The Literary Rat’s Crowdfunding Chronicles – Part 1: Overview


Conseil_Tenu_par_les_Rats (Now Hear This)


I know I’ve been MIA a lot the last few months, and life stuff aside, it’s also due to a BIG project I’m about to undertake for my debut novel “GABRIEL” coming soon from Alten Ink-




Since Alten Ink is a small press, they face a unique set of challenges,

and after talking it over with my editor, I decided to launch a crowfunding campaign to be able to enlist the services of a professional illustrator, and cover other key expenses which I’ll detail prior to launching the campaign.



Before I go on, for those of you not yet in the know, crowdfunding is a process where authors and other creative types reach out to their wider community to not just donate money, but share in the belief of bringing their passion projects from dream to tangible reality. Below are a list of the most common crowdfunding platforms-

Kickstarter_Logo_a_lThe newest kid on the block in the crowdfunding arena. See a short tease from the “Kickstarted” documentary about Kickstarter’s Origins (which was also a successful Kickstarter project in and of itself! Talk about Meta-Much!)-





The oldest and most open global crowdfunding platform to date!* (*at the time this post is written).


Learn more About Indiegogo (and general advice from one of it’s co-founders) here-


Learn More about how the first Authors Only crowdfunding platform came to be from the VP/Co-founder herself-





As some of you long time T.A.A. fans may remember, in September 2013 we launched our “T.A.A. CARES” imitative, where we lend our time and money to promote and support authors and artists in need of a little extra help to bring them dream projects to life.


So far, the projects your lit. rat’s backed and spread the word on all met their funding goals, and are now published/will be seeing publication (Covers seen below)-

 T.A.A. CARES #1


by Adam Glendon Sidwell

Illustrated by Edwin Rhemrev

Publisher: Future House Publishing

(Check out T.A.A.’s review)


My LOVE for you is the SUN

by Julie Hedlund (@JulieFHedlund)

Illustrated by Susan Eaddy

Publisher: Little Bahalia Publishing

Pub, Date: September 9th 2014*

(Check out T.A.A.’s Review)


Chalky and the new Sports Car

by Stanley Potter

Illustrated by Jordan Henderson (@taleandteller)

Publisher: Little Thunder Co.

(Check out T.A.A.’s review)



While many children’s authors pitch picture books, comics/graphic novels, or projects with a serious educational bent, novelists like myself can and do use crowdfunding platforms to reach their publication dreams-


Learn The Story behind Rhoda’s Ocean-

Learn the Story behind “Steam In The Willows”


Soon, your lit. rat will be embarking on his crowdfunding adventure, and I hope you’ll be along for the ride. Check back T.A.A. throughout the coming weeks as I document my crowfunding saga.


You can learn see what Gabriel’s up to (and learn how to be part of our virtual promo team) on his newly launched OFFICIAL website! 


Next time, I’ll go over in-depth why I decided to enter the world of crowdfunding from more than the backer perspective.


Until then, have a safe weekend, and may the fantastical fauna be with you.

When “Writing the Next Book” is NOT the answer…



After a significant hiatus, your lit rat is slowing getting back to his regular schedule, and today is the first in a multi-part series of post about “The Next Book Blues.” This is what many writers (including yours truly) face after they “finish” their current book.

Normally, I’d start a series like this by giving an overview of what “The Next Book Blues” is, but to keep you on your toes, I’m going to discuss this topic in reverse order for two reasons-


1. To help writers (who don’t have this problem) get why this is a problem so they can better respect/understand writers they know who directly or indirectly shows signs of “The Next Book Blues.”

2. Sometimes thinking about a problem in reverse eases understanding, like how some writers prefer to write out of order or with the ending first, or they’ll revise a complete draft from the end instead of the common linear “beginning to end” approach. With those points in mind, here we go-

(NOTE: The points below are for career-minded writers)

While it’s true that one book does not a writer make, writing alone doesn’t improve your skills either, by which I mean, drafting new work without revising or rewriting previous work as needed is only solving HALF the equation.

