Time For a Spring Reset!

Spring often signifies new beginnings in literature and poetry, a rebirth, if you will. All that which lay dormant in winter now slowwwly stretches its limbs, lets out a big yawn and sigh of relief and comes back out to bask in the sun. The trees are budding, the deer are grazing, we now awake to the calming sounds of birds chirping, the sun stays with us well into the evening, it’s finally warm enough for sandals and everyone seems to be in generally better spirits because of those things aforementioned.

spring stretch

The charm and warmth of spring should not only put a pep in your step in your day to day life, but it should also be a time to pep up your writing and marketing efforts!

 

  1. Let spring be a new beginning for you. Make a list of things you’d like to begin with a fresh start. Do you need to begin editing, creating a marketing plan, blogging, etc? Now’s the time to do it!
  2. Use some springtime writing prompts to get the creative juices flowing and to help you “reset” after winter. Write about how the sunshine affects your mood and creativity, write about spring as a symbol of birth/life, write about the your sensuous experience wandering around in the natural world in springtime, etc. etc.
  3. Host an outdoor reading event in your community. Pick a nice sunny afternoon to encourage members of your community to get outside and share their love of the spoken and written word. This is a great way to network, to connect with other writers in your area and to have some fun in the sun!
  4. Start being more active on social media! Take pictures of the beauty around you, toss in a quote from a work of yours or of your favorite author’s and share with your audience! Blog, post about new developments in your publishing process, connect with readers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! Now that the butterflies are back, why not be a little social butterfly?
  5. Spruce up your website. Who knows more about you than…well, you? Write up a fresh author bio that includes recent accomplishments, publications, life developments and so forth.
  6. Join some forums, join Goodreads! These are both terrific venues for marketing your book and they help you connect more intimately with your audience.
  7. Host a drawing contest for the cover of your next book! The winner gets a free copy of your book and gets featured on your website and social media pages!
  8. Add a “Store” page to your website. This is a great way to increase sales and to have your readers buy directly from you rather than some third party website.
  9. Do some spring cleaning of your writing space and bookshelves. See our last few blogs for tips on how to “declutter” as a writer!
  10. Take advantage of this nice weather! Try writing outside, even if it’s just brainstorming. A little vitamin D and time in nature can go a longgg way!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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

Conversations: 8/18/2017

S. O. S. – Writers Need Help, Too – Part III

The manuscript is finished! Woo Hoo! Now you’re ready to PUBLISH! The writing was so much fun! Where do we go from here?

The “big” traditional publishing houses today literally have hundreds of back-logged books waiting for their editorial staffs to “review” manuscripts and make their changes according to the “standard” of every specific genre.

First, I NOT want my book to be changed. My editor and I have completed it just the way I want it and no other editors are required.

Second, contracts with the traditional publishers give them full latitude in selecting a book cover. Nope—I do not want that, either. I have very specific ideas for the cover design.

help wanted

So, let’s look at the options today’s self-publishers offer. Again, this will require a bit of Internet Research to find the BEST FIT for me and my book.

  • After making a list of the Self-Publishing companies that look best to me I begin calling their main telephone lines and asking to speak to a Publishing Consultant.
    • I compare the publishing consultant to a National Park Service trail guide who, before I embark on my highly anticipated journey, will give me the “lay of the land.”
    • This person will walk me through the pros and cons of each publishing option available within their specific company.
    • He/she listens to what my manuscript is about and guides me to the best options for my particular manuscript needs.

The best Publishing Consultant I’ve ever enjoyed working with literally held my client’s hand through the whole start-up process. Her conversations with him extended over several weeks, which is exactly what he needed in order to make the best decisions for his book(s). She looked at the initial manuscript pages we submitted, listened to my client’s purpose for writing the book, and guided us to the very best options, which included personal cover design, extra help with photography placements, and layout design. My client gave her rave reviews in a letter to company’s owner.

Even though I sincerely believe that most of my clients would develop ulcers if they attempted to publish totally independently, to be fair, I will also mention the self-publishing “tools” to be considered. They include: Amazon’s CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing, Barnes & Noble’s PubIt, Smashwords, and others. IF a client has little or no financial support for their writing efforts, or they have something short they want to publish—something that will possibly attract Readers to their major book(s)—I believe these are good options to consider. However, there is no Publishing Consultant to walk you through this forest.

