You!

Finally, as 2020 comes to a close, I just wanted to thank all of you for coming along on this journey with me! Your support means so much to me.

Here I am with my reading buddy in Bank Square Books’s new pop-up shop in New London, CT right next to the Garde Arts Theater.
* I hope.

Thanks for reading! See you next time!

Okay, this is Myrna again. Wasn't Abi's newsletter fun to read? Thanks, Abi, for letting us use it as an example!

Animals Go Vroom! Giveaway

I'm pre-ordering a signed copy of Animals Go Vroom! (with cute animal stickers) for one random commenter. To enter, tell me something you noticed about Abi's newsletter that you could use to make your own more valuable to your email subscribers. (If you don't have an email list yet, hypothetical answers are just fine.) For extra entries, share the post on social media and let me know in a reply to your original comment. You can also have an extra entry if you subscribe to Abi's newsletter. This giveaway will end on June 15 at midnight (PST).

Blog Contributors

Instructor Photo: Myrna Foster

Myrna Foster writes and edits content for Storyteller Academy and the WriteRiders Newsletter for SCBWI Nevada. She has spent a lot of time teaching and coaching children, including five years as a preschool teacher. She's also worked as a journalist, and Highlights High Five has published six of her poems. 

Arree Chung is an author/illustrator and the founder of Storyteller Academy. Arree’s Ninja! series has received starred reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal. Kirkus also gave a starred review to Mixed, which recently won the FCGB award. 

Today Arree lives a creative life, making stories for children. Arree spends most of his time making picture books, writing middle grade novels, and sharing his love for art, design, and storytelling with kids and dreamers everywhere.

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