Tracy C. Gold


New Release Date for “Everyone’s Sleepy but the Baby”

Now releasing March 16, Everyone's Sleepy but the Baby

Well, publishing my debut in a pandemic has caught up to me. Due to shipping delays, “Everyone’s Sleepy but the Baby” will now be releasing on….record scratch…April 13th, not March 16th, and not the original date of March 2nd.

The GOOD NEWS is that I have more time to reach my goal of donating a few hundred books to babies in need via ShareBaby! (I’m at 140 right now, spread the word and help me get to 300??)

If you ordered this book for a baby shower or any reason that makes it a pain that it’s delayed, please let me know! I will likely get my author copies closer to the original date and might be able to help you out.

Details about preordering (and signed copies via The Children’s Bookstore!) here: https://tracycgold.com/preorders/.

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5 Tips for a Bring a Book, Not a Card Baby Shower

When I was pregnant, I went to a friend’s baby shower, and she asked guests to bring a book instead of a card. At first, I was hesitant—weren’t books more expensive than a card? But then I found the wealth of baby books available for about the same price as a card (under $10, and in some cases under $5), and I knew I had to do this for my own baby shower, too! After all, it was so much better to have lots of books we’d use for years than a giant pile of cards we’d eventually throw out.

Baby reads "Nita's First Signs"

Now that my daughter is almost three, I am so glad I did this! We have so many books that are signed by friends and relatives. Every time we read them, we think of that person. This is something we will treasure for years to come!

So here are my 5 tips to have a great “bring a book, not a card” baby shower. 

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15 of the Best Baby Shower Gift Books for Under $10

I did a “Bring a Book, Not a Card” baby shower, and it was absolutely wonderful! Every time we read one of the books my friends and/or family members signed, we think of them with love.

Of course, the trick to doing this without coming off as greedy to your family and friends is to find a bunch of inexpensive books to put on your registry! The good news is there is a wealth of amazing baby shower gift books to include.

The following list was compiled on 2/10/21, and it is possible that the prices of these books have changed since then. But at the time of this post, they’re under $10! These are all affiliate links. I will likely spend my commission on buying more books! If you’d like a longer list with options at more price point, I have listed some of the best baby shower books regardless of price here. None of them should break the bank!

“Everyone’s Sleepy but the Baby”: shameless plug, I have to start with the book I wrote as an exhausted new mom!

“Nita’s Day”: A great way to learn sign language with your baby!

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Writing a Brilliant First Page: Mini Virtual Class via JHU Odyssey

Looking to join a community of writers and get some feedback on your work? Join “Writing a Brilliant First Page,” my monthlong virtual course with the Johns Hopkins University Odyssey program. This is a “lifelong learning” class that is open to anyone, anywhere. This is a LIVE, highly interactive course that will be limited to 20 students. I will, however, record each class, so if you have to miss one, it’s no big deal.

The last class I taught with JHU Odyssey filled up, so register before all the spots are gone!

More details and registration information at this link!

Dates:April 6-27, 2021
Meets:Tu from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM EST, 4 sessions
Location:Online: Zoom
Instructor:Tracy C. Gold (me!)

“The first page of your novel, story, or memoir is key to capturing readers’ attention. In this class, students will analyze excellent first pages from published works of various genres and apply what they learn to their own work. Each student will have their first page critiqued by the class.”

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Free Virtual Event: The Basics of Writing Picture Books

Always wanted to write a picture book, but not sure where to start? Or maybe you’ve written a few and don’t know if they’re any good, or what to do with them now that you’ve written them.

Join me for a free class on “The Basics of Writing Picture Books” via the Orange County Library System on Tuesday March 9 at 6:30 to 7:30 pm EST. You don’t need to have a library card there to attend. Anyone can register at this link!

We’ll cover picture book writing basics, trends in the current picture book market, and what to do after you’ve written a book. Plus, we’ll do a fun creative writing exercise! Hope to virtually see you there!

