Writer fulfills dream (literally and figuratively)

by Ronda Sarner Anderson
(Hutchinson, MN, USA)

Weezer the Sneezer

Weezer the Sneezer

Writer fulfills dream (literally and figuratively) with "Weezer the Sneezer Finds a Home"

In January 2009, I woke up from a dream. I jotted down a complete children's book in the middle of the night. The irony is I don't have children and haven't read a book to a child since my grown nieces were young.

Weezer is a sick kitten that showed up at our house on a Friday night. Our dogs hated her, so she lived on our front porch and in our garage for a good long time. I heard her struggling for breath one morning and gave her the name. I immediately took her to the vet.

In March, 2009, I attended a Writer's Workshop through Community Education. I learned the difference between traditional publishing and self-publishing. I chose self-publishing. (With a local printer.)

Visit Weezer the Sneezer.



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Jan 05, 2010
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Awesome
by: Evelyn

It is an awesome illustration, and I like that it's simple, yet expressive. Well done!

Jan 05, 2010
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Nice story!
by: Steve B. (webmaster)

I've often awakened with an idea from a dream, but it's always turned out (once my head cleared) to be much less developed than I thought it was.

I'm glad your dreams are more well-rounded!

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Persistence Pays Off!

by Imogen Daley
(London, UK)

Rebecca & the Strangest Garden on Earth

Rebecca & the Strangest Garden on Earth

When I began writing my first children's fantasy book, Rebecca and the Strangest Garden on Earth, I didn't realize how complex self publishing would be! I simply wanted to author a fun book that would teach children to respect the environment, encourage green living, and promote a love of gardening and all things outdoors.

What I have learned is that persistence in writing a book is only the beginning. Once the book is complete, there is a lot of persistence required to self-publish, market, and sell the book as well. While I had months with no sales and very little interest, I had to keep working at it instead of giving up and giving in.

Persistence isn't always easy and it usually isn't fun, but it pays off in the end and is a MUST for a self published author!

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Dec 03, 2013
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How'd you do it?
by: Steve B. (webmaster)

Imogen, I'm wondering if you could give us more of a sense of what all that persistence looked like!

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Self-Publishing Puts You in the Driver's Seat

by Melanie Hunter
(Maryland)

Steel Magnolia, by Melanie Hunter. Illustrated by Tiara Hunter

Steel Magnolia, by Melanie Hunter. Illustrated by Tiara Hunter

I recommend self-publishing, because it lets you take charge of your creative project and its marketing. Instead of waiting for someone to take a chance on you, if you have a story that you're dying to get published, self-publishing allows you to do that.

(I used Xlibris.)

You have to put in more work to market the book, but it's your baby. You birthed it. You believe in it, so of course you're going to do everything you can to promote it.

My book is about a flower who becomes dissatisfied with her life and longs to experience life outside of the confines of her flower pot. My 14-year-old daughter is the illustrator.

She's an amazing artist, and I'm so proud of her!




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Nov 09, 2011
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Marketing my book
by: Anonymous

So far, I've been using word of mouth among friends and family, handing out business cards and bookmarks (accessories) that come with my publishing package. I'm also using social media. I posted info on my Facebook page and started a separate Facebook page for my book. Also, I'm researching book awards that I can apply for to get my book reviewed and get more exposure. Also, I plan to approach bookstores to ask them to include my book among their inventory.

It's already available on Barnesandnoble.com and Amazon.com, but I think it would be more effective to have it on bookshelves where kids (and parents) can choose it for themselves based on the outward appearance and title.

I'd welcome any more marketing ideas that people may have.

I plan to contact children's book bloggers and the National Library Association to get them to read my book.

Nov 09, 2011
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Cost of self-publishing
by: Anonymous

I published my book using the full-color package instead of the children's book package, so I saved an enormous amount of money. I paid under $600 to publish it. I paid it in monthly installments last year. Then I got busy and didn't submit my book with illustrations until this year.

Nov 09, 2011
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Self-Publishing
by: Anonymous

How much did Xlibris charge you to self-publish your book? What type of package did you choose?
How was your experience with Xlibris?

Nov 08, 2011
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Tell us more!
by: Steve B. (webmaster)

How are you marketing your book???

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Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda...So I did!

by Monica Epperson

A Heart with Two Homes

A Heart with Two Homes

Reflecting back over the fifty-six years of my dad's life, I could hear his words echoing in my head. "Woulda, coulda, shoulda, but I didn't."

