Thursday, October 31, 2013

Children and Their Stories

It has been a while since my last update on the saga of this book dream. And now after many months of hard work, Odie the Stray Kitten is almost complete. This week I gave final approval for the book cover and all of the interior text and images. It should be available at all online retailers within the next 2-3 weeks. Just in time for holiday shopping. That might have been a shameless plug for the book, I can't really be too sure.

With the book in its final stages and arriving around the same time as our little boy, I have been thinking about the connections between children and their favorite stories.

My husband Philip is an elementary school teacher, so we have accumulated quite the collection of children's books, most of which are now sitting on a bookshelf in the nursery, awaiting the arrival of our baby boy. He is due sometime in the next four weeks, roughly the same time as this book. Although I have slightly more control over the arrival of the book than I do of his arrival. Each night Philip picks out a new book and reads it to my belly. Each book is different, just as most adult books are, with different characters, environments, plots and morals. Some children become fascinated by one story in particular and want it read to them over and over. What is it about certain stories that draw the attention and imagination of a child? Why are they drawn more to certain images or characters? Does the child have a deeper connection to a certain story and how was that association created in the first place?

As an adult now submerged in the world of children's literature, I find that I myself feel connected to all stories about animals. And I also appreciate a good moral, lesson or stance on an issue. I can't tell you now what five-year-old me would have thought about Odie's story, but I hope that this book will connect with at least one child out there.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Adventures in the World of Indie Publishing

Entering the indie book publishing world has been quite a ride, and the journey is not even close to over yet. Having complete creative control over the publication of my book is both a blessing and almost a curse. Almost. I get to decide exactly what I want on each page, but then again I have to decide exactly what goes on each page.

Don't get me wrong, it would be nice to be paid up front for a manuscript from a traditional publishing company, and believe me I'm working on that too. But making an initial investment into launching this book will be worth it (and potentially returned in future royalties). It is worth it to have a story so close to my heart be reflected on each page in just the way I imagined it would.

Today I approved all of the final artwork for the illustrations for this book. It is almost overwhelming to see this simple, true story come to life once again on pages after having lived it. And to tell a story, no matter how simple, will stir both emotion and thought.

Here is another indie author's reflection on self-publishing vs. traditional publishing:

Self-Publishing a Children's Picture Book: Sharing My Experience