Conversations: Royalene Returns!

It has been a long month without Royalene here to anchor the blog on Fridays–she’ll be back next week!–and it turns out her absence has given me a lot to think about in terms of the importance of personal witness and testimony within the modern self-publishing tradition.

It’s vital.

I think it’s more vital than, say, something similar within the traditional publishing industry.  Authors who pursue a traditional publication route face many challenges, there’s no denying it, but their challenges take place within the protective sphere of a guaranteed team of editors, designers, publishers, marketers, and other experts who happen to have a stake in making sure any given author they publish sells a lot of books.  Their challenges also take place within a massive literary tradition that has been defended–and eloquently, at that–by other authors for centuries, and will continue to be defended by other authors for as long as the institution lasts.

conversation illustration

Self-publishers don’t have this tradition at their backs, and they certainly don’t have teams of assistants on hand to make sure they’re striking the right tone at this or that interview or that they’re appearing at the right venues for maximum impact. Self-publishers may opt to pay for some of these services, now that the market has diversified, but their default experience takes place in a vacuum.  If they’re very lucky, they’ll have access to other indie authors who have gone before or are coming up alongside them, but they don’t have centuries and centuries of precedents to follow.  When it comes to modern self-publishing, they may have a couple of decades’ worth of a pattern to analyze, but few enough of those who went before had voices that resonate the same way that, say, traditionally published authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald or John Krakauer (to name two random names in a million) have.

This is why conversations with other self-publishing authors, like Royalene, are so important. Each conversation serves to chip away at the wall between an indie author and the comforts of community and tradition.  Conversations are what set us apart from traditionally published authors–we have the option to speak for ourselves, unfiltered and in perfect honesty, about whatever we please without repercussions or sanctions–and what unite us.

I, for one, can’t wait for September and Royalene’s return.  She and other voices like her make our lives–and our work–better.♠


Kelly

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com

 

 

In Your Corner: Partnering With Bloggers

Or, How to Find Others Who Care As Much As You Do

And therein lies the rub.  There will never be another person out there to whom your book will mean the same thing that it means to you, the self-publishing author–but as our current president is wont to say on tour in Australia, “we have faced our share of sticky wickets!” (Don’t worry if you haven’t watched a game of cricket in your life … this is where I end my allusions to that game.)  There will be other people out there–readers and other authors and self-publishing aficionados alike–to whom your book means a great deal.  Just, you know, in different ways.

And some of them will run blogs.

No, wait, that’s a very important detail!  Blogs sell books.  More specifically, blogs have collectively served as the underground advertising board (and yes, market) for self-published books since the dawn of the internet.  It has proven to be a mutually beneficial relationship, borne out of the early years of both blogging as a digital platform; think how LiveJournal and MySpace and, yes, WordPress were all coming into being around the same time as the modern incarnation of the self-published book–and the ebook.  Blogging was a celebration of the freedom of expression of the highest order, and self-publishing was a reaction against excessive control and gatekeeping by the traditional publishing institution.  Many bloggers became self-publishing authors, and vise versa.  They were made for each other.

blogging

The mutually beneficial relationship continues today, as lists like “52 Great Blogs for Self-Publishers” by Joel Friedlander of The Book Designer illustrate.  “Book bloggers love to read books and to recommend them to their own followers,” writes Alan Rinzler, a consulting editor with former entanglements at Harvard and The New York Times.  He takes an in-depth look at the story of self-publishing megastar Amanda Hocking, whose books sold in the millions, reminding his followers–in, yes, a blog post–that they “collectively build markets that can reach millions of potential readers and can turn books into bestsellers. As serious and discerning critics and social networkers, these book lovers have formed regional and national organizations and established huge databases, including this searchable list of more than 1,400 bloggers.”  It’s not ironic that Rinzler uses his own blog to discuss this; really, it’s incredibly easy to find bloggers who care about self-publishing enough to use their personal blogs to discuss it.

What’s hard is finding the right blog to help you sell your books.  And by “sell,” I mean the word in both a transactive and a persuasive sense.  You want someone who believes in your book–not just a passing mention or two.  To find your blogsoulmate, I recommend following a few simple steps.