There are important lessons persevering on a particular story or novel can teach us. If I didn’t spend eight years on GABRIEL, I’d never have the stamina to stick with a new project, not just to revise or rewrite as needed, but to sell it, and edit it again with my publisher’s editor via the traditional model, or put in the vast amount of money and time to indie publish.

Sometimes that “Next book” lecture does more harm than good. Again, depending on the kind of writer you are, and the nature of the project.

While many successful writers swear by the thinking of “Only writing NEW books will I improve as a writer” it’s not my experience, and I’m not alone.

While it’s true that building a body of work is vital for many writers, that doesn’t mean we can whip out quality work in that often idealized “Assembly Line” fashion.

While the common wisdom is “Deadlines empowers most writers” they don’t for me.

Now that doesn’t mean I never meet or set deadlines, nor am I saying deadlines don’t matter or aren’t important, but I couldn’t do everything on a strict deadline, or at least not without turning into a harried, witchy troll that is NOT going to help me connect with the readers I want to have, and turn me into  the “No. 1 marketer” for my writing, and remember, not every writer used to be a master marketer before coming to publishing, and we need to give newcomers unversed in marketing a break.

We are only one person. We can’t do it all and that’s something more easily business-savvy writers NEED TO GET, or they’ll lose the people who most need your help and guidance.

One of the issues I take with the “Long Tail/Blacklist” mantra many indie authors are screaming to the virtual rooftops is that it puts too much emphasis on quantity over quality.

As I say often among my writer tribe-

“There’s a BIG difference between writing 10 books and those same 10 books being a equal quality and substance.”

Too many writers preach quantity without talking about the nuances and patience necessary to have a (QUALITY) body of work.

Also, understand I say this from the perspective of writers who don’t work in highly competitive genres, like  romance (ESPECIALLY category) that demands high output and working in certain restraints if you want to break in commercially.

Finally, keep in mind some writers have more multifaceted skill sets than others, and that effects how fast or slow they work as much any external shake ups in publishing.

Not all authors can ghostwrite or do work for hire projects, or write nonfiction (an eternal market as I keep hearing…) which can be a BIG way to up your publication credits and further establish you in the industry.

But there are ALWAYS authors who may not be as versatile, but are GREAT at what they can do.

Some writers don’t need as much time to draft, revise or rewrite, and others like myself , simply require that extra effort and time,  even though we may wish otherwise…(for reasons of mortality aside from our low capacity for patience….)

Also, keep in mind that every story is different, and every writer’s career track is different, some will require more or less time, and often the greater the learning curve for the writer, the longer it takes.

I’m in no way devaluing or downplaying the personal and professional reasons why it’s important to build your body of work and not to be stuck on one book.

But especially for highly impatient writers (of which I’m one) not being able to persevere means that story may not reach salable quality.

We as authors have to VERY CAREFUL to not confuse diligence with procrastination when it comes to drafting new work versus revising/rewriting older work that hasn’t published yet.

Not all past work is inherently “un-publishable” just because the first draft or three didn’t pan out. and giving up on it too soon could start a chain reaction of producing but stopping short of reaching the level it can sell an reach readers.

Bestselling author Jackie Collins once said that she wrote one book after another, and while her craft may have improved, she wasn’t trying to publish anything! (partly because she was given polarizing discouragement from others growing up)

But I suspect (I don’t know her personally, BTW) it’s  also because she had such a forward-thinking mindset, she overlooked that she wanted to get published, but just produced book after book for her own amusement, which is valid, but it can also be out of fear, external, internal or both.

It was only until her husband made her rethink a previous book she’d written that she persevered to sell. I say all that to say that drafting book after book isn’t enough.

Crafting drafted books is no less important, especially when we’re starting out and those first sells are especially “Hard Won” as in my and other author’s experiences.

Sometimes writers can be so forward-thinking, they don’t take ENOUGH of a step back to realize, “Hey, I can sell this book and write others, too!”

This is where I stalled.

I admit I did put Gabriel on such a high priority that it kept me from doing other books, but I will NEVER regret taking the time I did getting it up to snuff enough to reach my selling it, even if I’d been a better writer and already established with well-received books already, that’s a story I’d slog in the trenches for,  while hopefully writing/selling other books, too, of course!

