Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Self-Publish or Not, That's The Question

This post is  gonna be a little different.  Back to school and the oldest kido is head to college.  My mind has been wrapped up in Hayden leaving the nest. Yes, Little Reader and I have still been reading. Just haven't been on our regular library romps. I'm finally done with Pixie And The Green Mystery and my editor says it's ready to go.  Tonight I'll work on the query letter. Well, I'll try.  Here's the bunch before heading off to Buccaneer Country.
What Are We Reading?  Fairy Books of course... 
Rainbow Magic: The Ocean Fairies - They're seven books in this series each representing different areas of the Ocean. A mix of fairyland and our world, where the fairies have to make sure the Ocean animals are safe and happy.
My Writer Question

Do I go the traditional publishing route or self publish with my book series? There's pros and cons of both so I'm hoping jotting them down will help me decide. 
When you self publish you are the publisher. You proofread, edit, come up with the artwork, providing the funds for it all. The author is responsible for marketing and distributing the book, filling orders, and running advertising campaigns. In the past, the author had to decide on the number of copies to print, sometimes resulting in stacks of unsold books gathering dust in the garage! Fortunately, the Print on Demand (POD) technology now used by some self-publishing companies means that authors can have fewer copies printed—only as many as they need, in fact.
Or Traditional Publishing
If I go through traditional publishing, then now that my manuscript is ready all I have to do is finish the query letter. Then start the submittals to publishing houses or literary agents. From there it's accepted where they buy the rights or not.  The later being rejected and you keep submitting to other publishers.
So do I self-publish and pay thousands of dollars or wait for traditional publishers to pay me in advance? I am pretty good at self marketing and have the resources to edit, design, and advertise.  I think it comes down to this. Do I go for quick turn around and control my manuscript? Or do I wait to earn an advance from a large publisher house? 

Things You May Not Know

There more libraries than Mc Donald's and they offer more than just books.

Music & Movies

You think Netflix, Pandora, and Hulu are cool? Well, your library has its own version, only you don't pay one cent to stream the titles. You just need to install the apps, and have a current library card. The most popular one right now is called Hoopla.  It's awesome.

Forms & More

As well as the post office and larger grocery stores, libraries have a full stock of the most popular tax forms in the runup to the April deadline. They also have the tax instructions booklets at hand as well. And while librarians are not qualified tax accountants, some will offer you basic advice.
Audio Books
You are most likely aware of the massive array of books on CD, tape, and MP3 players at your library. They have both fiction and nonfiction titles. But did you know you can stream audio books over your smartphone?

As well as a having thousands of older movies, libraries stock the latest releases on both DVD and Blu-ray. Of course, there are some savvy library users who know this, and reserve them months ahead of time. That's me ;-)

Passes & Some
The next time you want to visit the museum, take a trip to your local library. Many libraries are now participating in the museum pass program, which pairs them up with local museums. Our library often gives out tickets to local sporting events and more.

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

I'm turning Japanese, I Really Think So

Wohoo!  I'm on my last edit of Miss Pixie...  hopefully.  I have the next three books right behind it, but not in chapter book form yet.  It has literally taken almost half a year to get this book together.  But where it is today is hands down much better than where it started.  It's interesting when you edit your story.  That's my favorite part, usually where I'm most creative and often end up changing the whole premise. It's the getting started I don't like.
 Aside from writing, Little Reader and I are visiting Japan and solving a mystery. Okay, not actually going to Japan. But just getting us ready for when we do travel there.  But back to what we are doing.  Highlights has an adventure where your child gets to choose whatever country they want to visit. Then they send you a key chain, bracelet, and other super spy stuff to help you solve a mystery. 

So I'm back to my longing to move to Japan.  My Little Reader is the only one onboard with this.  I'm looking into the JET program but it would have to be in a couple years.  Try taking a girl away from her high school and friends to live where flushing a toilet needs instructions, the fish is served  raw, and Baby Metal is what's in. You see my predicament. I've come up with a compromise.  I will travel to Japan and scout it out. The family thinks I'm a little wacky, but hey that's okay.  When my book series takes off then we'' see who's nuts... 
In case you were wondering, Baby Metal?
Did I mention my oldest is enjoying his senior trip in Hawaii this week?  He tells me I would fit in perfectly. It's got the beach and Japanese culture. It's been too long since I've been there or anywhere else for that matter though.   
Mom's Amazon reads On The Way

  http://www.amazon.com/Japan-Guide-less-Emails-ebook/dp/B00LJC4I1U/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1406830268&sr=1-1&keywords=living+an+moving+to+japan   http://www.amazon.com/Living-Abroad-Japan-Ruth-Kanagy/dp/1566916720/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1406830268&sr=1-2&keywords=living+an+moving+to+japan
Asian Inspired Reads 
My Japan
By Etsuko Watanabe

Cute, informational, and very Japanese. Simple text wraps around adorable pictures displaying the differences of a Japanese girl and an American girl. Simply beautiful.

