Tuesday 17 December 2013


Completely passionate about Children's literature I now have over ten years experience in the delightfully crazy world of children's publishing and can't imagine doing anything else - like the very hungry caterpillar I have emerged from my bookselling cocoon into a fully fledged marketing manager most recently at Templar Publishing. 
I am ALWAYS looking for exciting new projects and opportunities so get in touch - For now thanks for visiting  'Book Sniffer for Hire'. 

Emma O'Donovan ...A potted history.

  • Studied Illustration and Graphic Design at Camberwell college of Arts
  • Ottakar's / Waterstone's - Children's Regional Support Manager for London
  • Manager of the Ottakars TinTin concession at the National Maritime Museum - managing a team of 8
  • Marketing Manager at Hachette Children's Books - supporting Lauren Child, David Melling, Mick Inkpen, Chris Mould, Leigh Hodgkinson, James Mayhew, Clara Vulliamy, Emma Dodd and many many more - also launching brands such as the mighty Beast Quest 
  • Marketing Manager Fiction, Picture Books, Big Picture Press, Pictura at Templar Publishing - Levi Pinfold, Paul Thurlby, Jonny Duddle, Adam Stower, Simon Bartram, Emma Yarlett, Gemma O'Neill, Owen Davey, and many more.
  • Group Marketing Manager - Bonnier Publishing
  • Freelance Publishing Consultant







  • Marketing Campaigns - picture book and pre-school, Incorporating, press mailings, advertising, on-line content
  • Social media management / training for authors and Illustrators
  • Copy writing for advertising
  • Design briefing
  • Concept brainstorming
  • Panel chairing
  • Illustrator scouting
  • Book reviews 
  • General marketing - Previous campaigns include Charlie and Lola's 10th Birthday  / Kipper / The Famous Five / The Ologies 
  • Picture book submissions - reading through 'slush piles' and picking out potential treasures
  • Advice on Arts Council applications
  • Website / portfolio consultation
  • Exhibition curation
  • Blog tours
  • Quotes for book jackets and back cover copy
  • On-line / print content generation - Guest blog posts and features - Examples Pictura 
  • Social media training for authors and illustrators
    including: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Blogger 
    (set-up, teaching the basics and maintenance)
    Example - Emma Dodd  Adam Stower
    Troll and the Oliver 
  • Author / Illustrator partnering for special projects
  • General non-specific consultation on picture book projects
  • Acquisition consultation / Submission analysis
  • Pre-school and picture book reviews
  • Event support / Storytelling / arranging books in rainbow order / shelving / making tea / drawing / de-cluttering / popping bubbly corks / imagining things / chatting about cheese and general sparkle and morale boosting
  • I am more than happy to discuss your requirements and budgets, I have a broad knowledge of the publishing industry and am adaptable and accommodating. 

Please get in touch for more information regarding my freelance rates or just a friendly chat about books.

Twitter: @maybeswabey
Facebook: Book Sniffer

BLOGGING: The Book Sniffer - My faithful companion

In 2008 I came to the realisation that I had bored everyone I know to utter saturation point by talking about picture books and illustration. 

There was only one thing for it, I had to find a wider 
(less fatigued) audience, and so it began. 

There peering at me from across the room perched upon bookshelf groaning with picture books was a small dog shaped cushion, just begging for a voice. 

The Book Sniffer was born...


From that moment on I became an avid and passionate voice for beautiful picture books and wonderfully talented illustrators. I blogged away for a few months reviewing books which had inhabited my shelves for some years, it was utterly liberating.

I am lucky enough to call some of the countries absolute best illustrators my dear friends so unashamedly I called upon them to help me with my blog - Dearest James Mayhew, Clara Vulliamy, Emma Dodd, Chris Mould and David Melling were amongst the first illustrators to appear on the blog and soon I was gathering new followers at such a pace that I was able to contact illustrators I had admired for years but not had the fortune to work with like Chris Haughton and Polly Dunbar. 

To my surprise and delight publishers who I had long admired began to send me books to review which has been a complete privileged. I can't thank you enough for your support and the continuing stream of inspirational books each and every one I treasure. 

I now have a regular picture book review feature in WRD magazine (tBK) and review for Little Media parenting magazines.

So for the past 5 years I have travelled the country interviewing illustrators, visiting studios, sniffing books and supervising the Book Sniffer at various soirĂ©es, and do you know what dear chums? it's been the best time ever. 

STATS: (17/12/13)
  • Blog Followers 240 
  • Twitter followers @maybeswabey 2970
  • Facebook 'Likes' 1683
  • Blog hits - OVER 100,000 

Authors and illustrators who have been interviews for the Book Sniffer Blog - 

Alex.T.Smith / Clara Vulliamy / James Mayhew / Andy Stanton / Steven Lenton / Benji Davies / Leigh Hodgkinson / Chris Haughton / Polly Dunbar / Claudia Boldt / Oliver Jeffers / Jonny Duddle / Adam Stower / Chris Judge / Chris Mould / Levi Pinfold / Grahame Baker-Smith / Paul Thurlby / Holly Surplice / Tom Mclaughlin / Emma Chichester Clark / Sarah McIntyre / Guy Parker-Rees / Neal Layton / Shirley Hughes / Alison Murray / Giles Paley-Phillips / Shaun Tan / Mark Chambers / Tor Freeman / Emma Yarlett / Gemma O'Neill / Michelle Robinson / Kate Hindley / Nadia Shireen / David Roberts / Sam Lloyd / Cressida Cowell / David Melling 

On my wish list:
Jon Klassen / Quentin Blake / Lauren Child / Ben Newman / Matias Adolphson / Emily Hughes / Michael Foreman - and MORE     

THANK YOU - to each and every one of the authors and illustrators who take the time to answer interview questions and send me books, to all of the designers and editors who work to create these perfect picture books and finally to the publicity teams at the publishing houses who continue to ensure I receive a steady supply of sniffing material.  

Footnote: I'd like to say a special THANK YOU ...To all of those people who said I shouldn't write a blog because I couldn't spell, or that my punctuation and grammar weren't very good and to those who said I shouldn't bother at all and especially to those who said the voice in which my
blog was written was a 'bit too strange' - I salute you! Here's to another 5 years. 


'It has been a real pleasure to have worked with Emma. I’ve rarely met someone that, from the beginning of our working relationship, instilled in me a sense of belief and trust and reliability. Her professionalism is second to none. Not only that, but her easy going nature and bubbly personality ensured we quickly became firm friends…a friendship that has never clouded her judgment or professionalism. To know that you have someone of that caliber looking after and supporting you during an event has been invaluable. During our time working together I honestly couldn’t have asked for more.'

- David Melling Illustrator 

Highlight Campaigns

The Paper Watch Project:

  • Raising funds for Breast Cancer Care 
  • co-ordinating 86 illustrators worldwide
  • See some of the bespoke watches here 
  • Wordpress site with over 5000 hits per day 
  • over £3000 raised for charity 
  • Watch the trailer here 

Emma Dodd Social media presence:

  • To increase author Emma Dodd's profile online
  • Construction and population of bespoke website
  • Twitter feed maintenance
  • Illustrator page administration on Facebook
Buy a Gift - Young writers competition

Participation as a judge on the panel of the BuyAGift.com young writers competition. 

I am more than happy to discuss other campaigns I have worked on including... 

  • The Annabel Karmel Book of the month
  • The White Company
  • Me Books
  • Charlie and Lola's 10th Birthday
  • Lauren Child's travelling exhibition
  • Rainbow Magic, Beast Quest
  • Jonny Duddle
  • Pictura brand launch - The Big Draw
  • My work with Little Media