Working with a Self-Publishing Company, and their publishing staff of experts, is (in my opinion) the best option for today’s authors. If finances are a concern, many have “gift cards” available (given by supportive family and friends) which can be applied to any of the publishing needs. The helping hand of the Publishing Consultant is priceless—and is included in the publishing package you select. ⚓︎

 


Royalene

ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.
Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.

In Your Corner: Start Thinking About Holiday Marketing … NOW!

Remember our “Ringing in the Holidays” post series from late last year? Wouldn’t it have been oh-so-much easier to execute the perfect holiday book sales plan if you’d started just that little bit earlier in the year? Well, I’m here today with a reminder as you start to look down the barrel of yet another end-of-year holiday frenzy: it’s time now! If you want to put your holidays in order, you have to start thinking about your marketing plan today. Yes, in August. If not July!

So let’s make a plan!

First stop: Who’s your audience? You’ll be able to plan an effective strategy only if you know who your ideal readers are–or who their parents with the pocketbooks and credit cards are, in the case of children’s books–and where to reach them, either online and in terms of raising awareness about your book, or in person through events and a campaign that they can conveniently connect to.

Second stop: What’s your format? If your book is digital, then giveaways are a must. An absolute must! There are also some great freebies–free chapters, free peeks, etc–that you can do by integrating your material into your website, social media, and so on. Make sure you give your website a facelift if you haven’t in a while–you want to be ready for the holidays, not just responding to them when they happen!

If your book is print, then yes–giveaways are still a must! But also book signings, book readings, and perhaps even workshops and teaching opportunities. The more ways–and the more creative ways–you can put your book into the hand of a potential buyer, the higher your chances of actually getting that buyer to pull out the pocketbook! Print books offer a great opportunity to distribute shiny merch like bookmarks, postcards, and so on to readers–even when your book may not be present or being sold! Think of the places people pick up their merch–banks, hotels, libraries, restaurant waiting areas–and partner with local businesses to see about featuring your book in these places.

Third stop: Get a move on! By the time those holidays roll around–whether Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas–it’s already too late to put together a comprehensive plan to reach new readers at that time. You really have to think ahead! Which is why we’re here. We’ve been there. If we’re honest with ourselves, we still are there. We know what it’s like–but here’s a guarantee: if you plan ahead, you will sell more books than if you don’t.

Sure, we can take it easy on ourselves, and feed ourselves the same line we did last year: “Oh, but there’s always next year.” And it’s true, for most of us. There will be more time to perfect our methods. But for this book, and this year, there isn’t a moment to waste–and it really would be a shame to push back our perfect holiday season another year simply because we let ourselves off of the hook today. Because for as many wonderful and eloquent “New Year’s Resolutions” posts we put up here on Self Publishing Advisor that we really do intend to keep, there’s always something that gets away from us. So we keep at it. Better todays mean better tomorrows mean a strategically stress-free Fall and Winter 2017!

But don’t worry, I’m not saying I’m anywhere near perfect. All we can ask is that we get a little bit better every go-around, right?

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.

Tuesday Book Review: “Population Control: The Life & Crimes of Terryn Masters”

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:

amy cottrell population control

Population Control: The Life and Crimes of Terryn Masters

by Amy Cottrell

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478758525

Synopsis*:

When Terryn Masters was offered an opportunity she couldn’t pass up, a means of survival and a way off the streets, she never thought it would mean being asked to kill the identical twin sister she didn’t even know existed, the only link to a mysterious past she’d give anything to uncover. After an unfortunate life of bouncing haphazardly through the foster care system, Terryn Masters finds herself as a young adult braving the unforgiving streets in the dead of winter. Just when she thinks her luck has completely run out, a beautiful but secretive Winnie Alexander approaches her and offers her the chance to not only get off the streets, but a chance for a life of privilege and luxury, one like she’s never imagined.

There is, however, a catch, and it’s a big one. In exchange for the new penthouse and fancy car, Terryn must become a slave to The Agency, a secret government entity founded during The Great Depression to control the United States’ population. She must agree to kill American citizens, targets picked at random, in order to keep the necessary economic balance. Merely as a means of survival, she reluctantly accepts Winnie’s proposition. After months of training and a torrid affair with Winnie, Terryn, who has been groomed to look like a lady but think like a killer, meets and becomes seriously involved with an older and irresistible Agent Wade Warner, who further complicates her already complex existence.

