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Spotlight On…

Today’s spotlight is on authors Alex Goubar and Maddison Greene! As you know, Alex Goubar is our lead illustrator at Pandamonium Publishing House and is responsible for creating fabulous books, graphics, and covers. She’s teamed up with author Maddison Greene to bring you a book that focuses on a cause close to their hearts. Read more about them and their book LongRun Stories New Beginnings, which helps retired racehorses! Order their book here: LongRun Stories New Beginnings: Goubar, Alex, Greene, Maddison: 9781989506561: Books – Amazon.ca

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Author Spotlight, Lynn Baillie!

March 31, 2022– We love Lynn Baillie and her book Breaking out of the Darkness. She’s not only an author extraordinaire and one of our favourite people but also a Master Practitioner and Teacher! Here’s her story below as well as a link to the article she’s written: A New Purpose – The Firebranders Magazine
Purchase your copy of her book here: Breaking Out of the Darkness – Pandamonium Publishing House

My name is Lynn Baillie and I am a Master Practitioner in Reiki Tummo and a Master Teacher in Usui Reiki. I have a BSc in Mathematics and my career has been in the legal and compliance department of financial institutions and investment dealers and brokerages. After having a life altering injury to my eyes that ended my career, I began my healing journey and found the realm of energy healing. I discovered a world full of peace, love, joy, and abundance and I would like to share with you through my writing how I did that.

Have you ever pushed yourself so hard that a physical part of you shut down due to the overload? This happened to me back in the end of 2016. I knew something was wrong in September but I couldn’t see my eye doctor until late December. When I finally saw my eye doctor she told me that my eyes were not responding to the prisms in my reading glasses that corrected my line of sight. These prisms helped me read and without them my eyes read 2 lines simultaneously making the words move around and difficult to pull together. My eye doctor referred me to an optometrist who specializes in vision therapy and I saw her the following February. I also pinched the ulnar nerve in my neck from tilting my head back to help my failing vision and that took away the use of my right arm. Four months of osteopathy visits, thankfully, brought that back.

In February of 2017, I saw the vision specialist and was diagnosed with a bunch of things but they basically meant muscle failure in my eyes for up close vision and this prevented me from doing my job. I was off for a year with vision therapy and then tried to work again in 2018 only to have to go on leave again seven months later with even more damage to my eyes. I was devastated.

My career has been in the legal and compliance department of a financial institutions and my eyes working properly was kind of important. This issue with my eyes was absolutely terrifying. I had no idea what I could do for work since everything in my wheelhouse required my vision to be in working order. It was time to look inward and figure my future out.

While off on long term disability leave I took some Reiki courses. They required some reading but not intensive so it was manageable. Most of the classes were presented with slides and conversation which helped take the strain off of my eyes. What I learned was phenomenal! The realm of energy healing had captured my attention! My healing journey began and over the following 3 years I healed myself a great deal.

I obtained Master level teacher in Usui Reiki, Master Practitioner in Reiki Tummo, and a few other courses that include Meditation, Kundalini, Open Heart, Secrets of Natural Walking, and Secrets of Natural Healing. Each of the courses had information that enabled me to look inward and heal at the soul level. I read Ho’oponopono, The Hawaiian forgiveness ritual as the key to your life’s fulfilment, by Ulrich E Duprée, and in it he mentions that cause is in the spiritual realm and effect is in the material realm. Healing our soul leads to healing our body and the soul must be healed before the physical body can heal. This concept really appealed to me so I researched it further and discovered how true this really is. I applied this method of working on healing daily and over time I was able to repair my shattered soul. I finally felt peace and wholeness. It really worked!!! I am still a work in progress but almost all of my physical pain related to my fibromyalgia has subsided.

In addition to the Reiki courses, I also signed up for lessons in other modalities of energy healing, did some research in related quantum physics, learned some very useful meditations, and learned of some incredible healing journeys of others with life threatening diseases. Imagine taking all of this information that I had absorbed over the years and applied it to myself. The benefits are incredible if you find the right recipe that works for you. I have healed a great deal in myself and have found the peace that I so longed for. I learned to love myself with all of my flaws and move forward with an unconditional, compassionate, and loving perspective towards everything.

I knew I was meant to do something with everything I learned over these past few years and not just use it on myself. This information cannot be kept a secret or only available to those who can afford to take the expensive courses. I had a really deep intuitive feeling that I needed to share this information.

