Methinks children's book author and fellow Mexico aficionada Mary Lynn Patton's ears must have been burning because-- I didn't tell her-- I mentioned her book, Sounds of Mexican Beaches / Sonidos de las playas de México in my talk about travel writing and interactive books for the "Publish Now!" digital publishing seminar at the Writer's Center in Bethesda MD (just outside Washington DC) last Saturday. In fact, I had printed out a copy of her book's page on the iTunes bookstore to show people-- I'm guessing there were about 75 -80 in the audience. (I'm very down on audio visual presentations, by the way; I much prefer the old fashioned speaker at a lectern plus handouts-- but I digress. More on that anon.) Certainly, this question of digital publishing and interactive ebooks is a fascinating, timely, and pressing topic. By the way, yes, when you download Mary Lynn Pattons' books, you will see, they are bilingual, interactive, and include audio. For little kids, this is a total yay!

Lo, upon returning home and opening my inbox, I find Mary Lynn Patton's chock-full-of-links report on her experiences at recent literary conferences. She offered to share it, so herewith:

I’ve just returned from the Vancouver Writer’s Fest held on Granville Island and I’m so thankful to the Mexico Canadian Cultural Festival held every February in Tepoztlan for waking me up to this great event. This year’s agenda included an event titled “The iWorld is Upon Us” that I knew was on the program for me. I’ve written three bilingual iBooks for young children set in Mexico so insights into the world of self-publishing and marketing is my major interest at the moment. 
And here is what I learned in a nut shell: blogging and social media are how we get readers in the iWorld. The moderators discussed iBooks versus eBooks which was interesting and brought clarity on the pluses and minuses of each. However, the second part of the presentation was made by three successful authors of young adult (YA) fiction with reader numbers in the millions who built their community of readers on Wattpad, a Canadian company online that allows YA readers to access books for free. 
Then how do the sales occur? The books are put up in chapters and the reader can get the whole book now from Amazon if it is too good to wait. Plus readers write in to recommend books which passes the great books on to new readers. The key is to build a community of readers in the genre of your writing. For me that might mean a Mom’s blog on Baby’sFirstBooks! The Cybil’s Awards is another great discovery since it is for children and young adult fiction from blogger’s of these genres. 
All of this resulted in my coming road trip to Austin, Texas for the Kid’s Lit Conference, a conference for bloggers on young adult and children’s literature. If this is your writing genre, check out their conference agenda with keynote speaker Cynthia Leitich Smith and her blog Cynsations I will be in touch with new learning from Austin. 

-- Mary Lynn Patton
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>>Check out Mary Lynn Patton's previous guest-blog for Madam Mayo here, and the archive of all Madam Mayo guest-blogs here.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 05, 2013Guest-blogger Children's Author Mary Lynn Patton with 5 Links on Mexico and E-Publishing
Mary Lynn Patton
Delighted to see Mary Lynn Patton's first two children's books, Sounds of Mexico and Sounds of Mexico Maya, up in the iBookstore with links As Mary Lynn writes:"These two bilingual books star my canary, Pavarotti, who loves to sing along with the sounds of Mexico. He takes the reader on adventures set in the magical mountains of Tepoztlan in the first book and the sacred land of the Maya people in the second. I recall with a chuckle my first plea for your help in finding a publisher for these books and your suggestion to self-publish as an iBook (books with sound require a connection to iTunes so the Amazon/Kindle combination was not possible). My collaborators, illustrator Margarita Sada from Mexico City, Salvador Espinosa, sound engineer, and Judith Segura, translator, and I (all from Tepoztlan, Morelos home to theCanadian Mexican Literary Festival), worked together to publish. It was thrilling. By the second book we were becoming increasingly interactive in our presentation and for the third book we are considering the Read Aloud feature available in iBooks. I want a hard copy published book to hold in addition to these e-books but as the Madam herself asserts (Seven Reasons Why E-Books Will Be Big in Mexico) this works to reach readers here and now. A bit of research revealed the phenomenal escalating sales for e-books, $1.3 billion in 2012 (No, E-book Sales Are Not Declining). Mexico City has a new eBook publishing company called editorial-ink for digital books ( and a new digital library ( Children the world over from middle and upper class homes are receiving iPad minis in child-proof cases as their birthday surprise to download interactive books."
> Recent guest-bloggers here at Madam Mayo include novelistsVictoria WilcoxAmy Kwei, and Joanna Hershon
> Check out the complete archive of guest-blogs here.
P.S. My embryonic and to-be-frequently-updated list of recommended reading on Mexico is here.