Being an Author · Writing Appearances

You Can Publish a Book!

Yes, it is possible for you to publish a book! But will you? And should you?

There is A LOT to consider when publishing a book. I have spent many, many hours learning about publishing over the past few years.

I’ve attended writing conferences and webinars, read countless blog posts and books, joined SCBWI and a monthly writer group, submitted manuscripts to literary agents and editors, and self-published multiple journals and three picture books. All three of my picture books received a Readers’ Favorite 5 Stars review, and my book Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles was chosen for the 2019 Read Across Connecticut program.

Through it all, I have learned a lot! I am excited to share what I have learned with you to save you countless hours of research.

Choose a Publishing Option

Of course, in order to publish a book, you must first write a book. But once you have completed your book, what should you do to get it published?

Many years ago, anyone who wanted to publish a book had to submit their manuscript to literary agents or editors who then had to accept the manuscript in order to be published. Writers can still do that if they would like, but there are now additional publishing options available.

Do you know the differences between the different publishing options? And do you know which publishing option is best for you and your book? If not, you may be interested in the course Choosing the Best Publishing Option for You and Your Book: Traditional Publishing, Hybrid Publishing or Self-Publishing? (A free Udemy account is required to take this course.)

Choosing the Best Publishing Option

There are pros and cons to each of the publishing options. In the end, it is up to you to decide which option is best for you and your book.

If you are a children’s book author interested in publishing through a traditional publisher, make sure to check out this list of 37 children’s book publishers accepting unsolicited submissions.

If You Choose to Self-Publish

Literally anyone can self-publish a book these days. In fact, my daughters self-published their own journal last year at the ages of 12 and 13.

write, draw, believe journals

Authors who choose to self-publish don’t have to worry about their manuscript being rejected by literary agents or editors. But, their books could be rejected by their potential audience if not created well.

Do you want to learn more about self-publishing a book in print, so you can one day see your book for sale in online places such as Amazon and barnesandnoble.com? Are you interested in self-publishing a book but have no idea where to begin with the self-publishing process?

If so, the course Self-Publishing 101: Things to Consider Before Publishing Your Book in Print may help guide you in the right direction to reach your publishing dreams. (A free Udemy account is required to take this course.)

self-publishing 101 Course Available

As I had said before, there is A LOT to consider when choosing to publish a book! Instead of spending countless hours aimlessly searching for information about self-publishing, this course is designed in an easy-to-follow format to guide you in the right direction. And it doesn’t matter if you write books for children, middle grade, young adults, or adults.

Divided into a total of 33 videos including the introduction, each video is presented with a slide show presentation as well as a downloadable transcript for your convenience. Handouts are also included with many videos to provide additional resources and information to help you with your publishing journey.

You are welcome to watch the course video, introduction, and the video about print-on-demand publishing (found here) before choosing if this is the right course for you.

Enroll here now or continue reading to see what information is covered within the course.

What is Included in Self-Publishing 101 Course

Section 1

Lecture 1: Introduction

  • Expansion of information presented in the course video
  • Brief introduction of instructor
  • List of what students should learn by the end of the course
  • List of what this course will not teach
  • List of who this course is for
  • Reference to the course Choosing the Best Publishing Option for You and Your Book
  • Brief overview of the publishing options: traditional publishing, hybrid publishing, and self-publishing
  • List of what is needed for this course
  • Some additional publishing tips
  • Break down of this course
  • Disclaimer and copyright information for this course
  • Information about the included handouts

Lecture 2: Print-On-Demand Publishing

  • Overview of print-on-demand printing
  • Pros of print-on-demand
  • Cons of print-on-demand
  • List of print-on-demand companies
  • Brief discussion of offset printing
  • Handout with Additional Resources Included

Section 2: Copyright and Legalities to Consider

Lecture 3: Copyright

  • What copyright is
  • How long copyright lasts
  • How to register for copyright
  • What may not be copyrighted
  • How to show copyright
  • Handout with Additional Resources Included