Zen Shorts
By Jon, Muth

You will love this adorable sharing panda that carries around a red umbrella. Watch how he builds a friendship with three children by sharing Zen stories that relates to their lives.
Zen Ghosts

 Stillwater the Zen panda is back in this Halloween tale. When the children finish trick-or-treating Stillwater's tells them the story of "Senjo and Her Soul. The soft illustrations blend with the concept of Zen.

Ling & Ting Not Exactly The Same!
By Lin, Grace

A heart-warming story about a  man and his best friend.  After the death of Dr. Uenos, his loyal dog Hachiko returns to the Tokyo train station awaiting his return. The best part of this story is its truth. Hachiko's statue still attracts thousands of people representing loyalty to the Japanese people. I highly recommend the movie as well.  Check it out at your library. Oh, this is defiantly on the must visit places while in Japan.

By Say, Allen

Absolutely loved this immigrant story. An young American girl is fascinated with the Japanese culture and eventually makes her way to Japan as an adult. I can relate to this one, and like her will someday have the experience of teaching there. It's amazing how a picture can draw you in!

Hachiko: The True Story Of A Loyal Dog                                                 By Turner, Pamela

A most heart-warming story about a  man and his best friend.  After the death of Dr. Uenos, his loyal dog Hachiko returns to the Tokyo train station awaiting his return. The best part of this story is that it's completely true and the Hachiko's statue at the train station attracting thousands of people every year.  I highly recommend the movie as well.  Check it out at your library. Oh, this is defiantly on my must visit places in Japan.
Top Summer Read
The Five Sisters
  By Mahy, Margaret

What can happen to five paper dolls joined at the hands? Lots when the winds carry them to a world of adventures.  When they  end up the hands of different people including a musician and a student detail is added to them.  We read one chapter  a night and had a hard time putting it down. And today after our virtual trip to Japan we are making paper doll chains to decorate Little Reader's room.

Do not let circumstances control you. You change your circumstances.

         - Jackie Chan
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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Katherine The Great White & Other Randomness

It's Almost the Fourth of July!
 Kick it up with some lip-smacking faire...
Impress others with 4th of July facts...
I'll will be dropping a line into the Gulf of Mexico this Fourth of July. Yes, I want to catch fish, but really I'm hoping to get a glimpse of Katherine. Who's Katherine?  Only a magnificent 2,300 lb. Great White shark making her way to Texas. Surprisingly, she's not getting the publicity she deserves.  I'm admittedly a Shark Week nut.  It's 37 days 3 hours 3 minutes and 55 seconds away. One of the perks of having the ocean in our backyard is yes the dolphins, but what about our big toothed friends out there.  Hopefully we will find some shark books to sink our teeth into next week. (^^^)

And in honor of the Fourth and Katherine's expected arrival I will attempt this.  I found it on Pinterest and hope it's doesn't turn out to be a Pintrosity.  

On a Writing Note: I was going to introduce you to Pixie, but not yet.  I'll only say she's an eight year girl that finds her way into one whooper of an adventure. And would you believe it happens at the library? Books are coming to life.  And it's a good thing Pixie is the best second grade reader at Strawbridge Elementary. Why? Because there's a Book Guardian who's trying to capture characters in a glowing magic book.  And how would Alice and Wonderland and Cinderella read without it's characters?  It wouldn't.
See, I've said too much.  On my next post you will get a glimpse of Pixie.  Yes, I'm enjoying my daily writing journey.  But I never knew how long and tedious the editing process could take... My apologies, this is why my posts are far and few in between.
Chilling With These Totally Random Romps
The Year Of The Fortune Cookie
Cheng, Andrea

This is the third book in its series.  An adventure where Anna goes with her teacher to China who is adopting a baby girl.  At first, she's a little homesick but soon Anna begins discovering her past. And of course makes a new friend along the way. We are still not done reading this one, but Little Reader says it's the best chapter book she's read this summer. It goes best with Egg Drop soup according to her.  We've are now waiting for Amazon to deliver Year of the Baby and a fortune cookie jar.
Flight School
By Judge, Lita

We all know penguins can't fly. But don't tell this little penguin. He shows up to flight school in the hopes of souring high above the ground. And with the help of his friends his dream is fulfilled, just not in the way you think.  An infectious heartwarming story about not giving up on your dreams.
Chengdu Could Not, Would Not, Fall Asleep
By Saltzberg, Barney

Chengdu the panda can't sleep. While the other pandas slumber soundly Chengdu does everything he can to fall asleep.  After tossing and turning, trying different positions like hanging upside down, he finds a surprisingly perfect spot.  But oh no, now another panda is awake...  
Peggy: A Brave Chicken on A Big Adventure
By Walker, Anna
The cover is what got this off the shelf. And we loved this charming adventure about a chicken enjoying the quiet suburb life. But that changes when Peggy the chicken gets caught in a gust of wind.  The bustling city is no place for a chicken. Or is it? All in all, the humorous individual vignettes will tickle your funny bone.
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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Summer Reads, But First Let Me Take A Selfie

