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  • Writer's pictureManju Howard

Author Nadine Poper's Glimpse into Working with a Small Press

Updated: Jul 29, 2019

Welcome to the blog, Nadine Poper! Congratulations on your books -

RANDALL AND RANDALL illustrated by Polina Gortman

and PORCUPETTE AND MOPPET illustrated by Alicia Young

Coming Fall 2019 through Blue Whale Press

As writers, we have many decisions to make. Decisions that are important to our manuscripts such as word count, effective use of language, and the biggie…who to submit to. For my traditionally published debut picture books, I felt that a small indie press was where I wanted my books to call home. I signed with Alayne Kay Christian and Steve Kemp of Blue Whale Press. My debuts PORCUPETTE AND MOPPET and RANDALL AND RANDALL (Fall 2019) have been in good hands ever since.

Alayne and Steve have included me in every decision from the beginning. I was sent a list of illustrators that they had their eyes on for me to give my input. I was also encouraged to add any illustrators I felt would be a good fit. We decided on the illustrators together. Once the illustrators were signed, I was given a production schedule to follow along. When initial sketches were available, I was able to view them. I was sent colored spreads as they became finished. I was encouraged again to give my input. When ARC’s were ready to be printed, Steve sent PDFs to me and the illustrators to proof read. If I thought something in my text could be improved upon, we would discuss the issue together and come to a consensus.

In addition to including me in important decisions, Steve and Alayne are available to me at the drop of a hat it seems. I can send them an email and get prompt responses. We are a team and I always feel like a valued team member. They are always available, just a phone call or email away. Alayne has created my book trailer. Steve has scheduled reviews. Blue Whale Press and their upcoming books have a social media presence. Both of my books will be available in hardback and paperback. When the pre-order window opens, they will push that announcement out through various channels, Facebook, Twitter, and their website. Steve is actively reaching out to book festivals and award opportunities to showcase not just my books, but all Blue Whale projects.

Alayne is a teacher as well as a publisher. She is generous with her knowledge so much so that she has created a picture book writing course titled The Art of Arc, and offers short, valuable, and affordable webinars on all aspects of writing for children. As one of her authors, I have access to these webinars and the course at no cost. You can find out more at

I have no experience with bigger houses or an agent to make a comparison. However, I am a fan of the personal connection and intimate feel of Blue Whale Press. They have a private Facebook group just for their authors and illustrators whom I call my “pod mates.” Alayne and Steve love what they do and are committed to making great books.

Nadine is an elementary school librarian in Pennsylvania. She has 3 self-published picture books about her other passion, dachshunds. A portion of the proceeds of these books is donated to Coast to Coast Dachshund Rescue. Visit her website at

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