Publishing

Inspiration Behind My Book and Self-Publishing with Archway Publishing

The following are the words of Lawrence Bodner, author of IBS is BS. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services. 

What key drivers inspired me to write my book?

The first driver must be your burning desire to get your story or message out to the general public. Writing is an art that is usually innate and therefore difficult to cultivate. Writing is usually stimulated by one’s desire to get their story out in order to entertain, educate, influence and or effect social change in the reading public. Continue reading

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Author Feature, Publishing

Self-Publishing Children’s Books with Archway

From time to time, Archway Publishing turns over its blog to its authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Jan Gimlin, author of “The Adventures of Franz and Jethro: Ants in the Pants”. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.  

My storytelling days began with my own two children. I read a lot of stories too, but their favorites seemed to be the stories I just made up for them. They used to beg me to make up stories, the wilder and crazier the better. They were the perfect captive audience!

SKU-001060594Anyway, I love animals, and especially love how different their personalities can be, much like humans. So, with our two dogs, I always make up sayings/words based on what I THINK they would say if they could talk. My husband and I would tell our black lab (Jethro) that he had ants in his pants, because from the time we got him (adopted at about 5 months) he’d have a crazy burst of energy (OFTEN) and be ready to play fetch or catch; then just fizzle out.

So one day the story just came to me and I wrote it down on the computer. That was last summer. On a whim, I emailed the story to my daughter and asked for her impressions. She loved the story and told me I should try to get it published.

Next, I went to the library and checked out about a dozen children’s books, read them, and wrote down the publishers names. Then I researched the publishers of the books I liked best, looking for the self-publishing branch of each. I thought Archway sounded reasonable, contacted them and someone called me back.

Now, discussions began with my publishing consultant about the direction of my book. I had to make a decision: how to illustrate it. I am an artist, mostly a painter, but NOT a cartoonist. As a creative person, I kept thinking there must be something that I could do myself. So the consultant asked me if I’d thought about collage, or something else. Over the course of a weekend I decided to do a drawing, a collage, and a model magic figurine; then attached pictures of all three in an email to the consultant. This consultant was intrigued by the model magic figurine because he could think of no other children’s book on the market with this type of illustration for its characters. I liked the sound of having a unique book, bought more colors of model magic and began to create the characters in various poses.

As an art teacher my favorite modeling compound for elementary students was Model Magic, a crayola product, and I LOVED creating dogs or other animals with them. But with this product or even clay, one problem I had was creating a large dog with stick-thin legs. The weight of the main body collapsed the legs! So I had to create a “skeleton” for the walking poses with the black lab. For the dachshund, I just made squattier legs and left it at that. But I had to show the difference in proportion between the two dogs (100 lbs. vs. 12 lbs.), and realized it would just look weird for the lab to have thick squatty legs! So, my husband helped me make the skeleton out of wire and hot glue, which I then covered with pieces of model magic.JanGimlin

Next, the publishing consultant gave me the idea of a diorama for the background. After googling “diorama”, I came up with a few ideas. I used foam core as a base, and for the indoor scene I covered it with two types of shelf paper. For the outdoor scene, I used three different types of textured mediums that I use in painting: coarse pumice gel for the ant bed, coarse modeling paste to simulate sandy red dirt, and fiber paste to simulate grass. Then I painted over all of these. The outdoor background was painted on a 11×14 canvas board. The bushes were clumps of reindeer moss. The furniture and plant for the indoor scene were dollhouse furniture.

Next, my publishing consultant told me that the picture resolution had to be at least 300 DPI, so I tried taking pictures with my cellphone but when he checked the resolution, he said the pictures were blurry and just wouldn’t work. I already had a tripod, so used it along with our digital camera to take all my pictures.

Then when the story and pictures were finalized, I was transferred to a check-in coordinator, where my patience with technology was tested time after time! Next came the design team, where the cover and interior were planned. After several revisions with the layout, my project was done!

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub and Like the Archway Publishing Facebook page.

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Publishing

Why I Self Published by Virginia Stringer

From time to time, Archway Publishing turns over its blog to its authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Virginia Stringer, author of “Just Maagy”.  Connect with Virginia on Facebook and her website. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services. 

