Poetry Friday: “Lost My Touch” AND New Publishing news!!

(Tell you what…let me share the publishing news first. Because I can’t wait to tell you!)

Earlier this week, I signed a contract with The Little Fig, LLC, a new, small independent publisher in Kansas, to package a book I’ve written titled Everybody Counts!, a creative nonfiction picture book for children 5-9 years old.

The premise: twelve children of diverse ethnicities are putting on a street fair; as they prepare, each teaches the reader how to count to 10 in their native language, as well as a popular ethnic food item and child’s name. In this way, the term “everybody counts” takes on a double-meaning. Phonetic pronunciations of the numbers and sidebars are also included.

You cannot imagine the amount of time it took me to research this manuscript completely – making sure numbers were correct, pronunciations were correct, everything was correct. WHEW. And I’ve had a lot of positive feedback on this book since I started submitting it 3 years ago…unfortunately, no editors have felt it was quite “right” for their particular companies.

But then editor Sherry Bushue at The Little Fig – which specializes in multilingual books for children – read my manuscript and immediately contacted me the same day I sent it out. (When does THAT ever happen??) She and her submissions team all loved it, so we decided to move forward!

Their newest packaged title, from Star Bright Books

As I mentioned earlier, the contract we signed is for “packaging” the book. What is that, exactly? Well, in very basic terms, The Little Fig is going to edit the book, hire an illustrator, and put the book together as a showpiece to larger publishing companies. If one of those companies decides to publish the book, they purchase the rights, pay us an advance, and everything moves forward just as it normally would in traditional publishing.

So yes, The Little Fig will act as an agent, of sorts. As a small publisher, their resources are limited and they don’t have the distribution of the larger houses; packaging a book like this allows them to get their books into more kids’ hands, and the larger publishers don’t have to expend as much effort putting the book together, because it’s already done!

I’m very excited about this new chapter (pardon the pun) in my writing career. Book packaging is a business model with which I was unfamiliar, but am very happy to undertake.

Now, then…today’s poem!

I’ve spent the past week and a half downloading all the picture & video files from my cellphone’s Cloud in order to free up space. Consequently, I have been happily reminiscing! I came across this photo of one of our Great Pyr mixes, Rosie, who was not happy about the mama painted turtle that had decided to lay her eggs next to the kennel…and the following lines popped into my head:

Lost My Touch

I’ve barked, I’ve growled,
I’ve pawed the ground.
I’m really irritated!
She just sits there, fat and round –
but not intimidated!

– © 2018, Matt F. Esenwine, all rights reserved


Poet/author/blogger Buffy Silverman is hosting today’s Poetry Friday roundup, so be sure to head on over for all of today’s links and fun!


DON’T ASK A DINOSAUR” is available everywhere!

Only one more confirmed signing lined up right now – although there are a couple of others in the works, which I’ll share as soon as we nail down the details. If you are ever in the Southern NH-Eastern MA area, I hope you’ll stop by wherever I am and say hi!


Purchasing personalized signed copies ONLINE? Yes, it’s true!

You can now purchase personalized signed copies of Flashlight Night, Don’t Ask a Dinosaur, and ANY of the books or anthologies I’ve been part of!

Just log onto my website and click the cover of whichever book you want, and the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH will let me know, I’ll stop by and sign it for you, and then they’ll ship it. Try doing that with those big online booksellers! (Plus, you’ll be helping to support local book-selling – and wouldn’t that make you feel good?)


Thank you so much to all the librarians, bloggers, and parents who are still discovering “Flashlight Night!” 


Did you like this post? Find something interesting elsewhere in this blog? I really won’t mind at all if you feel compelled to share it with your friends and followers!

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25 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “Lost My Touch” AND New Publishing news!!

  1. Exciting news! Congrats and good luck with the book packaging venture — sounds like you’ve got a great concept.

    Enjoyed the poem too — we just saw one of those turtles in our back yard recently. 🙂


  2. Joyce Ray

    Thanks for the fun poem and for sharing your Yippee news! I absolutely love the title and the premise of the book. Congratulations!


    1. Thank you, Joyce. Part of the lengthy research I had to do before I even started was trying to track down similar books – and although there were a few that taught counting in another language, none of them taught as many numbers, or taught them in this way. Here’s hoping for good things to come!


  3. Congratulations, Matt–Everybody Counts! sounds like a winner (with a terrific title!) My hound and I watched a big painted turtle lay her eggs in the yard this week. The hound was alert, letting me know what was going on, but surprisingly did not try to disturb the turtle.


  4. Kay Mcgriff

    Congratulations on your book news! The book sounds fabulous. I would have loved something like that for my daughter when she was younger. Poor Rosie and the turtle–at least she inspired a fun poem!


  5. Congratulations on your terrific news, Matt! Sounds like a book I would have been really interested in as a child since I used to have fun learning the numbers from 1-10 in as many languages as possible. I also enjoyed your poem—those darn turtles… never in a hurry, they act like they own the place!


  6. Congratulations Matt, sounds like a wonderful new book! I hadn’t heard about packaging before either you’ll have to keep us posted on it’s journey. Fun poem too, that turtle must be tough, thanks!


  7. Pingback: Poetry Friday: The Summer Shindig is Here! – Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

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