Regardless of our experience/skills/professionalism, some books-





The key thing I hope all writers (and even lay readers) can understand is that sometimes quality must override quantity.

As writers, we can’t beat ourselves up to the point of nervous breakdown-

Breaking/Staying in publishing is already hard enough. We needn’t make it harder by being crueler to ourselves than even the worst teacher or boss treated us!

Writers with especially keen business savvy, please hear this-

“Self-discipline and accountability is no excuse to be a slave driver to ourselves or others in our corner.”

Writers, what you think? Do you feel there’s too much (out of context) pressure toward quantity over quality?

How do you navigate the push-pull between productivity without taking shortcuts that will hurt your books and career in the long run?

 If you know a writer suffering from “The Next Book Blues” I URGE you to guide them to this post.

Readers, what’s your stance on this? I’d to see some conversation brewing in the comments. 


How To Promote Your Children’s Book (Even BEFORE it’s Published!)


I know I’ve been a bit quiet on T.A.A. lately (As far as the blog goes) but I can now share why, and how it can help writers build platform before and after releasing your book, whether you do it the traditional way or take on the challenge and opportunities open to indie publishing-

I know that writers at all levels face the increasing challenge of building platform (I prefer “Community”) but unpublished, debut and emerging authors face unique challenges that more experienced authors don’t, or they have options to combat the challenges of today’s publishing landscape that only experience, luck, and some degree of success can provide.

Everything from building mailing lists, creating videos (NOT just book trailers people!), offering other services to diversify our skillset and help supplement our income,  engaging in social media, the list goes on…

While many writers today need to do more than just write their stories or articles, the fact is we can all to easily forget we are HUMAN and we JUST CAN’T DO IT ALL! Period. We also can’t always afford to take classes, go to conferences, and even our local library may not have the resources we need because nationwide budget cuts to public services like libraries cut deeper each year. The last time I went to library to check out some market guides (at a time when I couldn’t afford to buy my own copy as in years past) the most recent edition of CWIM (Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market) was 2007, and it was 2012 at the time!

I often have to buy my own market guides and other craft books I needed when they just weren’t in my library’s collection, even through inter library loan.

I’m not whining but stating a fair fact, and writers do each other no favors pointing fingers or making light of their struggles. What’s easy or straightforward for me is just plan HARDER for someone else, and vice versa.

The business of publishing on it’s own is more than hard enough to navigate. We don’t need fellow writers making it harder than needs to be. 

But one way to make it easier is to share the load, authors helping other authors band together.

For authors who’ve FINALLY turned that iconic corner to selling their first novel or nonfiction book, one way is by participating (and eventually FORMING) launch teams for soon to be published books

Some launch teams are formed around a , such as the “Class Y2K” initiative that began in 2007 and every year since that a diverse group of debut children’s/YA authors team up and combine their creativity, time, and some money, to make promoting that all important first book easier and less alone

Authors are also reaching out to other writers, either those releasing books around the same time, or asking potential readers/customers of their book to spread the word, send review copies (Be they PDF files or old-school paper ARCS [Advanced Reader Copies] or Galleys of the book pre-publication) and review it on Amazon, on their blog if they have one, and share the news on social media platforms like Goodreads, one of the most prominent ways authors can connect with avid readers, not just other writers, and this distinction is hazy at times, but important.

I’m taking part of a launch team for”How To Promote Your Children’s Book: Tips, Tricks and Secrets to Create a Bestseller – 2nd Edition” an upcoming ebook guide by author Katie Davis, she’s written and illustrated 8 picture books, two novels (1 Middle Grade and her upcoming YA debut “Dancing with The Devil” which you can preview  now on Wattpad:, and let me tell you, she knows marketing backwards and forwards!

I received a review copy for this book and am working on the review to upload on Amazon and here on T.A.A. I can tell you right now, I’m ALREADY using many of the tips and resources from this book, but you’ll have to wait for my final review this Tuesday (3/25/14) to find out more.

