May 6, 2021– So, you want to be a children’s book author! What are your goals? I often see that children’s authors don’t have any benchmarks for their book figured out or written down, and even worse, when I ask them who their book is for, they say, ‘everyone’. Well, you’ve heard me say this a million times before; if your book is for everyone, it’s for no one. You must be specific in who you’re targeting with your book, or you’re going to waste a ton of money and time on ineffective marketing. We’ll talk about niches and narrowing down targets in another monthly theme later in the year, but right now, let’s talk about how to set goals for your children’s book.
- Define what success means to you-Success is different for everyone. By defining what success means to you, you’ll be able to know when you get there. What do you want to achieve with your book?
- Get SMART-We all learned this in business school. SMART is a mnemonic acronym that stands for Specific (narrow down your goal for your book to be as specific as possible. If you said, ‘I want more money’ and I gave you a dollar, you would have more money…see what I mean?), Measurable (how will you measure your results of what you’ve specified in step 1?), Actionable (what steps can you take to reach your goal?), Realistic (Is your goal realistic for you? If you want to sell a million copies in 10 days does that seem realistic? If yes, get to work!), and Time-based (when will you complete your goal by?) The problem with not putting a timeline on reaching your goal is that you’ll take forever to reach it, or it will fall by the wayside, and you’ll never get it done. This is simply human nature. Also, the more time we give ourselves to achieve a goal, that’s the amount of time it will take, e.g., 5 years, 1 year etc. Parkinson’s theory explains in detail if you want to Google it.
- Dream Big– If you knew that you would reach your goal, would you set a piddly little one? No, of course not. What would you do with your book if you knew you could not fail? Make that your goal!
- It’s got to mean more than money-Listen, I know that money makes the world go round, but oftentimes, people don’t end up reaching their goals because they make it all about the money. I know that bills need to be paid and that you want to cover your investment and make a profit, but your purpose and your book’s purpose must be tied to something higher than that or else when the rough days come, you’ll be more likely to give up. What is your main purpose for your book? To be enjoyed by young readers in every country? To be used as a teaching tool for reluctant readers? To be used to combat illiteracy? Your purpose will remind you to keep going during the hard days.
Write it down, make a plan, and work on it every day. That’s how you reach your goals!
We hope you’ll join us for our Children’s Book Writing Masterclass; check it out here: Children’s Book Writing Master Class – Pandamonium Publishing House
March 25, 2021– Happy Thursday, Friends! We’ll be wrapping up our most asked questions in the next week, and we hope that you learned some new things. On April 1st, we’ll be starting a brand-new theme called, “How to push the envelope in your writing” and we certainly hope you’ll join us. Let’s jump into today’s question.
Q: “Lately I’ve been feeling really uninspired in my writing. I want to write a children’s book, but I can’t seem to come up with any good ideas. You’ve written a lot of kid’s books, where do you get ideas from?”
A: Sometimes it’s hard to be inspired I agree, but if we look around, we can find plenty of ideas. A lot my children’s book subject matter comes from real life experience and people that I’m close to. My nephews and niece inspire me like crazy; they range in age from 17 years old to 3 months and the toddlers tend to have amazing ideas that make it onto my books. For example, most recently I wrote a book called Cakes for Snakes and it came about at my kitchen table in the Pandamonium Publishing House Tour Bus; my three-year-old nephew, Denver asked, “Auntie, who makes cakes for snakes?” I grabbed a pen and started taking notes. We’re formatting Cakes for Snakes in a whole new way as a full colour comic book for kids with the one and only Alex Goubar, stay tuned for more information on a release date! Check in with your friends and family (especially the kiddos) and think about changing your environment. You can head to the park, the outdoor bike/walking trails, the mall, and other places to find inspiration around every corner. Be sure to ask yourself questions. I wrote The Extreme! Supreme! Dogwalker, Darlene after walking my own pup, Luna. I thought to myself, what would make someone an ultimate dogwalker? What tools would they have to make their job easier? What would they do to keep the dogs occupied? Etc. Jot down every idea because you never know where it will lead. Keep in mind when writing for kids, the crazier the plot and the bigger and more exaggerated the story, the better. Another tip is to pick up books that inspired you as a child and read them once again; what did you love about them? What parts spoke to you the most? And so on.
If you need help with writing for kids, let me mentor you! Check out my masterclass here: Children’s Book Writing Master Class – Pandamonium Publishing House
Remember, discipline beats motivation every single time. Even though you aren’t inspired it’s important to sit down and write. Put the words on the page. Happy Writing! X LLB
March 22, 2021-Happy Monday, Friends! It’s my most favourite day of the week. I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the theme of this month which is answering your most asked questions. If you’d like to send in a question, please email email@example.com. Let’s dig in:
Q: “I’ve recently published a book and have gotten a few reviews. A couple were positive, but a few were negative, how do I deal with the negative comments and not let them get under my skin?”
