May 1

And So It Begins...

Guess what? “The Girl Who Loved Pots” got another five-star review. It was from Epic Book Quest website. The review says,

“Whimsical, colorful artwork set the stage for this engaging story which children are sure to love. ..The Girl Who Loved Pots is a delightful read that’s sure to get kids creative juices flowing, while encouraging them to expand their horizons and make new friends.”

In the meantime, because of minor issues with the proof copies of Ardie, I’m in the process of fixing them. No biggy.  In the meantime, I was able to submit the book to Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly/ Booklife for review. Previously, I also submitted “The Girl Who Loved Pots” to Reader’s Favorite for review. But, this time, I entered the Reader’s Favorite book contest, for grins. That way there will still be a review. But there is a possibility for more visibility for Ardie.

Apr 20

Ingram Spark Not Looking So Good Right Now!

Received the first printed copy of “Ardie’s Big Secret”. Was not thrilled with the print quality. Tried for weeks to get Ingram Spark to address the issue. I even offered to send them the book so they could see it. Nobody wanted that.

First line customer services, at least, seemed sympathetic. They kept sending it for technical review. The technical review people were supposed to get back to me “immediately”. Immediately turned out to be almost three weeks.

Then, finally, I received the following,

“Thank you for reaching out to our customer support team regarding your order and print concerns. Upon review of your files and the printing of order SPK-6420658-1, we have not found any issue with either. The interior files are created in our recommended CMYK and the quality of the book was found to be within standards. While it is IngramSpark’s goal to keep the look of the product consistent, variation is a normal occurrence and is not considered a manufacturing defect. It will not be unusual for you to see minor differences from book to book or when comparing to your eproof, including, but not limited to, slight variances in color, binding, cover placement, inside gutter/margin width, or even the trim size. If you have any questions or if there is anything else I can help you with, please feel free to reach out to me and I'll be happy to assist!”

OF COURSE I HAD STILL ISSUES. It took them over two weeks to give me the company line. So I wrote again.

And here is what I got back:

“Based on the printer the order routes to, you may see a slightly lighter or darker version printed when comparing to the artwork submitted in your files. We make provisions for and indicate in our company documentation, that there may be up to a 1/16” shift or +/-0.1 color density variation on any book manufactured by Lightning Source/IngramSpark. IngramSpark Customer Support”

OK. So, you take what you get, right? By that time, I had found other issues that had nothing to do with this. So, I fixed those and reuploaded my book. I ordered a second book to see what happens. We’ll see.

Mar 28

Girl Who Loved Pots in Austin Public Library

If you’re in Austin Texas, drop into the Austin Public Library. Soon you will find a copy of ‘The Girl Who Loved Pots'. I was just notified today. Thanks to the  Austin Public Library Youth Selector, there will be at least one copy. So, if you see her, say hello. She sounds like a really nice person.

Mar 16

Ardie’s Done!

Yeah! I finally let Ardie go. It was a struggle, but we have to let kids go out on their own and see how they fare. I guess it was so hard because Ardie was the first short story I actually took all the way to publication (well sort of!). I wrote it back in the 90’s when both of my boys were in elementary school. I created it for a school magazine where everybody (staff, kids, parents, etc.) was encouraged to contribute. Both of my boys had little stories in it. I still have copies.

Anyhow, I sent 'Ardie's Big Secret' to the Ingram Spark for a proof copy. This time, I forwarded a copy to the School Library Journal for review. Previously, with 'The Girl Who Loved Pots', I waited too late and I never heard back from them. There are a couple of more review sources like that. So, this time, I’m holding publication up a bit so I can forward copies to these reviewers first. No guarantee they will actually review it, but, like my mother always said, “Nothing beats a failure but a try!”

The first printed copy should arrive in a few days. I really hope I’m happy with the printed form and there are no editorial problems. It cost a fortune to reupload, if I find errors. Cross your fingers!

Mar 9

Back from New Jersey

We both sold books! My husband's mentor invited us to be part of special recognition for her contributions as an educator. It was so cool seeing my husband’s mentor getting acknowledged. She’s over 80 and has much more energy than either of us whipper-snappers.

But, bless her heart, she had tables set up for us to display our books. Even though, this was not a marketing event, people stopped pass, curios about the books. Even better, a couple of people whipped out the ole wallet and paid hard cash.