Wow! The past month has been extremely exciting! To begin, I’ve had two elementary school readings and this coming weekend, Feb 21 and 22nd, will be my first book signing/story-time at The Book Exchange, a local bookstore here in Lake Havasu City. The book readings at the schools have been beyond wonderful! Children are so smart and truly comprehend things better than we usually give them credit for. They amaze me!! They have been so kind and very receptive to the message that my book, "The Tiniest Little Star", teaches. I’m so grateful for them!! The community here in Lake Havasu City, has really gotten behind me too and I have felt their love and encouragement. Thank you all!
I've started receiving many questions about how I published my book, so I thought it might be good to include a little bit about my publishing adventure, and what I have learned along the way. Because this is my first book, I am by no means an expert of any sort on the matter, but I can tell you a thing or two about how I got to this point. I hope this will help any of you who might be considering writing and publishing a book. There is a lot to share, so in each blog I will share a little more on this topic.
First, I want to say that if you have a dream of writing and publishing a book, you should do it! Go for it!! Life is short and if you really want to do something, don’t put it off, go for it! Make your dream a reality!
Okay, now on to the nitty-gritty. If anyone ever tells you that writing, illustrating and publishing a book is easy, they are lying to you. The truth is it takes a lot of determination and hard work, but that’s how life is. “Anything in life worth having is worth working for.” quote by Andrew Carnegie. He also said, “You are what you think. So just think big, believe big, act big, work big, give big, forgive big, laugh big, love big and live big.” I feel these are great words to live by!
Step number one. Write a story you love!! Don’t just write any old story, write something that has meaning to you personally, something that you’re passionate about. You will be spending a huge chunk of your precious time devoted to this endeavor. Make it mean something!
Step number two. If you are going to illustrate your book or have someone else illustrate it for you, get started as soon as possible. Illustrating a children’s book is a long process and not something to be taken lightly. Quality illustrations are expensive, so if you like art consider doing it yourself, or with a friend or family member.
Okay, I’m getting a little long-winded for the day and have many other things on my to-do list, so I’m going to leave you with those first two steps for now.
Have an extraordinary week and LIVE BIG!!
01/10/2020 3 a.m.
So if you you have ever published a book you know what a massive undertaking it is. You will also understand why at 3 a.m. I’m tossing and turning in bed, with thoughts of, “Now what?” running through my mind.
The thing is, that a couple of days ago, I read a quote by another author that has stuck with me. It said something like, “If you don’t put as much time and effort into marketing your book as you did creating it, then what’s the point. No one will ever read it.”
He’s exactly right! I’ve put hundreds and hundreds of hours into writing and illustrating a children’s book and if it falls in the forest and there’s no one there to hear it, then it may as well not even exist. What’s the point? That leads me to now. Three in the morning, typing a blog.
There are thousands of YouTube videos, blogs, classes, and a myriad of other resources out there that tell you how to market your book, but it is all quite overwhelming and my middle of the night mind is racing. We’ll see if I actually post this tomorrow morning, but for now, I guess this is just a shout out to anyone that understands or has any suggestions of where to go from here?
My journey of writing a children's book began about two years ago. My husband and I went on vacation to Europe. For us this was a very big deal because neither one of us had ever been before. It was a 16 day trip, and we wanted to squeeze as much excitement into our 16 days as possible. At the time my parents were living in Austria, serving a mission for our church, so of course, we planned several days in Innsbruck, Austria and Southern Germany, to spend time with them. Those days with my Dad and Mom were the highlight of our trip. The country side and mountains were breath-taking and my parents knew all the most wonderful places to take us. We were in awe at the castles that dotted the lush green hills, it was such a contrast from the beautiful, yet brown, Arizona desert that we see every day. Basically we were on cloud nine, almost literally.
One afternoon while in Innsbruck, we were invited to go with my parents to one of their friends homes for dinner. While at their home my parents shared with me that this friend had just written and published a children's book. Their friend took out her book and handed it to me. It was a very touching and beautifully illustrated children's story that helped to teach children how to cope with death. As she told me her story about why and how she wrote her book I was inspired to tears. My whole life I had thought about writing children's books but had never been in a position to do it. I bought one of her books on the spot and thanked her profusely.
A week and half later we returned home. I sat down and wrote "The Tiniest Little Star," and then began the endeavor of illustrating. It has been an amazing experience!