A: This happens to all of us. Writing is an art, and art is subjective. People are entitled to their opinions and unfortunately, they aren’t always nice. Reviews are very important because they not only give us valuable feedback (when looked at constructively), but they help readers find out more about your book. Think of the last time you were purchasing something, did you read the reviews? Probably. And why did you read them? Because you wanted to know what people thought, what their experiences were, and if whatever you were thinking of purchasing was worth the cost. Negative reviews are not something that we should take to heart, but we should learn from them. In this business, you must have a thick skin. That said, are you being objective when you’re reading the negative reviews about your work? Are you stepping back and asking if there could be some truth to what the reviewer is saying? Let’s say that the reviewer gave your book 2 stars because they felt the pace was slow and the characters were underdeveloped, would you be willing to ask yourself if this is something that’s correct and that you could improve upon? Every single negative review I’ve ever had, has always been spot on. But guess what? That helps to improve my writing! I take the negativity and learn from it, I don’t let it get inside of my head, and I understand that everyone is entitled to their opinion. It’s a great opportunity to have someone tell you what they think of your work, and to use that, to produce better work! The thing that drives me crazy is when authors get bad reviews and they say, “That person doesn’t know what they’re talking about, my book is a masterpiece and perfect as is.” This level of arrogance serves no one. I’d much rather have a negative review (which means people are reading my books!) than no reviews at all because that means that my reader cares enough to tell me where I went wrong. It’s when people stop caring that we start to have a problem. Take everything in stride, keep writing, and keep improving!
Check out some of our classes and workshops here: Best-Seller Bootcamp – Pandamonium Publishing House, Children’s Book Writing Master Class – Pandamonium Publishing House, Transitioning from Writer to Author (An Introductory Course) – Pandamonium Publishing House
March 17, 2021-First off, let me say a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our very own, Tim Ford! He’s the author of the Mitch Strongbow Series and is coming out with a new book, Freedom, very soon. Stay tuned for details about a release date, but in the meantime, check out his series here: A Jungle is Still a Jungle – Pandamonium Publishing House, Criminology 101 – Pandamonium Publishing House, Chasing Dragons, Slaying Demons – Pandamonium Publishing House, Inside Looking Out – Pandamonium Publishing House.
I hope that everyone is enjoying the theme of this month where I answer your most asked questions about publishing, writing, and being an author. Here is today’s question:
Q: “I’m thinking of self-publishing a book and I’ve got all of the mechanics in place to do so, but are there any tips you could recommend to make the process a bit smoother?”
A: Sure thing! Congratulations on your self-publishing journey, I can’t wait to see what you’ve written. Here are a few pointers that you don’t want to skip.
- Hire a professional editor. It’s easy to spot a self-published book within the first few pages. A lot of self-published books forgo editors to save time and money, but it’s a huge mistake! Editors ensure that the book reads the way that it should and correct grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and flow. Invest in an editor, you’ll be glad you did.
- Cover art matters. Don’t skimp on the cover art because it’s what helps sell your book. People look at the cover first when choosing a book, then they flip to the back, and then the inside. The cover of your book is the first impression. Hiring a cover artist, if that’s not your forte, is a wise decision!
- Work with the experts. Self-publishing can be a daunting task, but there is no need to go it alone. Work with experts in the field that will answer your questions and guide you in the right direction. We offer consultation services at Pandamonium Publishing House for self-publishers. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for your custom price quote.
- ISBNs are free. Some less than reputable consultants/businesses will say that there’s a charge for International Standard Book Numbers, but there is not. ISBNs are free and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
- Define your goals. What are your goals for your book? How many do you want to sell? What do you want to accomplish with your work? You can’t hit a target that you can’t see!
Best of luck on your self-publishing quest! If you’d like to check out some of our classes, click here: Best-Seller Bootcamp – Pandamonium Publishing House, Children’s Book Writing Master Class – Pandamonium Publishing House, Transitioning from Writer to Author (An Introductory Course) – Pandamonium Publishing House, Course: Get Your Book Noticed and Increase Your Sales – Pandamonium Publishing House
January 1, 2020-Happy New Year, friends! I hope that this year brings your dreams to fruition, much happiness, health, and wealth and that you’re ready to get to work! This month we’ll be doing a Best-Seller Bootcamp which starts on Monday, January 4th right here at http://www.pandamoniumpublishing.com. We’ll be talking about all things best-seller-related including how to use data analysis to improve your marketing efforts, what makes a best-seller, how keywords and categories are used, and the mechanics behind writing a best-seller! We hope that you’ll take this opportunity to invest in yourself with our *additional* Best-Seller Bootcamp course (which complements what we’ll learn here) where you’ll get a ton of bonus info, a downloadable workbook, and access to yours truly as your personal mentor each week of January! Is 2021 the year that you become a best-seller? To enroll in our limited class-size Best Seller Bootcamp click here: Best-Seller Bootcamp January 4th-31st – Pandamonium Publishing House
Here’s to you and reaching your writing goals in 2021 and beyond!