My book is “Just Maagy“. It started out as a fifty-minute children’s play but then turned into a short story that wasn’t so short. It was ignored for a few years and then it found its way to my face again and took on a life of its own spawning a six-book chapter book series over the course of eleven years. Then it became my fourth child!

In fact, the main character, Princess Melania Abigail Alice Grace, are my daughters and granddaughters in a manner of speaking.

SKU-000932177Maagy, as her father calls her, is a spoiled little brat who readers meet on her thirteenth birthday, when she throws a tantrum because there is no more spumoni ice cream for breakfast. Like I said, my daughters and granddaughters.

Maagy is strong willed, exceedingly smart, cunning and perceptive. She is also stubborn leading her father to give in and allow her to attend school outside the palace, where she begins to understand the meaning of true friendship. However, life is always full of twists and turns and Maagy is not spared.

When I decided to share Maagy with the world, it was a huge leap of faith and a gut wrenching choice, thinking of her out there on her own. I began considering my publishing options. I spent a considerable time researching literary agents, but found their websites and their entire business to be unfriendly and not at all encouraging to new writers. The overall theme was, “If you want to get published, you’ll have to go through me and hope your book parts the Red Sea, because that’s the only way you’re getting to a publisher’s desk! Oh, and we’ll rewrite it to suit us and you can kiss our grits!”

That attitude did not go over well with me! I was not about to put my life’s artistic accomplishment in the hands of literary agents to chop and “commercialize” it into their dream!

I spent a weekend, crying, uttering a few choice words and almost hit “delete”! My husband talked me off the ledge and said, “Why don’t you self publish? You’ll have all the control and no one will mess with your art.”

Writing is an art form…

So giving over my work to someone else to cut and edit, in my opinion, is like a museum curator saying to a painter, “I’ll put blue in place of red, change the man to a woman, remove the mountains and then hang it in my gallery!” I couldn’t live with that.

However, no one can ever edit his or her own work, effectively!

Just MaagyI have a group of “readers” who function as editors. They give me content feedback, ask questions and point out typos and mistakes. They are all well educated except for the children who read for me and come from different backgrounds and professions. All are avid readers and will give me honest critique, without telling me I have to change this or that if I want it published. They do not interfere with my artistic process, but do speak to me from an outside perspective, which is vital to knowing how my work will be received. They are teachers, financial advisers, actors, poets, scientists, friends and family members about ten to fifteen, in all.

The big difference is I have the final say, as to whether I heed the advice. In most cases, I take the suggestions to heart and make revisions… some minor and some major!

Every new and old writer needs readers!

So… I looked up “self-publishing” and Archway was first on the list. Simon and Schuster Publishing is the parent company, lending credibility, before I even went further and spoke to a human, which, by the way, the literary agencies did NOT offer.

Having expressed interest through email, a real person called in less than 24 hours! The conversation was informative, enlightening and friendly!! All of my misgivings were put to rest and I asked for a week or so to mull it over. I was not pressured, “sold” a product or made to feel unimportant. A week or so later, the very friendly voice was back and I asked a few more questions and mulled some more.

Overall, I am pleased with my decision to go the self-publishing route and Archway has been fabulous to work with at every step of the way. The support services and staff have been exceedingly helpful, though, not inexpensive. However, I consider it money well spent!

In fact, I am publishing the entire Maagy series at present count, six books  through Archway Publishing!

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub and Like the Archway Publishing Facebook page.  

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Publishing

Publishing Mumpkin the Pumpkin

From time to time, Archway Publishing turns over its blog to its authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Abbey McCormack, author of “Mumpkin the Pumpkin.” Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.

My publishing journey went a little like this:

Start children’s book.
Get hit by a car.
Heal.
Get pregnant.
Move to Japan.
Give birth.
Husband gets deployed.
Get pregnant again.
Lose a parent.
Give birth.
Husband gets deployed again.
Publish Mumpkin the Pumpkin.

A lot can happen that could derail you from your dreams. Don’t let it.

What would have happened if Steve Jobs decided that his ideas of intuitive technology were better left on the shelf?

What would the world be like had Mark Zuckerburg decided to focus on schoolwork rather than tinker around with his creation: The Facebook?

SKU-001042846Ok… a self-published children’s book about a little pumpkin without a mouth is no iPhone or technologically redeemed tower of Babel – but it is my Holy Grail.