The 1st edition of “How To Promote Your Children’s Book” (which released in 2012) had given many writers at all levels hope, and renowned former editor at Simon and Schuster, Emma Dryden, has given advance praise of the soon to be released 2nd edition, saying “EVERY WRITER should use this tool!”

But here’s the kicker for the writers out there, to celebrate the launch of the expanded, updated, 2nd edition. From 3/25/14-3/31/14, the second edition will be on SALE for $4.99 USD, HALF the price of the first edition, but THRICE the content, and if you send the sales receipt to (BEFORE 3/31/14!) you’ll receive a slew of bonuses to further super-charge and streamline your marketing efforts, pre and post publication. Finally, I’m also interviewing the author herself, Katie Davis live via Google+ Hangout on T.A.A.’s YouTube Channel, Thursday, March 27th, 2014, and you can get your marketing questions answered!

Even if you can’t make it live, just post your questions in the comments and Katie and I will get to as many as we can.But the deadline for submitting your questions is Sunday, March 23, 2014 BEFORE MIDNIGHT EST (Eastern Standard Time) I’ll share the easy access link info here at T.A.A. next week!

I hope to see some of you there, and if not, they’ll be a replay available on our YouTube channel. Please share this with your writer friends this weekend, they’ll thank you for it later, trust your lit. rat on this one! (~Wink~)

A Different Kind of Book Trailer

Fan Book Trailers

Writers, we all know book trailers (When done right and tight) can bring readers a thrilling tease for their book, and we commonly think of book trailers for books we’ve written recently, trailers for books a little long in the tooth can be a great way to recharge and renew interest in backlist titles.

Authors (Such as Katie Davis, who we profiled during Picture Book Month 2013, and created “Video Idiot Boot Camp” where I learned to tackle and eventually embrace the power and reciprocity of video) uses this tactic to great effect.

But for readers, or writers who are pre-published or struggling to build a platform, making book trailers for your favorite books can be a great way to show the author your support and show your potential readers what you’re like through what you love to read.

For authors and illustrators, it’s a great way to support your colleague’s work and helps your visibility as well, especially if you write in the same genre. It’s also a great way to crossover to a new audience and show your current audience and platform in a new light.


Recently, I did a trailer for a book I didn’t write, but love and want this first book in a four book series to get more love and attention-

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It’s a way to “promote” T.A.A. and my author brand without it being directly about me or my writing specifically.

Today, I share yet another fan-made trailer for a book close to your Literary Rat’s Heart-


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I’ll soon be writing a feature series on how readers and authors can support the unsung authors and books that don’t get “Bestseller” attention by creating book trailers of books you love, especially if they’re older titles that don’t have ones of their own (In the “Old Days”days when trailers were only for movies)

While I love doing book reviews on T.A.A. and plan to do more in 2014, fan made book trailers are another way to engage your audience and (For authors and/or illustrators) build one’s platform (I prefer to call it “Community”) without pushing yourself in annoying or uncomfortable ways.

This is also positive way we can share our love and fandom to authors and our circle of avid book lovers, be they fellow writers or lay readers.

Since most authors don’t read any comments or reviews of their own books (For varied and personal reasons), this is a way we (Be it author or lay reader) can share our love for their work without the critical factor reviews (Even positive ones) can have.

What do you think of my newest fan book trailer? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. T.A.A. loves hearing from its readers.

That’s all for today. Until Next time, may the fantastical fauna be with you

Good Word Friday


Good Word Friday Banner

Today’s post will be brief today as I have pre-Thanksgiving shopping to do among other things. But I did want to share some great stuff real quick-

For those of you who’ve been following T.A.A.’s posts during November, you’ll know I recently backed a Kickstarter campaign for author Julie Hedlund’s “My Love for You is the Sun” as part my “T.A.A. CARES” imitative to give authors and other content creators a helping hand (Er…Paw) in spreading the word and donating money alongside whatever grass routes PR your literary rat can provide.