Lecture 4: Other Legalities to Consider

  • Explanation of disclaimers with samples
  • Being an authorpreneur – business considerations
  • Taxes and permit considerations
  • Keeping records considerations
  • Mention of one resource all self-published authors should consider having
  • Handout with Additional Resources Included

Section 3: Sections to (Possibly) Include in a Book

Lecture 5: Sections to Include in a Book Overview

  • Brief overview of front matter sections
  • Brief overview of body sections
  • Brief overview of back matter sections
  • Handout with Additional Resources Included

Lecture 6: Front Matter Part 1: Title Page

  • What is included on a title page with samples
  • What is included on a half title page
  • Handout with Additional Resources Included

Lecture 7: Front Matter Part 2: Copyright and Dedication

  • What is included on a copyright page with samples
  • Explanation of a dedication with samples
  • Brief explanation of a CIP data block

Lecture 8: Front Matter Part 3: Table of Contents

  • Explanation of a table of contents with samples
  • Tips for creating a table of contents
  • Video with Step-by-Step Instructions for Inserting Table of Contents Included

Lecture 9: Front Matter Part 4: Accolades and Reviews

  • Explanation of a foreword with a sample
  • Explanation of accolades with samples
  • Brief explanation of an advance reader copy (ARC)

Lecture 10: Body Overview

  • Explanation of an introduction with a sample
  • Explanation of a prologue with a sample
  • Considerations for the main text of a book
  • Explanation of an epilogue with a sample
  • Explanation of an afterword
  • Handout with Additional Resources Included

Lecture 11: Back Matter Part 1: Author Bio and Choosing a Name

  • Explanation of an author bio with samples
  • Explanation of an illustrator bio with samples
  • Considerations when choosing an author name
  • Handout with Additional Resources Included

Lecture 12: Back Matter Part 2: Acknowledgments and Additional Options

  • Explanation of acknowledgments with samples
  • Explanation of a promotional page with samples
  • Explanation of a glossary with sample
  • Explanation of an index with samples
  • Explanation of a bibliography with samples
  • Explanation of permission information with samples
  • List of extra back matter ideas
  • An additional tip in place of back matter

Section 4: Editing

Lecture 13: Editing Overview

  • Possible reasons to have an editor
  • Explanation of developmental editing, line editing, copy editing, and proofreading
  • Tips for self-editing
  • Handout with Additional Resources Included

Lecture 14: Finding an Editor

  • Explanation of alpha readers, beta readers, and critique partners
  • Tips after having your work edited or critiqued
  • List of possible questions to ask yourself when deciding to hire an editor
  • List of possible places to find an editor
  • Explanation of the cost of an editor
  • Explanation of what to do if your book is published with errors
  • Handout with Additional Resources and Handout with Questions Included

Section 5: Illustrations, Photos, and Fonts

Lecture 15: Illustrations, Photos, and Fonts Overview

  • Brief explanation of copyright issues
  • Examples of when the instructor has contacted others for permission
  • Explanation of the difference between black and white interior vs color interior
  • Explanation of bleed and no bleed

Lecture 16: Illustrations Part 1

  • Tips before hiring an illustrator
  • Information about dummies
  • Possible places to find an illustrator
  • Questions to consider when choosing an illustrator
  • Additional tips and considerations with illustrations
  • Handout with Additional Resources and Handout with Questions Included

Lecture 17: Illustrations Part 2

  • Explanation of illustration notes
  • A break down of the instructor’s experience with the illustrator of her first two picture books

Lecture 18: Illustrations Part 3

  • A break down of the instructor’s experience with the illustrator of her third picture book

Lecture 19: Photos

  • Possible places to find photos
  • Additional tips and considerations for photos
  • Handout with Additional Resources Included

Lecture 20: Fonts

  • Brief explanation of fonts
  • Possible places to find fonts
  • A possible place to create your own font
  • Tips for having fun and being creative with fonts
  • Additional tips and considerations for fonts
  • Handout with Additional Resources Included

Section 6: Metadata

Lecture 21: Metadata

  • What metadata is
  • Considerations/explanations/tips for choosing keywords, book titles, categories, price, and the publication date
  • Tips for writing and formatting a book description
  • Handout with Additional Resources Included