When Covid19 hit it kicked everyone into a very negative energy cycle. When I thought about the law of attraction combined with this negative energy everyone was putting out, I realized I had to do something about it. I knew I had something to share that could help anyone willing to hear my message. I wasn’t working because my eyes were still not strong enough for fulltime high caliber function in the financial industry so I had time to draft a plan related to how to help people break out of that negativity. I took everything I learned and wrote a book. Breaking Out of the Darkness was the result of that effort. The book is about breaking out of negative energy cycles and is full of interesting and useful information, quantum physics, stories of successful healing journeys, meditations, and steps outlined that you can take to help you heal.

I found my new purpose through my healing journey – I wanted to help as many people as possible heal from their past traumas and I found a way.

It’s never too late to start your healing journey…

Start today!

Be Brave!

Be Authentic!

Be Your Best You!

What will you do first on your healing journey?

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Fun and Games! Free Downloadable Activities!

May 31, 2021– To wrap up our Children’s Book Writing segment, we wanted to share these awesome activity sheets for kids created by our intern Hannah Kim! Thank you, Hannah. All you have to do is click on the activity to download it. Check them out here:  Panda_WordSearch,   Darlene_Maze_Colour, Snakes_SpotDiff, Bookmark

We hope you enjoy the activities and if you want to share your completed work, send us an email at pandapublishing8@gmail.com.

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Fond of Font

May 31, 2021– I hope you’ve enjoyed our theme for May, Children’s Book Writing and that you learned a lot of valuable information. Today we wrap up and talk about one last thing that you need to know FONTS MATTER!

Did you know that there are 32,000 fonts available at this current moment? But what should you know about choosing the right font for your self-published book when there are so many options? (Please remember that whatever font you choose must be considered public domain as some are copyrighted). Do your research.

  1. Audience-Who are you writing for? The font should match who the reader is when combined with all of the guidelines below. Is your audience toddlers, mid-grade readers, early readers, or young adults? They all deserve their own fonts that compliment who the audience is. There’s no quicker way to put a reader off a book than by choosing the wrong font.
  2. Readability-Choosing fonts that are easy to read seems like an obvious choice, but you won’t believe how many submissions I’ve had that have been in tight cursive that is barely readable. When writing for kids, please remember that they are learning to read; we don’t want to create any barriers to that, so we must be aware of what looks complicated, unclear, and hard to decipher.
  3. Topic– When you see a spooky font such as Tango Macabre or Ghoulish Fright, you automatically associate the story with Halloween, ghouls and ghosts, and creepiness. The font should match the topic. You wouldn’t use Lunacy More for a bedtime book. The topic matters, and the font can make or break your book if it doesn’t help convey the message of your story!
  4. Visual Appeal– Think outside the box on this one! A great way to add interest and visual appeal is to change the colour, size, and font choice throughout your book. Be careful not to go overboard and take away the attention from the story. A perfect example of this is DJ the Terrible, written by Sam Nemeth available here: DJ (Djeaneautha) The Terrible! – Pandamonium Publishing House. We decided to change the font in certain paragraphs and bold some words for effect; it’s an easy way to keep the reader engaged in the middle-grade space without overwhelming them.

Well, that’s all from me on Writing Children’s Books, but you can check out our masterclass here: Children’s Book Writing Master Class – Pandamonium Publishing House.

Be sure to stay tuned tomorrow, June 1st, as we dive into a new topic! We’ll be chatting about Author Mindset and what separates actual authors from wannabe authors. Some exciting stuff is coming up; I hope you’ll join us.

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Copyright, Right?

March 21, 2021– I’m answering your questions this month about publishing, being an author, and everything in between. I hope that you’re enjoying our theme this month, and if you’d like to send in your questions, drop us an email at pandapublishing8@gmail.com. Let’s dig in to today’s question:

Q: “I’m new to self-publishing. I’m wondering if I need to copyright the title to my book?”

A: Excellent question. The answer is NO. Why? Book titles are among a list of things that can’t be copyrighted because titles aren’t considered intellectual property. Here are the other items on the list that cannot be copyrighted:

  • Names of businesses, organizations, or groups (including the names of performing groups)
  • Names of products or services
  • Pseudonyms of individuals (including pen or stage names)
  • Titles of works (movies, songs, books, plays, etc.)
  • Catchwords, catchphrases, mottoes, slogans, or short advertising expressions
  • Listings of ingredients, as in recipes, labels, or formulas. When a recipe or formula is accompanied by an explanation or directions, the text directions may be copyrightable, but the recipe or formula itself remains uncopyrightable.

