Conversations : The Best of Royalene Doyle (part 2)

Celebrating the Best of Royalene Doyle

and her fantastic Conversations

farewell goodbye waving

Once upon a glorious time, Royalene gave us her backstory as an author and self-publishing expert. And let us tell you, it’s something special. Royalene started out writing genre fiction in her teens, mastering everything from science fiction to mystery to children’s books, before moving on in her adulthood to overcome that age-old tale of a gifted writer facing rejection letter after rejection letter. Her response? To take up self-publishing, of course! There’s a lot more to the story than what we can summarize here, but one of the highlights is her unwavering faith in herself (and other authors) and her own personal vision. Here is a writer who faced challenges so common (or perhaps even universal) to the profession, and out of her own grit and determination and self-empowerment, carved out her own uncommon response … and success! In fact, Royalene has had a lot to say about success over the years, and we can’t recommend reading her posts enough. But for the background and the foundation of who she is as a writer, and where her advice comes as a self-publishing professional? Read this post for sure.

Next up, we wanted to shine a light on some of Royalene’s method. (And also, let’s face it, there’s something just plain winsome about Winnie the Pooh, and Royalene’s reference here is spot on.) 2013 was a splendid year for Royalene posts (a very fine vintage), packed full of insights into how she goes about starting a new book, particularly a new children’s book. She walks readers through the first step (research), then the next (conversation), and the last (money). Each of these steps presents some obstacles for the self-publishing author to overcome, but Royalene’s clearly defined and organized steps might just prove a working blueprint for those children’s book authors who come after her. Well worth a full exploratory read, don’t you think?

Our last post for the day was the logical follow-up to the previous one; in fact, this post was published just one week after, also in 2013 (as we mentioned, a very fine vintage!). It also seems logical to have begun today’s reminisces with Royalene’s own childhood, middled with her method for writing a children’s book, and concluded with that other big component of children’s picture books—a relationship which in many ways defines the entire experience—the relationship between author and illustrator! Royalene delves into her various thoughts about illustrators, including some of her requirements for the relationship and her tips on knowing when an illustrator is right for you. As she mentions in her post, this is foundational to the creative development of a children’s picture book, and it’s just as important to develop a working philosophy or ethic of how to go about finding an illustrator and establishing that relationship as it is to write and publish the book. If you’re thinking of writing, illustrating, or otherwise publishing a children’s picture book this year, we recommend reading Royalene’s post in full!


That’s all for this week! We’ll be back next Friday as we detail more of Royelene’s greatest hits, as determined by our blog’s analytics. You can follow Royalene’s further adventures by checking out her Twitter feed (her handle is @RoyaleneD) or her website at We miss you, 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. She developed 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, has received 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. December 2017 marked the end of Royalene’s tenure at Self Publishing Advisor. and we will be spending the next few weeks celebrating some of her all-time hits, her most well-received articles for our blog, in thanks for years of generous service.

How to Write and Publish a Children’s Book

Books for children and young adults are among the hottest selling titles right now, and there are a variety of reasons people want to write books for children. Some writers have a particular lesson or story they want to share with kids. Others simply love children and want to write for them. And then there are those writers who are just children at heart and connect best with a younger audience. Whatever your reasons for wanting to write for children, you can write and publish a children’s book. Here’s how:

1. Learn about the market and your audience.

Writing for children is not the same as writing for adults, and there are different types of children’s books: picture books, easy readers, middle grade novels and young adult novels. Each of these different audiences expect different things from a book. To help you better understand the craft of writing for children, take a class or pick up a few books on the topic. It is also helpful to study your audience. Watch the shows they are interested in. Listen to the music that is popular. Go to a public place and observe how they interact with people. If you want to create believable characters, you need to understand your audience.

2. Figure out your goals.

Once you have a good understanding of the market and your audience, decide what you want to write. What is your mission as a children’s author? What do you want to tell your audience? This is the time to start generating story ideas and creating characters. You can use your own childhood, current events and your imagination to inspire your writing.

3. Write and Rewrite.

Once you know what you want to write, you have to actually put the words on paper. This is often the most difficult part for many writers, but don’t get discouraged. Simply make an effort to consistently work on your story, and remember that a first draft is not a finished product; it doesn’t need to be perfect. Don’t be afraid to rewrite your story several times. Writing for children is not easy, and it can take several attempts to find just the right words.

