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Saturday, January 11, 2014

GET CREATIVE: The journey in creating an exciting & successful book series

  Visualize this; a single mom and her two young sons writing down their sayings and experiences in a memory book which then turned into published books creating a whole children's series. The amazing journey and wonderful memories in this adventure turned into a blessing and story itself.  This has taken on a life of its own and now turned into a business. This is my boys and my story. We wanted to share these loving experiences by turning them into this series, Adventures of Fisher and Rigley. My sons, Max and Sam, also being young authors in this adventure, have been a part of this whole process. They helped write the stories, chose the characters, helped in character development, and chose the names.

 I find myself excited that we finally have physical copies of our first published book in hand that we actually wrote. "I love You... Infinity" is the first in our children's series for Adventures of Fisher and Rigley.  I am truly ecstatic and thankful for our family, friends, neighbors, and customers (at the restaurant I own) that are buying copies to show support, yet I have a huge task ahead of me on how to market and promote this series.

 This year long process from writing the series, choosing one of the stories to start with, illustrate, choose a logo, character development, trademark, draft approvals, final approvals, copyright, print, advance review copies for review, etc, and the list goes on. Although this has been a huge 'learning as I go' process by doing this all myself so far, I find myself needing to go in a different direction. I have taken on a lot, though I do love it, I found that I really need more support and connections to open doors for this to take off. A motivated publishing firm is necessary. I also need a distributing company to pick up this series and also get picked up by national stores. This leads me to where I am at this moment in taking the next steps to find a literary agent. Again, I continue this journey on this learning train. I am preparing a fun hook to catch a literary agent's attention in what will hopefully be a captivating query. I am also compiling a list of reputable companies to send them to. It is kind of ironic I guess, I am researching what companies that I would want to represent me and once I choose them they then get to do the same with me. This thought actually just let my mind wonder a moment as I pictured a literary agent's assistant's facial expressions as she (could be a he) reads my hook in my query and then I came to when I accidentally just giggle aloud thinking I could influence her decision to pass my query on by using my bubbly personality that I was trying to send in a vibe of positive thoughts.

   It goes without saying that I have just begun a new path in this process. As I am focusing on branding my series' characters (they are so lovable and fun) and promoting this 1st book, I need to also prepare for the next book and that whole process again. This time I hope I hit the holiday market. Through no fault of mine this first round of books came in two months late causing me to miss the season. I just had to regroup and move on to the main plan, CREATE AWARENESS for my book series. I am doing this by word of mouth, sending samples to newspapers, social media (this blog, Facebook, and Twitter). Fortunately, I own a restaurant, Sandbar Pizza Grill in Melbourne Beach, FL which enables me to promote locally with the daily traffic from our regulars. I have a list of schools and libraries to do an "author reading" as well and send order forms home with the students. Now, how do I get into Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, and get picked up by a distributor like Scholastic? Well, I realized as I am self taught thus far, I am now in need of a professional that is proficient in this career field. A good publishing company will take care of all this, but a great agent with get me there.  I really want this to be a success and this book business is not my areas of expertise... Yes, I admit it.

I find that this whole process is long, yet fun. Actually, it seems that this is one journey after another. I am looking forward to what comes next and so on. I also look forward to sharing this and the continued blogs in this process towards reaching my goal in becoming a vibrant and exciting writer that can bring everything to light and life. When you are PASSIONATE about something it is very enjoyable and absolutely worthwhile. Here is a CREATIVE IDEA: If you think it or are doing it, write it down. Who knows maybe this blog is the beginning of a future book idea for me in sharing my experience in the writing, publishing, and selling book business. I hope to gain some great insight along my travels in the fun world of writing that I get to help shape and then share with all of you.

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Jillian Schmidt


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