TALES FROM THE BAYOU: On A Book Bender

 

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Summer always reminds me of the public library in my hometown…

Summer meant freedom from tests and scholarly expectations.

Summer meant a chance to occasionally escape from my mother’s watchful eye and head over to the public library a few blocks from my childhood home. My sister and I would make a morning of it. Grabbing our bikes and heading out in the bright bayou sunlight. We both were voracious readers and every summer we were some of the first kids on our block to sign up for the summer reading program.

I learned to read when I was about four years old. Once the librarian realized I was very comfortable making my way around the written word, she no longer restricted me to “baby books”, and gave me free rein to explore the entire library. Every summer from age five until I left home at seventeen, my goal was to read at least one hundred books before I went back to school.

You read right.

ONE HUNDRED BOOKS.

Even at age five, I had an insatiable thirst for knowledge and read everything I could get my hands on.

Picture books

Chapter books.

Non-fiction books, although back then the children’s section didn’t have the wonderful diversity kids can find nowadays.

And, yes, even encyclopedias. I read them all because I even enjoyed researching random topics that crossed my young mind.

I would stuff as many of my book treasures into my bike’s basket as I could and race home to sneak into my bedroom to start on those imaginative journeys before my mother would drag me outside to work in the garden, or trim the hedges, or cut the grass, or any number of endless jobs she came up with to occupy my summer daylight hours.

I read about Black Beauty and Huckleberry Finn…about Horton and the Whos or the Lorax or even what happened on Mulberry Street. The first summer I was allowed a library card, I literally read every available book for my age and then some. The librarian started picking out different books I might like and I thought that building was the most magical place on earth (Sorry Disney!).

These days I still read hundreds of children’s books each year. Especially during the summer when I work with 40-50 children ages 4-12 years old each day at my Taekwondo school during our summer camp. Many of these children are either struggling readers, come from families where parents don’t enjoy reading so they never fostered a love of reading in their own children, or simply too young to even grasp the art of reading yet. 

So we read together. 

Usually over two hundred books a summer.

TWO HUNDRED BOOKS.

My younger goal driven ME would be so proud of today’s ME…

 

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donna

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY: Let The Crazy Train Pass You By

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Publisher’s Weekly posted an article a few years ago about the potential danger of libraries no longer being able to lend books to the public.

WHAT???

Here is the link to the article:

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/copyright/article/52874-in-supreme-court-filing-libraries-say-decision-in-wiley-suit-threatens-lending-rights.html?utm_source=Publishers+Weekly%27s+PW+Daily&utm_campaign=00778e7307-UA-15906914-1&utm_medium=email

If I’m understanding the article correctly, the Supreme Court is trying to decide if libraries have the right to lend e-books and other books to their patrons. Now they are taking things one step farther and thinking about making it illegal to lend any “foreign” published books within the United States as it might infringe on someone’s copyrights. Would the same apply to US published books no longer being allowed to stock the shelves in the libraries of other countries?

Again I say…WHAT???

How is it even possible that there are people sitting around debating this issue? When did we board the CRAZY TRAIN???

I could be completely off base, but I thought libraries purchased the books they stocked their shelves with? And all John Q. Public needed to do to have access to said books was to apply for a library card. Following this line of logic, the original author received fair compensation for their work and what the library chooses to do with the book after the purchase is their business. And when you consider the ever increasing number of struggling readers and rising illiteracy around the world, in my mind ANYTHING which encourages someone to read is a GOOD THING!

Think about it. We might never have been able to pick up a copy of A Christmas Carol from the local library when we were children because Dickens lived on the wrong side of the pond. And as for reading the Harry Potter books? Forget about it! Where will the CRAZY TRAIN stop? Will I have to wonder if the book police will handcuff me should I choose to read a book purchased from one of my Australian friends just because I didn’t ask permission first? Or maybe we just need to go back to the caveman days and do away with books all together. We can gather around the one storyteller in the village that can remember it all and hope WE won’t forget ourselves in the process!

I know this is a bit extreme, but it’s as silly to me as the Supreme Court having to spend their precious time deciding a case like this. Don’t they have better things to do?

Hey, I have an idea! How about some people not being greedy to the inth degree and spoiling it for the rest of us? How about some people acting like adults, even when they write for children, and thinking about the greater appeal of seeing their books in the hands of the intended audience in the first place without trying to nickel and dime the public to death?

