As an indie author, people are not exactly beating down my door to interview me. So, when someone is kind enough to offer, I happily say yes!
Thanks to Sondra Rymer for the recent interview on The Children’s Writer’s Guild.
It was interesting to reflect on my own process as an author. I hope you find something helpful or inspiring in the mix. You can access the interview here http://www.childrenswritersguild.com/an-interview-with-author-michelle-eastman/
There are a lot of wonderful things about being a self-published author. In fact, in a previous blog post, I even compiled a list of things that DON’T suck about self publishing. But, one thing that DOES seem to suck, for most of us, is marketing and promoting our books.
I published my first children’s picture book around this time last year. I was thrilled when all of my hard work produced a truly beautiful book.
I couldn’t wait to share it with people. The book was well-received by family and friends, but I wanted my book to reach more people. I jumped into the marketing process with as much enthusiasm and gumption as I invested in writing and publishing. I began seeking out reviewers. Many were receptive, and my first book received loads of great reviews.
With the launch of my second picture book, I thought marketing and promoting would somehow get easier. I thought wrong.
Sadly, I am finding more and more reviewers are not willing to review self-published work. Even more sadly, I now have the Five Man Electric Band song stuck in my head!
Self-published indie people, I wish you the very best on your journey. I’d love to hear about your experiences. Feel free to leave a comment. Thank you!
I don’t know how I got so lucky as to have Kevin Richter beside me through the production of two books, but I am so happy he’s along for the ride. Here is the cover reveal for our forthcoming children’s picture book.
Posted by Michelle R. Eastman in absolutely agggie, author, dust fairy tales Tags: #kidlit, cover reveal, dust fairies, illustrator, indie author, Kevin Richter, new release, picture book, self-publishing
Maybe it’s an indie author thing, or perhaps the highs and lows are just part of the writing game. I’m typically a glass half-full kind of gal; I try to see the silver lining in each cloud. But, I have fallen into a bit of a funk.
No, not that kind of funk.
How do you de-funk? I’d love to hear about your experiences. Don’t be shy-leave a reply.
WARNING-Shameless Plug to follow…
I’m celebrating the 6 month birthday of my first published children’s book. The whole experience has been more than a bit surreal. I never dreamed I’d see my self-published book on the shelves of libraries and bookstores, let alone that people would ask me to sign copies. I also never thought I’d come up with another idea for a book. But, Kevin Richter and I are currently working on book #2 in what has now become a series of Dust Fairy books. Needless to say, I am blessed.
The star of our newest book is Absolutely Aggie. She longs to join the fairy band, but she is too loud, too bold, and just too much for the more dainty fairies in the group. Aggie follows her heart, and she eventually discovers you don’t have to be perfect to find your perfect fit. You can read the latest Dust Fairy updates on Facebook.
I’m also blessed to enjoy the company of my awesome blogging buddies. Your support and encouragement means a lot to me.
So, here comes the plug.
In honor of the 6 month anniversary of my book, I am offering the Kindle version for 99 cents for 6 days. If you enjoy picture books with colorful pictures and subtle, yet sincere take-away messages, you won’t be disappointed in The Legend of Dust Bunnies, a Fairy’s Tale.
Thanks to Chris, The Story Reading Ape for pointing out that I previously did not include the Amazon link. Be sure to check out his blog. It’s like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory for Indie authors! He is amazingly generous (not sure he’ll let you eat his dishes, though).
Here is the US Amazon link to get your .99 cent Kindle book:
The Legend of Dust Bunnies, a Fairy’s Tale http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NT6MXM0/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_awdm_KZKvvb1XC9JFF via @amazon
Here’s a preview of the book I created using Animoto:
Are you celebrating something special? I’d love to hear about it. Don’t be shy, leave a reply!
