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Do Author School Visits Matter?

August 13, 2018- I do a lot of school visits as an author, and someone once asked me the question, “Do author visits make a difference in kids’ lives?” I took a second to think about that. “Yes, they do. And let me prove it to you.” More on this in a second.

I love, love, love going to schools as a visiting author with the opportunity to read my books to young people! It is such a unique and wonderful experience that no two schools are the same. I leave with a sense of gratitude for the young minds that allow me their attention for even a brief time and for the teachers and librarians that welcome me with open arms, into their schools and their spaces. The questions that the children ask are fun, funny, and sometimes very personal! But, enough about what we as authors get out of school visits, what do the children receive?

According to a recent study that was conducted in 2013, by California State University, children receive the following benefits from author school visits:

  1. Author visits motivate children to read more. Kids passion for reading is ignited before, during, and after an author visit. They get excited about things that they can relate to such as an in-person visit from someone who is real! I often hear them say that they too want to be authors when they grow up.
  2. Author visits inspire creativity and expression. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to a school where the kids have created a comic book for me, complete with illustrations, or how many times they’ve created a poem or handmade card.
  3. Author visits motivate children to write more. Children often hurry home after an author has visited their school because they’ve suddenly caught the writing bug. They want to write about anything, and everything, plus, author visits can also spark ideas to write about.

It is always beneficial to have an author visit your school! There are so many reasons why you should book a visit for the upcoming school year. Not only is it fun, but it’s also educational and entertaining.

I do in-person school visits, but I also offer live Skype visits and readings with schools that are abroad. Please contact pandapublishing8@gmail.com for more information.

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What is Your Definition?

August 10, 2018- What is your definition of being a successful author? This is the question that I ALWAYS ask the authors that I work with; whether self-published or traditional, it’s important to be able to answer this!

You are the only one who can define success and everyone’s definition and idea of success is different. Here are some answers I’ve received over the years after posing the question:

  • If I sell $1 million dollars worth of books
  • If kids read my book in their school
  • If I have a huge house, and an in-ground pool, and a convertible
  • If people line up to see me at book signings
  • If I become famous around the world
  • If someone tells me I’m their favourite author
  • If my book helps one person
  • If a celebrity reads my book and gives me a shout out on social media
  • If I’m a bestseller on the NY Times list
  • If I get a tv interview
  • If my book gets turned into a movie

So, as you can see, there are a lot of DIFFERENT versions of success and it’s all dependent on how you choose to define it! Write down your version of success and start working towards that goal. There are no wrong answers! Remember, you can’t hit a target that you can’t see. Here’s to your success, whatever that may be.

X LLB

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How to Self-Edit Your Writing!

August 3, 2018– Normally, I would advise against self-editing especially if you plan on submitting your work to a publisher. It always pays to send in your most polished writing, and the cost of getting your manuscript professionally edited is absolutely worth it! But what about the publisher? If they like my work don’t they pay to get it edited? Yes, of course, we do, but it’s always a breath of fresh air to have a manuscript submitted that requires less editing, and that is pretty close to almost perfect.

My advice, if you can’t afford to hire a pro to edit your ms before sending to a publisher, can be found in this excellent infographic from our friends at NowNovel.com. Check out the tips below!

How to self-edit - 8 top editing tips for fiction writers

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Banned Book List…This is CRAZY!

July 20, 2018- The only thing worse than burning books is not reading them. Banned books? Really; are you kidding me? How can any book ever be banned? I don’t care what’s inside and as Oscar Wilde so intelligently said, “The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.”

We can all have differences in opinion when it comes to art and art (books) is very subjective. That doesn’t mean that it should be banned. Check out this ASTONISHING list of banned books which I’m very proud to say that I’ve read 3/4 of them and the remaining just landed on my to-read list! I hope you’ll join me in reading these literary wonders. Happy Reading!

X LLB

Oh so many beautiful books. | I dream of having a library one day full to the brim of classics!

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15 Books Challenge!

