Monday, March 29, 2010

How Yvonne Perry Self-published Her Children’s Book

After self-publishing my first book in 2004, I knew what was involved when I started to publish my second book in 2005. I was willing to do the marketing legwork again, but I did not want to handle distribution. I had addressed hundreds of envelopes and made as many trips to the post office with my first book. At the time, the average self-published author could not get distribution through Ingram unless the book was printed by Lightning Source. This limitation made it difficult for authors to get their books into bookstores and on Therefore, with my second book, I opted to go with Booksurge, a publish-on-demand affiliate of I would have to sell it to them for 55 percent off the retail price, which means the author makes very little on the sale of one book. But. Amazon handled the distribution and added my book to Ingram’s catalogue where it could be ordered by any retail bookstore.

I had my third book published through Nightengale Press in 2007 and even though Nightengale is generous in the percentage of royalties they pay their authors, I knew I could make more per book or else offer the book at a lower price if I self published. This was important because The Sid Series is a full-color book inside and out, and books with a color interior cost more to print than black and white ones. The book publishing industry has changed a lot in the past six years and Lightning Source started working directly with authors rather than publishers only.

In my research, I came across a self-publishing guru by the name of Morris Rosenthal. He informed me that publishers did not have to agree to Amazon’s 55 percent discount. He referred me to a book by Aaron Shepard titled Aiming At Amazon. From that book, I learned how to publish my own book, have it printed through Lightning Source, list it in Ingram’s catalog, and sell it on Amazon and offer it to bookstores for a short discount of 30 percent. This method put me in the driver’s seat as both the publisher and the author and completely removed the middle person. My profit margin is greater because the cost per book is lower and I’m not giving away any of my royalties to a publisher. Win-Win!
Yvonne Perry is the author of The Sid Series ~ A Collection of Holistic Stories for Children. These 12 body-mind-spirit stories highlight unique lessons about love, acceptance, self-worth, caring for the body, diversity, facing fears, dealing with change, experiencing the death of a pet, using spiritual gifts, and psychic experiences today's children exhibit (see

Yvonne is also a free-lance writer and the owner of Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services (WITS). She and her team of ghostwriters are ready to assist you with writing and editing for books, Web text, business documents, resumes, bios, articles, and media releases. For more information about writing, networking, publishing, and book promotion, or to sign up for free email delivery of WITS newsletter, please visit New subscribers receive a free eBook Tips for Freelance Writing.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Writing of a Children’s Book, The Sid Series

I began writing The Sid Series when my grandson, Sidney, was very young. The stories were inspired by Sidney and things we did together. I typed the stories into a Word doc, and would later read the stories to him while he sat on my lap in front of the computer. He wanted pictures to go with his stories, so I attempted to illustrate them and bring them to life with colored backgrounds.

Everyone loves to hold a book in his hand; so, I formatted the first three stories and printed them in black and white since my printer was out of color ink (as usual). I didn’t have a stapler with an arm long enough to reach to the centerfold, so I stapled the left edges together to hold the pages tight. It looked like a kindergarten term paper! It just didn’t “feel” like a book. I wanted a better way to bind them, and the pages needed to be in color according to Sid.

I took the file to Kinko’s thinking I would have the stories printed in color on both sides. Shocker! It would cost a dollar per page to have them printed. With the illustrations, the stories were about 15 pages each.

I decided if I was going to go to the trouble of printing and binding the stories, I might as well go ahead and publish them. I found a commercial printer that offered to produce the books in color with a center staple for about $7 each. I printed about a dozen copies of each title thinking I would sell the ones I didn’t need. However, printing them at $7 each didn’t allow any room for profit because folks weren’t willing to pay more than $7 for a 15-page book. Since it cost me another $2 to ship them, I would actually be paying people to buy them.

But none of that mattered. I didn’t write or publish them with the intention of getting rich! I was happy that we could hold and read the books together when it was time for bed. Sidney was so proud of our books that he took them to school for his teacher to read to his kindergarten class.

As time passed, Sid and I added more stories to the collection. He would dictate a story while I typed it. Sid became interested in the computer and was able to play games and get around quite well on the Internet. Once he learned to read, I formatted some new stories into e-books that he could read to himself any time he wanted. I still offer the e-books on my Web site for $3 each.

Still, I wanted the new stories in printed format. That’s when I decided to put all twelve stories in one book and publish them as The Sid Series ~ A Collection of Holistic Stories for Children. I’m glad I did. Now I have a lasting and tangible reminder of the times Sid and I spent together and we have a way to share them with other children and adults. See

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Getting The Sid Series into Your Local Library

Did you know that if you or a friend go to a public library in the United States and ask for a book, they will order/buy it?  So grab your library card, go to your library (or go online), and ask your librarian to order The Sid Series ~ A Collection of Holistic Stories for Children. Here's my info:

The Sid Series ~ A Collection of Holistic Stories for Children
ISBN: 978-0982572207
Price: $15.95
Publisher: Write On!
Pub date: 2009
Pages: 54
Genre: Children