  1. Dig a little.  If you’ve found us here at Self-Publishing Advisor, I’m going to go out on a limb and venture a guess that you’ve done your research.  At the very least, you’re handy with Google and WordPress.  That’s all you need to get started.  Dig around a bit and increase your exposure to the types of blogs out there.  We feature reviews of self-published books once a week, but we do a lot of other things, too, and many of our bloggers have close ties to one specific self-publishing company.  Other blogs might feature only one blogger with no ties to the industry itself, but who maybe posts multiple reviews a week.  Write yourself up a list of blog names that catch your interest, either in tone or reach.
  2. Take part in the conversation.  Every blog has a comments section, unless someone ran wild and posted something offensive in the past and thereby forced the blogrunner to disable this feature.  Whether the blog is on WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, or somewhere else, the whole point of its existance is to engender conversation.  Sign yourself up for a profile if you need to, or use the handy “Google Sign-In” or “Facebook Sign-In” options to comment.  As a blogger, I can tell you that replies are always awesome, and they are indicators of where real interest lies.  I guarantee a blogger will take note if you interact with their posts on a regular basis, unless they have something on the order of a trillion commenters already.  But that, too, is useful information.  You want to engage withy communities where you’ll be noticed–so if you feel overwhelmed or lost, that might be a sign to pick a different blog with a slightly more manageable following.
  3. Ask for things.  You know, once you’ve established a toe-hold in the community, don’t be afraid to ask for those things you really want–book reviews, interviews, the blog equivalent of a public service announcement.  Everything helps.  Don’t be afraid of rejection; the worst that can happen is the blogger says “no,” and there are plenty of bloggers out there, so it’s not the end of the road.  In fact, since you’re looking for a believer and not just any blogger, nos are simply the most efficient way to whittle down your options to the best ones.  Once you’ve got a couple of blogs interested in your work, step it up and ask for a blog tour.
  4. Don’t be afraid of the money question.  Sometimes, you might really need the boost that a paid service provides.  It’s a question of weighing the benefits against the expenditure, and determining whether A) you can afford it, and B) it fills a need.  In my personal experience, most indie authors don’t like to consider this option until they’ve run out of other options–and understandably.  I get it, I really do.  Self-publishing is one high-wire act after another, and money is always tight.  But I’ve seen a lot of authors who really could or even would have benefited from a promotional campaign like the one my company and many other companies offer–all of which come with promotion on the company’s official blog, with an extensive reach indeed–but who waited until they’d exhausted all other options.  Like a lot of other components to your marketing campaign, paid promotion should be on the table early and woven organically into the rest of your strategies.

That’s it!  Four steps!  Each of them relies on you to take initiative, which may or may not prove exhausting, but I hope you know one simple thing:

You are not alone. ♣︎


Elizabeth

ABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 18 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, pre-production specialists, customer service reps and book marketing specialists; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Elizabeth Javor can put you on the right path.

The Book Beautiful: Formatting the Masterpiece

As you finish your manuscript and move toward the stage of publishing, the layout of the inside of your book (such as formatting, font choice, etc.) must come into serious consideration. The formatting of your book transforms your word document into a book, it brings your manuscript to life.

Now while many readers won’t spend much time musing over the careful ruminations that went into the formatting of a book, they will notice if that care hasn’t gone into your formatting. The formatting style you choose should not only reflect, but also enhance the overall feel and mood of your story. Even if the careful decisions you spend hours vacillating over are never consciously acknowledged by your reader, those decisions absolutely affect the reader’s subconscious perceptions and preconceptions of your book. For example, merely picking up a book and scanning through the pages will immediately tell a reader whether or not your book is professional, before they’ve even read a sentence. Among readers there is a certain unspoken, but expected standard for how a book should appear, thus, when a book falls short of that expectation it acts as a giant red flag that your title might not be worth purchasing. You want your book to ‘fit in’ with the other books on the shelf, you want it to look polished, legitimate, and professional.

open book formatting

Once you’ve caught the reader’s eye with a sleek, professional cover and they’ve started thumbing through the pages, something they will take subconscious note of is the font you’ve selected. Note that every time someone opens a word processor that Times New Roman is probably the pre-set font, meaning that if your book is in TNR, it won’t seem special or really pop before the reader’s eyes. There are thousands of appropriate fonts that will help your book stand out, so don’t be afraid to try something new; that being said, avoid over-the-top or childish looking fonts as well.