Lecture 22: ISBNs and Barcodes

  • Facts about ISBNs and Barcodes
  • How many ISBNs you need
  • When a new ISBN is required
  • Where to get an ISBN (in the United States)
  • Whether or not you should purchase your own ISBNs
  • Handout with Additional Resources Included

Section 7: More Details

Lecture 23: Trim Size and Additional Considerations

  • Explanation of trim sizes
  • Tips for choosing a trim size
  • Explanation of additional interior considerations such as paper thickness, paper color, running heads, running feet, and page numbers
  • Handout with Additional Resources Included

Lecture 24: Book Covers

  • Explanation of book cover considerations such as hardcover vs softcover, matte vs glossy, and cover consistency
  • Tips and resources for creating your own cover
  • Handout with Additional Resources Included

Lecture 25: Self-Publishing Expenses to Consider

  • Explanation of cost to self-publish
  • List of expenses to consider when self-publishing
  • List of ways an author can save money when self-publishing
  • A break down of the cost to publish the instructor’s most recent book
  • Considerations about profiting on a self-published book

Section 8: Publishing with KDP Print

Lecture 26: KDP Print Overview

  • Brief recap of print-on-demand
  • Overview of KDP Print
  • Handout with Additional Resources Included

Lecture 27: Expanded Distribution with KDP Print

  • Explanation of expanded distribution through KDP Print
  • A break down of possible book royalties through KDP Print
  • Handout with Additional Resources Included

Lecture 28: KDP Print Tips

  • Tips for using KDP Print
  • Explanation of proofs
  • Handout with Additional Resources and Handout with Step-by-Step Upload Instructions Included

Section 9: Publishing with IngramSpark

Lecture 29: IngramSpark Overview

  • Overview of IngramSpark
  • Handout with Additional Resources Included

Lecture 30: Additional IngramSpark Information

  • Explanation of wholesale discounts
  • Brief explanation of publisher compensation calculator and print and ship calculator
  • Handout with Additional Resources Included

Section 10: Using Both KDP Print and IngramSpark Together

Lecture 31: Using Both KDP Print and IngramSpark Together

  • Tips for using both KDP Print and IngramSpark together with examples
  • A break down of author copy costs
  • Handout with Additional Resources Included

Section 11: Even More Information

Lecture 32: E-books and Audiobooks Overview

  • Overview of e-books
  • List of possible benefits of e-books
  • List of possible options for publishing e-books
  • Brief explanation of KDP ASIN
  • Brief explanation of DRM
  • Brief explanation of KDP Select
  • Brief mention of audiobooks
  • Handout with Additional Resources Included

Lecture 33: Just a Few Marketing Ideas

  • List of a few more considerations before publishing a book
  • List of nine inexpensive publicity/marketing ideas
  • A reminder as the student moves forward with own publishing journey
  • Thank you!
  • Handout with Additional Resources Included

Who This Course is Not For

  • Someone expecting to get rich fast by publishing a book
  • Someone expecting to learn writing techniques
  • Someone expecting to learn specific book formatting techniques

Take the Next Step

Like I said, there is A LOT of information to consider when self-publishing a book. Are you ready to take the next step to reach your publishing dreams? Enroll now in Self-Publishing 101: Things to Consider When Publishing a Book in Print and learn at your own pace.

Click here to register if you are ready to take the next step.

Conclusion

Simply learning about publishing will not get your book published. You will have to put in the effort to actually move forward with your publishing journey.

To your publishing success!

Ramblings · Writing Appearances

2020 End-of-Year Writing Update

As 2020 comes to an end, I find myself reflecting on what I had posted last year for my 2019 end-of-year writing update and 2020 writing goals.

In that post, I had written:

I think it’s beneficial to have some kind of an idea of goals for the upcoming year, but things happen, plans can change, and ideas may lead in a new direction. I don’t know what the future will hold, but I have found it to be more beneficial for me to create monthly (and even daily) goals with a few long-term goals still in mind.

