Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Dimensionally Transcendental Jennifer Adams and a PRIZE!

Jennifer Adams is a master of making teeny weenie books. I'm sorry, teeny weenie is the professional term. You would know this type of book best as a board book. Jennifer Adams' started her career by taking full length novels and squishing them into tiny little board books. This feat would impress even the Doctor*. In Jennifer's most recent work (illustrated by Greg Pizzoli) she's managed to pack whole cities into tiny little board books. First novels, now cities -- better watch out or Jennifer will put the whole world into her books!

(*Doctor Who, and I'm very disappointed that you didn't know this reference.)

I first saw Jennifer's work at my local library. "Bride and Prejudice" illustrated by Allison Oliver is one of my favorites!  Her newer work includes "My Little Cities: London", "My Little Cities New York" and "My Little Cities San Francisco" all illustrated by Greg Pizzoli.

Look for a Prize at the end of this post!

Dani: What is the hardest part about what you do?

Jennifer: It takes a lot of patience to be a professional writer. There are very long waits between writing something and selling something, and between selling something and when you actually see the book on the shelf. You also do a lot of work that never makes it into print.

Dani: Which books (or writers) do you love the most?

Jennifer: So many great writers to choose from! Lately I've been reading a lot of middle grade novels. I'm in a book group with some of the booksellers I work with at The King's English Bookshop. Some of my current favorites are Pax, The War That Saved My Life, The Girl Who Drank the Moon, and Wolf Hollow.

Dani: How does your experience as an editor influence your work as a writer?

Jennifer: I've been really fortunate to come at writing from the publishing world. I know a lot about the publishing industry and how it works. It's helped me see trends and space in the market that make sense to publish into. It's also helped me to understand the life of my books as far as editing and design, as well as sales and publicity and marketing.

Dani: What is the submission process like for Board Books, and is it recommended for first time writers?

Jennifer: That's a good question. I think you would follow the same process as you would for picture books. In fact, a publisher might like a board book manuscript but ask you to develop it into a picture book, or vice versa. You'd need a complete manuscript for a board book, not just a concept.

Dani: Do you have any advice to those trying to illustrate a picture book dummy for Smart Dummies?

Jennifer: Keep working on your craft. Keep creating new work and taking classes. Attend workshops and symposiums and conferences. Spend time familiarizing yourself with what's being published currently, what's selling, what's winning awards. And enjoy the process.


Follow Jennifer:




Jennifer is giving one lucky winner a copy of "My Little Cities London" and "My Little Cities New York" both illustrated by Greg Pizzoli.

If you want to win these books just comment on the post below!

Smart Tip: Finish loose drawings for each of your pages/spreads. These will give you more of an idea of how your final work will look.  


  1. Board books are also known as teeny weenie books and that is a professional term? How funny is that! Makes me want to break into that field just so I could use it on my business cards. Loved the article...thanks for sharing with us.

  2. Patience - sigh. I naturally don't have a lot of it but I'm certainly learning to flex my patience muscles! Thanks for a great post Jennifer! Your books look darling.

  3. These teeny weenie books for teeny weenie hands look adorable! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and sage advice, Jennifer.

  4. Thanks for the information and inspiration. Love the city themed teeny weenie's :)!

  5. a whole big world a our fingertips!

  6. I love board books. Thanks for the clarification on submitting manuscripts for them.

  7. Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing your experience.

  8. Love the concept of those board books. I wouldn't even know where to begin putting a whole city into one of those teeny weenie books. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Dani, my fellow lovely Whovian, of course I knew it was a Doctor Who reference! :D

    Thanks to Jennifer for the insight into what it takes to do board books from an insider!

  10. My first response to this post was... Doctor Who! But also, thank you for the post!

  11. Being a writer takes a lot of patience, but it's obviously worth it. Your teeny weenie books are terrific Jennifer! Thank you for sharing the helpful info on creating board books.