Further typography considerations to make are the number of characters per line, lines per page, spacing between words, etc. Think of those books you’ve read that have too many characters per line, the kind where you feel like the page or chapter is never ending. The satisfaction of turning pages and progressing to the next chapter is a thing a lot of readers enjoy–not to say you should have

HUGE FONT WITH HUGE SPACING …

… but tiny font with small spacing

isn’t great either. Find a happy middle ground. A further consideration, when there is little spacing between lines, the reader’s eye will often skip a line and they will then have to readjust and thus lose their engagement with your story. It’s a small detail, but it affects the reader’s experience which means that it’s not a trivial detail.

open book formatting

Another thing to consider: how far your text goes in toward the spine of the book. Paperback book readers know how frustrating it is when the text of the book they’re reading goes nearly all the way to the spine so they nearly have to crack it to see what you’ve written–don’t make your readers ruin your beautiful book!

The moral of the story is: don’t just settle for the bare minimum requirements of your publishing company. Treat the formatting process of the interior of your book with the same kind of tender love and care that you treated the writing and editing process with–your readers will notice, and you can rest confidently knowing that you’ve produced a well-thought out, professional book.


Thank you for reading!  If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or contributions, please use the comment field below or drop us a line at selfpublishingadvice@gmail.com.  And remember to check back each Wednesday for your weekly dose of marketing musings from one indie, hybrid, and self-published author to another. ♠


Kelly

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com

How do you self publish a book?

People ask all the time, “How do you self publish a book?” In some respects, the answer is easier now than it was a decade ago.  In other respects, it is more convoluted than ever.

When famous authors who self published long ago (like L. Frank Baum, Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe, and Mark Twain), they often did so when they were teenagers and at the beginning of their careers. And they often collaborated with a business associate, since writing a book is a creative endeavor while publishing one is a business endeavor, and rarely does one person possess adequate strength in both fields, no matter how much they may fool themselves into believing otherwise.

The Huffington Post has an interesting article debunking the popular myth about these and other self-publishing authors that you can read here. Even that article corroborates the fact that when writers self publish their own work, they usually do so for two common reasons:  They either want to make more money, or they realize that self-publishing is their only option for getting a book published.

See, not so much has changed after all!  Today, when you’re asking yourself, “How do you self publish a book?” you are most likely asking this question for one of the same reasons:

  1. You want to make more money, or…
  2. You realiz that self-publishing a book is your only option for getting a book published

Back in the “old days” when Baum, King, Poe, Twain and others “self published” their books, they may have each gone about it in slightly different ways, but ultimately there was commonality, chief among them being that a printer was involved in actually producing the book. And the same holds true today.  If you are a self-publishing author, there is no substitute for publishing a paperback and/or hardback — in other words, producing a physical hard copy book that you can actually hold in your hands.

Does that mean you should not publish an e-book? Of course you should! But should you ONLY publish an e-book?  Absolutely not!  For one, you cannot sign an e-book; you cannot wrap one up and give it away as a gift; you cannot stock your bookshelves or decorate your home with e-books in order to impress family or friends or potential significant others. And isn’t that half the point of publishing a book in the first place? To impress family or friends or significant others? Heck, to impress yourself?  And how impressive is an e-book? Not very…

So when you ask, “How do you self publish a book” what you’re really asking is, how do you self publish a book, not just an e-book.  And that is an important distinction, because real published authors publish real published books. So the first thing you do is commit to self publishing a paperback, and during the publication phase you add additional formats, like e-books, audio books, and a hardback format (if your publisher doesn’t publish hardbacks, ask yourself: what kind of publisher doesn’t publish hardbacks???).

In other words, if you have written a manuscript and you want to know how to self publish a book, you don’t short-change yourself on publishing it by simply storing that book “in the cloud.”  You produce a paperback, something you can see, touch, feel, and hold.  Just like those famous authors who self-published back in the day.

Okay, okay, so how DO you self publish a book now that you know you need a printer?

This is where the answer is easier than ever before, and also more convoluted.  You have choices, and choices mean decisions.  Decisions are difficult for some people, so this article will help you narrow your self-publishing choices down to just two. How ’bout that?

But first, some history:  There used to be only one way to self publish a book. So if you wanted to self publish a book, you did it the only way you could — by doing everything yourself.  You formatted it yourself.  You designed the cover yourself.  You wrote all the back cover copy yourself. You made sure the width of the spine on your cover file was the proper calculation based upon the number of pages of your book in consideration of the width of each piece of paper.  You created the final print-ready files yourself. You registered an ISBN with Bowker.  You sourced local printers, got bids, compared quality, and settled upon a printer. You gave them the files and quite a lot of money, because their offset printers would require quantity commitment of around 2000-5000 copies at a time, give or take 10% — since offset printers don’t stop on a dime.