Posted by Michelle R. Eastman in amwriting, blogging, book marketing, fairies, families, indie author, Kevin Richter, Michelle Eastman, Self-Publishing, writing for kids Tags: #booknerd, #kidlit, 99 cents, a Fairy's Tale, amazon, author, bedtime stories, bestseller, book birthday, book marketing, book promotion, children's authors, children's book, children's literature, indie author, kids' books, kindle, picture book, self-publishing indie author, writing for kids
Writing is a solitary vocation. I spend a lot of time alone, pondering and reflecting, constructing and connecting. Most recently I connected my life, as a writer, to a well-known poem by Robert Fulghum. http://www.robertfulghum.com/ In the poem, Fulghum reflects on his days in kindergarten and how those lessons prepared him for life.
As I read his words, I began to ponder how becoming an author has enriched my life. I may not have learned “All I really need to know”, but I am constructing my journey one keystroke and lesson at a time.
All I really need to know…I learned writing kids’ Books
Give back to your fellow writers. Share articles and resources. Share your failures; they matter too. Lift someone up; show him the way. Give your books away to kids in need. Give back to your community.
I have dues to pay, like everyone else. There are no short-cuts or secret formulas to getting your books published or noticed.
Don’t hit people-
over the head with book promotions. It’s a fine line we walk when we promote our books. When in doubt, less is ALWAYS more!
Put things back where you found them-
Being an organized writer leads to being a productive writer (took me a long time to accept this one). This rule also applies to cats sleeping on your lap while you write. If you must disturb them, return them to your lap immediately.
Clean up your own mess-
I am a better writer when I can see the top of my workspace (fought this one for years). Cats sitting on your workspace are exempt.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours-
Whenever you quote or reference someone else or his/her work, give him/her proper credit.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody-
For me, this pertains to my husband. He is often on the receiving end of my writer’s block crankiness and endures my need for isolation when the block gives way.
Wash your hands before you eat-
A good practice on those rare occasions when I pry myself from my WIP to eat.
Sometimes I have to let go of an idea that is not working to create space for a new one.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you-
And they make for delicious refreshments at book signing events.
Live a balanced life-learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some-
Okay, I’m still working on that one.
Take a nap every afternoon-
My cats handle this one for me.
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together-
I am blessed to go out into the kid lit world, holding hands with some of the best people I know. Winding our way through the streets of the publishing world; we stick together.
Be aware of wonder-
Without this, how would we create anything new?
Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup; The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup-they all die. So do we-
The wonderful thing is that, as writers, we can make these moments matter. And what we write can matter to someone in a profound way.
And remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned-the biggest word of all-LOOK-
My greatest joy, as a children’s author, is seeing my words reflected through another person’s eyes. In that book, for those few moments, we look at the world together.
What has your writing journey taught you? I’d love to hear about it. Don’t be shy, leave a reply.
Posted by Michelle R. Eastman in amwriting, author, authors giving back, blogging, indie author, kidlit, Michelle Eastman, new author, Self-Publishing, writing for kids Tags: #kidlit, amwriting, author, author support, how to, indie author, kids' books, self-published author, self-publishing, self-publishing indie author
You have to spend money to make money, right?
How much money do you spend to sell your book?
How much time do you spend?
I self-published my first children’s picture book in November, 2014. I am happy to say that I have sold enough books to make back my initial investment (money that is-don’t know where the time went). To date, I’ve sold over 6 times the number of books in person as I have online.
Although my online sales have been low, I have benefited greatly from my time spent online. I have met many talented, funny, kind, people since I began blogging last year. I have also learned a lot. Surfing for articles and information about the writing world is daunting, but it’s rewarding. I have been able to share what I’ve learned about self-publishing and have, hopefully, helped some people along the way.
The best part of writing books for kids is the kids! It has been my pleasure to visit libraries and schools to share my book. Success? It’s relative. And when you are looking at 25 smiling faces, while you turn the pages of YOUR book, that’s the money shot!
I am interested to hear input from other indie authors. What is working for you? What isn’t?
Posted by Michelle R. Eastman in amwriting, blogging, book marketing, new author, Self-Publishing, writing Tags: #booknerd, #kidlit, amwriting, author, blogging, book marketing, book promotion, indie author, publishing cost, self-publishing