I’ve Written My Book, Now What? Where To From Here?

Posted by Deb Hockenberry.
Deb Hockenberry is the children’s picture book author of Where Can We Have The Party? Deb always wanted to write for children since she was a child myself! Deb also blogs about her writing journey and what happens after you’ve written your masterpiece!

I’VE WRITTEN MY BOOK, NOW WHAT? WHERE TO FROM HERE?
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP
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Milan Book Stall by Weldon Kennedy

YAY! I did it! My picture book is being just about ready to go to print. Okay, that’s great news for me but now what? I know I have to market and promote my book but exactly how do I do that?

I’ve found a few things out. First, it’s very important to have a web presence. Start a blog, a website, or both. If you want to do both, Weebly is a very good webhost. It’s a WYSIWYG website and that makes it very friendly for a non – techie person like myself. So is GoDaddy. There are also free ones out there like Blogger and WordPress. All of these are what-you-see-is-what-you-get sites.

Unfortunately, I’ve only found one book on how to market and promote a children’s book. That book is called: How To Promote Your Children’s Book: Tips, Tricks, and Secrets To A Best Seller.  This book is chock full of information. I can tell you from experience that you really should read this eBook with a pen and notebook next to you!

From this book I’ve found out a few things.

  1. Join social networking sites. Yep, let yourself be known. I don’t mean to constantly talk about your book. That’s spamming. Just socialize—that’s the key word in social networking. Then when you get your book cover or box of books, take a picture and share it on those sites. Now, you can talk about your book. But again, don’t talk about it every day. You might get a sale this way!
  2. Pull up a spreadsheet (or write this down) of your plan to market your book. Are you going to ask your online friends to review your book? That’s always fun. I’ve been involved in many blog-hops! Do you plan on going through a paid publicity site like World of Ink? Are you going to contact the Author’s Showcase to see when you can be on that internet radio show? How about where you can do book signings and book readings? You can put an ad in the newspaper announcing your book. You can also have you friends who review books interview you. Actually, this can be any friend you blogs. Write all this down so you don’t forget your plan.
  3. Google the subject of your book in your town. For instance, my book subject is a birthday party. Google “birthday party + your town. I was so surprised at the amount of links I received for this! I had no idea there was a place specifically for parties in this town. You can use you phone book to look these places up.
  4. Have a media kit (media release) prepared. I’m still working on mine since my picture book won’t be out for a few months but here’s what you need: On one sheet of paper you should scan a picture of the book, have a short bio of yourself, and a blurb of the book. Also on this page you should have the pertinent information about your book (ISBN number, number of pages, price, and the buy links). Don’t forget you contact information on that page! This includes your mailing information, website, and email address. On a separate page have your publicity picture.
  5. Read marketing blogs and books. They’re full of advice. True they aren’t specifically geared to children’s writing but to marketing in general. I’ve found an excellent marketing website called The Publicity Hound by Joan Stewart. Don’t forget to sign up for her free ezine. It’s full of advice!
  6. Learn to make a video. Videos promote you and your book much better than plain text. I’ve found this out by using Facebook. It dawned on me one night when I was thinking about how to market my upcoming book, that I always stop at the videos on Facebook to watch them.

In your computer is a free movie maker. If you have Windows, you’ll have Movie Maker, for a Mac it’s called iMovie or iMovie Maker. Windows also has free music included with Movie Maker called All Free Music. The point is that you can make your own book trailer by yourself and for free. Book trailers raise interest in your book and that means more possible sales.

This is what I’ve learned so far with the most important being a web presence. You can advertise and even sell your book there. So, get one! Read those marketing books and form your own ideas. Join the many different social networking sites, get to know the people, and let them know you!

5 Things You Didn’t Know About iBooks

A.J. CosmoGuest Posting by A.J. Cosmo.
A.J. Cosmo is the author & illustrator of 40 children’s books for Kindle. Some have monsters in them, some have fairies, some have aliens that lost their way home, some have pet dinosaurs that tear up homes. A.J. Cosmo recently released Miss Molly’s Magical Mystery Meals on iBooks.

5 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT IBOOKS
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP
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eBook Reader

The Future of Books by Johan Larsson

While most independent authors work exclusively with Amazon and the Kindle, Apple’s iBooks offers not only a consistent format, but also a host of tools that Kindle does not yet have. Here are five things about creating iBooks that you probably didn’t know.