So we are into the first week of summer and it's almost too late to be starting my backyard garden.  But at least my front beds are up and running.  Why am I'm telling you this?  I had an interesting revelation while outside with my little one.  I have red cardinal flowers that have taken sprout and they are taking off.  So I decided to transport them from their pots to the front flower bed.  My Little Reader asks,  "Why do we need to plant them in the front if they are doing fine where they are?"  Mom response, Yes they can survive where they are, but in order for them to thrive we have to move them where they will have more room to grow.   We want them to produce beautiful flowers.   As I'm beginning to let go of the fact that my graduated son is soon going off to college, I see this a perfect metaphor. 
And can someone please tell me what the deal is with the selfies?  This act of self esteem is something I refuse to gaze upon and admittedly will say that my phone would probably reject this even if I tried.  Besides having a camera one foot away from my face feels more like a direct threat than a happy moment.  With all this to say during my sons graduation the valedictorian took a selfie during her speech and pulled it off nicely.  Apparently this is the thing to do during graduations, so I've been told...

I'll finish this speech, but first... Thanks for the memories, GP Class of 2014
let's go change the world

Summer Reads
Snoring Beauty 
 Bardhan Quallen, Sudipta 

A funny and rhyming take on the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty.   It's a good thing Prince Max arrives to break the spell of the loud snoring slumbering princess. 
 Base, Graeme  
A beautiful illustrated alphabet book that I admittedly have checked out numerous times.  And of course we love the L is for Lazy Lions Lounging in the Library.  This one's filled with animals mythological creatures and your reader will enjoy finding additional things that begin with the corresponding letter. 
Poor Doreen: A Fishy Tale
By Lloyd-Jones, Sally

A hysterical fish tale.  Just like our overly optimistic Dory from Finding Nemo, Miss Doreen Randolph-Potts is a half full always  looking on the bright side kinda fish.  On her way to pay a visit to her second cousin twice removed who just had 157 babies, she gets hooked on a delectable dragonfly.  Yes hooked!  No need to mourn for what looks like doomed fate, as she isn't fazed by any of her precarious situations.  Illustrations are beautiful and Little Reader compared this to Ponyo.  Don't miss this Miyazaki  film, get to your library and reserve it today...
In case you asked, what's Ponyo? 

By Lubar, David

A quick witty tale about a boy named Logan that is cursed or "punished" and can only speak in puns.  After running wild in the library Professor Wordsworth  gives him a face of magical dust.  In order to lift the curse Logan must complete three figures of speech quests.  Fun, witty, great afternoon read.
This Is A Moose
By Morris, Richard
Once a movie director tried capturing the essence of a true moose.   But his idea of what a moose should be was not in line with the moose.  This moose actually wants to be an astronaut and will do whatever it takes to make his dream come true.  An  imaginative humorous tale of following your dreams.   Roll on!
The Dancing Pancake
By Spinelli, Eileen
This book is NOT about a dancing pancake like we hoped.  But instead the Dancing Pancake is just the name of a restaurant.  This was a bit of a letdown, and we didn't finish reading it.   In summary it's about a girl dealing with her parents separation and dealing with issues surrounding this type of event.   Not recommended for young readers, and why would children want to enter into such a depressing story? 
Bake Sale
By Varon, Sara
One fascinating, comic style, strange read.  Gotta love a story about a Cupcake that runs a bakery with an eggplant for a best friend.  Eggplant is planning a trip to Turkey and will see the infamous chef, Turkish Delight.  And Cupcake just has to meet her as well, so he starts selling baked goods to raise the money for the trip.  We have checked this out numerous times and its quirkiness keeps drawing us back into the story each time.    

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About Me

My Photo
I'm a reading, writing, publishing, blogging, children's book mama.  Our library journey has opened up a door of wonder, excitement, and imagination for not only my children but myself.  Brining inspiration, motivation, and just overall joy for the written word.  
What started as a mission to find out what makes a true writer, has unfolded the realization that we all have a story.  Not to sound cliché here but, Just Do It!  It's the motivation to get out there, connect, share your story, and not wait for the approval or disapproval of others.  For myself it's publishing, and writing about self motivation, getting to your dreams, and facing what's holding you back. 
Who knows what the future holds for any of us?  Give your children the passion for written words while creating thinkers and doers. 
The library is what did this for us.  Who else gives out unlimited free books, movies, and other book media, and doesn't even mind when we eliminate the need for bookends? 
In a nut shell emphasizing the nut, it's all about the Library Romps & Writing Prompts.
Enjoy & God Bless
- CG

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