Tag Archives: book

Reader Q&A: Self Publishing

29 Aug

Hey, remember me? Like you, I’ve been busy doing the summer juggle: a little vacation, a little work, a little downtime, and a whole lot of making memories.

Now fall is waiting in the wings. My evening walks greet a purple sky and school supplies sit ready by the door. One thing I’m especially looking forward to is finally meeting my illustrator in a couple weeks. Would you believe that, after all the time we’ve spent working remotely together on The Denim Jungle, we still have never met?!

In other words, life is full and ever-changing and happy, and my little book continues to bring me delightful surprises.

Speaking of delightful, I recently had a reader reach out with a few questions regarding their own book idea. I thought I’d share our conversation, in the event it could help any of you would-be authors get your dreams out into the world. Continue reading

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The Denim Jungle Storytime – From Us to You!

19 Jan

storytime,reading,book,Angela,SzabaHello, friends. How were your holidays? I hope 2017 is treating you well. A new year brings new challenges, but it also brings new hope.

Last year was quite a whirlwind for me, with the release of my first book, The Denim Jungle. But one of my favorite parts was all the story times I got to do at libraries, classrooms, and book stores.

So I thought: Why not give my readers, far and wide, their very own story time? And who better to help me than my daughter, Szaba? By now, she knows The Denim Jungle front to back.

Here’s our video, which includes explanations about the details and even some secrets hidden inside… along with Szaba’s own special blend of silliness, of course.

We hope you enjoy it! Continue reading

WOW! Writer’s Digest Review of The Denim Jungle

1 Dec

Writers Digest Self Published Book Awards

I am absolutely floored by this review of The Denim Jungle I just received from the 24th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Books Awards.

And it couldn’t come at a better time. Last week was the one-year anniversary of finally having my book (MY book!) in my hands, and tomorrow is the sixth anniversary of losing Sue, who inspired me to make it. To say it’s a bittersweet time of year would be a profound understatement.

I miss you, Sue. Thank you for being you. Thank you for motivating me (and so many others) to imagine and commit and create. Thank you for giving me this connection to you. But most of all, thank you for helping me be the kind of mom who can show her kids that dreams can be made reality with hard work and heart.

24th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards
Entry Title: The Denim Jungle
Category: Children’s Picture books

Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding.”

  • Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 5
  • Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 5
  • Production Quality and Cover Design: 5
  • Plot and Story Appeal: 5
  • Character Appeal and Development: 5
  • Voice and Writing Style: 5

Judge’s Commentary

Visually stunning and engaging, designed for multiple reads that will reveal new details each time. Author has put a lot of excellent thought and work into designing this book with multimedia elements, creating visually pleasing pages to delight the young reader and older reader alike. Author scores with a terrific premise Continue reading

8 Reasons to Self Publish (and 3 Reasons NOT to)

29 Sep

bookstore_couthbuzzard

Many of you have been coming to me with book dreams in hand, wanting to know my tips for how to get published.

I’ve posted quite a few resources here, but if you truly want to create a physical book that you can hold in your hands, here’s the one question you need to answer first:

Do you want to traditionally publish or self publish?

I spent years weighing the pros and cons of both, finally choosing self publishing. Does that mean I recommend self publishing to everyone? Hardly.

Here are my crib notes from years of research and my own experience. If you’ve published your own book and want to weigh in, by all means, add your nuggets of knowledge in the comments below.

Here are my top 8 reasons to self publish (and 3 reasons not to).

Please note that these tips are specific to publishing a children’s picture book. If you’re looking to self publish something else (say a paperback book without pictures, for instance) the financial considerations are considerably less, but some of the other points will still apply.

Continue reading

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

8 Sep

School is back in session, and it’s that time again for everyone’s favorite fall report: What I Did on My Summer Vacation.

It’s been a wild summer for The Denim Jungle. We’ve traveled. We’ve partied. We’ve made friends. And, oh, how we’ve imagined—and crafted!

Imagination Payne Library

Here are a few highlights… with more in the works for the fall, including a crafty storytime at the free Imagine Children’s Museum book carnival on Friday, September 16, from 6-8pm and a fun little book event at Zoka in Seattle’s Tangletown the morning of Friday, October 14, 2016. (School’s out that day, so bring the kids on by and hang out with us.)

Interested in having me come to your library, school, or event? I’d love to know more! Email me at thedenimjungle @ gmail.com.

Publishing your own book? Hopefully this list will provide some ideas to help get your creation out there in the world for readers to enjoy.

Continue reading

Favorite Read-Aloud Picture Books

9 Jun

Bedtime Reading The Denim JungleOne of the great joys of parenting (for me) is reading books aloud to my kids. It’s fun for us all and good for them, too.

I remember long drives to Grandma’s house when I was a kid, my mom reading chapter books from the front passenger seat. Little House, Charlotte’s Web, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

My kids (five and two) are still a bit young for chapter books, but I read picture books to them nightly. Increasingly, my eldest reads books to us, too, which adds its own joy.

I wonder when our read-aloud days will end? I’d like to say hopefully never, but I don’t want to be the creepy mom in the Love You Forever book.

Here are a few of our current favorites. I’ve started a Pinterest board of Great Read-Aloud Picture Books, too, where I’ll continue to add favorites.

Happy reading together! Continue reading

How to Lay Out a Picture Book with InDesign

2 Jun

laptop computer loading printing coffee

I’ve lost count of how many people have told me they want to make their picture book someday. That’s why I created a whole Writing & Publishing tips section on this site (under The Archive, upper right). Let’s make that someday now.

One of the sticky points I ran into was digitally laying out my book. Once I had the final copy incorporated into the final art, there was definitely a “What now?” moment. Assuming you’re not a graphic artist, it’s intimidating! But it doesn’t have to be. In this post, I’m going to walk you through how to lay out a picture book with InDesign, step by step.

Continue reading