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Archive for May, 2016

You are a writer with a great idea for a children’s book. Better yet, you are an artist, or you have a friend who is an artist. You already have fantastic illustrations for your story. You have been to the bookstore and you are amazed at how good your idea is compared to what you see already available.

childrens authorMaybe a friend of yours who is a writer–or a writer friend of a teacher you know–will be able to point you in the right direction. Whom should you write to with your fabulous idea? You don’t want to just put your story with the great illustrations on Amazon Kindle so as to compete with five million other books self-published there (oops it might be eight or nine million by now) because then your children’s book might not rise to the top. People might not see it when they go onto Amazon.

If only you knew the right person! Maybe the people who write this blog are the right people. Connie and I have published books. We know other writers who have published books. Ask us. Go ahead, don’t be shy.

Here is my answer: You need to get your feet wet. You will have to subscribe to the various emails that are worth their weight in gold in telling you where to look. Emails from Authors Publish Magazine, which kindly sends emails right to my inbox, features YA authors like Chantelle Atkins and other generous spirits who will encourage you, talk to you and perhaps share the names of their agents or publishers.

You’ll want to check in at resources like Absolute Write, which has been around for years and is more helpful than ever. Here, authors counsel each other, telling each other about publishers, agents and their experiences with them. I love Literary Rambles for its great agent interviews, offering writers a sense of agents’ personalities and reading tastes.

While the multiple award-winning novelist C. Hope Clark is a wonder in the research and writers’ links she offers in funds for writers, bless her mystery-writing heart, Writer’s Digest has been my lifeblood in the formative articles I received in the pre-internet days via magazines that came all the way to Saudi Arabia. Writer’s Digest offers an annual self-published book contest in biographies, children’s, young adult novels, adult novels and inspirational. Much of the great information I paid for is now free. There is no excuse not to dive in. If you want and love to write and publish, the first step is to become familiar with all these sources. They will guide your steps.

 

 

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Ruqayya1

 picture by Yousef Eshmawi

Happiness is not seeing my brother suffering from the lack of seeing his kids. My brother Lino raised his kids to the age of five, but once they reached the age at which they didn’t need a babysitter, the mother took full custody of them and limited the visitations he had with them. Now when they visit him, only on the weekends, the are excited to see him, when their mom picks them up at the end of the day, they cry to leave, and leave my brother with a broken heart. In his mind he never thought she would do this to him. At first she would go out and party, leaving my brother to raise them. He would beg her to come see the kids when they were babies, but she never did. Once they started going to school full time, she took my brother to court for custody. Lino was scared to go because he had a bad reputation with the law. Regardless of how he was in the streets, to his kids, he was the best. To this day, he only gets to see them when she wants. To me it’s sad because my nieces tell me they can’t wait to reach the age they can choose who to be with.

Ramon Ibarra

Happiness is not coming home from school to find your mother and father arguing. There are thousands of kids in the world who come home from school to find their parents fighting. In my opinion, this is unfair because young kids shouldn’t have to see this behavior. Furthermore, when kids see their parents arguing, it messes with their way of living, which prevents them from being happy. Unfortunately, this is the way life is and we’re just going to need to toughen up and deal with it. I’ve learned that if we depend on others to be happy then we’re never going to be truly happy.

Eduardo Berriel

Happiness is not looking at your bank account to find there is no money in it. Many Americans get mad when looking at their bank accounts, seeing no money in the bank or  thinking they have money to spend and then finding there is none. We blame our jobs for not paying us enough but we fail to realize we are the problem because we let the credit/debit card take over.

Mayra Lares

 

 

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