For this creative scatterbrain to actually accomplish something is flippin’ miraculous. I was employed as a nanny when the idea of Mumpkin the Pumpkin came into my mind. The little girl in my care had a habit of naming things with words that rhymed (think: Pog the dog or Mig the pig). Well, one day she named the pumpkin we had spent the afternoon painting, Mumpkin. Ding! There it was.

“Hey what if there was a little pumpkin and someone forgot to carve out his mouth? He could go looking for the right mouth and it could teach kids about their emotions! Wouldn’t that be a cute idea for a kids’ book?”

And four short years later Mumpkin the Pumpkin was born.

I could have been derailed by any one of the life events that are listed above but with the constant nagging… I mean… encouragement of my husband I was gently nudged further and further toward the finish line.

I worked on and off throughout the years as time and life would allow. Then finally, Mumpkin was ready. The illustrations were completed. The words had been parsed for the last time. Now what?

Enter Archway Publishing.

All I had to do was sign some paperwork, submit my materials, a little tweak here, an edit there and Poof! All of the sudden this little pumpkin searching for his mouth – that only existed in my imagination – was now in physical form, ready to share with my friends and family all around the world.

Now my little Mumpkin is one of Archway Publishing’s bestsellers and I couldn’t be prouder of him… and myself. The funny thing about accomplishment is that it’s addictive. Once you attain your dream you realize that sheer will is the only thing needed to attain another.

Be patient. Life happens. Slow down and give attention to those things in life that need it – but be persistent. Don’t give up. The world needs people to chase their dreams and better yet – to catch them – and share them with us all.

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub and Like the Archway Publishing Facebook page.

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Publishing, Uncategorized

I’ll Decide

From time to time, Archway Publishing turns over its blog to its authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Tanya Elliott , author of “The Secret Blanket.”  For more about the author and her book, visit her Twitter and Instagram. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.
SKU-001030553No thank you. Thank you but no thank you. Not a good fit. Good luck but no. Not for us. No thank you. Looks wonderful but no.Self addressed brown envelope after self addressed brown envelope. Thin, sad business sized stationary filled with rejection. It did not feel good. It felt bad! It felt worse than sitting on a bench during a slow song at a Junior High Dance.

I had seeds of inspiration for my children’s story that swirled around in the back of my mind for years. I had little notes in the margins of journals. I had character sketches on crinkled grocery receipts. It wasn’t until I was at home with my second child; sleep deprived and day dreaming that the story flashed to “real” and took shape.

FullSizeRenderI contacted children’s authors, sought advice from colleagues, family and friends. I typed, retuned and researched and retyped. I submitted and submitted and submitted. After that many “no thank you’s” you’d think I might just give up. But, I’ll decide. I decided that the world needed my story. I decided that I would self-publish and make my dream of being a children’s book author come true.

After speaking to several companies, I found that Archway Publishing and their connection to Simon and Schuster was exactly what I was looking for. Archway Publishing would guide me each step of the way and for a reasonable price. What more could I ask for?

IMG_1823I have accomplished many things in my life–two bachelor degrees, one masters degree, numerous certificates, teacher, counsellor, wife, mother. I am so proud to add author to that list. One thing I’ve learned: if I have a goal, no matter what obstacles present themselves, I will find a way. I’ll decide.

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub and Like the Archway Publishing Facebook page. 

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Author Feature, Publishing

“Beast Blood” is My Creation and Archway was the Machine that Brought It to Life

From time to time, Archway Publishing turns over its blog to its authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of M. A. Levi, author of “Beast Blood.”  For more about the author and her book, visit her Website, FacebookTwitter and Goodreads. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services. 

From the moment I typed the final words from the last chapter of “Beast Blood” onto that blank virtual piece of paper on the computer screen, I knew I had finished something extraordinary. Honestly, I knew it before then, but in my own right it was amazing. It was never my intention to write a book. I never dreamed it was possible. Me? No way! I had no prior experience, no degree, nothing. I was always an avid reader, a poet, but never an author. Nevertheless, inspiration came as sudden as lightning and obsession, along with words of encouragement, carried my determination to seeing it through.