Two days ago, Julie (Who I spotlighted in a recent blog post) reached her funding goal-


Julie Banner 2

But there’s still PLENTY of time to donate if you haven’t already. One of the great things about Kickstarter is that as long as you earn the minimum of funds needed to deliver a project, you can earn more than that, and allow for stretch goals that further benefit the project.

The funding period won’t end until December 12, 2013, and any donations beyond this point will allow Julie and her publisher, Little Bahalia, to aid in promotion and expand her school visits when the book releases in Fall-Winter 2014.

In honor of Julie’s Kickstarter success, T.A.A. will do a special giveaway, and due to the limited time frame the last time I tried to do a giveaway, I’m making this as simple as I can. Please check back next week when I announce how you can win a copy of “My Love for You is the Sun” and other fun prizes.

If you haven’t met Julie yet, learn more about her in my author spotlight here-

Find Julie’s Kickstarter campaign page here:

That’s all for today. Until next time, may the fantastic fauna be with you.

T.A.A. CARES – Author Spotlight #2 – Julie Hedlund’s Epic Hybrid Author Adventure

As I mentioned last week, T.A.A. CARES is kicking into overdrive for the winter holidays, and in honor of Picture Book Month, our next author spotlight is children’s author Julie Hedlund-

Photo-2-crop (Julie Hedlund Mini)

(Meet Julie, the ORIGINAL “Guru of Gratitude”)


I first discovered Julie when she first guest starred on an episode of “Brain Burps About Books” (Episode  #78, to be exact, which you can listen to here:, the #1 podcast about the business and craft of Children’s Publishing, founded and hosted by author-illustrator Katie Davis, who discovered Julie by following her progress back in her “Pre-Published” days as a blogger who back in January 2012 fueled the spark of the picture book writing challenge known as 12×12 (Now in its second year) that has already become a living phenomenon for picture book authors and illustrators the world over.


For those still unaware, 12×12 is a writing challenge specifically for picture book writers and author-illustrators. It’s a YEAR long program designed to provide support, tips and tricks, and inspiration to the writers who participate. Anyone who’s tried to write a picture book will tell you that it’s NO CAKEWALK (What is a “Cakewalk” anyway?) To put it bluntly, and forgive the cliché, it’s harder than it looks. Really.

In some ways, 12×12 is like the picture books writer’s equivalent to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month that begin in November 1999 and been held yearly every November since), in terms of an active community support from fellow writers, the event’s founders, and over the years various bestselling authors providing pep talks, and sometimes taking on the challenge themselves.

Some authors even BEGAN their emerging careers via NaNoWriMo, though not necessarily debuting or otherwise publishing the books they originally drafted during NaNoWriMo.

But there’s  one KEY difference to keep in mind. Unlike NaNoWriMo, or similar MONTHLY events like PiBoIdMo (National Picture Book Idea Month)  where you just have to jot down 30 IDEAS for picture books, not full drafts, or NaNoEdMo (National Novel Editing Month, Originally Founded in April 2003, and has since occurs yearly in March), 12×12 is a YEAR LONG program where the goal is to draft as CLOSE to 12 picture books that you can get, and at those who register in early January are eligible fabulous prizes, and introduced in 2013 was the chance to get critiques from agents, editors, and published authors that can help take your manuscripts to the next level. But you NEED to register in early January to be eligible, and on that note, and there’s something else that’s to key to remember.

Starting in 2013, 12×12 (Which was free its inaugural year) has evolved to a tiered-payment model, partly because year-long events take a LOT of planning, administration, moderating, rounding up authors, agents and editors to lend their expertise and support that takes them away from their own work, and yes, a fair amount of money, for the running of the site and its community, and being able to offer such rad prizes for the writers who take part.

Also because while this event can help writers, writers are also in business, and like in any other career, we balance our charity GENEROSITY (Things we gladly give away to our blog readers, newsletter subscribers  close writer friends, etc.) and things we charge for to maintain our livelihood.

Keep in mind that many writers are also parents, have spouses, and often have to work two or MORE jobs for the bulk of their income. Not all authors are able to earn a living solely through their writing.