While struggling to come to terms with her violent occupation and simultaneously juggling two lovers, she gets an assignment that is not only impossible, but the key to uncovering who she is and where she came from. The sinister Agent Mercer, the very agent who trained Terryn to be the skilled killer she has become is also dangerously obsessed with Winnie and sends Terryn on a mission to kill the identical twin sister she knew nothing about, turning her world completely upside down. With The Agency hot on her heels, she goes on the run to save hers.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review:

This book was so cleverly written– so many twists and turns. It was so descriptive–I felt like I was there with the characters. I could not put it down. I will definitely recommend this book to everyone!!
Capture

– Review and image by Paige Freeman

 

Here’s what some other reviewers are saying:

This book not only grabs your attention from the very first chapter it keeps you focused all the way through!!! I could not put this book down.. I read it in 8 hours!! Anxiously waiting for more from Amy Cottrell!!!

– Amazon Reviewer k jones

You can not put this book down. Every page is filled with excitement. You will enjoy this book. Can’t wait to see if the author can bring it again.
Looking forward for the sequel.

Amazon Customer


tuesday book review

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

Self Publishing Advisor

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Self-Publishing News: 8.14.2017

Hello august. Splash paint letters

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing, specifically interviews with or articles written by self-publishing authors and experts!

“Today’s generation can easily upload and publish a book for free online,” writes Vanessa Garcia in this July 15 article for the Amarillo Globe-News: “But with so many potential authors, those who choose to self-publish face the challenge of standing out from the ever-growing online crowd.” So, how does one go about doing just that? Garcia elaborates on the experiences of several key self-publishing authors in the Amarillo area, including Ryan McSwain (who is, according to the article, preparing to self-publish his second book, “Four Color Bleed,” on Amazon) and Tracy Schamburg (whose latest book, “The Common Sense Guide to Landing on Your Feet,” has recently been self-published). McSwain touts the importance of good copy editing and presentation–being “error-free”–in making a book marketable, while Schamburg agrees and recommends seeking out a support network of experienced and skilled teammates … such as an editor. Both authors and Garcia have a lot to say about the process of going indie, and the article is well worth a look. You can find it at the link!

In this article, posted to the Latin-American Herald-Tribune, readers are introduced to Argentinian self-publishing author, Susana Oro. “One of Argentina’s most prolific writers in the romance-novel genre,” Oro reputedly “touted the advantages of self-publishing platforms, saying they allow for greater creative freedom and enable authors to establish their own rhythm of production.” If you happen to be a reader of Spanish genre fiction, this is one author to watch, as Oro has already published 12 novels, and puts out an average of three to four a year–a trend which she attributes entirely to the rapidity and responsiveness of indie publishing. She has no illusions about traditional publishing, saying that unless a person was to write Fifty Shades of Grey, “the big companies are unlikely to take an author seriously and promote their work sufficiently to allow them to make a living from literature.” You can read the full article on the Latin-American Herald Tribune website.

This August 13 News & Advance article by Casey Gillis spotlights the work of Ron Sisson, author of the children’s books Lost on Big Otter River and Stalk Eyes, each of which features engaging characters and places a premium on a sense of place. Sisson, now 82, has a background in a very different kind of writing. Says Gillis, “As a draftsman and, later, engineer with General Electric, he worked in research and development in New York before transferring to Lynchburg in 1972, where he joined the bids and proposals and project management department.” The fit was a natural one, according to Sisson.  Lost on Big Otter River, his first book, “was inspired by a boating trip he took with two of his three children near Lynchburg in 1976. Geared toward kids ages 9 to 12, the creative nonfiction tale came out in 2015.” Stalk Eyes, his second book, was published more recently.

What follows is a lengthy interview between Gillis and Sisson, touching on all aspects of his experience in self-publishing these two works, and well worth your time if you too are considering going indie with your next children’s book. The News & Advance, which covers Lynchburg, Virginia as well as Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford and Campbell counties, makes for a happy home for this article, which you can read here.

You can find all of these authors’ excellent books for sale online.


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

Conversations: 8/11/2017

S.O.S. – Writers Need Help, Too – Part II

jump skydive

SO you’ve “jumped off the cliff” and are diligently working to complete the book that’s been humming in your brain for years! You’ve outlined the plot from beginning to end. You’ve fleshed out the characters and built intrigue into their personalities. You’ve done your research and created multiple files of information about places, things, even weather patterns. The manuscript is almost complete, but you just can’t seem to quit writing it. Something is missing. Do you put those beautifully written pages in the drawer and wait—wait for the day, week, month or year when you’ll know what’s missing and can complete it?

