Perhaps the pinnacle of my career so far! -)

Perhaps the pinnacle of my career so far! -)

Regular readers of this series know that my very first book, A TROOP IS A GROUP OF MONKEYS, was released a week ago today. It seems that set the tone for what could only be described as a miraculous week. So much to report! πŸ™‚

Quotes on Gratitude

β€œFar better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” — Theodore Roosevelt

β€œWhether you think you can or you can’t, you are right.” — Henry Ford

“I like working hard for what I earn. It gives me a sense of gratitude, and that’s the only way I can truly appreciate it.” — Sasha Azevedo

Gratitude list for the week ending February 23

  1. TROOP debuted in the iTunes store at #72 and reached as high as #59!! That is VERY difficult for an app with a new author that’s not tied to a major brand or franchise. THANK YOU to everyone who purchased it within the first few days of release. Those purchases and ratings helped keep TROOP within the Top 100 for FOUR days!
  2. Speaking of ratings, TROOPers (people who agreed to buy the app on or near release day) rallied to the cause. As of this writing, TROOP boasts 23 ratings and reviews – most of which are five stars. Again, THANK YOU!
  3. TROOP received excellent reviews from Digital Storytime, Publisher’s Weekly, InkRobin, Joanna MarpleΒ and more!
  4. Seeing the first photo of an actual child reading and playing with TROOP set my heart on fire!
  5. For a brief shining moment, TROOP was ahead of The Lorax app in the iTunes store. To be shoulder to shoulder with a childhood (and adulthood for that matter) hero was an out of body experience. My kids think I’m a celebrity now. Or at least they did for 5 minutes…
  6. In other news, the first annual Writer’s Renaissance retreat sold out this week. I spent an hour on the phone with contacts in Italy on Wednesday and I am getting SO excited to fulfill this dream. Woot!
  7. I’ve also made great progress on setting the details for yet another wild publishing ride which will culminate (hopefully) in the publication of a book that is near and dear to my heart. Watch this space!
  8. I was accepted as a speaker for the NJ-SCBWI annual conference in June. I’ll be teaching How to Write and Sell a Storybook App. I know they receive loads of submissions, so I consider it a huge honor to be selected.
  9. I have received another piece of INCREDIBLE news that I am not at liberty to share yet, even though it’s killing me. I hope to within the next few days so again… Watch this space!
  10. Popping multiple corks of celebratory champagne in ONE WEEK is a good place to be!

What are you grateful for this week?

Categories: A Troop is a Group of Monkeys, Apps, Digital Publishing, Gratitude Sunday, SCBWI, Storybook Apps, Travel, Writer's Renaissance, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,



  1. Your gratefulnesses (it’s a word because I said so) are so exciting. I will, indeed, be watching this space for the news that you are bursting to tell.

    I’m grateful today for my wonderful friend who is the first person to read any of my writing — she and I just had a wonderful weekend sending writing back and forth by email (she’s working on one project, I’m working on another, although sometimes we collaborate). I’m also grateful for having written “THE END — ROLL CREDITS” on the first draft of my novel for grown-ups tonight. (I call it that to distinguish it from a book for kids — when I call it an adult novel, people tend to think it’s risque. It isn’t, although it’s definitely not a kid’s book.) It needs TONS more work, but it’s good to have that first draft done! (Not sure I’ll get to a PB this month, though.)

    • Beth, I am SO proud of you for finishing your novel!! Having never written anything longer than a picture book (yet), I can’t even imagine how exhilarating it must feel to have that first draft completed. I hope you take the time for a well-deserved celebration of that achievement!

      • Thanks so much, Julie! Um… time to celebrate? I did stop myself from getting up in the night to re-read… does going back to sleep count as a celebration? Today I start working on the plot map, to ready my novel so that it can be my work-in-progress for the Plot Structure online course I’m taking from Cheryl Klein beginning on March 14th.

    • Yes, congrats Beth on making it to the end of your first draft. That’s huge. All the best with revisions!

  2. Julie, what a wonderful and exciting week! I’m so happy for you! I can’t wait to see what other surprises you have in store. πŸ™‚

  3. Julie, BUBBLY NEWS! Pour us all a glass of sparkly! Great gratefulnesses (love that word, Beth).
    And I have many of them today too, too numerous for a post.
    I too will be looking for the upcoming announcements, Julie.

  4. Wow!! Julie — it is so exciting and inspiring to hear all your wonderful news this week. I can’t wait to hear your upcoming news!!

  5. Congratulations, Julie! Your successes this week are a testament to your talent, dedication, innovation, and incredible generosity to the PB community. Can’t wait to hear the rest!

  6. congratulations, julie! what a great week for you and i’m thrilled you’re seeing the fruits of your labor of love. i look forward to hearing about the other goodies on the runway.

  7. Awesome! All such exciting news. I especially love the quote by Henry Ford. πŸ™‚

  8. Oh my goodness, Julie…what a beautiful post! I am so very happy for you to see so many of your efforts blossoming…a veritable garden of glorious gems. πŸ™‚
    I had a question…perhaps this is a good place to post it…the 12×12 forum doesn’t always like me.:) Julie, is there any way for us to thank Mr. Fraser for his incredible generosity and much appreciated expertise? Not only did he read dozens and dozens of manuscripts…he also offered welcome advice and suggestions, along with positive comments for each one of us. I’m sure we would all like to thank him. πŸ™‚

  9. Wow! Move over Lorax, here comes the troop of monkeys making its way to the top! Congratulations, Julie! I can’t help all my exclamation marks! And that secret announcement must be driving you bananas. Lots of awesomeness your way because of your hardwork, patients, and perserverance…not to mention talent too!

  10. So glad these things are happening for you. You have been generous to others on the path. You have worked hard. It makes me so happy every time you post your good news.

  11. Now THAT’S what I call a week! Congratulations on all of it, announced and to-be-announced. I’m happy to be a proud Trooper myself!

  12. Wow! What a week! So incredible πŸ™‚ And of course now I’m dying to know about the other news πŸ™‚ Congratulations on your success – it’s not everyone who can say they were shoulder to shoulder with the great doctor of children’s literature! πŸ™‚

  13. What a fantastic week,! Congratulations on the launch. I love that you’ve been invited to speak at the NG SCBWI conference this summer. You certainly have been on fast forward this past year.

  14. How exciting and inspiring! Thank you for being you – I’m really appreciating it and feel thankful for being connected in even a small way. I submitted PB idea today – my first ever – thanks to you and your passion.

  15. Congrats! I wish you continued success with TROOP! Have fun tracking your sales! It is a very exciting time for you — can’t wait to hear more.

  16. I am so happy for you, Julie! What a wonderful time. I need to find some people with an apple ipad. We have every other device under the sun.

  17. I always enjoy your Gratitude Sunday posts. I don’t always get around to commenting. Wow Julie, you are on a roll! You go girl! Congrats on all these exciting happenings. I love the Roosevelt quote.But they are all so fitting to your hard work and accomplishments. Enjoy!

  18. YAY you! We have TROOP! Can’t wait to read it !!!

  19. Lots of good stuff here, Julie. Congrats! I think you’re approaching that point at which you’re going to need an entourage. We could probably get a few people here to sign up. I’d do it.

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