Well, this year was full of plans changing and things happening! It certainly did not go the direction any of us had originally planned.

I had no idea at the end of 2019 that my family would be dealing with COVID, numerous cancellations, an inland hurricane that unexpectedly tore through our area on my birthday leaving us without power for eight days and without internet for three weeks, and multiple other events that had happened throughout 2020.

I’m sure you can relate to how unexpected things have been this year!

Besides numerous cancellations that affected my family personally, I was disappointed about the cancellations of pickle festivals, the local farmers’ market, and other in-person events for my writing adventure. Those cancellations made it more challenging to sell my books and journals this year.

Through it all, though, I am grateful for all the blessings our family has had even when things didn’t go as originally planned.

My 2020 Writing Adventure Accomplishments

This year became my “year of learning about writing” since I had the opportunity to attend multiple writing webinars, a nonfiction conference, an SCBWI spring conference, and the Northwestern Christian Writers Conference because they were all virtual. In fact, I filled an entire binder with all the notes I typed from these various virtual learning opportunities!

As a result of a one on one virtual meeting with an editor through the Northwestern Christian Writers Conference, two writings of mine (so far, at least) were accepted for publication in a children’s magazine (scheduled for 2021).

I created and published four journals. I was hoping to use the field trip journal quite a bit this year since I was organizing monthly field trips for a homeschool group I had started a couple of years ago. But that didn’t happen. Interestingly, our last field trip as a group was in February at a local airport.

I also published a hardcover version of Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles and created and published a picture book with my 12-year-old daughter called Aah! Blown Away, Crash! An Alphabet Misadventure. As a result of that publication, my daughter and I had a few interview opportunities. I really enjoyed working on that project together.

I created one course for SchoolhouseTeachers.com, two courses that I published on Udemy, a class that I taught at a local community college in October (since the class was cancelled in May and July), and a webinar that I presented at the KidLit Indie Publishing Summit.

I continued as a monthly contributor for Hands on As We grow and other writings of mine were published in various places online and in print. I also wrote a couple of picture book manuscripts, which I have submitted to a few places.

How to Raise Entrepreneur Kids Contributor

I was hoping to reach out to state parks and airports to try to sell my Adventure Writing Prompt journal, but I didn’t. I figured they would not sell well with all of the restrictions and cancellations for travel this past year. I was able to sell my Reading Journals to an educational resource supplier, though.

I’ve continued volunteering as a Regional Social Chair for SCBWI IA/MN, and I am still leading monthly writer meetings (albeit virtually instead of in-person). I also had the opportunity to attend a few virtual picture book meetings, which I hope to continue in 2021.

Finally, I joined Twitter and edited a book for a publishing company located in Iowa.

My 2021 Writing Adventure Goals

I am not sure what 2021 will bring especially with my family expecting some big changes in the upcoming year. But I do intend to continue my writing adventure.

Here are some things I am planning to do in 2021:

  • present a webinar hosted by SCBWI IA/MN at the end of January (more info here)
  • continue writing monthly posts for Hands On As We Grow
  • create and present a webinar hosted by Journey to Kidlit
  • teach at the local community college
  • create and publish at least one more course on Udemy
  • edit some more books (I have 5 tentatively scheduled for 2021)
  • decide what to do with a manuscript I have written (submit or publish)
  • research and explore the possibility of writing a book (or a series of books) based on an idea I have (and then start writing it)
  • look into work-for-hire opportunities and decide if it is something I want to pursue

Last year, I had also written something else that still resonates with me.

As Proverbs 16:9 says, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” I am excited to see where this writing adventure will lead next.

Yes, I have some plans but I don’t know exactly what will happen in the upcoming year. My writing adventure continues to be a part-time endeavor that I hope to continue working on when I can.

What About You?

I have rambled on long enough. Did you accomplish any of your 2020 goals? What are some goals you are hoping to reach in 2021?

Happy New Year!

Writing Appearances

How to Make Writing Numbers (and Math) Fun

Yes, it is possible to make math worksheets fun. But, kids don’t always want to do worksheets (even if they are fun). Can you blame them?

