A Special Offer for a Special Anniversary

cover for amazon and bandn

One year ago, I began a journey with my daughter, Mary Kate. We published a children’s book together. The idea for Sara Dippity began in 2006 after the passing of my father. Dad and I were quite close, and while I knew he was ill, his unexpected passing was devastating. He passed in early May, and it was up to me to notify family and friends. When I went out on my front porch to begin the many phone calls, a male cardinal joined me.

I didn’t think anything of it at first, but every time I went outside that spring and summer, a male cardinal continued to visit. Over that time, I found his presence healing and even began to look for cardinals when I ventured outside. I thought children and even adults who lost loved ones could benefit from a similar journey, so I asked MK if she would illustrate my story.

Sara Dippity tells the story of a young girl who is saddened by the loss of a loved one. She finds peace and healing from her encounters with a cardinal in her back yard. The illustrations demonstrate healing through the emergence of color as the story progresses.

barnes and noble pic

We printed a limited run of hardcovers and softcovers, and we formatted both Kindle and Nook editions. Our journey began with a book release party and several book signings over the summer and fall, including one at Barnes and Noble. These road trips were among our favorites because we had the opportunity to meet people who would benefit from our story. One gentleman sticks out in my mind.

At our Barnes and Noble signing, we held a raffle for a free hard cover. A man in a wheel chair spent the majority of the signing visiting with us at our table. When we drew the winner and the gentleman saw that he had won, the look on his face showed happiness mixed with sadness. He thanked us and shared that our story meant so much because he had lost his father the week before. We found many cases just like this where we were in the right place, at the right time, with the right story to truly help others.

MK - book house with tree in color

What have I learned this past year? My first lesson was an educational introduction to the world of indie book publishing, the ups, downs, and everything in between. I also learned that this journey with my daughter was something special that few mothers and daughters ever have the opportunity to share. Finally, I learned that while we are not famous and well paid in the world of books, we still have a story that makes a difference, and will continue to make a difference, in the lives of others.

To commemorate the one year anniversary of Sara Dippity, I am offering the Kindle and Nook editions for 99 cents through the month of May (Regular Price $2.99). During this time, I am also offering free shipping for the hard cover editions (US only, quantities limited):

Hard Cover Editions

If you know anyone who might benefit from our story, please share!

All profits from Sara Dippity are for further art training for Mary Kate. Thank you for your support!

cardinal in flight final


Reflections from the Writing Journey

A few friends have contacted me with questions about my writing experience. Here are some reflections. First, please know that if you are passionate about writing and have a story to share, I want to encourage you to take the next step! The ebook market offers new authors the chance to share their work with the only expense being sweat equity.

Barnes and Noble and Kindle offer a far reaching market to sell your work. There are no up front costs. Instead, they take a portion of each sale. The websites are user friendly and make your work available quickly. Here are a few tips to get started:

**The key to marketing your work begins with an “eye catching” book cover. Take the time to put together something special. Hire an artist or take that perfect photo.
** Both Nook and Kindle offer a preview. You want the preview to contain as much of your work as possible. Therefore, move the copyright red tape and dedication page to the end of the book. I would also recommend omitting the title page.
**Take extra time to include a well written description of your story. It’s a competitive market. Prove to the potential reader that your story is worth the expense.
**Think of friends in the writing field, mentors, etc. who would be willing to write a professional review. You can post three professional reviews on your book page.
**Set up the author pages offered by each website. Include a picture of yourself. Readers like to see their author 🙂
**Keep the price low to stay competitive.
**Don’t expect to make a lot of money. This is a labor of love. If you are writing to make money, then this is not for you.
**Market outside the virtual world. Chad printed bookmarks for me, listing my webpage and ebook download info. Send them far and wide 🙂
**Create a blog. WordPress is free and easy to use. Start blogging about the writing process. Share tidbits from your story. Create interest in your story before it’s published.
**Putting on my Mrs. Murphy teacher hat, revise, edit, and repeat! Share with friends (Be sure to include them in your acknowledgements page), join a writer’s group, and give yourself “shelf time,” so you catch any possible errors.

Regarding printing books…this is a huge investment. Make sure you are willing to invest the money upfront and are willing to do the leg work to move your product. Each on-line sale involves book keeping and a trip to the post office. You also need to search for locations to sell your book and make the time for book signings. That being said, I LOVE the book signings! I enjoy hearing the individual stories from people who connected with the story. Since Sara Dippity is a children’s book, I also thought it was worth the expense of hard covers.

If you are writing a children’s book, know that the ebook market is in its infancy. Some customers want a hard cover to hold in their hands and read to their children at bedtime or enjoy the book shelf full of imagination for grandchildren to discover. However, for parents who are avid readers, I think the ebook market will only grow. In addition, parents who are on a tight budget will be able to purchase more inexpensive ebooks for their children.

Please send me a message and share your writing experiences. Happy Writing!

Mary Kate’s Artist Exhibition

Mary Kate has been invited by the Thornapple Arts Council to participate in an Artist’s Exhibition. Her work will be on display at the Walldorf in Hastings in May and June. This has been an educational experience for her, learning about the process of preparing illustrations for a show and writing an artist’s statement as shared below:

Art is a fun way to spend my time. My favorite activity is doodling without any project in mind. My favorite tools are colored pencils and sketch paper. Lime green is my favorite color, and I try to use it in most of my work. When I am working on a project, I picture the finished drawing in my mind before I start. I like to share my art because it gives people a chance to daydream about what’s in the picture.

Sara Dippity is a story about a cardinal who helps a little girl. The little girl is sad because she lost her grandma. Her world is in black and white at the beginning of the story. I used art to show her healing, going from black and white to color. The color represents happiness.

Book Release Open House

Please join Mary Kate and I for our book release open house. Mary Kate has been working on her illustrations for the past nine months, and we have finally completed our book project.

Sara Dippity is the story of a young girl who is saddened over the loss of a loved one. She finds peace and healing through various encounters with a cardinal and time spent in her back yard.

All profits from Sara Dippity are for MKs college fund.

Please share this with your friends! :o)

If you are unable to attend our open house but would like a book, please message me.

Soft Cover editions are $12

Hard Cover editions are $17

May 5, 2012