A writer's worst nightmare must be to get an agent, get a trilogy deal, get published, get great reviews... and then be told that nobody's bought their book and the whole thing gets cancelled. This is what happened to Nick Green, with his novel The Cat Kin blogged about in the Guardian a few months ago. I keep hearing good things about this book so have now finally ordered it on Amazon. I'll report back on it later.

I have to say that in all the piles of children's review copies that the poor old postman lugs to my door, The Cat Kin never showed up.

Carroll never had to deal with this kind of stuff! He published his own books, using Macmillans as a sort of "wrap." He paid for the cost of everything. I don't know if he had a publicity budget but probably not. It was a smaller slower world.

Publicity is so important. The best series for little children I've seen for many years is about Bing Bunny by Ted Dewan. Bing was published by an excellent publisher, David FIckling Books - but they don't seem to have put much into marketing it.

"Writer's Digest" makes the point that you need to market your own work like crazy, but Ted's done this, as anyone who checks his website out will see. Few individual authors and illustrators have the money to do huge marketing and merchandising campaigns, though.

We reckon that anyone with tiny children actually NEEDS Bing in their life and Sidney and Arthur certainly wore their copies out. The books are perfect for small children, full of humour, with simple, bright yet interesting pictures, and they deal with just the kind of things children do.

In one, Bing makes a picture for Daddy, in which the glue gets out of control. In another, Bing and his sidekick Flop (or "Fop" as he is also known by some) make an elaborate picnic only to discover it's raining and they must have the picnic under the table instead.

It slays 'em at nursery.