Self-Published Book Review: Sally and the Singing Whale

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:

sally and the singing whale berinna hansen

BHBAfinalist72

Sally and the Singing Whale

by Betinna Hansen

ISBN: 9781478786412

 

Synopsis*:

“Whales are monsters,” Papa warns Sally. “They will eat you up!” This is the beginning of the story, a beautiful adventure that is sure to charm both children and parents. Sally is always in a good mood and sure to come out on top, but when she sneaks onto her father’s ship, something unexpected happens –Sally is thrown overboard and swallowed by a whale! This heartwarming book is as exciting as it is layered. It is about a little girl’s love for her father, her growing independence, and the beauty of the natural world. But it also touches on the fear of the unknown –a fear that, Sally learns, has nothing to do with reality. PRAISE: Author Betinna Hansen was accepted to the Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature, where Sally and the Singing Whale was described as “Magical” and likened to the classic children’s story Pinocchio and the biblical story of Jonah. “Sally and the Singing Whale is a book that you will want to read and re-read for its depth and timelessness.” –Denise Dowling Mortensen; Children’s book author of Bug Patrol and Good Night Engines/Wake Up Engines.

“Betinna Hansen is a gifted storyteller whose words create beautiful pictures in my head!” –Peter Catalanotto; Author/Illustrator of Emily’s Art and Monkey & Robot. To learn more go to www.singingwhale.online

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Reviews

Sally and the Singing Whale is a children’s picture book written by Betinna Hansen and illustrated by Tata Bobokhidze. Sally wants to go to sea with her dad, who’s a fisherman, but he’s just not willing to let her come along with him. When she asks why, he tells her that whales are monsters with sharp teeth. Sally has had many exciting adventures and loves seeing new things, but she’s both scared and skeptical of her father’s description of the whales. Her dad wants her to stay safely at home in her little treehouse that’s perched in a sunny clearing among hills and mountains. But Sally has other ideas, and while she looks sleepy as he sings her their lullaby, she’s ready to adventure once again as soon as he leaves. Sally gets dressed and follows him to the harbor where his ship is waiting. She stows away in what seems a perfectly safe place, but suddenly finds herself in the belly of a very large whale.

Betinna Hansen’s children’s picture book, Sally and the Singing Whale, is a lush and lovely fantasy about a girl’s interaction with a whale. I loved the feeling I got when reading this tale, that it was set when men like Sally’s father went whaling in ships often much smaller than their targets, and admired how Hansen is able to interject a sensibility into the fishermen’s mindsets after Sally and her father’s lullaby is sung by a pod of whales. Tata Bobokhidze’s illustrations are a masterful blend of rich colors, striking watercolor washes and marvelous little touches that bring each of these panels to life. Each and every page is suitable for framing and would make a grand themed wall in a child’s room. I found myself pausing and getting lost in each frame as I read of Sally’s adventures. The details are wonderful — check out the little eyelashes on the whale, follow Sally’s path as she enters the whale’s baleen-fringed mouth and take a moment to find where Sally is hiding on the ship. There’s so much to enjoy about this book, both for children and those fortunate adults who happen upon this book when it’s story time. Sally and the Singing Whale is most highly recommended.

 

Book Trailer

 

 


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

selfpubicon1

Beijing Book Fair 2014

Book fairs are an excellent way for self-published authors to promote their books and network with industry professionals. The Beijing Book Fair 2014 will take place August 27th through 31st, so now is the time to consider registering your book.

The Beijing International Book Fair is the largest publishing industry event in the Asian Market. This is a huge opportunity for self-published authors, considering China is the most populous country in the world. This market is interested in books translated into their local language as well as the rights to distribute English Language content. English language titles are at the forefront of the market growth in China.

Children’s books authors can be especially lucrative in this market, since the government mandates that all Chinese children learn English at an early age. STM, academic areas, sports, sports medicine, and military history are also areas that have been in high demand.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors attend the show annually to see the books from 56 different countries. Your book could be there!

To learn more, visit http://www.chinaexhibition.com/Official_Site/11-2822-BIBF_2013_-_The_20th_Beijing_International_Book_Fair.html

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the 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 at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

4 Reasons to Self-Publish This Easter

Holidays can be an excellent source of motivation and inspiration, and many great books center around a specific holiday. Here are four reasons you should self-publish this Easter.

1. Children’s Books

Holiday themed books are especially popular among children’s book authors because teachers, parents, and kids love to read books related to what children are experiencing at that time. Perhaps you could write a book Sunday school teachers could use to teach kids about Easter, or you could create a funny bunny story that plays with alliterations, metaphors, and other writing techniques so teachers could use the book in writing lessons.

2. Adult Books

Holiday themes aren’t just for children. Many adult books centered around a holiday also have success. There are countless possibilities depending on your interests, non-fiction, Christian fiction, mystery, romance, poetry, and more. Let the holiday inspire you, and be creative.

3. Time to Write

Most people have time off from work near Easter. This long weekend is a great opportunity to work on your book. Use this extra time to brainstorm ideas, finish your manuscript, start a new writing project, or begin the self-publishing process.

4. Family and Friends

Most people are surrounded by family and friends during the holidays. This is a great opportunity to get the support and motivation you need to complete your writing project. This Easter, tell your family and friends about your writing goals and the projects you are working on. Their enthusiasm and support will help you through the process.

I’d love to know, what are your favorite holiday themed books?