He was an incredibly talented songwriter and keyboardist. He even toured with Ronnie Dunn in his early forties. But like many creative people, he was a procrastinator.

Although his days were cut short, his legacy of promoting creative expression lives on through me, his only child.

Being egged on by the twelve year old girl who could recognize and verbalize feelings about her life experiences and continually wrote self-help fiction for her peers, the writer emerged.

Now a thirty-four year old woman equipped with understanding and experiences that more and more children are facing in our world, the writer became a voice for the children of divorce, a business woman, a book publicist and a nonprofit founder.

As my head hits the pillow, sometimes I hear a faint voice say, "woulda, coulda, shoulda...so I did!"




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Aug 29, 2008
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Touching subject for a book
by: Steve B. (webmaster)

Monica, I love your book's cover and title. Very professionally done. Bravo!

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Great Experience, and Easier than I thought

by Salvatore Puglisi
(Wayne, NJ 07470)

It's Best to Be Me

It's Best to Be Me

I designed the book and prepared all of the necessary files, so it was easier and cheaper for me than for someone who has to purchase these services.

Customer service at Booksurge has been great.

An Amazon listing is the key to selling self published books.

Visit Sal's website, It's Best to Be Me.



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Mar 03, 2008
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Sal, we want to know so much more!
by: Steve B.

Sal, I'm happy that you're happy, but nothing I've heard before indicates that simply having an Amazon listing means you're going to sell books! Clearly you went to the trouble of creating a website to support your marketing efforts, for instance.

I admit it's a great looking cover and a cute title. But do you really think that alone is getting people to find AND buy it on Amazon?

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My voyage of discovery in the self-published world

by Brenda Spalding
(Bradenton, Florida)

A bat story

A bat story

When I started out to publish my children's book, I knew nothing about the publishing world. I was lucky enough to find a publisher that held my hand through the whole adventure.

Yes it was expensive for me. Was it worth it? Only time will tell. I have grown more confident in my ability to become a decent writer of children's books, but even more, I have this knowledge to pass on to others trying to follow the self-published route. Not all self-publishing houses are the same or offer the same help to their clients that mine does.

Some will print your book and leave you hanging with no idea what to do next to get your book out there. Others promise eveything and deliver nothing. Strategic Publishing has gotten some very undeserved bad press, but they have been up front and exteremly helpful all the way, and I have just signed to have them do my next book.

With them I felt important and that they cared about my work.

Visit Brenda's book, Just Batty.




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Self Publishers Championing Above Their Goliath

by LaVonne and LaShawn
(Tampa, Florida)

Interesting and Reliable Twist About the Dinosaurs!

Interesting and Reliable Twist About the Dinosaurs!

My sister and I are writers, cartoonists, and illustrators of a host of children's storybooks, devotionals, and illustrated cartoon bibles, as well as fiction novels and screenplays.

We have self published about 10 books for kids/youth, with our cartoon bible having recently been accepted for publication.

We have our own website, and we have been doing many things to promote our website and products. We have had moderate success with traffic, however, minimal sales so far, but we have GIANT FAITH that that will all change, because GOD will favor what we have put our hand to do.

We consider each step and effort we have been making to be a SLING SHOT to hit our very TALL GOLIATHS (i.e. challenges, obstacles, lack of sales, etc.).

So I encourage self published authors to NOT get discouraged but rather persist in their marketing efforts, learn and apply various marketing and advertising strategies, and trust GOD to do the rest in helping them to obtain the victory.

So why not be like little DAVID, running NOT away from your GOLIATH, but rather toward him or them, because David had decided to not know the meaning of quit. Therefore, don't give in unless the LORD instructs you to do so. Remember the FATHER knows what is best.

POD through CreateSpace

Visit Illuminating Kids.




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Feb 12, 2011
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Counting on God
by: Steve B. (webmaster)

LaVonne, LaShawn, thanks for your post.

I'm gonna reserve my comments on how often I think God comes through for self published authors...or how much he should. We have different beliefs on the subject.

I will give you a heads up that all the tech on your website really taxed my computer and browser. That's something that could potentially hurt traffic. Simpler is better, and content is king!

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A Growing Experience

by Tawnya Bulger
(Beach, North Dakota)

Katrina: Growing Wings

Katrina: Growing Wings

Published through Tate Publishing for a fee that will be returned once sales hit their desired number.

