Thursday, September 25, 2008

How to publish children's book - some links to help

The web is, well, entangling. There is so much information available. If you are thinking/planning/dreaming/in the process of writing a children's book, you have to know some of the odds you are up against. Especially if you want to get it published. Or if you are thinking of publishing it yourself.

First, the writing:
I strongly recommend a writer's group or critique group. Being bound by three little ones, I found that the online groups worked best for me. I used critique circle. As soon as I start writing something new (ahemm) I will use it again. Some advise I got was fantastic, some less so. But at the very least it was beyond the, "it's so great, you are a talented girl" kind of comments.

Second, the publishing:
The Purple Crayon has links to so many articles, you could spend days here.
Jim Cox over at Midwest Review, besides being a review organization, has great content as well.
Preditors and Editors is helpful, and being sued for it.
IBPA (formerly PMA) has some great articles for everyone to see.

That should keep you busy for a little while.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

WW - My best attempt at a race car

Lucky for me, my 4 year old was thrilled with my torpedo submarine race car cake!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Lookybook Link

I can't remember how I heard about this website, but it is very interesting.

Lookybook has complete access to many picture books. It is like the Look Inside feature of Amazon, however you can see the entire book. I believe that the publisher has to provide permission and artwork.

From the standpoint of a mom who likes to read to her kids, it is a great idea. It is like an on-line borrowing library. However, it is not easy to perch three little ones around the computer with me without some fighting about who is sitting where, seeing what. But to have acess to all these books is a very cool idea.

From the standpoint of a publisher, it leads to an interesting question. If you give away all the content, will people still buy the book?

From the standpoint of a small self-publisher it is even more tricky. I don't have a huge marketing budget. I don't have connections to the Hollywood elite. I am working hard to get my book seen, heard, looked at, talked about, written about - known. Won't this do the same thing? And if people really like it, won't they buy it as per what I said above as a Mom User? It seems like a great idea.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Terry's at it again. With the Love.

Terry over at the Reading Tub is at it again. It seems when someone loves "My Name is Not Isabella," they really love it. She originally reviewed the book and said wonderful things. Then they did an interview with Jennifer Fosberry, author of "My Name is Not Isabella" (that's me). And now during an interview she categorizes my book as "book I am happy to read every time my daughter picks from the shelf..."

She likes me, she really likes me. And I like her for it.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

School Library Journal Love

Earlier I talked about getting book reviews for self-published books. I talked about getting pre-publication reviews. I talked about where I sent "My Name is Not Isabella."

Submission guidelines indicate how stringent they are. Glad that I chanced it as an independent publisher.

I am happy to brag that I will be getting a review in School Library Journal. They said wonderful things. Check it out. The list is alphabetical by author last name, so just keep scrolling until you hit "Fosberry."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

MBP Big Brag: Foreword Magazine Review of My Name is Not Isabella is now online

Foreword Magazine is now online for the September issue. You can read everything they are saying about "My Name is Not Isabella." Go look.

Wordless Wednesday - Butterfly

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Ain't she a beauty

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Official Publication Date - Book Launch

September 9. The Official Publication Date. "My Name is Not Isabella" is out. Okay, it was kind of out for a while, but now no more worrying about pre-publication reviews. I got everything I am going to get. So now on to selling, promoting and basking in the glow. And if you believe that the work is done, you are crazy!

Here at Monkey Barrel Press, we have been working hard to get to this launch. We have revamped the website and would love to hear your comments. And we have released a book trailer to entice people to buy. I am still not sure how effective these are as marketing tools. Time will tell on that. In the meantime, please enjoy.....

Monday, September 8, 2008

Comments from the peanut gallery

My six year old daughter says this to me.

"Mom, you're not fun. Dad's fun."
"I'm not fun?"
"Well, you are like science fun, Dad is like fun fun."


Saturday, September 6, 2008

Just for Fun: Native American Name Quiz

I saw this at Blog things website and I couldn't resist. Remember it is just for fun:

Your Native American Name Is...
Takhi Meda

Your name means: Cold Prophetess
Is it just me or does this sound like Tacky Media????

Friday, September 5, 2008

Haiku Friday - Rusty Poetry

I am a slacker.
Have not been here in a while
Poetry Rusty.

Need to stretch my skills
Join the group and Just Do It!
Practice makes perfect.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

ForeWord Magazine Love - Part 2

Early I bragged about getting a review in ForeWord Magazine. Now that I know what they are actually saying, I am so happy to brag about what ForeWord Magazine said about "My Name is Not Isabella". Not all of it, just the highlights.

"The mixed-media illustrations are often humorous, but always complementary to the text... The women’s biographies...can be springboards for discussions with boys and girls about social consciousness, heroism, motivation, and hard work. This educational book reminds readers of all ages that individuals can make major contributions to society."

-KaaVonia Hinton (ForeWord magazine September 2008)

Pretty cool. Go buy it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Tower of London Lego Style

My six year old calls this the Tower of Boleyn. She makes something similar every time we play with the Legos. Sometimes it scares me how much they absorb and recall. Although not sure if Henry used 'gators for guard duty.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

"how I choose library materials"... by a real librarian

I have always loved books. I have never looked for them far beyond the libraries and recommendations from friends and family. Now occasionally I will use the Amazon "if you liked.." type features. But how do the libraries decide which books to pick? Apparently those review journals I talked about (and some others) are pretty gosh darn important. But here is what one librarian in real life has to say about it. Lucky for me, a copy of "My Name is Not Isabella" is already in each of those places.

Now I just have to wait to see if anyone likes it.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Foreword Magazine Love - Part One

Earlier I talked about getting book reviews for self-published books. I talked about getting pre-publication reviews. I talked about where I sent "My Name is Not Isabella."

I am happy to brag that I will be getting a review in the September/October issue of Foreword Magazine. This publication is especially for reviewing books by independent publishers (so I am not up against the big publishing houses). They target booksellers and librarians and the like. On their Web site they state a circulation of 26,000. (WOW!)

"ForeWord receives more than 1,400 galleys/books, audios, PODs, and eBooks during every publishing period and can only select approximately 5% for review. Of the titles reviewed, 75-80% are nonfiction. Selection factors for nonfiction include current interest, editorial calendar, distinctiveness, preparation, and credibility. Fiction and mystery consideration is given to well-written books with interesting plots, settings, and characters. Other considerations for review include layout, audience, competition, and review space."
-ForeWord Magazine Submissions

Now reading these statistics, it seems like my book had a less than 1% chance of being selected for a review. I am feeling pretty big for my britches right now. Hope it translates to some sales!

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