July 9, 2018- In June, I was invited by a dear friend of mine, to participate in a challenge on Facebook. This challenge was right up my alley, and I’m so glad that she chose me to share in this specific task. Mary Ann explained that each day for fifteen days that I would have to share a book that changed my life. I have never been so excited as this to take part in anything in my life! Some of the books that made the cut were Great Expectations by Dickens, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho; each and every one of these books among others, had an enormous impact on my life and I’m so grateful for each experience. Check out my Facebook page, Pandamonium Publishing House, for my complete list of the fifteen books that changed me.

This week I want to challenge you to do the same, please choose and share the fifteen books that changed your life. You can share one or two at a time, whatever suits you best, and just know that by doing so, you will inspire others to pick up the titles, or that by sharing the books that you love, you may ignite another person’s love of reading. Not long after I posted my book on day three, I received a message on my timeline from a friend that said because of my daily posts, she was inspired to read again for the first time in a long time. Nothing makes me happier than people reading! I hope that you’ll take me up on this challenge. Happy reading!

X LLB

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NEW! Book Parties!

July 3, 2018- Did you know that Pandamonium Publishing House offers Book Birthday Parties? How awesome is that? Here’s how it works:

  1. We bring the books to the party! Select your 2 favourite titles that you’d like to have read from our online catalogue selection.
  2. The author reads the books at the party with one of our special mascots! Lots of time for pictures too!
  3. Each child takes a signed, personalized book home as whole or part of their goody bag and 2 activity sheets that compliment the book!

That’s it, it’s that easy!

Be sure to book today, as spots are filling up fast! Call 905-979-4949 or email pandapublishing8@gmail.com. 

Here is the pricing structure:

1-hour author visit with mascot: $100.00/hour 

1 author signed and personalized book for each guest: $8.00/book 2 activity sheets included. 

Make their wishes come true with a Book Birthday Party from Pandamonium Publishing House! 

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I Finished My Manuscript and My Book is in Hand! Now What?

May 16, 2018- My book is here! Now what?

I hear this statement all the time from new authors and although it’s a valid question…it makes me cringe. I know that this might sound a bit harsh, but as your big sis in the writing world, it’s my job to bring the rain…I mean truth.  It makes me shudder because it tells me that the author didn’t put in the work BEFORE finishing their ms and they’re about to have one hell of a rough time. Give me a chance to explain.

I’m focusing on one camp of authors, and that is our self-pub’d friends. So, the author has done the work, their book is completed, printed, and ready for sale! Yay right? Hold on a second…now is where the real work begins.

Too many times our self-published friends end up with a garage full of boxes of their books and that makes me sad because it doesn’t need to be that way! It’s not that the book was sub-par, it’s that they didn’t have a clear plan as to what they’d need to do at the selling stage. It’s an amazing feat to finish writing a book, but the truly incredible achievement is getting them into the hands of readers. A lot of the time there are visions of grandeur where tons of people line up to meet the author at book signings. Let me break it to you gently, this doesn’t happen unless your James Patterson or you’ve marketed the S*&T out of your upcoming event/book signing/book.

How are our friends going to sell their book? Where are they going to sell their books? Are the books available in print only or are they available electronically as well? Do they have a marketing plan? Do they have a solid author platform? And so on. See my point?

Let me pass on the best piece I’ve ever received from my mentor, “When you’re writing the book, it’s art. When the book is completed, it’s business-NEVER confuse the two.” That statement will stay with me for as long as I am in this world of publishing and well beyond.

My advice is to finish the manuscript, and then, before getting to the books in hand stage, craft your marketing plan and answer, at the very least, the questions above. It’s harder than it looks in the self-publishing world! Be prepared and remember that I believe in you! Tell your story-the world needs it.

X LLB

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Books for Mental Health…

April 27, 2018-Here are some recommendations for books on mental health, I have personally read two of the books listed below and they were extremely helpful. These may also be useful for digging into research on your characters that may be struggling with the same issues!

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