Tate Publishing has done the printing, illustrating, website design and helped me in a whole host of ways. "Katrina: Growing Wings" has been made into an audio book and has other merchandise as well.

I wrote a children's story 4 years ago. I was struggling with being "just" a stay-at-home mother of two small children: 4 months and 20 months.

I contacted Tate Publishing and sent them a copy of my manuscript, and they loved it. I received a contract shortly thereafter and started paying them some installments.

A series of events gave us the rest of the money we needed in a matter of months and "Katrina" was born!

Tate has assigned me an illustrator, website designer and marketer/publicist. I have recently gotten advice from Lauraine Snelling about getting my book out there to be reviewed by different people and companies, so that is the route I am now taking.

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Oct 19, 2010
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Providing hope
by: Andrea Lozano

Hi Tawnya,

I read about you and your work in "A growing Experience" and even went to your website. It was a fun experience, and I'm very impressed with the things you have done and are setting out to do. Your story gives me hope that some day I will accomplish my own dreams and aspirations. I am just starting on my journey as a "published book author."

Thank you for writing about your experience for people like me to read.

I wish you continued luck and success.

Sincerely,
Andrea Mary Paez Lozano

Wish me luck. I have big aspirations, and thank you again.

Oct 07, 2010
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The Tate experience
by: Steve B. (webmaster)

Tawnya, thanks for your contribution. For those who don't know, Tate Publishing is a Christian company that tries to edge around being called a self publishing company. But, as Tawnya explained, she pays an upfront fee.

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Eggstremely hard work

by Jon-Paul McCarthy
(Brighton, England)

Eddie the Egg

Eddie the Egg

I decided to publish my book after having a kid of my own; the book was written when I was 9, which seemed a fun idea.

I had no budget to spend but decided to go for it (with Authorhouse), opting for the package which would put the book into Borders. Almost as soon as everything was paid for, Borders went down.

I tried to get the money back but was offered a publicist instead, which I had to pay more for. Nothing has really been done, and when the book eventually came out, I found it was printed in the U.S., which I was not told.

This then meant my £5.99 book had £6.10 shipping added to it, meaning no one was going to buy it. Now it is for sale on Amazon for £8.49, free shipping.

It has taken a lot of work to get to this stage, and I make almost nothing from each copy sold. I have managed to get it into Waterstones and have pushed far too much money into it now.

It takes a lot of hard work and time with no real money back from it. It's just nice to have a book I can dedicate to my son.



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Jan 26, 2011
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New Books
by: Jon-Paul

Yes, good news:

My book has been republished and now costs £3.99.

Also, two new books have been made:

"Eddie the Egg and the Magical Eggplant"

and

"Eddie the Egg in Return of the Cheddar."

Feb 19, 2010
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Egg in a 2nd basket
by: Steve B. (webmaster)

Jon-Paul, I'm amused! You tell us things didn't really work out and you're simply hoping for someone to discover the book someday (and presumably publish it traditionally), but...

Your website informs us you're coming out with a sequel in May!

Something tells me you're a glass-half-full kind of guy at heart.

Thanks for posting.

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Life is short!

by Julie Fox
(RI, US)

Ugly as a Toad!

Ugly as a Toad!

Life is short! Make your dreams come true and inspire people of all ages!

I am the self published author of Ugly as a Toad, a well loved children's picture book. I published through Authorhouse publishing company.

I have always wanted to be a writer! Actually, I have always been a writer and, like many, really wanted to see my work in a book.

So I did it! I wrote a story that was fun, had educational teaching components (I am also a teacher) and had the message to love yourself just the way you are!

Then I published! It was very exciting. I couldn't wait; I had to keep reminding myself that patience is a virtue! It was uplifting to see a dream coming true one piece at a time.

Then, voila! Product in hand! Let the fun begin!

What followed was not what I expected, but even better. I did not become an author to get rich, and a few months later I am still not rich, but I am getting emails to do conferences, shows and book signings, and schools are giving me tables at bazaars for donating books.

Other writers are asking my thoughts and for information on the process. I am making tons of contacts and really great friends. What an experience! This is really fun!




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Nov 11, 2008
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Your enthusiasm for self publishing is contagious!
by: Steve B. (webmaster)

(Or at least very noticeable!)

Julie, I'm thrilled that you're thrilled. What I wish is that you could give us a little more detail about how you went about publishing your book and what you're doing to get so much positive attention for it.

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