Self-Publishing News: 7.14.2020

National Mac and Cheese Day - July 14

And now for the news.

Highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing:

Now here is some news both adorable and useful! Mother of two Tara Travieso self-published a book explaining the need for social distancing as a response to COVID-19 after refining a metaphor she had already been using (and seeing some success in communicating) with her own children: bubbles! (We all can appreciate bubbles.) Katie Kindelan of ABC News covers the mother’s story, writing that

When she saw how quickly her own daughters took to the idea, and got positive feedback from other parents with whom she shared the idea, Travieso got to work writing a children’s book.

Just six weeks later, Travieso self-published her first book, Billie and the Brilliant Bubble: Social Distancing for Children.

Kindelan goes on to summarize the many challenges Travieso faced while finishing her first children’s book, from acquiring an ISBN to locating an illustrator to finding the time to write while also working full time and splitting household responsibilities with her husband. The book “tells the story of a young girl named Billie who has an imaginary bubble to keep her safe, according to Travieso. It follows Billie as she goes to a park and meets new friends, who learn about her imaginary bubble and then want one themselves.” And while popping another person’s bubble is not at present a thing Billie wants to do, out of care and respect for others, the book does end on a hopeful note––with Billie expressing excitement over the future day when it will be a thing of joy to pop one’s own bubble and emerge into a safer, bubble-reduced world.

It’s such a marvel to be living in the day and age we are––a day and age with plenty of difficulties, it’s true, but one which is also full of opportunities we wouldn’t have dreamed of even two or three generations ago. Enter stage left 92-year-old Mary Alice Baluck, who currently resides in a senior living community. As Raymond Smith of the Tribune Today notes, the seed that would flower into Baluck’s first self-published novel, Heaven’s Doorway, were planted around forty years ago––proving that there’s no putting a time limit on the creative work of a writer’s imagination. (As more than one writing professor has stated, “Nothing is ever wasted.”) Baluck is already working on finishing her second novel, and has plans for a children’s book as well. Smith quotes Baluck:

“My husband passed away in 1999, and although I had always written short stories and poetry as a pastime, I had never seriously thought of writing and publishing anything until he died,” she said.

And we’re so very glad she did, because her novel sounds fascinating! An intergenerational saga set near Lake Eerie, Heaven’s Gate was self-published only months before Baluck’s 93rd birthday. 

Remember this: It’s never too late to get started!


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 each month to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

Self-Publishing News: 7.7.2020

National Strawberry Sundae Day vector

And now for the news.

Highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing:

Some good news for parents out of the Big Sky State! Many parents have found themselves in the unique position of having to be educators as well as bread-winners, and with case numbers all over the map (literally as well as figuratively), it doesn’t look like that will be changing any time soon. Whether you’re electing to be cautious in states like Montana that have begun to reopen or following state and federal recommendations elsewhere, a much-needed resource has arrived to fill the gap. Writing for Helena’s Independent Record, Tyler Manning writes about how “Two Helena teachers recently self-published a kindergarten readiness guide for parents.” The project had been in the works for six years or more, but this proved just the right moment for teachers (to observe proper classroom etiquette) Ms. Hankins and Ms. Buresh to self-publish. As Manning puts it:

According to Hankins, they had many tips but verbally explaining them lots of individual parents wasn’t wholly effective. The pair then had the idea to start writing down tips, idea and exercises. Before they knew it, they had enough to write a book.

The book takes the form of activity pages for each letter of the alphabet. It teaches concepts like numbers, shapes, colors, vocabulary and more. Hankins said the book also aims to answer many of the social questions that parents have as their children start school for the first time.

“It’s two-fold,” said Hankins. “It’s to get the kids ready and to put parents minds at ease.”

While the material might have been embraced by a traditional publishing house, the lag time would have prevented many parents from getting their hands on the book when they most need it––which is now. According to another article from the Independent Record, Helena’s schools are still aiming to reopen for the Fall semester, despite a recent rise in recorded statewide COVID-19 cases that will still seem small to those states with city-concentrated populations. In any case, this local Montana effort will hopefully signal the start of a new wave of high-quality self-published resources for parents of young children that are both timely and teacher-tested as this one seems to be. 

Tyler Manning’s coverage includes much more and is worth reading in its own right. You can find out more about Hankins, Buresh, and their book at www.summerbeforekindergarten.com. More news soon!


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 each month to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

Self-Publishing News: 5.19.2020

On-trend 2020 calendar page for the month of May modern flat lay

And now for the news.

Highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing:

In a sense we’ve known this was a possibility for a while, what with occasional Wattpad stories being plucked from the milieu and given a Netflix movie or Hulu series adaptation or some similar development–mostly when folks already in the media business stumbled across specific stories on Wattpad and requested film rights. Now, however, it is one of the platform’s company goals to transform cloud-sourced and user-created content into other forms of media, writes the Globe and Mail‘s Technology Reporter, Sean Silcoff. Wattpad, a platform which allows its users to self-publish both short and long-form works (in installments) for little or no cost, and has turned that content into its most marketable product by paying close attention to the analytics. Those stories which perform strongly on the platform in terms of readership might just make the right material for an adaptation, they seem to suspect. Writes Silcoff,

Wattpad has close to 50 TV and film projects in development after a string of successes. Those include The Kissing Booth, based on a Wattpad story, which was one of the most-watched films on Netflix in 2018, and After, based on a popular young adult romance series by Anna Todd that started life on Wattpad, was one of the top-grossing independent movies of last year. Hulu series Light as a Feather, another Wattpad adaptation, was nominated for a Daytime Emmy.

Still, it’s difficult to pin one’s hopes on a company where you are the primary product being bartered for, and where only 50 stories are on development out of the “millions” (Silcoff’s word, not ours!) of contributing authors and their contributions. It would seem that the same skills and talents, resources and investments, pay off on Wattpad just like with any other platform or self-publishing company.


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 each month to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

 

Self-Publishing News: 5.12.2020

On-trend 2020 calendar page for the month of May modern flat lay

And now for the news.

Highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing:

It is one of many ironies in the world that there are now traditionally published books and authors recommending that their fellow writers go indie. Such is the case with author Courtney Maum, whose book Before and After the Book Deal: A Writer’ Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promoting, and Surviving Your First Book was released in January. Maum, in an interview with Diane Slocum of Authorlink®’s Writers and Readers magazine, surprised a few by pushing back against the misconception that traditional and self-publishing are somehow at odds with each other, or mutually exclusive. Says Maum:

Honestly, what I tell a lot of people is that not all books need to be—or even should be—published in the traditional way. There is a place for guerilla publishing, for self-publishing, for making your own zines—there are a lot of books that find their way to readers off the beaten path, not on it. Publishing with traditional houses is a privilege and it’s super exciting, for sure. But it is hard. It is incredibly competitive. You have to be “on” all the time and good at all the social media stuff in a way that many writers aren’t. You’re going to be really visible. You make one misstep, the Internet might come for you. You are going to have colleagues who aren’t going to like your book, parents who won’t read it, writers you admire who won’t blurb it, you will get bad reviews. Some people are literally not going to be able to withstand the emotional damage to write another book. It can be a very harmful experience, publishing a book. It can be joyful and rewarding and exciting too, of course. But you need to be made of very stiff cloth to hold up against the winds of favor. I self-published a collection of short stories in my twenties and I also have a chapbook. I’m proud of those little books. That was the right form for them, they found their perfect path. Every book has a different destiny and not every book’s destiny is going to be Penguin Random House.

What a fantastic way to start off the week!


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 each month to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

 

Self-Publishing News: 5.5.2020

Well, due to the way the dates have shaken out with our weekly schedule, we have officially missed the two best May-themed memes that there are:

it's gonna be may Justin Timberlake

… and …

Art Deco May the 4th be with you (May 4) Star Wars celebration Day text.

Be that as it … ahem … may, we have some news for you this week!

On-trend 2020 calendar page for the month of May modern flat lay

We apologize for the interruption to our normal routine! This has certainly been a disrupting time for everyone, not just us, and we hope that now we are settling into all of our respective new routines that this post finds you well and thriving despite the difficulties.

And now for the news.

Highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing:

We’ve written often on the virtues and happenings in the world of zines for self-publishing authors, both as a first platform for experimentation and as a sort of written publication that is so fast in its turnaround time that it provides the perfect way to respond to current events. This is certainly the case with the zines featured in Ysabelle Cheung’s article for HyperAllergic.com last week, which includes the telling subtitle: “There may never have been a better time for the zine, since as COVID-19 rages on, many artists are turning to self-publishing as an alternative way to connect while in isolation.” Cheung, citing the input of zine expert Beatrix Pang, notes that there has been an uptick in zine publications (including zines specifically relating to COVID-19) during the global slowdown associated with the virus. Writes Cheung, some of the best “includ[e] Pop & Zebra’s The New Coronavirus Abecedary, a mini-zine of COVID-19 terminology, and artist Eunice Tsang’s forthcoming No Play Today, featuring photos of cordoned-off playgrounds. In this time of anxiety, Pang says, ‘A zine can narrate ephemeral and mundane daily life experiences, and also deliver important messages and advocate for individual or collective freedom.'” If you have been thinking about self-publishing a zine, or self-publishing in general, but haven’t quite known what to do to get started, we highly recommend taking a look at Cheung’s article and paging through some of the examples if you can. Maybe one day soon we can look forward to getting a glimpse into your quarantine life … by way of a quaranzine!


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 each month to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.