4. Start the publishing process.

Self publishing is a great option for children’s book authors because it provides complete control over the project. For instance, authors who publish with traditional publishing firms typically have no say in the illustrations that accompany their story. Since the pictures can make or break a children’s book, it is important that the author’s vision is considered during this process. Many self publishing companies offer a variety of illustration services and various publishing packages to accommodate your needs.

I’d love to know, why do you want to write for children?

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at, 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


London Book Festival Awards calls for unique self-published book entries:

The 2009 London Book Festival will hold its annual awards program celebrating books that deserve greater recognition from the international publishing community on January 21, 2010 at the city’s famed Grosvenor House. The awards ceremony is open to competition entrants and invited guests of the festival.

The awards ceremony is open to competition entrants and invited guests of the festival. The 2009 London Book Festival will consider books in English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese and Italian in the competition. The works may be published, self-published or independent publisher non-fiction, fiction, children’s books, poetry, art/photgraphy, teenage, how-to, audio/spoken word, comics/graphic novels, e-books, wild card (anything goes!), science fiction, romance and biography/autobiographical works.

A panel of judges will determine the winners based on the following criteria:

1) The story-telling ability of the author;
2) The potential of the work to win wider recognition from the international publishing community.

Our grand prize for the 2009 London Book Festival Author of the Year is $1500 and a flight from your city of entry to London OR Los Angeles – your choice!

ENTRIES: Please classify your book and enter it in the following categories. Multiple entries must be accompanied by a separate fee for each book.

1.General Non-fiction
2. General Fiction
3. Children’s books
4. E-books
5. Comics/graphic novels
6. Wild Card
7. Teenage
8. Science fiction
9. Romance
10. Biography/Autobiography
11. Audio/spoken word
12. How-To
13. Poetry
14. Art/Photography

FESTIVAL RULES: London Book Festival submissions cannot be returned. Each entry must contain a print-out of the official entry form, including your e-mail address and contact telephone number. All shipping and handling costs must be borne by entrants.

NOTIFICATION AND DEADLINES: We will notify each entry of the receipt of their package via e-mail and will announce the winning entries at the web site.

Deadline submissions in each category must be postmarked by the close of business on November 25, 2009. Winners in each category will be notified by e-mail and the results posted on the site. Please note that judges read and consider submissions on an ongoing basis, comparing early entries with later submissions.

TO ENTER: Entry forms are available online at or may be faxed/e-mailed to you by calling our office at 323-665-8080. Applications must be accompanied by a non-refundable entry fee via check, money order, credit card payment or PayPal online payment of $50 in U.S. dollars for each submission. Multiple submissions are permitted but each entry must be accompanied by a separate form and entry fee. Entry fee checks should be made payable to JM Northern Media LLC.

Entry packages should include one copy of the book; a copy of your official entry form; the entry fee or receipt from online payment; and any relevant marketing materials, i.e., press kits or other material that illuminates the background of your book. Entries should be mailed to:

JM Northern Media LLC
The London Book Festival
7095 Hollywood Blvd. Suite 864
Hollywood, CA 90028, USA

AWARDS: The London Book Festival selection committee reserves the right to determine the eligibility of any project.

The London Book Festival is produced by JM Northern Media LLC, producers of the Hollywood Book Festival, New York Book Festival and DIY Book Festival. We are sponsored by the Larimar St. Croix Writers Colony, eDivvy, Westside Websites and Shopanista

Self-Published Children’s Book Reviewer

Is your self-published book for children? If so, here is an opportunity you may want to look into to get your book reviewed:

Marilyn Courtot’s

A reviewer for this site posts reviews to Barnes and Noble and Amazon and has a special interest in books that kids can read then “cook up reading” with the help of the website.

Good luck and have fun!
Kelly Schuknecht

Self-Published Book Review of the Week: Bouncing Billy

billy_coverBouncing Billy
by Ricky Pierce

This self-published children’s book was recently reviewed on

Bouncing Billy is an interactive book written by Ricky Pierce, who retired from the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1998. He is the creator and inventor of the AccUShot22 Basketball, which aids children through adults in ball-handling and shooting skills.

Read the full review here.