I know I’m a small published author in a larger publishing pool, so maybe some people would think I have no write to speak, but I DO have a right to my opinion and I have an overwhelming LOVE for books in all forms. I simply don’t understand the whole idea of having to fight for the right to pick up a “foreign” published book from the library as compared to a “homegrown” one.

For myself, I am going to let the CRAZY TRAIN pass me by and I hope others will do the same.

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments…

 

donna

 

International best selling, award winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy) is scheduled to be released in ebook edition in the summer of 2018 from Story Catcher Publishing, with the print edition hopefully coming out late fall 2018.

 

 

An Indie Author’s Journey: Ebook Eeny Meeny, Which Way To Go?

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I’m delving into the world of indie publishing. Some authors go the quicker route and use a source like CreateSpace or Kindle Direct to immediately get their books out there.

There’s nothing wrong going that route, but I’ve decided to take a different path.

My book cover designer just turned in the final artwork but I still have three tiny tweaks I’d like her to be able to change if possible before I proudly show off LUNADAR:Homeward Bound’s beautiful cover. Kelly did such a fabulous job on it and I hope to get a chance to interview her soon for this blog.

That being said, I’ve also finished all the final edits…just have to type them into the formatted file and my manuscript will be ready to be loaded for the ebook release. That might come as early as late next month, once I sort through the maze of who will help me get the ebook out in front of readers…

 

STEP SEVEN: EBOOK RETAILER, AGGREGATOR, OR LIBRARY DISTRIBUTOR?

 

Which route to take totally depends on what the author wants to do with their ebook. I COULD go with individual ebook retailers like Amazon, Apple iBook, Nook Press, or Kobo,  but then I would have to individually load each file in either PDF, ePUB, or MOBI file (depending on each site’s requirements). Some are free but most come with servicing fees tied into the retail profits before I would get my cut. If you have the time and keep good records of all the many site you need to incorporate into your overall marketing plan, that might be the route to go. Here’s a list of the most common ebook retailers found in the US…

 

EBOOK RETAILERS:

 

Amazon (http://www.amazon.com)

  1. CreateSpace (https://www.createspace.com/)
  2. KDP (https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/)
  3. Smashwords (https://www.smashwords.com/)

Apple iBook (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201183)

Google Play (https://play.google.com/books/publish/)

Kobo (https://www.kobo.com/us/en/p/writinglife)

Nook Press (https://press.barnesandnoble.com/how-it-works)

 

I’ve decided to go with an ebook aggregator for convenience more than anything else. An ebook aggregator is a company that will take my manuscript, convert it into several different formats if necessary and then forward those file to many distribution channels like online ebook retailers, libraries, and other sources. I like the fact I will only have to provide one file and THEY will do the work getting everything distributed for a small percentage of the overall profit from each ebook sold. 

IngramSpark is by far the largest ebook and print distributor, so I will send my file to them and let them do the rest so I can concentrate on the upcoming marketing. Reports of ALL sales can be seen on a daily basis and my profits will be paid monthly.

Here is a list of the most common ebook aggregators in the US.

 

EBOOK AGGREGATORS:

 

Draft2Digital (https://www.draft2digital.com)

IngramSpark (http://www.ingramspark.com/)

PublishDrive (https://admin.publishdrive.com/home/)

I will also look into library ebook distributors to see if I need to focus on reaching out to any of them. Here are some of the most common library ebook distributors in the US.

 

LIBRARY EBOOK DISTRIBUTORS:

 

3M Cloud Library (http://www.bibliotheca.com/3/index.php/en-us/)
ProQuest Ebook Central (https://www.proquest.com/products-services/ebooks/ebooks-main.html#whatsnewSection)
Rakuten OverDrive  (https://company.overdrive.com/?_ga=2.214516439.1543725505.1526268579-3c2898e6-197e-4aaf-84f6-f5ded66b6ce7)

 

Next week I will talk about the great deal I got on my ISBN numbers as well as a conversion special and even copyright formalities.

If you are an indie author, which publishing/distribution choices and challenges did you encounter? Share with my readers by leaving a comment below!

 

donna

 

International best selling, award winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, My Journey, My Journal, is scheduled to be released by Expert Insights Publishing in the Fall 2018.