One thing I've noticed is that local papers are collossally ignorant about vanity publishing-- apparently they think that if someone has a book listed on Amazon (via PublishAmerica!) that it's worthy of note.
Now, a lot of these stories are along the lines of "six-year-old a published novelist!" and "eleven year old illustrates her first book!"
Look, parents - I know you want to encourage your kids' dreams. But by getting their book "published" at a young age, you're just setting them up for decades of swelled heads and unrealistic expectations... If they want to see their work in print, have them submit to the Highlights kids pages or something. Then they'll actually have to compete with other talented kids.
Letting them think that they've "published" when really all they've done is pay someone to print their work is just silly. And you're not going to make your money back. ever. No one is going to pay $20.00 for a paperback book illustrated by an eleven-year-old when they can pay 15.00 and get a hardcover illustrated by a Caldecott winner.
And telling your child that she's "just as good as all those other illustrators out there" is going to mess her up. Because she's probably not just as good. And, if by some incredible miracle she IS just as good at age 11, she should really keep working at her craft, because by 25 or so, she could be one of those illustrators that defines a generation.....
Ok. End of Rant.