How to Make Writing Numbers Fun

My most recent post published on Hands On As We Grow is a fun way to teach children how to write numbers. You are welcome to see the directions for these math-related homemade sensory bags here.

How to Make Writing Numbers Fun

If you are looking for more hands-on math fun, make sure to check out the following:

Hands On Math: The Hungry Jar (The Old Schoolhouse Magazine)

Math Memorization Fun (The Old Schoolhouse Magazine)

Simple Number Car Line Race to Teach Math (Hands On As We Grow)

Crafts and Projects · Ramblings · Writing Appearances

Simple Science Experiments for Kids in the Kitchen

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission at no extra charge to you if you click on a link and make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I greatly appreciate all purchases you make using these links. Thank you!)

My daughters and I have done a lot of science experiments together over the years!

Some of them we have only done once. I don’t think I’ll ever soak chicken bones in vinegar again. Not sure if we did something wrong, but that reeked!

Other science experiments have been so much fun (and simple) to do that we have done them multiple times. One such experiment is elephant toothpaste.

You can make your own elephant toothpaste using the step-by-step directions I provided on Hands On As We Grow (here). Make sure to scroll towards the bottom of that post if you’d like to download a PDF that includes the needed supplies and directions.

I also recently wrote an article for The Old Schoolhouse magazine about some more fun science experiments to do in the kitchen.

Make sure to check out “Science in the Kitchen” if you are interested in experimenting with roux, toast, yeast, and baking powder in your own kitchen.

All of the science experiments I shared in that article were adapted from the book The Science Chef: 100 Fun Food Experiments and Recipes for Kids and the course Breadmaking Devotional (found on SchoolhouseTeachers.com).

I also mentioned some additional books that encourage science in the kitchen including a few cookbooks for kids. Here they are for easy reference:

So, learn how to make elephant toothpaste here. And check out some fun science in the kitchen experiments here.

I’d love to hear what your favorite simple science experiment is. Please let me know in the comments below.

For even more simple science experiments, make sure to check out these posts:

Being an Author · Writing Appearances

Learn More about Publishing at the Upcoming KidLit Indie Publishing Summit

Are you interested in publishing a book? Or are you looking for more information about self-publishing?

If you answered yes to either (or both) of these questions, make sure to check out the upcoming KidLit Indie Publishing Summit!

If you are reading this after the summit but are still interested in learning more about publishing, please look on my courses page. There may be something for you there!

KidLit Indie Publishing Summit

Even though the 15 speakers span across four continents and six countries, there is no need to travel to attend the KidLit Indie Publishing Summit. It is entirely virtual. No travel costs. No lodging fees. You can watch the entire summit from the comfort of your own home!

Learn more about the speakers here.

I had the privilege of creating and presenting one of the webinars for the summit. It is titled Using KDP Print and IngramSpark to Publish Children’s Books (And Should You Use Their Free ISBNs and Barcodes?).

This particular webinar may be for you if you want basic information about:

  • KDP Print
  • IngramSpark
  • Tips for using both KDP Print and IngramSpark to publish print books
  • Print-on-demand publishing
  • Expanded distribution
  • ISBNs
  • Barcodes

This is just one of the sixteen webinars that will be available during the summit. All of the webinars are focused on information about creating books, the printing process, illustrating your book, and book marketing.

Learn more about the available webinars here.

And best of all, the entire summit is free to watch for a limited period of time. Make sure to claim your spot for the KidLit Indie Publishing Summit here.

As an added bonus, all KidLit Indie Publishing Summit attendees should be receiving a coupon code for a discounted price on my recently released course Choosing the Best Publishing Option for You and Your Book: Traditional Publishing, Hybrid Publishing, or Self-Publishing?

Choosing the Best Publishing Option for You and Your Book

Make sure to check out the KidLit Indie Publishing Summit for more information.

Like I had mentioned before, if you are reading this after the summit but are still interested in learning more about publishing, please look on my courses page. There may be something for you there!

To your publishing success!