New Picture Book Self Publishing Opportunity!

You’re standing at a fork in the road of life… and one direction holds a beaten down, familiar path. The other direction is full of wild jungle, unknown and terrifying.

That’s where I stood just a month ago, at a fork between comfortable and crazy, known and nature’s black hole of nothingness. The options were

  1. Carry on with life as usual: writing, publishing, consulting, coaching, and speaking for free (except for book sales and paying to publish), pouring time and energy and value into building many, many bridges half way. Pulled into every opportunity as it came because “I should.”

or

2. Own that while I’m really good at all of those things, I can’t excel at any of them all at once and to value my expertise in writing and publishing, to narrow down who I can help and to do it masterfully. To face the monsters of fear and mediocrity and shoot down their lies that I’m inadequate, limited, too mediocre, or too scared to ever accomplish anything for any good.

Why is grabbing hold of confidence and knowing our value so terrifyingly hard?

Ironically, at the same time, opportunities crossed my path that pointed toward the “crazy” lane.

Like picture book authors who asked me to charge them for my critiques, my advice, and consultation. Even when I said it was free. I realized that what I offer is so valuable that people don’t feel right just taking it. This was eye-opening about the value of what I was sheepishly giving away.

The Book Building Business Intensive with Self Publishing School CEO and Staff

Or being accepted as one of ten people invited to the Book Building Business Intensive in San Diego with the CEO (Chandler Bolt) of Self Publishing School and his very talented staff for their first ever live event.

Or the sweet 6 year-old girl who said to me recently, “Your picture books are perfect.

These small examples all grabbed their neon signs and pointed down the path of terror. Shouting that I have something of value to offer the world. Of believing that I am incredible at what I do. And of receiving the affirmations that keep pouring in.

As for your own gifts, strengths and talents – I will say this: you are fearless! And generous! And you clearly care about, not only the message, but how the message is received and that it is done so in an uplifting way. People will follow such a leader!

-Business Mentor

and

I feel very strongly that you are meant to do great things for yourself, your family and many others that you have not even met yet.

-Business Mentor

and

Thank you for loving me from the very beginning and teaching me what it looks like to be a faithful friend. You are an extraordinarily gifted writer, communicator, connector, adventurer, listener, empathizer and the ultimate FUN creator! Thanks for inviting me into your world.

-A friend

So, after prayerful consideration, coaching and mentoring from thoughtful business leaders in self publishing, and feedback from my family and friends, and spiritual mentors, I’ve decided “Path Crazy.”

I’ve launched my very own Picture Book Self Publishing Coaching program!

I’m SO excited to finally have one bridge to focus on building and to do it superbly. My goal is to help people publish their picture books as quality as possible in 90 days or less.

I’m building the program together with my clients and my decade of experience in traditional publishing and last few years in self publishing as an Amazon best-selling author. You can learn more about it HERE.

If you know ANYONE who has dreamed of publishing their picture book, send them my way! If they sign up, I’ll send you $50! (Make sure they write your name in the “referral” section of the form.

I’m accepting applications for the limited spots I’m offering until Sunday, November 12th!  There is NO commitment when filling in the application other than to a free clarity call with ME to find the best path to fulfilling your picture book publishing dreams!

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I’m excited to start this new adventure! I know lives will change (my own included!) Join me!

Introducing my newest “baby” – According to Corban!

That’s right!

My newest “baby” has entered the world!

I actually wrote this sweet story about six or seven years ago when I was a new mama. I spent hours learning to both live as a human and nurture, feed, love, and entertain toddlers. This meant trying to get laundry done, dishes cleaned, showers taken, food eaten… all the while having someone calling, pulling, yanking… or, if things were suddenly quiet, drawing, cutting, smearing…

And if you’re a parent or teacher or childcare worker, you know what all of those … mean.

Trouble.

Well, for the caregiver. The kid is usually having a great time! Thus, According to Corban was dreamed up. While scrubbing the floors, my son Corban was sure I was begging to be a horse on his adventure. Pillows were bridges needed to cross carpets of lava. A bath was an ocean full of his favorite wildlife. Our backyard was his personal jungle, complete with wild animals, the perfect hiding places, and lots of dirt. And worms.

AND, a little sister tagging along in his shadow.