11392958_1630173673914073_3938420631559957583_n After a long nine months of concerns, discouragements from myself, encouragements from others, research, brainstorming, editing, writing and rewriting; I finally created “Beast Blood”. In comparison, I felt like Mary Shelly’s ‘Victor Frankenstein’ when he had finally mended the parts of his creature together and starred at its crude appearance.

Astounded and mystified by how far I had come, I knew it was only the beginning. I needed to bring my book to life and progress it further.

Immediately, my family and I looked to our bookshelves. We flipped to the publisher’s page and wrote down their information. After nearly a month, my research on the countless publishers were void. The publishers that issued the books I read and loved were not a right match for me. Fortunately, it made me even more determined to find what I was looking for. I had came too far and for many reasons, I wouldn’t allow myself to give up. It wasn’t long after that until the solution I needed for my obstacle was found. I clicked on a link for Archway Publishing and progressed my reading. After my research on the company, I had to trust my instinct, which told me ‘this is it’. Immediately, I talked to a friendly consultant and several days later sent in my completed manuscript.

SKU-001012607After a couple weeks time, “Beast Blood” was accepted. I was beyond excited. Finally, I did it! There was still much more to do, but I had found the ‘machine’ that would bring my creation, “Beast Blood,” to life. Unlike the dark regretful nature of Victor Frankenstein, I didn’t have any. I knew when working with Archway Publishing I could trust their experience and dedication. I worked incredibly hard on “Beast Blood” and putting so much into it. What I liked most about Archway Publishing is that they respected that my manuscript was near and dear to my heart. The staff members that lead me through the entire process were wonderful professionals. I loved working with them and openly accepted their great ideas. Now, that “Beast Blood” is published and title live, their continuous help has made me even more successful and confident as a new author. Overall, we worked together to create something wonderful and for everything they have done to make the experience worth reliving, I am beyond grateful.

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub and Like the Archway Publishing Facebook page.

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Author Feature, Publishing

Journaling as a Foundation for Publishing

From time to time, Archway Publishing turns over its blog to its authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Pamala D. Larsen author of “Finding a Way through Cancer, Dying, and Widowhood.” Here she shares some advice on how journaling is the foundation of publishing. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services. 

 

October is breast cancer awareness month, and although the survival rate of breast cancer has steadily increased, it remains an ever present threat to both men and women. Statistics from the National Cancer Institute indicate that in 2015, in the U.S., approximately 1.65 million individuals will be diagnosed with cancer, while 590,000 will die from the disease.

ResizeImageHandler (1)Although heart disease remains the most common disease and cause of death in this country,  cancer is the disease that strikes the most fear in people. Often we interpret a diagnosis of cancer as a death sentence. Thus when my husband, Randy, was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2010, we approached the disease with fear. For some reason, the day he had the diagnostic test that would reveal the cancer, I took an empty journal with me to the surgical waiting room instead of my usual ‘work’ things. I didn’t know it at the time, but with my first entry in the journal on November 23, 2010, my Archway published book, Finding a Way through Cancer, Dying and Widowhood: A Memoir, had its beginning. My journal became my safe place. I could yell and scream “it’s not fair” in my journal. Randy’s cancer was never in remission and although he gave the cancer fight all he could, he died 18 months later at age 64. I continued to write in my journal throughout my first year of widowhood sharing thoughts that often could not be spoken out loud. I searched for books and articles that might help lessen the pain of losing a husband of 43 years, but I found few things that were helpful.

Sometime during that first year of widowhood, Time magazine published an article about ‘indies’, independent book publishers. I was instantly intrigued. I had never thought about publishing my journal, but perhaps my journal, telling it ‘like it was and is’ could help someone else through the cancer journey and widowhood.

With publication in mind, I began researching publishers. There is a large number of independent publishers.  I narrowed my list to 4 or 5 and then listed the pros and cons of each.  Archway met my needs by offering a variety of packages that could be customized to meet my needs. Working with the staff at Archway was easy and seamless. I wasn’t transferred from one person to the next, but I had a core number of individuals that I worked with that understood my book. From publication through marketing, the process went smoothly, and the final product was published in December of 2013. Thank you Archway!

For more information visit www.cancerandloss.com.

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub and Like the Archway Publishing Facebook page.

 

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Publishing

Earth Day: Read an eBook, Save the Planet?

Today is Earth Day. This got me thinking: “with the emergence in the popularity of eBooks in recent years, has publishing become greener?”