In Canada, we have the Copyright Act. Taken from the government of Canada website-Copyright applies to all original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works provided the conditions set out in the Copyright Act have been met. Each of these general categories covers a wide range of creations, including:

  • literary works such as books, pamphlets, computer programs and other works consisting of text
  • dramatic works such as motion picture films, plays, screenplays and scripts
  • musical works such as compositions with or without words
  • artistic works such as paintings, drawings, maps, photographs, sculptures and plans

For more info click here: A guide to copyright – Canadian Intellectual Property Office

That said, trademarking is a different story. Even if you can’t copyright a book title, or the other items listed above, you may be able to register the title as a trademark. For example, “Chicken Soup for the Soul” is a registered trademark, as is the “Dummies” series of books. Trademarks protect the brand of the company and from other businesses potentially infringing on it. Fun fact: Pandamonium Publishing House is a registered trademark.

I hope this helps! If you’re a Canadian author, as soon as you put pen to paper, the copyright act protects your work. Also, YOU the AUTHOR are the owner of the copyright to your work. A publisher that says they own the copyright to your manuscript, is grossly misinformed and unaware of the law. Copyrights are designed to protect the artist from unregistered use of their work.  As for other countries, please consult your government website for your specific country’s copyright information.

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If You Play Small, You Stay Small

February 4, 2021– Today is a very special day! I’d like to wish our dear friend, faithful supporter, and our animals’ godfather, Alan Stapleton a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  Alan, we are so happy to know you and honoured to call you our friend. We hope you have an amazing birthday and wish you much happiness, health, and success now and always.

Where are my hockey fans? Have you ever noticed that when your team is playing and all they do is defend in their end rather than play the offensive, they end up losing? It’s like watching them chase their tails. It looks unorganized and like they’re playing scared. The reason why? Games aren’t won by playing small. Go after the goals on the scoreboard and keep driving toward the net. Shoot when you get the chance and don’t try anything fancy.

The same goes for your writing and business life. If you fail to get on the scoreboard and are constantly on the defensive, how will you reach your goals? You won’t. Plain and simple. Listen, everyone is afraid of losing and taking risks that don’t work out, but if you never try, you’ll never know. Plus, we never lose, we only learn.

I would like you to do the following exercise. Please list the ways that you’re playing small in your writing life. For example, maybe you’re not taking classes or investing in continuing education to better your skillset. Maybe you’ve stopped writing or have let your self-discipline slide. Maybe you’ve been making excuses for your lack of action and lack of success. Whatever ways you’re playing small, confront them, and then change them. It’s the only way to grow.

For more advice and techniques, check out my Children’s Book Writing Masterclass, here: Children’s Book Writing Master Class – Pandamonium Publishing House

 

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Secret

November 30, 2020-You’re in a movie theatre, watching the new horror flick. The audience knows something that the main character does not. The audience sees the character’s actions are not in his best interest. What’s that feeling — the one that makes you want to shout at the screen? Christopher Warner identifies this storytelling device as dramatic irony. Directed by Ben Pearce, narrated by Christopher Warner. Let’s watch the Ted-Ed below:  Christopher Warner: In on a secret? That’s dramatic irony | TED Talk

 

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Breakdown

November 18, 2020-What are your goals as a writer? What are your financial goals as an author? What are your publishing goals? Many you will answer, but a lot of you won’t because you have no idea what they are. Goal setting can take us from poverty to prosperity, from frustration to fulfillment, and from stalling to success. If you haven’t written down your goals, do it now before we continue.

Let’s say that your financial goal as an author is to earn $1,000.00 a day. There are 24 hours in a day (and don’t tell me that you won’t work 24 hours a day, because technology allows us to make money while we sleep!) so, 1000/24=$41.60 per hour is what you need to hit your target. Wow, Lacey, $41.60 per hour is a lot of money! How can I possibly do that every day? Let’s break that down. If you made $1000.00 per day every day, then at the end of the year, you would have earned $365,000, minus taxes off that, and you’re probably around $140,000 per year, depending on where you live.

So, let’s use the $41.60 per hour. If we need to earn this each hour, we can look at how many book sales that would equal. If each book is priced at $14.99, you’d have to sell 3 per hour every hour.

