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Many authors take a peek at the book-publishing business, get completely Your blog is the beginning of the “author platform” every publisher .. Having had 9 books traditionally published by Big Six pubs in the UK and
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Strong, easy to relate to characters coupled with artwork draws children and parents alike into the story. Just some of the rules and expectations. With that in mind, it is imperative that you hold to storytelling norms. Showing is still more important than telling. Picking a theme and holding to it is still a necessity. So, start out like any storyteller with some outlining and basic character design.

Ralphy Raccoon has just graduated from school and is ready to begin a new life—one that he believes will be fun and easy. Ralphy starts down the path of an entrepreneur, beginning his own business. Over the years he faces many failures and setbacks, from bad and unscrupulous employees to trouble with the government of the Raccoon Republic. With each experience, he learns an important lesson about life. He discovers, the rewards of hard work, the wisdom that comes from personal struggle, and the curious recurring patterns of life.

Slowly but surely, he learns the value of never giving up and always giving his best. The characters are who your readers kids will associate with most. You can use this to consciously make that connection much more clearly than a novelist can. Again, every book should have a clear goal. Remember too that there almost always wants to be some elements that educate, and the text is a great way to add this content. Or are you aiming at a younger audience who will be read to by parents or teachers? Either way, you need to make the illustrations informative and clear, coupled with easy to follow text.

This is thankfully a bit easier to tackle. The last crucial piece of the actual build is the font. I would lean toward clean, sans-serif fonts that are easy to read and look good at larger point sizes. Helvetica and Gill Sans are two commonly used fonts for the interior type. Are you writing and illustrating? Just writing? An illustrator with an idea that needs fleshing out? Concision and clarity is of the utmost importance. Creating any book is a grueling process. Think about how the book hits those three key elements as you read through it:.

How does the author make the characters emotionally charged and compelling? What message is the book teaching? How is the design working to serve both the character and the message? Amid those requirements, you have to find a way to make it amusing. That might end up being the trickiest part of all.

Not likely. You can deal with complex issues, but the tone has to remain light. Otherwise, you risk losing your audience.


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Residents work with children from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Under resident guidance, the children plant the seeds, watch the seeds sprout, watch the plants grow, identify how various vegetables grow, harvest the vegetables, and learn healthy recipes using those vegetables. Self-publishing is a great option because you can control all aspects of the project and use print-on-demand to keep overhead low.

The other side of this is the cost to actually prepare the book. Hiring an Illustrator can be very expensive. There are some great resources out there. Like all self-motivated endeavors, there will be a lot of work involved, but if you are willing to put in the work, the reward can be tremendous! Both situations likely mean a lot of leg-work on your end. Driving traffic to a website to order can be more difficult, but not impossible. Get your ideas in motion, start story boarding those pages, and share your story with some eager young minds with a lot to learn and a craving for stories!

Paul is the Senior Copywriter at Lulu, responsible for all the words you see on our site misspellings included. I enjoyed this compilation of good advice. I know it is difficult to write for children but I am prepared to work hard for it as I desire to achieve my goal: writing and illustrating books for children. Paul, watch this space… and many thanks for your very helpful article. Hi Patricia, Absolutely! But there is no substitute for a good book. Thanks for commenting. As you probably figured out, although I do read a lot, I have a special affection for books too, partly because I have spent so much time laying them out.

I love reading books, and have been reading them since I was a kid. One of my dreams back when I was in elementary school was to write my own book about knights and dragons. But I was still a little kid, so I wrote those stories, handwritten on notebooks. Finished seven of them, actually. None published. Those notebooks have probably been turned into recycled paper by now. In high school I still wrote about knights and dragons, but the themes were getting a little more mature, more gore and death. Still none published, obviously.

And all that time I was reading other books spanning from several different genres. Josh…my husband had the same dream. I think I can relate to what you are saying Josh. I began reading quite early and always dreamt of writing. And yeah, I wrote stories in notebooks the paper kind but of course they never got published. There is nothing as wonderful as an adult who remembers what it was like to be a kid.

Really precious people and if you even do publish those Dragon and Knight stories, I bet my son would love them. Should have been a walk in the park, right? Most of the resistance I felt was internal. Now I do ebooks on similar topics advanced WordPress usage and I can get them out quickly and update them often. I know new media makes use of a lot of what tra media has invented or discovered — not trying to discount tra, — but the fact that a single individual can create something far more compelling and helpful than an entire group from a publishing house makes me excited for the future of new media.

Thanks Christopher.

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I agree with you on the potential of new media. Things are changing really quickly in the publishing world. Just some useful info here for some of your readers, I hope. Having had 9 books traditionally published by Big Six pubs in the UK and 10 other territories- but never the US- my first little self published e-book just clocked up some sales there!

Most excited by the possibilities.. Woo hoo! Yeah, self-publishing is kind of addicting. Once you start seeing those sales of a book you published, it gets exciting. Awesome, and huge congrats! My new book was just released too.

1. Read like a writer.

Really helpful, positive messages here. Thank you for this. This was a good jump start. Thanks for reading Julie! As noted, the first book is always the most difficult, so your future books will be easier. One thing about self publishing, though. This is one big perk to publishing with the big publishers.

How to Self-Publish Your First Book: Step-by-step tutorial for beginners

Also, if marketing and promoting products is not your thing, it could be pretty tough to get press for your book, while if you publish with big publishers, most of that takes care of itself. Thanks for reading Joe! My books are published by Logical Expressions, Inc. But as it turns out, Logical Expressions, Inc. I published a historical novel after years of pitching it as I was passionate about it.

So few know that out- of -work boys in the Great Depression did much to create, improve or expand our state and national parks, make roads, plant trees and fight fires. And having it in book form on a library or book store shelf is a wonderful thing. I agree. Such passion about fathers, grandfathers and the work they did.

Creating a fictional account was one way to get the story out futher. As an aside, I find that period of history really interesting. And I love historical fiction in general. One thing I think can really help people when it comes to releasing a book is being focused on the purpose you want the book to serve. I learned a shit-ton about this from Dan Kennedy. He believes some of the most enduring books like Think and Grow Rich, Psycho-Cybernetics, and How to Win Friends and Influence People are built on the back of inspiring stories and not a whole lot of meat. Now one might think that this would get in the way of people buying my high end copywriting courses or paying me huge fees to write copy for them.

You can come away from that book and you could write some decent headlines. And you got the structure of how a letter should look. But it is a reference book more than it is an advocacy book. It has stayed on the shelf and people use it like they would a Words That Sell.

They keep it to look at the templates and the structures. Those books over the years have brought speaking engagements and consulting assignments where people tell me to come teach this stuff to their team but not a lot of customers. I hardly ever get a speaking inquiry because of them, but we get customers.

I hope at least one person gets some use of what I believe to be some genuine wisdom on the part of Dan here. The entire focus of the seminar revolves around figuring out the most compelling purpose your content can serve for your business. Before putting words to paper, I advise people to think about the goals they have for their book.

Thanks for sharing that perspective. This is hands down my favorite book and I believe anyone who has reached the level of being a guru to an audience would be served well to study how Dan opens himself up to his crowd in this book, going so far to talk about the time he was on the edge of committing suicide. Dan won a customer for life with that book, those disclosures, and I think most small business owners selling information or products can do the same when they artfully let people into their world.

Thanks for the recommendation. I also found My Unfinished Business really fascinating. Well done, I really enjoyed it!

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I am so glad I looked at the attachment to this tweet! I write a regular magazine column, facebook page with fans in 5 months and a blog but the thought of a book is so massive to me, know now that I am not alone! Perhaps I will put pen to paper sooner than I thought. Thank you Susan. Susan, What a powerful, motivating post!

This is one of the best things I have read this week. Thank you! I read this post with much interest.

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I write non-fiction about insurance. After 24 years, it is what I know. I have already published a couple of e-books on insurance matters for Baby Boomers. I am currently working on a third one. I hope to get a couple more topics done next year so that I can combine all of them into one big reference manual. I did, however, want to let you know that I am one of the nerds who do check out who the publisher is for a book.

Some publishing houses cater more to my tastes than others. If you are contemplating going the traditional route than you should pay attention to who is publishing what. For some markets it makes a difference. For example, I was talking to a lawyer the other day. For him, having his book published by the Bar Association was a huge deal.

It matters for that crowd. The expense can be mitigated to some degree by being smart about hiring freelancers and publishing the book through your own company vs. Am in that phase of getting enough money together. It is true that self-publishing my chosen route will cost money! I paid them thousands of dollars and have gained nothing in return. Good luck. Three books!

You could try Kindle publishing first. Then if your audience wants it, move into print once you have the funds for it. Subsidy publishing is rarely a good idea if you want to make any money or gain credibility from your book. Congrats on taking control of your books! My experience echoes a couple of your points. First, when I was trying to figure out whether to go with a publisher or the self-publishing route, several people who had books published told me to self-publish. Another said the process just takes a ridiculously long time — a year and a half or more.

I ended up going with a small, niche publisher and my one major argument in favor of that course is having a tough editor to work over your manuscript. It helped improve my book immensely. So, as you said, even if you decide to self-publish, hire a good editor. Especially if you plan on charging people for the book. Finally, my experience has been the opposite of what others have found. Hi Rob…you are absolutely right. Having an editor is vital, no matter how you opt to publish.

Re: blog to book vs. Thank you for an inspirational piece. Lots of great ideas there, particularly regarding the thought leadership aspect of publishing. Despite nodding his head enthusiastically during the exchange, he was never going to run back home and do a search on the topic. For him, there were no authority figures online that would deliver his information in the way he wants it.


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Thankfully, my publisher agreed to part with some dead tree cash to create a dead tree book that helps dead wood floaters dip their toe in the blogging waters. It goes without saying that Copyblogger and the team will get lauded to the heavens. Hi Fin…thanks for reading! Amazon is one of the highest authority sites online. I have incoming links from Amazon.

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My offline books help my online findability in a huge way and have led to publicity and business opportunities that I never EVER got when I just sold ebooks way back when. Nice Post about eBook publishing, it going to helps me lot in writing my upcoming eBook Weird Tweeps. Thanks for the great advice Susan. Even though I have written four fiction books — all unpublished by Publishing companies but in the process of self-publishing I found your advice helpful and encouraging.

My manuscript was accepted a couple of years ago by a self-publishing company which sent me a letter stating my book deserved to be published or something to that effect. It offered royalties but no advance. Please advise. Thank you in advance. They take anything. Unless you only want to publish a few copies for friends and family, a subsidy is not a good idea. Traditional publishers pay an advance. Find presses that are publishing memoir and learn what their submission guidelines are. Many traditional publishers will only accept submissions from agents.

So you may need to research agents who specialize in memoir as well. With true self-publishing i. The goal is to make it look as good as books coming out of traditional publishing houses. An excellent answer Susan. I put out thousands of dollars on self-publishing companies with promises galore. Then they want to charge. I tried once — and again — they did nothing to help my book. You can set a lower discount with LS, but CS has lower setup fees. With reference to the self-publishing aspect of this article, this is a great indepth interview with a New York writer who has published three novels using Lulu and Amazon.

He gives some good advice throughout about self-publishing as way to reach an audience and about the perceptions of others towards a publishing route that has its fair share of advocates and critics. Thanks for the link Garry.