PLEASE—don’t file that manuscript away! You’ve already sown your heart—and many hours of your life—into those pages. Take a big breath, and seek editorial help. Yes, I’m an “editor,” and IF we’re a good match, I’d love to help you. However, the purpose of this blog is to give you a few tips in finding THAT RIGHT MATCH so that your dream of publishing this book (and future ones, too) will become reality.

  • With the speed of the Internet these days, your query to find “manuscript editors” or “writing coaches” or “writing consultants” will give many options. Warning: beware of those who call themselves superstar editors. Their fees will match their opinions of themselves.
  • If your manuscript is a specific genre, search for “best” or “excellent” editors in that genre.
  • Personally, I prefer to talk with prospective clients either in person or by telephone. This first “consult” should always be FREE. If someone wants to charge you for that time, it is a good indication that they are more interested in your $$ than assisting you complete your book.
  • BE READY to give a clear, concise, conceptual idea of your story’s theme and the main characters who will be living the story.
  • Prepare a list of questions that can be asked of each person you interview. This should include questions such as:
    • Why are you in the editing profession?
    • How many clients have you done work for; and may I speak with any of them?
    • What do you consider as your editing strengths? Weaknesses?
    • What are your fees?
  • KEEP IN MIND that, even though you’ll be hiring an editor, you’re actually building a partnership. You and the editor you select will be co-workers, and that person must share the vision you have for your work. He/she will also:
    • Make sure your storyline “flows” through the pages with clear, concisely written sentences that convey what YOU want them to say.
    • That the voice of each character speaks to the reader as you (the author) intends.
    • If the manuscript is non-fiction, they will ensure that your voice—your speaking patterns—are maintained. This is vital when you are asked to speak at book signings, conferences, etc.

Bottom line: Seeking editorial assistance is one of the best decisions writers can make. Not only does it rescue that precious piece writing from the Land of the Lost File Drawers, but it opens the path to publishing an excellent book that Readers will enjoy for generations. ⚓︎

 


Royalene

ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.
Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.

Easy Breezy Summer Publishing (Part 5)

august back to school

The corn is well and truly in tassel, and fall is just around the corner, ready to crest the horizon. The evenings grow cooler, but there’s still the tang of summer smoke in the air–all the fire of a season packed with heat and mixed feelings–and it’s time to start thinking of how to make the most of August. Yes, it may be most often called the ‘back-to-school’ season, but we all of us go back to things in Fall. Back to work, back to family routines, back to the marketing strategies we … may … have let languish during the busy summer months.

How can we flip the switch and get back to work?

Here are my recommendations:

  • You’re not the only one who may need a reminder that change is upon us. Use August as an opportunity to launch a special deal or giveaway. You can frame it as ‘back-to-school savings’ or you can use it as a promo for new or upcoming releases.
  • Think visual. Fall is perhaps the most striking of all (or at the very least, one of the most striking) seasons. Take advantage! Your book is a product, and selling a product is at least half of the time about selling an image. If you haven’t created an Instagram and Pinterest, now is the time! These two social media platforms offer a great way of humanizing your brand and showcasing your product.
  • Fall is a great time to get your networking game on! People may not be thinking about taxes just yet, but you certainly want to get your foot in the door before the holiday craze so that they remember your name and your book come tax time–and come the holidays! Connect the dots between everyone you ‘meet’ on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Goodreads, and even LinkedIn and work those contacts and relationships now, while they’re planning out their budget, calendar, and holiday schemes for the school year.
  • And on that note, it’s time to plan your own editorial and marketing calendar–or at least to sketch out the outlines! Is it your hope to write some newsletters, blog posts, or social media updates in the coming months? Do you have some new work on the horizon? Now is the time to schedule not just your writing time or your own holiday marketing plan–it’s time to lay the groundwork for an entire year of editorial works!

And these are just a few of my recommendations! As you might expect, there are plenty of chances to enrich your opportunities during the Fall. Don’t put things off–start now! A hint of pumpkin spice is wafting on the rising breeze of Autumn ….


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

Tuesday Book Review: “The Crow and the Big Oak Tree”

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:

anne toole the crow and the big oak tree

The Crow and the Big Oak Tree

by Anne Toole

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN: 9781478776482

Synopsis*:

Once there was a big crow that thought he was the most wonderful animal in the forest! He didn’t like the other animals because they were so different from him. He thought he should have his own tree. He didn’t want the other animals in it. One day something bad happened to the crow. Read the story to find out what valuable lessons the crow learned. Did these lessons make him think differently about the other animals living in the forest?