  1. It’s easy to use.
    While you have to use a mac to create anything for Apple’s platforms, iBooks Author, the app that you use to format the books, is actually easy to use. The program works a lot like Keynotes (Powerpoint to Windows users) and has much of that easy to use, slick interface that Apple is famous for.
  2. You can add music.
    iBooks has what are called “widgets.” Widgets add functionality to the eBooks. One such function is sound and can be added to the book in the form of a button that plays an audio file when pressed, or a background sound that triggers when the user lands on the page. This is great for children’s books because when a child touches a cow they can hear a moo (you can even hide the buttons under the picture!) It would also be neat for a horror book to play a chilling song while the user reads a scary passage.
  3. You can create a custom glossary.
    iBooks has a built in dictionary and wikipedia link, however, creators can also add a custom glossary. Any word or phrase can be highlighted in the book and added to the glossary. Once there, creators can add lengthy notes to the keyword including different definitions, story meaning, or even creator commentary! It’s up to you and this feature makes iBooks similar to the special features on DVDs.
  4. Books can have video.
    Another of the widgets is the video widget. iBooks supports Quicktime and MPEG4 natively. The video frame can be scaled and placed just like any other object in the book, it can even be full screen! Objects can be layered (stacked on top of each other) in iBooks, so here’s a place where magic can happen: you can layer text and images on top of video! The text and images will disappear when the user plays the video, but this could be to your advantage. Imagine a children’s book where a static page suddenly comes alive. The background and characters start moving and a voice reads the text as it appears. How cool!
  5. Titles publish quickly. iBook on iTunes
    One of the criticisms of publishing on iBooks is that titles take much longer to get to the store than they do on Amazon. While it is true that Apple checks every title for consistency (what you say is in the book in your description, has to be in the book) and functionality (links, videos, sounds all play) doing so does not take as long as you might think. On average, titles publish to the store in less than a day. So where do the much talked about delays come from? Nine times out of ten it’s user error. Though some of the interface is difficult, Apple has tremendous technical support, and if you find your title stuck, getting it unstuck is as simple as giving them a call.

I hope that this list has inspired you to create an iBook of your own. The platform is powerful, and while Amazon has the largest user base, the tools Apple offers are hard to ignore. So if you have a title that could use some of these extra features, consider creating an iBooks version.

Wishful Wedding – AVAILABLE NOW!

Wishful Wedding by A.S. ChungPigeonhole Books is pleased to announce that its second book Wishful Wedding is now available! We are proud to present our first LGBTQ children’s picture book and contribute to much needed diverse books. Wishful Wedding is suitable for children ages 3-6 years and delves into the topic of same gender families and marriage equality.

SYNOPSIS OF THE BOOK:
Papa’s sister is getting married today! Daddy and I get ready, a flower girl I am. We witness in delight and giggle with glee but deep down in our hearts, we’re sad you see? When will my fathers be able to wed? I can only hope for change, in the future ahead.

Here are some of the sites you would be able to obtain a copy from. We shall update this list constantly as the book surfaces across the different websites.

HARD COVER

Alibris      Amazon      Books A Million     Barnes & Noble     Book Falcon

Book Depository     Book Manager     Booktopia     Fishpond

PAPERBACK

Alibris     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Books A Million      Book Manager     Booktopia

Fishpond     Kent Bookstore    superbookshop

EBOOK

Amazon     Barnes & Noble     bol.com     booklikes    bokus.com     Collins Booksellers

Hugendubel     Infibeam      eBookmall     Feedbooks     Kobo     Rakuten

Author Interview: Susan Day

NEPTUNE’S TRIDENT – ASTRO’S ADVENTURES BY SUSAN DAY Neptune's Trident by Susan Day

1) Please provide a short excerpt of what your children’s picture book is about.
Arrr! Me, Hearties! Avast ya pack of seadogs! It’s Captain Black from the wicked pirate catfish gang. I’m here to tell yas about a new book that stars me and me gang. Neptune’s Trident it be called! There’s a lot of dogs in it too but don’t let that put ya off.

You see, me and that evil genius cat, Speed Bump Charlie, steal Neptune’s Trident. Neptune you sees is powerless without it and me and the old alley cat plan to take over all the oceans and all the seas. I want to rule as an all-powerful being and Speed Bump Charlie wants a never-ending supply of fish to eat!

Astro and the rest of da mutts get caught up with some slippery characters as they try to foil our brilliant plans. Arrr! Join the mystery and suspense in this fantastic children’s book. You’ll meet Neptune, the nuttiest god in the world, a small but delicious crab and there’s even a special appearance from the Ugliest Dog in the World, Icky.

So, what are you waiting for me hearties! Get reading and if this book doesn’t give you the biggest belly laugh you’ve had in a while I’ll eat me pirate hat!

2) What inspired you to write this book?
Neptune’s Trident is the seventh book in the Astro’s Adventures series. I wanted to explore the possibilities of sending the characters, which are all dogs, into the sea. I also wanted to draw attention to the rubbish that is dumped in our oceans. The story begins with a small crab lost on a few scraps of rubbish. As he floats along, more bits and pieces are added until it becomes an island of garbage. This actually exists; it’s called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

3) How did you come up with the title or series of your book?
The title was developed during the writing process. Neptune’s Trident goes missing and that’s where the adventures begin. Neptune asks our heroes to find it and this leads to all sorts of zany and funny situations. Also, the Trident is used to help solve the issue of pollution at the end of the book.

