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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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A Crowd-Sourced Slideshow Project: All Book Lovers Welcome!

Deadline for submissions extended to: March 6th, 2015

As most of you already know, my first solo picture book, WHERE ARE MY BOOKS?, comes out on May 12, 2015. If you want to find out more about the book, feel free to read this review on Kirkus (starred, yay!) or on the Simon & Schuster website.

To help promote the book, as well as celebrate the love of books, libraries and bookstores, I'm putting together a family-friendly crowd-sourced video slideshow and hope you'll consider participating. Every person who sends me something by midnight at the end of March 6th will get a prize. Random draw prizes include a copy of the book when it comes out, hand-drawn doodles, fun stickers, tote bag, free private Skypevisit/Google Hangout for your young reader(s) and more (one entry per person). 

****NEW****** If you send a group photo, you WILL receive a hand-drawn doodle by yours truly.

WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR: Photos (with at least one person in them) that answer the question, "Where are YOUR books?" or very short video clips of people dancing in front of books. DEADLINE EXTENDED TO: March 6th, 2015.

If this isn't your thing, no need to read on. If you ARE interested, here are more details:

How to participate:


1. To get in the mood, listen to the soundtrack.

If you have trouble seeing the plugin above, you can go directly to Ookla The Mok's "Where Are My Books" Soundcloud page. Thanks to my friends Rand Bellavia and Adam English (a.k.a. Ookla The Mok) for writing, arranging, performing and recording this song. I LOVE IT SO MUCH! Thanks also to Michael Mallory (bass guitar) and Doug White of Watchmen Studios (guitar solo, editing, mixing, mastering). Click here for bonus info including a behind-the-scenes video of how the song was recorded. If you want to download the song, it's available on CDbaby (other digital venues later this year).


2. Answer the question "Where are YOUR books?" with a photo or a short video clip.

Optional: I'd also appreciate a piece of paper or a sign that includes "#WhereAreMyBooks" somewhere in the photo, or added to the photo. I'm hoping this will not only promote the title of the book but also help people discover other photos and posts.

Here are some suggestions, if you need ideas:

If you're a book lover (and aren't we ALL?): take a photo of yourself reading a book in one of your favorite reading nooks. Or an unusual reading nook. :-)

If you're an author or illustrator: send me a selfie of you holding your books, ideally in front of your bookshelf or in a library or bookstore.

Support your local library or bookstore by taking a selfie in the library or bookstore. Feel free to include other people, but please make sure you have their permission. If you're a children's book author or illustrator, feel free to hold your books in the photos if they're available in the library or bookstore, but please make sure the library or bookstore is showing as well. I especially welcome photos of librarians, teacher-librarians and booksellers.

If you're a teacher or teacher-librarian, you could pose with your classroom library or school library. Young readers are also welcome in the photo, of course, if you have permission from the parents. No names or locations will be included unless you explicitly let me know.

The above are only suggestions; feel free to be creative. Take a selfie anywhere else that answers the question, including in front of your own home library. Just please remember that I want this video to be family-friendly and be able to be shown in schools. If there's anything in your photo that doesn't work in this context, I will not use it.

VIDEO CLIPS ALSO WELCOME! Feel free to send me a short video of you (or you with others) dancing to the soundtrack, for example, in front of books. Please make it max 3-5 seconds -- remember the entire video is only going to just over ONE minute long-- and be aware that your audio will not be used...just the visuals. I may edit for length.


3. Send me your photo or video clip by March 1st, 2015.

If your photo is 3 MB or less, you can email it directly to If you're sending a video clip or if your photo or photos are bigger than 3 MB (or if you're not sure), please send via (when you're prompted for a Friend's Email, use Please note this email is to be used ONLY for submissions and will be checked when I'm putting together the video; for all other email, please use my regular Contact Form instead.

WeTransfer is an online file-transferring program which I love because it's so simple. I use it to transfer big files to some of the children's book publishers I work with.


If you decide post your photo online closer to the May launch date, be sure to add the hashtag #WhereAreMyBooks to help others find it.



Please be aware that while I appreciate all submissions, I may not be able to use all of them.

What will help guarantee your photos get chosen:

- If your photo includes a librarian or bookseller or young readers (with their permission or parents' permission, of course).

- If your photo shows people rather than just books. You don't have to be in it yourself, but please do get permission from the people who are.

- If your photo includes a sign or piece of paper with #WhereAreMyBooks on it. :-)

- If you send just one or two good photos rather than many borderline inappropriate photos.

- If your photos are good resolution, well-lit and sharp (not blurry or low-res).

What will make it more likely that your photos WON'T be used:

- If you have anything in your photo that is not appropriate or even borderline inappropriate for younger viewers.

- If your photo or video clip comes across as more of a commercial advertisement for your book (e.g. you just holding your book), I will probably not use it. If you're holding your book in a bookstore or library that carries your books, however, especially you're posing with a bookseller or librarian, then that's something different --- you're helping to promote that bookstore or library.

- If your photo is blurry, low-res or poorly-lit.

I reserve the right to NOT use any photo or video clip if I think it's inappropriate for whatever reason. Thanks for understanding.


Question: Will my name or the name of the bookstore/library/school be in the video?

Answer: You can stay anonymous, if you'd like. I will not include anyone's info unless I am given explicit permission.

If you don't mind your name being included, please specifically include that info in your email ("You have permission to list my name. Here's how it should be listed: xxxxxx"). I would also LOVE to help promote bookstores and libraries (including school libraries!); if you know they're ok with it, please include the properly spelled name and (if they have one) website URL. And again PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THEIR PERMISSION.

Question: Will you let me know if my photo/video is going to be included?

Yes! You'll get an autoresponder message when your submission is received, but I'll also send a personal email after I've put the project together. I may also contact you to verify info.

Question: So how are you going to be promoting WHERE ARE MY BOOKS? in the video?

I'm still figuring this out, but right now I'm thinking I'll open with the cover image and text that says something like "To help celebrate the launch of my first solo picture book as well as celebrate book lovers everywhere, I asked people to send photos and videos answering the question, "Where are YOUR books?" Here's what they sent me...."

I'll also give basic info about the book (cover again, publisher info) at the end of the video, along with the credits.

Question: I love the idea behind this project! How can I help spread the word?

Thanks so much! Feel free to download my promo graphic, which is a slightly bigger version of the one at the top, and post it where you think people might be interested.

And thank you for reading this far!