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Print-at-Home Coloring Pages for “Everyone’s Sleepy but the Baby”

Oh my goodness, the art for “Everyone’s Sleepy but the Baby” is so darn cute, and now your kids can color some pages in themselves at home! (I mean, adults can too. It’s a super zen activity!) Adèle Dafflon‘s illustrations are so fun and baby-friendly, I’m thrilled to have them in this format!

To get the full-size pages to print at home, simply sign up for my email newsletter! I promise I don’t email too often; only when I have fun giveaways or big news! You’ll get a link to download the pages in a thank you email from me.

Meanwhile, here’s a sneak peak!

Thanks to Kapowza for the design help!

Since “Everyone’s Sleepy but the Baby” is a great book for new babies and baby shower gifts, and babies don’t do much coloring, one fun way to use these coloring pages would be for an older sibling of the baby who is receiving this book.

Remember, I am donating a book to ShareBaby for every book that’s preordered before March 2! Simply email your receipt to tcgpreorders@gmail.com. More details here.



The Ivy Bookshop

Barnes and Noble

Workman Publishing

I will also donate a book if you request that your local library purchase a copy and let me know.

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Literary Agent Query Template and Favorite Query Writing Resources

I sent hundreds of queries over the years of my search for a literary agent, and I had a darn good request rate (about 40%, on some projects!). I also read thousands of queries as a literary agent intern. While I didn’t end up actually getting my agent from cold querying (full story here!), I’m a pretty dab hand at writing query letters and helping other writers improve their letters.

So, here is my favorite format for query letters. Caveat: there is no one right way to write a query to a literary agent. You have to do what makes your book sound amazing. This is just what worked for me, and what I loved when I was going through the slush pile as an intern.

I’ve also included a whole bunch of resources, including links to successful query letters, at the end of this post.

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28 of the Best Baby Shower Books that Go Beyond “Goodnight Moon”

Books are amazing baby shower gifts! In fact, for my baby shower, I asked everyone to bring a book instead of a card (many board books are the same price as a nice card!). I put lots of books on my baby shower registry and my daughter has a wonderful library. Giving books as (socially distanced) baby shower gifts is an even better idea due to Covid-19, as many parents don’t have the same access to the library as before.

Great baby shower gift book, "Everyone's Sleepy but the Baby"

Now that my daughter is a toddler, I have two picture books coming out in 2021, and one is a perfect new baby book! It’s called “Everyone’s Sleepy but the Baby,” which, come on, is guaranteed to get a chuckle at a baby shower (in my unbiased opinion). However, unlike another personal favorite, “Go the F** to Sleep,” you can actually read it to your child. It came out in April, 2021.

But of course you need more than one book for a baby shower registry! Thus I’ve listed some of my favorite new baby gift books. My aim is to go beyond the classics everyone already knows about, like “Goodnight Moon,” because I got 4 copies of this when my baby was born! She’s enjoyed them all in different spaces in our house, but it’s nice to have variety.

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How to Gear Up Your Toddler for Staying Outside (For Covid-19 Safety)

My daughter has been going to a local preschool that has kept the kids almost completely outdoors due to Covid-19. She LOVES it! She’s been going since October and they’ve taken the whole class indoors for about one hour due to a rainy cold day. That’s it!

Friends have been asking me what I do to keep her warm. Her school sent us a supplies list but it wasn’t exactly easy to find things small enough for her (she’s 2.5 but even a lot of 2T stuff is too wide for her, so anything that came in generic “kids” sizes or that didn’t offer 2T/3T was a no-go). I did a lot of digging, and I’m here to share my list of my favorite outdoor gear for toddlers. I bought this all in somewhat too-big sizes hoping she’d grow into it. Even though it’s only been a couple months, it is already starting to fit her better.

For context, we are in Maryland, and the worst weather we’ve had so far has been windy, rainy, and about 40 degrees. I may add to the list as the weather gets even colder.

Some of these links are affiliate links, meaning I get a little money if you buy these products, which I will likely use to get my daughter more winter gear.