It charmed my heart (when I could get over my desire to actually keep something clean and could just play with my kids). One night, around 1am, this story hit me and I couldn’t sleep until I got it all down. Twenty-some-odd revisions later, my firstborn (though not first-published) picture book has entered the world. I hope it’s as much fun for parents as for children. The current 5-star review on Amazon seems to say my goal is a good one!

Pay special attention to the mama in the background and the way Corban’s imagination grows and shifts to interact with her (without ever leaving his imagination!)

You can watch the book trailer here:

According to Corban is available on Kindle, paperback, and hardback!

Feel free to share the love!

Picture Book Publishing – IngramSpark or Create Space: Quality Comparison

Before I launch into my next comparison between CreateSpace and IngramSpark, let me show you a short video of the day I received the first proof of my debut picture book, Tercules, in the mail (from CS). The “funny story” I refer to in the video is the one I share in my last post.

I FINALLY received the paperback version of Tercules from Ingram. Ironically, it beat the journal that I published half a month earlier, which still hasn’t arrived. Neither has the hardback format of Tercules. My previous post discusses all about that.

Interestingly, there were things I liked better about the CreateSpace printing of my book, and things I liked better about Ingram’s. After the disappointment I’ve experienced with Ingram, my expectations were low.

While pictures won’t do the images justice, let me show a few to show the differences.

The cover:

The CS print is on the left, Ingram on the right. Aside from the spine being on the front cover (which was my bad…) the differences are interesting. The CS cover is more vibrant. The colors are brighter. The Ingram cover, however, shows the leaves in the background a little better. Also, as noted by another reviewer of Ingram vs. CreateSpace, I did notice that the CS cover is more apt to collect finger prints and minor scratches. Even after being handled a bit, the fingerprints aren’t very noticeable on the Ingram version. At the end of the day, I think I’d still go with CS’s cover.

Here’s a close up of the two:

Interior:

So while Ingram had a darker, less bright cover, the interior was bright and colorful. CreateSpace had a darker image… which was fine until I saw how nice and bright Ingram’s was. I also pulled up the images sent to me directly from my illustrator, Megan Frank, to see which matched her art the closest. While neither perfectly match her work, Ingram’s is the closest.

Because I’d honestly rather not work with Ingram, I emailed CreateSpace to see what they could do about this. This is their answer (which I appreciated):

Hello Marcy,

Greetings from CreateSpace.

One of the most difficult aspects of desktop publishing is color matching–properly converting the RGB colors into CMYK colors so that what gets printed looks the same as what appears on the monitor or the same as another printed copy.

Unfortunately, we do not currently offer color management for books, and cannot guarantee that the printed book’s color will appear the same as another copy.

Each computer screen and printer has the potential to display and print differently than the printers we use for our print-on-demand process. For this reason we cannot offer an alternative other than adjusting your file accordingly.

You may want to make the images a shade lighter within your native files and resubmitting the files in order for you to check what the proof copy will look like.

If you are not satisfied with the color that is printed, you may need to adjust the colors in your file until you find the correct shade when the book is printed.

I understand that this might not be the response you were hoping for and I truly wish that I would have been able to accommodate your request, unfortunately this is a matter beyond our control.

I appreciate your understanding in this regard Marcy.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions or concerns. We’ll do our best to aid you.

Thank you for reaching out to us. Have a good day.

Aren’t they lovely people? I got this personal email one day after I asked the question. If I were an illustrator, I would know how to do what they said, and I’d go in and do it and try again. Since I’m not (and don’t want to hassle my sweet illustrator again), I’m going to leave it.

About Author Images:

It’s not as easy to tell by this image (sorry) but strangely enough, the About the Author image looks pixilated on the Ingram print, while clear and crisp on the CS print. Maybe the brightness of their print had this affect on the author image… I’m not sure. But I don’t love that it looks that way on Ingram’s print. Strange considering how well the rest of the interior looked.

Ingram: Top CS: Bottom

Really, at the end of it all, either one would do perfectly well. Because I have seen them together, I’m going with the Ingram printing. However, I’m pretty sure for my next picture book (due in February!) that I’ll go with CreateSpace and just let my illustrator know to lighten the art a bit so it’s not so dark. But actually, my next book has lots of light, bright colors so it may not matter as much.

I hope this is helpful! I have a hard time finding much information on self publishing picture books. I’m happy to share my journey!

My next post in the series will look at hiring an illustrator. See you then!