In the mid 1990s, print-on-demand changed publishing forever by leveling the playing field for new authors. Early supported self-publishers, the predecessors of Archway Publishing, began to emerge with the advent of this new technology. By 2001, some were making the argument that POD had the potential to limit environmental impact of book publishing. Publishing was now a little greener.

Then eBooks emerged. Surely eBooks were the game changer. eBooks would make publishing a much greener industry, right?Earth Day 2015

At first blush, the answer would appear to be a resounding, YES! Fewer trees are cut down – great! Printers are shrinking carbon footprints with less output – outstanding! Fewer trucks are belching out emissions delivering books to stores – fantastic! Fewer people are getting into their cars to drive to bookstores – wonderful! Publishers are disposing of fewer unwanted print books – brilliant! The answer is clear…or is it?

Early on in the eBook revolution, organizations began studying this question. A 2009 study by CleanTech determined

“The roughly 168 kg of CO2 produced throughout the Kindle’s lifecycle is a clear winner against the potential savings: 1,074 kg of CO2 if replacing three books a month for four years; and up to 26,098 kg of CO2 when used to the fullest capacity of the Kindle DX. Less-frequent readers attracted by decreasing prices still can break even at 22.5 books over the life of the device.”

A 2014 Huffington Post article took another look at the question of the greenness of  Books v. eReaders.  The findings cited were surprising. Quoting from the piece:

Upgrade your eReader often? The old ones end up in a place like this.

Upgrade your eReader often? The old ones end up in a place like this.

“According to one lifecycle analysis of printed books versus e-readers, the energy, water, and raw materials needed to make a single e-reader is equal to that of 40 to 50 books. In terms of the effect on the climate, the emissions created by a single e-reader are equal to roughly 100 books.
“If you read 100 books on your e-reader before upgrading it, the effect on the climate is no different than reading those books in print. If you upgrade before that time, your carbon footprint actually increases compared to reading printed books. If you read 200 books on the device, the climate impact is halved. The result is the same for resource and energy usage, though the threshold to break-even is lower. Let’s assume you upgrade your e-reader every three years. That means you need to read roughly 30 books every year before you’ve reduced your climate impact, and 15 books a year before your resource usage is lower. If you upgrade more frequently, you need to be an even more avid reader to lower your environmental impact by switching to digital.”

It appears the answer to the question of whether eBooks are greener is: sometimes.
Have you increased your use of eReaders to positively impact the environment?

Based on your reading habits, do you think your choice of digital over print is making a difference?

We’d love your input. Comment below, tweet us @ArchwayPub or leave a comment on our Facebook page.

-AWP-

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Publishing

The Resale of eBooks

By Kevin A. Gray
Archway Publishing

Should the purchase of a used paperback at a garage sale be a crime? Are libraries breaking the law by allowing patrons to borrow movies on DVD? When you lend a CD to your neighbor, should you face arrest?

Of course not – these are preposterous questions.

But, is there a difference between the lending and resale of tangible items like print books, DVDs and albums; and the resale of eBooks and other digital content? This is a question that is drawing a lot of attention across publishing and should be of keen interest to self-published authors, who unlike traditionally-published authors, depend exclusively on royalties from sales of their works.

In a recent Bloomberg News article, reporter Joshua Bruestein addresses the murkiness of this issue. Bruestein reports that the courts are currently looking at the question and that Congress may take on the issue of whether or not to expand the law that allows for the sales of used print books, videos and albums.

From Bruestein’s article: “The question centers on a part of copyright law known as the first-sale doctrine, an early 20th century provision that prevents rights holders from seeking to stop the sale, trade, or lending of legally acquired property. You can thank first sale for making it legal to run a used record store, found a public library, or lend a DVD to a friend.”

Currently, libraries lend eBooks to patrons for a set period of time. When the borrowing period expires, the digital book disappears from the borrower’s device – the digital equivalent to returning a print book to the library.

One argument made in favor of expanding the first sale doctrine to cover digital content is that sellers will likely use the proceeds earned from selling unwanted content to purchase new original digital content. However, as Bruestein’s piece points out, digital content has an infinite lifespan as it does not physically deteriorate like a book or video might through repeated use.

What are your thoughts on legalizing the secondhand sales of eBooks and digital content?

-AWP-

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