It's time to get all our ducks in a row
Welcome to my very first newsletter!!!
After six going on seven years of hard labor (said with tongue in cheek, of course), Secret in the Stars: An Abi Wunder Mystery, a chapter book for 7-to-10-year olds, has finally been published on Amazon.
Before starting the book, I took a few fiction courses, read a whole lot of children’s books and read up on children’s authors, while living in Alamogordo, New Mexico. At the time, I didn’t understand the value of a critique group though had one going in El Paso for a while until it unfortunately disbanded, as our leader moved away.
After we moved to Albuquerque three years ago, one of the benefits for me was the ability to attend meetings at SCBWI-NM, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a nationwide organization. Anyone interested in writing stories or books for children, SCBWI is the place to begin. Check out the SCBWI website and find a world of help for children’s authors and illustrators.
Along with my membership came the opportunity to join a critique group, and also to meet other children’s authors and illustrators willing to help up-and-coming members learn the ropes. So, with much help from my critiquers and the terrific editor, Chris Eboch, a prolific author who writes for children and adults by the name Kris Bock, I found myself in good hands.
More help was to come from my publisher, a company some call a “vanity” publisher, so named because authors pay to have their books published. I thought this was the best way to go because the company helped me with every aspect of publishing: editing, marketing, distributing, the works.
Last December 2019, just days before my book was about to be published by this company, a friend and colleague, W. Terry Whalin, a fellow-contributor to Writers on the Move, a blog we both write for, asked me to review his book, 10 Publishing Myths: Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed. On page 3, I had barely gotten into Terry’s book, when he suggested for your book’s best possible chance of being a success, check out any publishing company you’re considering working with. On Google, plug in Publisher name + complaints. Oh my, was I about to enter a world of challenges.
A long, scathing article in the headquarters town newspaper of my company reported the news that the company’s Better Business affiliation had been revoked, mounting legal challenges challenged the owner, the office was behind in rent, and more. Included was a post by an author who started a private Facebook page, now consisting of forty authors, who have been cheated out of their royalties for two years and more.
The next day I cancelled my account and spent two days and nights in torment as I felt all my hopes and dreams had been banished in one day. The third day I got busy and contacted writer friends for help. I found out that help is out there if you know where to look. Two companies in particular were recommended to me. I contacted them and never looked back.
Luckily, the files for the interior text and illustrations, and the book cover, were on my computer and I own them. That was key. For a very reasonable price, 100 Covers recreated the book covers for the paperback and eBook, and Formatted Books reformatted the manuscript to include the illustrations. Together, these two companies created the book as it appears today.
You can find Secret in the Stars on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/lindawilsonchildrensauthor. If you’d like to learn more, please visit my website at https://www.lindawilsonauthor.com. The next book in the series, Secret in the Mist, is coming soon.
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