I’m not a parent or married, but I STILL HAVE issues with finances, or lack thereof, and like Julie, I too am trying to find ways that will earn me income without putting my writing dreams on indefinite hold.

Something a few of my writer friends (Who are parents and in some cases caring for their own now elderly parents) are being forced to do. Authors provide services that  allow them to stay in the business of publishing, even if the path to selling your first book (Or your second, third, or 20th) is LONG.

PiBoIdMo (National Picture Book Idea Month) is also run in a similar manner regarding eligibility for the prizes author and the end. Though PiBoIdMo, and most other writer challenges are free to participate, some like NaNoWriMo appreciate donations to both keep the site (and it’s conjoined community) running as smooth as possible, and to give back to worthy causes.


It’s on that note I get to what I ask my T.A.A. readers to do to help support Julie. In addition to founding and hosting her 12×12 picture book wiring challenge; she’s a regular contributor to the “Brain Burps About Books” podcast, got repped by a literary agent, published her first picture book APP called “A Troop is a Group of Monkeys” illustrated by Pamela Baron, is now also available in print, both from Little Bahalia Publishing, and contributes to CBI’s “Fighting Bookworms” clubhouse community (For paid subscribers of the monthly Children’s Book Insider newsletter) as their “Guide to the Future of Publishing.”



She’s also a SCBWI member (As am I, though my membership expired this month and I have to wait until December to renew…[Sigh])


Her (Potentially) next picture book is a bedtime verse tale called “My Love for You is the Sun” will also be published by Little Bahalia Publishing, but here’s the twist, being a small press, Little Bahalia can really worth directly with authors in a personal,  more intimate way that larger publishers often can’t, partly due to their larger overhead costs, unless you’re one of their bestsellers (And even then there are countless variables involved on a per author basis), but what larger publishers can lack in being more personable with their authors, can (At least PARTLY) make up for in wider distribution, better line up reviews on sites like The Horn Book, Kirkus, and School Library journal, connecting with library systems nationwide, and some significant marketing efforts in addition to whatever authors do on their own.


Plus, larger publishers (I don’t mean JUST “The Big 5” Folks!) are also high-end indie publishers like Candlewick Press, Chicken House, Nosy Crow, and FARRAR, STRAUS AND GIROUX (aka The ORIGINAL “F.S.G.”) having more pull in brick and mortar retailers, which for print books (ESPECIALLY in the children’s book market) is a BIG DEAL.


Ebooks have their place, and are a strong preference for some teens and adults, especially if space for print books is limited, etc. But children by and large (And adults, myself included) still prefer print books, and in picture books especially, are still the preference of teachers and parents, especially the “rare few” who are able to make time to read to their kids, day or night!


In order for Little Behalia to publish, “My Love for You is the Sun” they need additional funding for the illustrations, and final production costs they can’t cover alone, and Julie (With assistance from her agent) worked out a deal with Little Bahelia Publishing to start a Kickstarter campaign to earn the needed funds, which would allow Little Behalia to add this book to their future release list.


Here’s what I ask of you, my loyal readers (Especially if any of you are authors or have blogs tied to children’s books, parenting, or literacy) to spare some time (And Money if possible) to Julie’s crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter-

 (FYI, that GORGEOUS ILLUSTRATION is only ONE of the 20+ pages of art to accompany the final printed book)


As with my previous spotlight for “FETCH” this is a project I believe in, and I know from following Julie since 2012, she is a writer you can trust. I would NEVER spotlight projects on T.A.A. CARES if they didn’t come from real people who put their trademark grit and heart into it.

Even though publishing is a business (Which is hard for me to type because I feel it can have negative connotations due to the jerky scammers that sadly do exist from time to time. It’s NOT always “Lack of will to work hard” but “Lack of MONEY!” which isn’t the same as saying “I don’t want to pay for good help” but I just can’t fund it all alone. Period.), writers still need to put PASSION into what they do.

Potential readers, especially kids and teens, know when you’re not genuine. While authors need to have tightly written stories to warrant the costs of publication (ESPECIALLY authors who self-publish with no help from a publisher) they still NEED the love and passion ONLY THE AUTHOR can provide. But even the most business-savvy authors can’t do it ALL ALONE!