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the 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 at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

In-House vs. Third Party Illustrators for Book Covers

Children’s authors already know the importance of a great graphic artists, but even authors who write for older audiences need to understand the importance of a great artist and how to find one. While your book may not be filled with graphics, there is one image that can make or break your book’s success — your cover.

A great graphic artist will help you great a custom book cover that catches readers’ attention, demonstrates your professionalism as an author, and represents the essence of your book. By using a generic cover or a poorly created one, you may send your readers a negative message about your work and they may be less intrigued to buy and read it. Because a graphic artist is so important to the success of your book, you need to make sure you hire a talented, trustworthy one.

Before hiring a graphic artist, understand that there are two types of custom covers:

1)      A custom cover –created by a professional graphic artist

2)      An illustrated custom cover – The illustration is created by a professional illustrator and then that illustration is used in a custom cover design created by the professional graphic artist.

It is helpful to know which type of cover you’d like for your book before hiring a graphic artist. Another important decision is whether to use a third party graphic artist or an in-house graphic artist. Using a third party artist can be more expensive and complicated to work with.

It is important to know . . .

  • Some third-party graphic artists require you to share a portion of your royalties. This creates an ongoing cost instead of a one-time fee for the service.
  • You need to know what the trim size of your book is prior to the artist beginning work.
  • The graphic artist needs to know specifications about bleed and gutters for the self-publisher being used.
  • You should arrange for the graphic artist to provide high-resolution image files, not just hardcopies.
  • Be sure to get a written contract.

If this sounds like a headache, there is an easier way. Instead of hiring a third-party graphic artist, you could hire an artist through your self-publishing company. To learn more about hiring a graphic artist from your self-publishing company, contact a representative at your publishing company.

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 25 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps, publishing consultants and marketing professionals; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams and on assisting authors with marketing and promoting their book once published. 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, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

October Writing Challenge #5 NaNoWriMo

Over the past month I’ve challenged you to complete a weekly Halloween inspired writing challenge. These challenges were designed to spark creative ideas, help you stick to your writing routine, and provide a little fun in your hectic week. (After all, writing is supposed to be fun, right?)

Now that October is almost over, I have an even bigger and more exciting challenge for you — NaNoWriMo. If you’ve followed my blog posts in the past, you know I not only encourage authors to try NaNoWriMo, but I have also done the challenge myself.

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It is an annual, Internet-based creative writing project that challenges writers to pen a whopping 50,000 words in the month of November. Hundreds of thousands of writers participate in the challenge each year.

NaNoWriMo is great for new writers looking for a creative jumpstart or experienced writers looking for a new challenge. It begins November 1st and ends on November 30th.

To sign up or learn more about NaNoWriMo, visit www.nanowrimo.org. The website helps you track your progress, gives you access to pep talks and inspirational stories, and provides a place to meet other writers.

Also, if you missed any of the October challenges, be sure to go back and check out them out: Spiritual Poetry Challenge, 15 Minute Challenge, Short Story Challenge, and Children’s Halloween Story Challenge. (You never know, they might inspire your NaNoWriMo project.)

I’d love to know, are you going to participate in NaNoWriMo this year?

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the 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 at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

October Writing Challenge #4

October is here! Witches, ghosts, and goblins! Oh my!

In honor of Halloween, each week in October I am sharing a Halloween inspired writing challenge. These challenges are designed to spark creative ideas, help you stick to your writing routine, and provide a little fun in your hectic week. (After all, writing is supposed to be fun, right?)

So far, we’ve done the Spiritual Poetry Challenge, 15 Minute Challenge, and Short Story Challenge. (If you missed any of these, click the links to check them out.)

This week is the children’s Halloween story challenge. Think of a child in your life and write out a story you might tell him or her as a bed time story for Halloween.  It doesn’t have to be scary (you want them to go to sleep after all), but it can be about monsters or ghosts or anything else related to Halloween.

After writing the story, you may decide you like the finished manuscript and want to self-publish the story. Remember, the pictures are very important in children’s books. If you happen to be an artist, this is a great opportunity to illustrate your own book. If not, many self-publishing companies offer a variety of illustration services to suit your needs.

Be sure to check back next Wednesday for the next writing challenge!

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the 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 at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

What Self-Publishing Children’s Authors Need to Know About Hiring an Illustrator

 

For children’s authors, a great illustrator is essential to self-publishing a wonderful book. In children’s stories, the pictures are not only enjoyable to look at, they also help tell the story. Because an illustrator is so important to the success of your book, you need to make sure you hire a talented, trustworthy artist.

Thanks to the internet, it is easy to find an illustrator. If you simply google the term “children’s book illustrators”, you will probably get plenty of results for qualified artists. However, self-publishing authors need to be cautious when hiring third-party illustrators. Here is what you need to know.

  • Some third-party illustrators require you to share a portion of your royalties. This creates ongoing cost instead of a one-time fee for their services.
  • You need to know what the trim size of your book is prior to the illustrator beginning work.
  • The illustrator needs to know specifications about bleed and gutters for the
    self-publisher being used.
  • You should arrange for the illustrator to provide high-resolution image files, not just
    hardcopies.
  • Be sure to get a written contract.

If this sounds like a headache, there is an easier way. Instead of hiring a third-party illustrator, you could hire an illustrator through your self-publishing company. To learn more about hiring an illustrator your self-publishing company, contact a representative at your publishing company.

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 25 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps, publishing consultants and marketing professionals; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams and on assisting authors with marketing and promoting their book once published. 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, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.