And then you’d hope like hell you didn’t have a typo on the cover.  But, hundreds of man hours later, and probably tens of thousands of dollars later, you would have a self published book…. boxes and boxes of them, actually, sitting on your living room floor, or sitting in your garage warping from the heat.

Now what?  Then the question suddenly becomes, “How do I market a book?” or “How do I get my book onto Amazon?” or “How do I sell my self-published book?”  Those are all questions for a different blog post, but for now we are answering one not-so-simple question:  How do you self publish a book?

So, that long, involved process with a very steep learning curve used to be the ONLY way you could self publish a book. Then the Internet came along and print-on-demand printing technology came along, followed quickly by consultants, “book shepherds”, DIY printers, and “full service self publishing companies.”  They all offered different services, depending upon your needs.  Consultants and book shepherds will provide you with advice and mentoring, based (usually) upon their own experience.  In many cases, they may perform many of those tasks above for you (like formatting, editing, cover design, spine calculation, getting an ISBN, copyright registration, etc.).  But you’ll still need to find a printer.

On the other hand, DIY printers print your files, but you have to do all that up-front work yourself (design, editing, formatting, ISBN, etc.)  Sure, some of them have computers that “format” your book automatically for you but … simply put… you do not want a computer formatting a book automatically for you.  You just don’t.

And, finally, there are full service self publishing companies that combine both aspects of self-publishing.  They can handle the editing, design, formatting, ISBN, and all the other pre-production and production aspects of publishing a professional book. AND they have printers to produce the physical book, with the option of one-at-a-time print-on-demand (POD) convenience to save you from the hassle of storing boxes and boxes of books in your living room or garage.

HOW MUCH DOES SELF PUBLISHING COST?

In all cases, self-publishing costs money.  Perhaps you think you will self-publish for “free” because you are going to do everything yourself at one of those DIY places. If so, you must ask yourself what your hourly rate is, and how good your book is really going to look if you handle all those publishing details yourself. Losing book sales because your book is atrocious just adds to the “costs.”

Or, alternatively, you realize self-publishing costs money and you’re planning on paying a professional  to do it for you, just like Baum, Poe, King and Twain.   Anyone who is expecting a publisher to front the cost of publishing a book is not self-publishing a book.  Self publishing a book costs money because self publishing a book is a business.

Nowadays, the easiest, fastest, and most affordable way to self publish your book is through a full-service self publishing company. Fortunately, there are many to choose from.

And… unfortunately, there are many to choose from.

So how do you choose the best self-publishing company for your book? You weigh their pros and cons, and you persist with your goal even when you discover that the “perfect” self-publishing company doesn’t exist. It’s a bit like buying a car — there’s no “perfect” one.  There are really good ones, and really bad ones. Every self-publishing company that has been in business for any reasonable amount of time is going to have some cons, such as complaints from previous clients.  In fact, statistically speaking, the more books they publish (or the longer they have been in business), the more complaints they’re going to have.   Does this make them a bad company for your book? Probably not.   The only self-publishing company without any complaints is the one who hasn’t published any books yet, or hasn’t been in business very long. Do you really want your book to be their guinea pig?   No; you want to pick a self-publishing company that knows what it’s doing.

All those big self publishing companies who have published 1000 books or more each year for a decade or longer know what they’re doing. And 99 times out of 100, they do a great job.

So which self publishing companies have published 1000 books or more for each of the last ten years?

That’s a much more manageable list, and in alphabetical order your choices are:

  • Outskirts-Press-Self-PublishingAuthorHouse
  • iUniverse
  • Lulu
  • Outskirts Press
  • Trafford
  • Xlibris

How do you decide which self publishing company should publish your book?

You look at third party comparison sites for self-publishing services. There are two major ones: Top Consumer Reviews and Top 10 Reviews.

Are any of the top six listed on both? Yes,  iUniverse and Outskirts Press.

Now when you’re asking “How do I self publish my book” your answer is down to a very manageable choice.  It’s time to do your research: Look at each of their websites.  Look at their services.  Look at each of their publishing contracts. Look at each of their Facebook pages.  Look at their pricing. Look at their complaints. Look at their testimonials. Look at some of their books.  Look them each up on Amazon (do an advanced search by publisher and then sort by bestsellers).  Are their covers good? Are their books selling?  Do they publish the kind of book you want to publish?