4) Why did you pick this genre?
I enjoy writing for children because I can take my characters anywhere and completely suspend reality. I think there is a great need for illustrated chapter books that help struggling learners but also provide content they can engage with. I also enjoy making people laugh. I think there should be more humour in the world.

5) How do the illustrations complement your book? What was important to you as an author?
I use illustrations and images of paws running across the page to break up the text in my stories. This is important for struggling readers who are often overwhelmed by page after page of words. Also, as this series has grown I’ve become more aware of the importance of the illustrations to add more meaning to what the characters are doing. They also add a lot more humour to the story.

6) As a child, what books and/or authors influenced you the most and why?
I loved the Rupert Bear stories (I still have the book my father bought me when I was five!). I was a ferocious reader, especially in primary school. By the time I left to go to high school there wasn’t a book I hadn’t read. I can’t say that one particular author had a lot of influence over me but I was very lucky to have access to so many books.

7) What is the most fulfilling thing about being an author?
The most fulfilling thing for me is visiting schools and libraries to run workshops. When you begin to talk to children about writing it’s inspiring to see how much their minds and hearts become engaged in the art of storytelling. And on a few occasions, I have been honoured when children come to me after the workshop and tell me they want to be writers too. That’s awesome!

8) What do you hope children will take away with them after reading your book?
Some of the underlying themes of the Astro’s Adventures series is the uniqueness of the characters and the way they work together. I would hope that a young reader could learn that even though they are not perfect (like my characters) they have valuable skills that they can share with others and work as a team in any given situation. Also, I would hope they are reminded about the importance of properly looking after their pets. That’s why a percentage of sales goes to my local animal shelter.

9) Who is/are your favourite author/s as an adult and why?
I still love children’s books so I would have to say Beatrix Potter and A.A. Milne. I had a classical education of sorts and still enjoy reading Dickens, Austin and Brontes. I love reading a good story told well.

10) What are you working on now?
Presently, I’m working on the illustrations for Dogs in Space and I’m writing the ninth story, The Haunted Circus in the Astro’s Adventures series.

Thank you for a great interview!

Susan DayTHANK YOU FOR LETTING US GETTING TO KNOW YOU!
Should you wish to know more about Susan Day and would like to purchase her book, here are all her pertinent details.

Website: Susan Day
Where to purchase her book: Amazon and Smashwords eBook
Susan’s social media connections:

 social-facebook-box-blue-icon social-twitter-box-blue-icon Goodreads-icon pinterest-icon

Where to Purchase A Brand New Day

Slowly but surely, A Brand New Day is being released into the marketplace in hard cover, paperback and eBook format. Eventhough we have been gearing up for this to obviously eventuate, its quite another thing to finally actually see it being available. This big bad world of self-publishing sure is a roller coaster of an adventure but one that I am very happy to be on and can’t ever wait for the next ride!

Here are some of the sites you would be able to obtain a copy from. We shall update this list constantly as the book surfaces across the different websites.

HARD COVER

Alibris      Angus & Robertson      bokus.com     Books A Million     Book Depository

Fishpond     InfiBeam     Merritt Books     Rakuten     Tattered Cover

PAPERBACK

Alibris     Amazon     Barnes & Noble     bokus.com     Books A Million     Book Depository

Bookfari     Booktopia     Book Manager     Fishpond     InfiBeam

Old Firehouse Books     Peregrine Book Company     Powell’s Book     Tattered Cover

EBOOK

Amazon     Barnes & Noble     bokus.com     eBookmall     Feedbooks     Hugendubel     Kobo

A Brand New Day: Review by Valerie Harmon

Valerie Harmon, author of the WantstoBe series and creator of Children’s Illustrated Picture e-Book Reviews blog has generously reviewed A Brand New Day. Valerie also reviews books for the Indie View Reviewer and the Kindle Book Review. At Pigeonhole Books we are extremely grateful that Valerie has taken the time to read our book!

“Summary: A little girl enjoys time with both her Dad and her Mom, even though they are divorced and live in different houses. Most importantly, she knows they love her! A cozy, warm picture book.
 
Illustrations: The illustrations are so adorable, I want to squeeze them. Definitely 5 stars.

Storyline: With all the children in divorced families these days, it is a good theme for those children to remember: focus on the positive, like the girl in this story, and remember that their parents love them even though they live in different homes. The short text is perfect for young children. 4.5 stars”

Illustrations: 5 Stars
Cover: 5 Stars
Storyline: 4.5 Stars
Total: 5 Stars