I have drawers full of short stories and poems and decided that this is the year I will make them available as a collection--only a couple have been previously published in magazines. I'd almost finished finalizing the collection of EZs when the kids returned home for the remainder of the semester due to the pandemic. So I turned into an art director, hiring my daughter to make some original line art for this collection. I love it so much and it was well worth the wait! I thought I'd have all this a month ago but she's been busy with school and it took her some time to get into the groove. You can't rush artists. lol. This is her first published work and I'm so pleased I'm going to hire her again for the chapter book I'm working on too. What a joy it's been to remember our days together when they were little. I thought with so many families homeschooling and hunkered down at home, this would promote the simple joys of childhood and encourage families to create art of their own.
Max and Dagny is a collection of 20 easy-to-read stories, poems, and fun facts for beginning readers. It's available as a paperback (recommended) or e-book with darling little illustrations from my daughter. Free preview here.
So the Emory contest. We didn't win. But I loved the winning story, its simplicity and focus on helping others. Well written and illustrated. I also liked two of the honor books. How I wish we'd received an honorable mention too, but I know how subjective this business is. I'm so pleased to be able to publish it myself. However, I was not allowed to publish this on Amazon because "Due to the rapidly changing nature of information around the COVID-19 virus, we are referring customers to official sources for health information about the virus. As a result we are not offering your book for sale. Amazon reserves the right to determine what content we offer according to our content guidelines." I get it. There's always junk science. But our book is a very basic treatment of virology and immunology for young kids. I have appealed but we'll see. It struck me how easy it is for large companies to control what's available. Already this happens in the media. So I'm grateful that I could upload our book to Draft2Digital. It's a distribution service and all my self-published books are on there because it's a lot easier than making separate account for all the different ebook outlets. And they are poised to provide printing services soon. So yay!
Why in the World? is a nonfiction book about the Coronavirus pandemic for children aged 6-12. It covers basic virology and immunology, brilliantly illustrated by Kris Manning. It's only available as an ebook at this time.
Despite the setbacks, I'm loving all the creative aspects of self-publishing. The freedom is phenomenal and some day I want to be able to publish the books I love that I've read in manuscript form. Maybe one of my kids can learn accounting and all that business stuff :) I already have an artist on board! I have still much to learn, especially when it comes to formatting ebooks with art, but I'm getting there. And we won't talk about marketing :) I love designing and making covers, formatting the paperback so that the interior is easy to read and pleasing to the eye. It's great learning new things even though I see myself hiring a lot of this out because there are still so many stories I want to tell and not enough time to write them all. I'm so thankful to God for this beautiful writing life.