Then pick one, and start your own self publishing journey knowing it’s going to be the BEST self-publishing adventure of your life. You’ll be amazed at the affect having a positive outlook can have.

And that, in short (or not so short) is the answer to the question “How do you self publish your book.”

pyp


brent sampson

ABOUT BRENT SAMPSON: Brent Sampson is the President and CMO of Outskirts Press, a full-service self-publishing company in Colorado. Outskirts Press  helps authors develop and publish high-quality books by offering exceptional design, printing, publishing, distribution, and book marketing services. Top Consumer Reviews ranks Outskirts Press #1 because they deliver outstanding customer service, affordable pricing, industry-leading royalties, and a team of hands-on, US-based publishing experts. To learn more about Brent, visit his blog at www.brentsampson.com.

Self-Publishing News: 8.22.2016

And now for the news!

This week in the world of self-publishing:

You know that saying about great minds, right?  Well, it turns out that the people over at New Zealand’s Herald and the folks over at Crave were exchanging some synergy this week, both releasing articles on the 20th or 21st linking self-publishing to something more than just profit and loss–that is, linking it to happiness.  The first article, by Michael Donaldson of New Zealand, opens with the declaration that “Modern self-publishing – a far cry from vanity publishing – is usually about pursuing a passion a major publishing com­pany wouldn’t dare take a risk on.” He cites author David Appleby’s work in bringing to light the story of New Zealand’s Olympic-gold-winning hockey team in 1976.  Said Appleby, “I never intended [Striking Gold] to be a ­profit-making exercise. We got good sales to a small target market – but you wouldn’t want to do it for a living. The numbers don’t stack up – but I’m really happy we’ve ­created a legacy document.”  Donaldson goes on to cite the experiences of several other self-publishing New Zealanders whose work has achieved varying degrees of what you might call ‘market success,’ and comes to the conclusion the money isn’t even the greatest attraction to the process of going indie.

Similarly, Miss Rosen of Crave espouses the notion that profit does not equal happiness, but self-publishing might actually have a very firm connection to mental health and well-being in this review of Bruno Ceschel’s “Self Publish, Be Happy: A DIY Photobook Manual and Manifesto,” put out by Aperture.  Ceschel, whose background includes a startup self-publishing business and curating a gallery exhibit of self-published books for London’s The Photographer’s Gallery, is a firm believer in this link:

“Digital has caused a renaissance of printed matter. Self-publishing is not a way to make money. That is a burden. Self-publishing requires you to spend money which paradoxically free you from being concerned about profits. That is the restriction of the traditional publishing house. The people who do it today are very young. They are born into the digital generation. They are used to the computer and the online world. Self-publishing is their response to it. They are finding a complement to it in book form; they now have a physical object in reality and can share it with people. Books give them a different way to communicate.”

All in all, the two articles make for a great conversation–with each other, and with us, the self-publishing community.  Read more of Rosen’s Crave review here, and Donaldson’s article for the Herald here.

The folks over at Publishers Weekly have a history of doing good work, and this week is no different.  In this August 17th article by John Maher, the magazine covers the release by Sisters in Crime (“an organization supporting female crime writers”) of its “‘Report for Change,’ a study about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the mystery community.”  This is not your average report, writes Maher, because during the process of comparing Sisters in Crime membership data to U.S. census data, “the report found that white, non-hispanic people make up 93% of the Sisters in Crime membership, compared to 62% of the U.S. population. The report, which surveyed 1,100 of the group’s members, found that only 3% identify as African American, with another 1.5% identifying as Native American, 1.5% Asian, and 1% Hispanic or Latino.”  This is not representative, the organization quickly points out, and Sisters in Crime President Leslie Budewitz noted that there’s a long road ahead before it is.  The report, says Maher, also found an interesting connection between “the rise of e-books and self-publishing,” with writers of color “flocking in that direction to avoid gatekeepers in the publishing industry proper.”  This all comes back to the numbers, he explains: “While only 21% of Sisters in Crime members who completed the survey reported having self-published their last book, 63% of writers of color in the organization went with that option. 50% of LGBTQ authors surveyed also reported self-publishing, compared to the 10% that reported publishing through one of the Big Five.”  What does all of this mean?  Exactly what it sounds like: if you’re looking for diverse authors, you’re more likely to find them under the inclusive umbrella of self-publishing, where their voices are welcome.  That’s good news for us … but not necessarily for the traditional Big Five.  For the rest of Maher’s article, follow the link!.


spa-news

As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry. This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Monday to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.