Now, looking at the number 3…does that seem as impossible as the $1000.00 per day or even the $41.60 per hour? When you break down your goals into manageable chunks, NOTHING is impossible. No more excuses, no more I can’t mentality, get out there and make things happen. Listen, we have the ability to connect virtually with people right now more than ever before! If you have an online store, customers can order your products and services. You can pre-record social media posts and info about your products and schedule for them to run while you’re sleeping or on vacation or to reach new customers in different timezones. Goal setting allows us to reach targets and to focus our attention on small tasks that make a big difference to our bottom line.

Let’s use another example; we’ll say that your goal is to write an 80,000-word novel in 12 months. We’ll do the math again, 80,000/12=6666 words a month/30 days is 222 words per day. That’s it. Only 222 words per day. What’s your excuse for not finishing your book? Whatever you’ve accomplished up until this point in time is only a FRACTION of your potential.

I have an author on my team, Tonya Cartmell who has set an amazing goal of selling 1 MILLION copies of her book, The 12 Days of Rescue (which you can get here: https://pandamoniumpublishing.com/product/the-12-days-of-rescue/) and I have no doubt that she will reach her goal!

Math and hard work don’t lie. And whatever your goals are, they can always be broken down to show that they aren’t that intimidating! Don’t let big goals scare you, the bigger the better! They are more than manageable when you break them into easy, bite-sized chunks.

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The Benefits of Reading Books

October 18, 2020– Check out this infographic on Reading, the Road to Success! I know that we’re Canadian, but sadly, our numbers are close enough to these ones in the United States.  Literacy matters.

 

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Spotlight on Alex Goubar and The Magic Pumpkin Farmer

October 17, 2020- Today, I have the pleasure of speaking with our very own, Alex Goubar; we’ve taken questions from kids and their parents, about her book, The Magic Pumpkin Farmer and Alex has answered them! Her answers are in bold.

Q:  The Magic Pumpkin Farmer is such a colourful book, what inspired the colours you used?
A: Something about bright exciting colours reminds me of magic, I imagine that magic is the opposite of dull. Kate, to me, also feels like the type of girl that would love bright colours such as these (it seems to match her personality!)
Q: What program do you use for illustrating books? What do you like most about it?
A: I used to use Paint Tool Sai, and now I’ve switched over to Procreate on the iPad Pro. What I love most about it is that I can take it anywhere, I’ve drawn book pages in many places and countries!
Q: How did you find the information on the princesses and what they wore as traditional dress from their respective countries?
A: I found information on princesses by doing lots of research on the internet and checking those facts with many sources.
Q:  Have you ever grown magic pumpkins? If yes, what was magic about them? and if no, what would you want your magic pumpkin to do?
A: I’ve never grown magic pumpkins but if I ever do, I would want them to attract all of the neighbourhood cats so I could play with them!
Q: Which princess in the book is your favourite and why?
A: I think Kate’s cat is my favourite princess. Real answer? I am biased and I love the Russian princess because that is my heritage. However, all of them are super unique with such interesting backgrounds and outfits and traditions, they’re all awesome!
Q:  Is that your cat in the book that sleeps on Kate’s pillow? Do you have any pets?
A: Kate’s cat is loosely based on Lacey (the author’s) cat Simba! I have two cats, one Hilander named Athena and one Himalayan named Willy.
Q:  Kate was a farmer when she grew up, what did you want to be?
A: My aspirations have changed probably every month. I wanted to be a writer, an actress, an illustrator, etc. As long as creating was in my future I was happy.
Q: What was the hardest part to draw in the Magic Pumpkin Farmer?
A: All the princesses’ garments took a while to draw, but the Indian-inspired princess was the most difficult because of all her jewelry!
Q:  How long have you been an illustrator for?
A: I would say as soon as I was capable of holding a pencil. Professionally, I started getting paid illustration jobs in the first year of college (as of 2020, 5 years now!)
Q:  What’s the most favourite book you’ve worked on and why?
A: Panda the Very Bad Cat; Farm Frenzy was my favourite. I loved the farm theme and drawing all the cute animals!
Thank you, Alex, for answering the readers’ questions! Did you know that Alex is also the AUTHOR and ILLUSTRATOR of 2 books? The Celestial Squid and The Clouds Above Lamasol Island? How cool is that? Check out her collection of books here: