self publishing Archives - HistoricalTails

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What I learned at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Annual Summer Conference

I'm a member of SCBWI, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and they held their annual Summer conference at the beginning of July. I was ready to learn at SCBWI conference! Driving to downtown Los Angeles early Friday morning is definitely not an easy go, but it gave me time to think about my goals for the conference. At last year’s conference my goal was to meet as many people I could and learn about publishing and marketing a book. They didn't have many workshops on self publishing but it was still a fun experience and I met some nice people. I also bought some great kids books in their on-site bookstore, which I devoured.

This year, my goal was to hone my craft. I had 3 variations of my 2nd manuscript on my computer and was procrastinating. I felt like I needed a little help. One of the workshops I attended was called, “Meet your character: How motivation drives the story,” taught by Kendra Levin. Now, my main character is a dog named Dash, but this dog belonged to Queen Victoria. He didn't like it when Prince Albert came along.

I was stuck in my story so I leaned into my chair, closed my eyes and did the meditation exercise Kendra led us through. Imagine you're in an elevator. The door closes and the elevator starts going down. Down, down down. Finally the door opens and you see your character walking towards you. What does your character say? What does your character want? He comes across some obstacles, so how does he solve them? So I wrote down what I envisioned Dash saying to me and came up with my big idea!

After the elevator doors opened, Dash came running with a swish swish of his fur. He looked like a mop cleaning the floor. He greeted me with a sloppy lick on my face as I kneeled down and scooped him up.

“I want to be love,” he said.

“You are loved, very much,” I replied.

“But Victoria loves Albert now. How can she love me as well?”

“We are capable of loving more than one at the same time,” I said, ” Victoria can love you and Albert because her heart is big enough for both!”

“I don't know how that's possible,” he said, “But I can try to figure it out.”

It was time for me to go, so I put Dash down and waved goodbye. I saw him walk away, mopping the floor clean as he walked. He turned around.

“I love you too,” he cried, “I guess it is possible to love more than one because I have a big heart!”

Dash loves Victoria and feels threatened by Victoria’s love for Albert. but he doesn’t know that a heart is big enough to love more than one person/thing. So Dash is jealous but slowly starts to realize that not only can Victoria love both he and Albert, he can love both Victoria and Albert. Voila! Now I just need to write it!

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3 Days to the Buzzy Launch!


buzzy launch
I decided to take a walk with the dogs this morning. I've got a lot to think about with the Buzzy launch happening on Friday. It was a crisp December morning in Los Angeles and my dog, Georgia wasn't being very cooperative in the photo. So, here's Ricky and I with our limited fall foliage.Buzzy launch

Back to the book. The Amazon Kindle version is available now and the print version will be available on Amazon on Friday. The print version is also available for book stores and libraries to purchase through Ingram Spark, a print on demand service that most traditional publishers use for their print material.

And now onto the HARD part, marketing! My next step is to get reviews written by qualified children's book reviewers. If you know someone, please pass on my information to them. But I'm ordering about 100 copies of the book so give to reviewers and donate to schools and libraries around my home.

Watch for my next update soon!

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I keep reminding myself, baby steps…

resolutionsI've been working very diligently on my manuscript, getting it ready for publication. I've never self published before so everything is new. I am constantly researching and then researching more. Every step of the way is slow and tedious but I am making progress. I have to remind myself, baby steps. Just in the first 14 days of this new year, I've done the following towards my goal:

  1. Sent the manuscript to a professional editor. Yay! Now, she reads it, makes notes and I revise. Then she reads it again, makes more notes and I revise. I hope to be finished with my manuscript by the end of January.
  2. Found an illustrator. Yay! I made a deal with an artist I really like. She's going to bring Buzzy and Thomas to life. I'm excited to work with her and see what she comes up with!
  3. In my research, I had found a painting of Thomas Jefferson in the oval office with Dickie, his Mockingbird flying around the room. So, I wrote to the White House Historical Association and obtained the right to publish this painting in my book! Once the book is published, I can also post the painting on this blog and various social media, but for now, it's hush hush.
  4. I bought 10 ISBN numbers! These numbers, along with a corresponding barcode are printed on the book and on each e-book. You need an ISBN number in order to sell a book in a store. I bought 10 numbers because that was the package deal, although I have other stories up my sleeve and when I publish those, I'll need the number.

So, that's it for now! I've accomplished a lot and look forward to more!

Do you have any intentions for 2016?

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Hello and Welcome!

IMG_1963Hello and welcome! I'm so happy you found my blog. Let me introduce myself. I'm a children's book writer specializing in historical fiction. I love that genre and have been reading it for many years. I'm combining my passion for historical fiction with writing for children, and through my blog, you'll learn about my projects as well as existing books that I will review. I'm a mother of 2, and I may write about parenting tips and info as well. I'm also currently researching a new middle grade book idea and will be posting updates on that. I can't wait to get to know you!

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