Kelly

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog, kellyschuknecht.com

 

“50 Things Your Kids DON’T Want to Tell You” : A Saturday Self-Published Book Review

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.

When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review, courtesy of Ginae Says:

50 things your kids don't want to tell you shelly campbell-harley

50 Things Your Kids DON’T Want to Tell You

by Shelly Campbell-Harley, M.A.ED

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 978-1478773627

Synopsis*:

Shelly Campbell-Harley has a Master’s in Education and has had dozens of articles published online and offline, including The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, where one of her articles was included in TOS magazine’s Best of the Best 2013 special publication. Shelly has been involved with young people in many different facets over the past two decades, including that of teaching, educational consultant, youth group leader/director, and working with youth in a rehabilitation environment. She is currently teaching at-risk youth in an innovative charter school program in southern California.

50 Things Your Kids DON’T Want To Tell You is a compilation of valuable insights gleaned from young people aged 10-19 whom Shelly has encountered and wanted to share with parents and other adults who work with young people. It is an eye-opening experience for many who are curious as to what is going on in the lives and minds of our youth today. It was written with the purpose of opening the lines of communication between adults and young people, as well as promoting more positive relationships. 50 Things Your Kids DON’T Want To Tell You is a fascinating, scary, and realistic read that will awaken your mind and shake up your impression of how well you think the youth of today are living. With the rise of teenage suicide rates and school shootings, this book may be the beginning of an important connection needed to bridge that gap of communication while helping our young people see that they are being heard and understood.

Critique:

50 THINGS YOUR KIDS DON’T WANT TO TELL YOU

50 Things Your Kids Don’t Want to Tell You (50 Things) is comprised of five chapters;

  1. Family Relationships
  2. Personal Choices
  3. School: The Stage
  4. Legal: Crossing Lines
  5. S_x: No Plan

After each chapter, Campbell-Harley has a, “Reflection Page.”  This is where you may list your thoughts about what you’ve read.  Here, you may use free thought, mind mapping, or whatever method you deem necessary to lead to possible truths.

There isn’t any commentary on the 50 Things and it’s supposed to be that way.  The book was meant to help you to think critically (deeply, not negatively) about whether or not your offspring is struggling with some of the mentioned issues.  If 50 Things brings you and your young to a point where a non-judgmental conversation can be broached, then, the book will have well-earned your bucks.

Perhaps, a resource section would have been good though.

reviewed by Ginae McDonald at Ginae Says ]

Here’s what other reviewers are saying:

Shelly Campbell Harley understands the most important thing about getting your teen to open up and talk to you, the parent, about what’s going on with their lives. And that is listening. Not interrogating, but rather inviting your child to share with you, and responding in a way that allows for them to feel safe in their sharing. The key to get them to take you up on this invitation could be unlocked in this simple book. Forever grateful to Shelly Campbell Harley.

– Amazon Reviewer S. Brown

This book has such a great mission: to inform parents and to help empower them to have conversations! I can’t wait to share this book with my friends who have kids so they too can learn how to ask those sensitive questions.

– Amazon Reviewer Kristan

* = courtesy of the book’s Amazon book page.


saturday self-published book review

Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space every Saturday!

Self Publishing Advisor

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News From the Editorial Desk: There’s a Lot to Look Forward to This Fall!

We here at Self-Publishing Advisor want to keep you in the loop about some exciting developments taking place over the coming weeks.  First off, Royalene will be back in September with her Friday Conversations column (you can bet we all miss her, but that she has earned herself this little break).  Secondly, we’re going to be featuring some guests on Tuesdays, intermingled with our archival posts.  The first guest to grace us with his outstanding presence is going to be Brent Sampson, President of Outskirts Press and author of a number of books, including The Book Marketing Coach, Sell Your Book on Amazonand Self-Publishing Simplified.  You can imagine he’s a fantastic advocate for self-publishing authors everywhere, and we’re excited to have a chance to feature some of his advice here on Self-Publishing Advisor.

We’ll have more updates in the weeks to come.  Watch this spot!

Warm wishes and regards,
the Self Publishing Advisor Team

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