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This Spring I debuted two new books, both with briny, beachy, boaty themes. LUCY LOVES SHERMAN’S BEACH, a tale of companionship, crustaceans, and a clean-up, splashed out from Sky Pony Press in March. This story is the sequel to LUCY LOVES SHERMAN.

HARBOR BOUND launched from Disney * Hyperion in May and follows a variety of vessels heading for port after a stormy day at sea.

It took a whole crew of talented people (and one grumpy cat), to produce these books. So how can you assemble your own super squad of book builders? Check out the following for inspiration and insights into who should be on your #bookcrew and how they can make your publishing journey smooth sailing.

CRITIQUE PARTNERS: I’m in two top notch online critique groups. The best part of having multiple perspectives is that they all usually pick up on similar problems in a story. Nothing like a good critical consensus to help you cut lines! These VIPs also help spread happy book news, as my friend Andria did with this puppy post on Facebook.

MY AGENT: Oh Captain, my Captain! Well, okay, my agent’s name is actually Kathleen. But she really is like a captain because she pilots my career and keeps me out of rough waters. She guides me from beginning to end – giving feedback on stories, submitting manuscripts, negotiating contracts, tracking the book’s progress, AND promoting the finished product. Honestly I don’t think she sleeps.

PUBLISHER: I’m referring to all the folks at the publishing house who ensure my book is ship shape. From the editor’s input on revisions to the publicist’s marketing mastery, they keep a weather eye on every step of production and… wait for it… “sails” (ha!). Lucky for me my publishers have set up events, sent me posters, AND even taken behind the scenes pictures for use at my school visits. And just check out this crazy crew from Sky Pony rocking ridiculous glasses for my book HYPNOSIS HARRY!

ILLUSTRATOR: I’ve worked with an ocean of awesome artists – from water colorists in California to cartoon kings in Spain. Illustrators are a key component of any book crew and I highly recommend collaborating with them on marketing. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Meg Walters on multiple books, and she generously provided bookmark templates, coloring sheets and craft ideas.

MY FAMILY: New books mean launch parties and author visits, and I couldn’t pull them off without my mom (who is basically a professional party planner), my husband (who carries heavy stuff), and my kids (who entertain other children and demonstrate the crafts). My family also helps me during the writing process by eating take out when I’m on a deadline and providing an endless stream of book ideas. As for the grumpy cat, he is emotional support.

BOOK BUYERS: I couldn’t end this post without mentioning the teachers, librarians, book sellers, and of course the kids (and parents) who purchase and share our books. They are the most important part of any #bookcrew. So if you speak at a school, be grateful for the hospitality. If you sign at a store, offer to help set up and clean up. Above all, when you write, whatever you write, remember the readers.


To learn more about Catherine, please visit her website: and follow her Instagram @catherinebaileybooks

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