Kickstarter (Among a few other sites) is another way for authors who can’t head up the costs to publishing themselves, and because Kickstarter’s platform is “All or Nothing” if the total needed funds aren’t meant, the project “fails” and all donations are returned to their respective donors. (Called “Backers” on Kickstarter)

To crack down on jerky scammers, and to aid in avoiding various integrity issues, Kickstarter also has to screen and approve proposed projects, so you need to be sure your proposal covers EVERYTHING, and like with traditional publishers and literary agents, projects can be rejected, but once the project’s approved, you’re in the system, and from there it’s up to you to ensure you do all you can to promote the project (In a sane NON-spammy way!), and let fate do the rest…


As an soon-to-be published author myself (Also via the small press route) it allows me to give back to authors on the same path as me. To deliver the most genuine and passion-soaked stories I can to share with the world, and (While I do want to make some money) I long for the day to receive a letter (Paper or iPad) from a kid or teen who fell in love with a book I’d written, just as the authors I love and admire touched my heart and inspired me to be part of this wonderful tradition of storytellers.

In closing, my loyal readers, I ask you to spread the word, and if you can, spare whatever money you can to ensure that like FETCH, “My Love for You is the Sun” finds its way not just to publication, but to the readers (Young and old) who need it most. You know I will.

Until next time, may the fantastic fauna be with you.



A Different Kind of Editing…


Sorry for not having new content up yesterday, I had some last minute “Life Happens” stuff. But at least my site didn’t blackout again (Knock on Wood!)

But I’m back, and am taking a break from my usual posts to share something I hope those of you with blogs and/or websites can learn from

As you may remember from last week’s post on my staycation to VIBC (Video Idiot Boot Camp) in May, I created a welcome video for my site during the 8 lesson course.

Well, after completing the course, you get a coupon to redeem within five weeks of finishing your initial welcome video for Katie Davis (Creator/Instructor of this course) to review and give pointers on what to clarify or cut. I got my critique yesterday, after my initial effort uploaded a couple weeks ago, and it confirmed three things I suspected-

-Too Long (While nearly 2 1/2 minutes is SHORT for me, it’s not short enough to hook new people to the site, slow transitions and not enough clarification and key info overall)

-Too unclear about my site’s message (I thought it was clear through the visual slides and context of what I said within the slideshow, but I need to be more clear, that’s the trouble with being a pioneer in your field, it’s hard to convey it to others in a concise, non-cliché sounding way.

-My muddled C.T.A. (Call to Action) – I didn’t better show what I want those who come to my site and like it, what they can do to grow the community.

The reason I’m sharing this is twofold. One, to show that just like writing, videos need to be redone when either the content or quality isn’t doing what you intended, either at all, or not enough.

Second, because while it’s true that one of the main hallmark points of VIBC is to help people like me (Who are anal about clarity and giving our best effort) to relax a bit and realize that “Get it Done!” sometimes is more important than “Get it done right.”

That said, some videos (Just like books, for that matter) are worth extra effort and time. Different videos need different things. A book trailer for my upcoming middle grade novel needs to be ideally under 30 seconds, and let me tell you, that kind of brevity is not my strength, but that’s also why I spend more time on Twitter these days, since you’re limited to 140 characters, including spaces, so I’m trying to get more accustomed to showing more with less. I can’t promise shorter blog posts, but I can promise my videos will be tighter going forward.

All that said, I don’t regret my first attempts. It taught me a lot and took the fear away, and the fact that I did engage some new people means I wasn’t way off the mark. But I do need a shorter, more user-driven, welcome video.

I do have some ideas on how to tighten up the length. But I’d appreciate any ideas in the comments below. How would you, current readers of T.A.A., invite some new faces into our community?

If you haven’t seen my original welcome video yet, you can find it at the links below-

Thanks to those of you (In and outside VIBC) who checked out my welcome video. I will get this tighter so the community can grow and flourish.

Until next time, may the fantastical fauna be with you.