Kids Book Editor goes live

February 27, 2010

A screenshot of It’s a rare pleasure to design websites for clients who know what they want from a website – and who know how to write good web content. Children’s book editor Monique Stephens is such a client; and her recently launched website,, was, as a consequence, a joy to build.

One would expect, of course, that a former book editor for Penguin, Scholastic and Chronicle Books would know how to turn out good web content. Monique’s English is punchy and businesslike – and yet full of personality. She jumps between short and longer sentences to add pace; she throws in occasional colloquialisms for emphasis; and she isn’t afraid to break the rules of textbook English when doing so proves effective. When my copy needs to turn on a dime I always run it past Monique.

Nonetheless, what I appreciated most of all when writing this site was Monique’s clarity about her goals. She knew exactly where she wanted to carve out her market niche (and she had the search engine keywords to get her there). Most of all, she had the holy trinity nailed down from the start:

  1. What goods and services do I offer?
  2. Why do visitors to my site need these goods and services?
  3. Why do they need these goods and services from me – rather than from my competitors?

With a client like this, web design is almost too easy!

December 5, 2013

Update! Monique is now offering children's book writing classes for aspiring writers. See The classes are offered online or offline, with the first offline class due to take place in London in early 2014.

I've seen Monique's teaching materials—and they're excellent, of course. She gives great advice on building characters, structuring stories and the like. But what I found most interesting were her industry-insider insights about, for example, hiring illustrators, using agents and writing in verse. That's her big competitive advantage: As a published writer and an experienced editor, she knows children's books from both sides of the editor's desk. If writing the next Harry Potter was my ambition, I think I'd find Monique's course invaluable!