Rain Pants
It’s hard to stay warm when you’re soaking wet, thus my daughter’s school recommended rain pants. The best place I found for toddler rain pants was Oaki. They aren’t cheap, but I bought them in a size up so they’ll last. The tie-waistband makes sure they stay on and she has plenty of room to grow. I bought two pairs so one could live at school in case of sudden rain. She also frequently wears these to school when it’s not rainy, as wind protection.

Ava in her North Face raincoat
Ava in her North Face raincoat

Rain Jackets
My daughter has a ridiculous amount of rain jackets . . . four!! . . . but one stays at school just in case, and the others are frequently wet from being rained on, spilled on, or washed, so four has actually been the right number of rain jackets.
North Face
Land’s End (they have great sales so don’t buy full price!)

*Note that on any waterproof product, the waterproofing can wear off. You can extend their life by using a waterproofing spray. I would especially recommend this if you’re using hand-me-downs.

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Preorder “Everyone’s Sleepy but the Baby” and I’ll Donate a Book

If you’re looking for a baby shower gift book or durable volume for a toddler to enjoy, Everyone’s Sleepy but the Baby, is available for preorder! It comes out on April 13th, 2021. I definitely recommend preordering as it looks like the first print run may sell out quickly.

If you preorder a book and let me know, I will donate a book to ShareBabya Baltimore-based charity that gives baby items to families in need.

All you have to do is forward your preorder receipt to tcgpreorders@gmail.com and your preorder will be counted (or order through this Amazon affiliate link and I’ll know automatically). You should receive an automated response right away. I will also check the emails manually; if you preorder multiple copies, I will donate multiple copies.

The book is available for preorder most places where books can be bought. I might be signing books/dropping off stickers at the following local stores, but details are pending everywhere but The Children’s Bookstore, which has agreed to ship signed copies! Yay!

Signed Copies

The Children’s Bookstore, 4717 Harford Road in Lauraville (Baltimore, MD): preorder via this direct link for pickup or delivery. Write in the order comments who you want it signed for!

National Bookstores

Amazon: I am using an affiliate link to track sales here; your preorder will be AUTOMATICALLY counted with no need to send a receipt, but you still should so you can get the printable card about the donation I include in my auto response!


Barnes and Noble

Workman Publishing

Local Bookstores

The Ivy Bookshop, 5928 Falls Road, Baltimore, MD: preorder at this direct link for pickup or delivery

Greedy Reads, 1744 Aliceanna Street in Fells Point: preorder at this direct link for pickup or delivery

Greedy Reads, 320 West 29th Street in Remington: preorder at this direct link for pickup or delivery

Charm City Books, 782 Washington Blvd in Pigtown: preorder at this direct link for pickup or delivery (local delivery is free!)

 I will also donate a book if you request that your local library purchase a copy and let me know.

More details about the story behind this campaign here!

Praise for Everyone’s Sleepy but the Baby

“My new favorite bedtime read, EVERYBODY’S SLEEPY BUT THE BABY has it all: pleasant rhyme and rhythm, cute illustrations, a plot every parent can relate to, and most important at bedtime, brevity! I smiled the whole way through.”
Amanda Rawson Hill, author of “You’ll Find Me”

“With the gentle, rhythmic cadence of classics like Goodnight Moon and fun art featuring frazzled parents, Everyone’s Sleepy but the Baby is perfect for the modern (sleepy) parent to lull their little one at bedtime.”
June Smalls, author of She Leads: The Elephant Matriarch

“It’s a scene familiar to any exhausted parent: everyone is drowsy, sleepy, ready to hit the hay—except the baby, who is wide awake! As the parents, the dog, and even the toys wind down for the night, the baby wants to play, scrub-a-dub, and coo. Gold’s gentle, rhythmic text and Dafflon’s bright and lively illustrations combine for a perfect bedtime read for sleepy parents and (eventually) sleepy babies. Bonus: it’s just the right length for that ‘one last bedtime story’ that sets the mood for sleep. I am looking forward to adding it to my go-to baby shower gift list.”
Kathy MacMillan, children’s librarian and author of Nita’s First Signs and Nita’s Day

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