Tag Archives: writing

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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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

Creative Generosity

28 Oct poem,poetry,szaba,green lake

poem,poetry,szaba,green lakeThe world could do with a little more creative generosity, don’t you think?

What do I mean by creative generosity? Giving of your imagination and creative talents for no other reason than to be happy and help make other people happy

There’s a writer who frequents our local park, gifting poems to people as writing practice for herself and her own special contribution to the community. She wrote one for my daughter the other day, and it was so on point, I teared up a bit.

I wanted to share it with all of you, as well as its message:

Don’t let anyone hold you back… and that includes yourself.

And, who knows? Maybe this will inspire your own bout of creative generosity. My daughter is already planning a front yard lemonade-type stand… but free, with her homemade stories and art as the treats.

Wishing you all a creative, generous day.

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

Resources for Aspiring Authors

4 Feb

SCBWI Writer Kindness QuoteEver since I published my children’s book, would-be writers have been coming out of the woodwork asking for advice. And I couldn’t be happier to help. I want to see more dreams take flight!

That’s why I’ve created a new Writing & Publishing page under “The Archive” section (to the right, up top), to share resources for aspiring authors. Here you’ll find a long list of tips and ideas I’ve accumulated over the course of my publishing adventures. As I encounter more, I’ll keep adding to it, too.

I also highly recommend Continue reading

12 Days of Christmas Thankfulness: Day 8

1 Jan

 

Deborah ReberMy birthday (the big 4-0!) has added an extra patina of sentimentality and reflection to this holiday.

In honor of this milestone—punctuated by finally unlocking the “author” achievement—I’ve assembled my own 12 days of Christmas* Thankfulness.

Day 1: Cathy Taylor
Day 2: Sue LaGow
Day 3: Ryan Hylland
Day 4: Jackie Phillips

Day 5: Szaba and Von
Day 6: Shanon Lyon
Day 7: Kerry Colburn
Day 8: Debbie Reber
Day 9: Peter Orullian

Day 10: Christa Charter
Day 11: Steam Crow
Day 12: 1986 State Fair Judging Panel

These people dropped the breadcrumbs that led me straight to this publishing adventure. Thank you, all, for your part in this Hero’s Journey. Continue reading

Five Years

2 Dec

Leaves FrameFive years ago today, I said goodbye to my mother-in-law. I made her many promises that day, not the least of which was fulfilling her dream for The Denim JungleContinue reading