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review:

“The Crow and the Big Oak Tree” tells a fable that has very important teaching messages of justifications for tolerance and celebration of differences for young readers today. With its clean, energetic illustrations and opposite page paragraphs format, “The Crow and the Big Oak Tree” tells the story of a large black crow who chose not to share hi preferred oak tree with other creatures, even birds, who were different from him. He succeeds in driving away a squirrel, a snake, an owl, honeybees, and many other little birds from his oak tree, even though they all pointed out to him it was not his oak tree.
Then one day the crow was subjected to an attack by some mean boys who decided to throw stones at him to stun him, then capture him. The crow was hit and stunned, falling to the ground. Imagine the crows amazement when the swarm of bees and their queen came to his rescue! They stung the boys and the queen spoke to the crow: “You are right about one thing. We are different from one another. But we are also alike. We all contribute to this world in one way or another. We don’t have to be alike to live peacefully together to survive in the forest. And sometimes in order to survive, we may have to help each other out. We all just need to accept each other as we are and all the different things we do. We also must make an effort to get along with one another.”
The crow thought long and hard about this and ultimately decided to let the honeybees to return to live in his oak tree. Gradually the crow also decided to allow the other creatures who were not like him to return to live in or near the oak tree. The final note is one of expanded appreciation: “Maybe in time, as the animals get to know one another better, they may find that they may find that they are more alike than different from each other and may elementally begin to like one another. But for the time being, they are all living peacefully in that big oak tree in the middle of the forest.”
Written to appeal to readers in grades 1 through 3, “The Crow and the Big Oak Tree” carries an important message of tolerance of differences for all beings.

reviewed on the Picture Book shelf of Midwest Book Review

 

Here’s what some other reviewers are saying:

You will recall that we met Anne Toole through her book, A Dog Named Cat. Do check my review if you haven’t already. This time we have a very vain crow that has claimed a beautiful big oak tree as his own! He thinks he deserves a tree all to himself and has claimed a very large Oak! Some might say he was being selfish, but it really went beyond that…

When a little squirrel came to live in the tree as well and started to bring nuts to store in a little hole he’d found in the trunk of the tree, the crow watched him do all the work and then he flew down and started dropping the nuts on the ground! The little squirrel quickly decided to go find somewhere else to live… You know what? I considered what the crow had just done as something that a bully would do! Does being vain cause you to be a bully?

The story continues as a snake, an owl, and some bees came along, hoping to make their home in the big oak tree. Crow chased them all away!

Now Crow soon learned his lesson! You know how? Some human boys who were definitely bullies came along and started throwing rocks at him.

When you learn what happens next, you’ll realize that being vain is not being a bully, but it’s not a good idea to think you are better than anybody else, either! Especially, when you almost lose your life! Crow discovers that he was wrong to exclude all the other animals of the forest and that there was plenty of space in that Oak tree for everyone. An exceptional story in sharing, friendship, and accepting those who are not like you.

Toole again presents a beautiful full-color story printed on a 7×10 paperback. The storybook is 24 pages, and the narrative is quite long, and is aimed at children in first through third grade. It is illustrated by Richa Kinra with the cover illustrative of the style of bright-colored details throughout. Kudos to the author and illustrator for a book just big enough to be held in small hands and read while gazing at the delightful forest animals…

Do check this one out for age-appropriated children, although if you are a parent or grandparent who reads to small children, I think many younger than school age would like to hear the story as well…

– Amazon Reviewer Glenda

MY THOUGHTS

First off, I loved the illustrations. They were so vivid and went along with the story. A big black crow though he was just “IT”, so very fine. He thinks he is above all the other animals. He decides that a certain tree is just as perfect as he is and that tree was HIS and no other animal could come up that tree. Some animals were scared away by the crow when they tried to settle and make their homes there. It was the black crow’s and he wasn’t going to share. Two boys wanted to catch the crow and make a pet of it. They throw rocks at it and then some bees attack the boys. The boys run in fear. This little episode caused the crow to realize he needed friends and it wouldn’t hurt for him to share his home. A lesson learned. We all need friends and we all need to share. Another lesson to learn, it’s not good to think you’re better than everyone else. So much for young readers to learn but in a fun way. Great book for the young reader to have on his or her bookshelf. Wonderful lessons in a fun way.

– Amazon Reviewer gayle pace


tuesday book review

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

Self Publishing Advisor

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