Guest Post: One Author’s Experience Creating Children’s Read Aloud Ebooks

By David Hoobler

David Hoobler is both the author and illustrator of the Zonk the Dreaming Tortoise series. In the post below he shares his experience creating read aloud ebook versions of his children’s books.

Recording studios and mixing boards meant nothing to me a year ago. To me these are the realm of Rock and Rollers and Super Stars. That was then, before I decided to record my books. Is book narration a DIY proposal? It’s not that easy, in fact it’s very hard work. Continue reading

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An Interview with Vicki Marquez, Author of The Rootlets

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Vicki Marquez is the author of The Rootlets.

The Rootlets are four fun-loving and adventurous kids, with veggie hair and healthy habits – whose lives, up until now, were undoubtedly ordinary. In their very first adventure, Brocc, Carrotina, Cornelius and Kaley overhear shocking news that’s most definitely NOT ordinary, and that’s sure to change life as they know it…forever! Could it be that the Rootlets are in fact superheroes with real super powers called Rootabilities? Using clues from an old legend book, The Rootlets get to work, determined to solve the biggest mystery of their lives.

Read on for an interview with Vicki. Continue reading

Guest Post: Writing and Illustrating a Children’s Picture Book

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By David Hoobler

David Hoobler is both the author and illustrator of the Zonk the Dreaming Tortoise series. In the post below he shares his creative process when it comes to writing, illustrating, and publishing his own books.

My process… What the heck is my process. First I hit myself on the head with a hammer until an idea falls out of my ear. Then I pick up a pencil and start to write or draw. It’s a mess.

I am the author and illustrator of three children’s picture books, the Zonk the Dreaming Tortoise series. It has taken many years to get the three books created and self-published, partly because they are based on my personal experiences of living and exploring the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and Mexico, specifically Baja, and partly because I had to learn publishing along the way. Continue reading

Publishing Children’s Ebooks

The children’s book market is expanding. According to IBISWorld, “e-readers and other popular devices, like tablets and smartphones, make books easier to buy, read and store. Animation and other extra features made possible by these and other devices are making e-books particularly attractive to children.”

Jane Friedman also reported that “Children are starting to read e-books at a younger age, and the e-book format is growing as a percentage share of all books purchased. (It increased to 21% in 2014, up from 14% in 2013.)” She shared a great chart from Nielsen on where books rank for different age groups. You can see it here.

It may still be easier to go the traditional route to publish children’s books (and by children’s books I mean heavily illustrated books, not YA), but more options are popping up for those who want to self-publish. To get a better feel for how it all works, I self-published my first picture ebook, called Apple’s Adventures. I’m also in the process of editing the second book in my How to Make Ebooks series, which will focus on how to create picture ebooks, also known as fixed format ebooks. Continue reading

How to Create a Fixed Format Ebook (Part 2): Adding Images

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In my last post on creating fixed format ebooks, I covered how to set up your files in Sigil so that ereaders and tablets know to treat your ebook like a fixed format ebook. This post I’ll talk about how to treat images in picture ebooks. Continue reading

Getting Past the Gatekeepers: Promoting Children’s Books

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By Louisa Clarkson – Indicated

Now that more and more people self-publishing, it can be hard for new books to get noticed. With that in mind, Louisa Clarkson, founder of Indicated, a promotional resource for indie authors and small presses, has shared three helpful tips on how to promote children’s books, the genre with arguably the most gatekeepers.

Boy, I thought writing for children was tough. Keeping things exciting enough to entertain kids. Maintaining a fast pace to hold their short attention spans. Being sneaky and sprinkling in lessons so that the kid’s didn’t run a mile.

But then when I self-published, I also learned I had to get past the gatekeepers so children could read my book. Gatekeepers (parents, grandparents, friends and family, guardians, librarians and teachers) sometimes choose books on behalf of children to ensure a book will be suitable to read. Here’s 3 tips to promote your children’s books to gatekeepers, and get them into the hands of children. Continue reading

McDonald’s, the Book Distributor

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I couldn’t resist. When I heard that McDonald’s planned to give away over 20 million books with their happy meals during the first two weeks of November, I knew I had to see for myself. So on the first day, I bought my first happy meal in like 20 years.

To be completely honest, I was excited to get The Goat Who Ate Everything, just because it sounded like the cutest of the four book options–the bite mark in the upper right hand corner helps. The book is small and a little flimsy, but easy to carry around. And it comes with an encouraging bookmark.

All the books are meant to help show that McDonald’s cares about healthy eating, and in The Goat we meet a kid (heh) who doesn’t feel good until he eats the right foods.  Continue reading

Rogue Bear Press, a publisher of children’s books

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Jason Edwards, award-winning author and ‘edutainer’, kindly took the time for an interview about Rogue Bear Press. Rogue Bear Press publishes children’s books, including The Chronicles of the Monster Detective Agency, which won the Mom’s Choice Awards in 2011. The press currently has four employees, who all work part-time. In addition to publishing children’s books, Rogue Bear Press offers programs for libraries and schools. Continue reading

Storybird: The Origins of Halloween

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Storybird is a fun, relatively new, platform that, according to the website, “lets anyone make visual stories in seconds.” Artists have created a lot of images especially for the site, and writers then use those images to inspire new stories.  Continue reading

BookStats, What Happened in the Publishing Industry in 2011

BookStats, the annual survey conducted by BISG that captures the size and scope of the publishing industry, was released today. See the press release below; there are some interesting factoids, particularly for anyone working with ebooks.  Continue reading