#Children's Books · #children's poetry

A Poem for Fall . . . and two free books

Dear Readers,

Happy Fall!  To celebrate, I’m giving away digital versions of two of my children’s books this weekend (Oct. 24 & 25) . . .

Yogabets: An Acrobatic Alphabet

Cover 1200 dpi YOGA single pp for CS - 9 22 15_Page_01
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=yogabets
&

One Charming Cat (Un Chat Charmant).

I’d love to know what you think of them!

For Richer or Poorer

A spare red ring
can mean
many things—
from a bedbug bite
to a life-saving buoy,
from the hatband
mark on an old
man’s head
to the salty rose
of a child’s
mouth,
from the
first full chomp
of a ripe red
fruit
to the mulberry
groove on
a widow’s hand—
yes, a deep
red ring can
mean many
things.

Self-Publishing/Marketing

Update on Self-Publishing, Part 3

Hello family, friends and poetry lovers! Sorry I’ve been away so long. I’ve been editing/correcting/illustrating/polishing my picture books and middle grade novel for Book Expo America 2015. Held at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC May 27th – 30th, it’s the biggest book fair in the US. Agents, publishers and book buyers from all over the world will attend and (hopefully) buy foreign and translation rights to hundreds (thousands?) of new books. The country of honor this year is China, which is really exciting. It will be fun to see what the Chinese think of American writers!

What makes this especially exciting for me is that it’s the first time any of my books will appear there. And, since my books are self-published, it’s wonderful to have an agent representing them. This is a boon for all self-publishers, because it shows the publishing community is finally starting to recognize them. Woo-hoo!

I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, happy spring, everyone!

#Children's Books

Giveaway Saturday, March 21, 2015 . . . Blueberry Moon

Hello Friends and Family–

I just wanted to let you know my new picture book, BLUEBERRY MOON, is free today on Amazon.  Here’s the link:

Children's Fiction

Giveaway Friday–Isabel Plum: Ichthyologist

Dear Friends and Followers–Just wanted to let you know my first picture book, Isabel Plum: Ichthyologist, is Friday, February 27, 2015. I’d love you to download/read/review it if you have time.  Thanks!  Julie

Here’s the link:  http://www.amazon.com/Isabel-Plum-Ichthyologist-childrens-friendship-ebook/dp/B00HPC7TCS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424895889&sr=8-1&keywords=isabel+plum

IP High Res_Page_01

A girl, a fish, and one little wish….
Isabel Plum likes having her way. And—right here, right now—that means getting a cute and cuddly puppy. There’s only one problem—Isabel is allergic. See what happens when Isabel’s disappointment leads to an important discovery—one this single-minded heroine least expects!
Self-Publishing/Marketing

Lessons from a Failed KDP Select Free Promo

Useful Tips for Self-Published Authors

Kristen Pham

shutterstock_120732190In the new year, I used three of my KDP free days to promote the first book in The Conjurors Series, The Society of Imaginary Friends. I was determined to put everything I had into the campaign in order to maximize downloads of my free book and hopefully convince readers to continue with my series. I’ve been exclusively selling my books through Amazon since I began self-publishing, and have been toying with the idea of making my books available with other retailers (and thereby enabling the first book in the series to be perma free). This promotion was my final push to see if I could get a serious number of downloads of my free book using Amazon alone.

I’ve never spent more time (or money) promoting my free days, than this round. I submitted my book’s info to more than 70 sites that list free ebooks, and paid for placement on…

View original post 634 more words

Children's Books · Free books · Middle Grade Fiction

Halloween Special

New children’s books from purple pie press – free (Kindle) Oct. 29 – Nov. 2, 2014

PRLog – Oct. 28, 2014 – CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Award-winning author Julie Krantz’s newest children’s books are free on Kindle October 29 – Nov. 2, 2014. Bittersweet, STELLA BELLAROSA is about two NYC teens who flee Little Italy after stealing a substitute teacher’s wallet. Humorous, ISABEL PLUM: Ichthyologist is about one little diva about to implode.

STELLA BELLAROSA: Tales of an Aspiring Teenage Superhero (YA/MG Novel, ages 8 – 14, Common Core Objectives: Immigration, Poverty, City Life, 1960’s, Discrimination)

A wallet, a thief, and a brilliant plan–what can possibly go wrong?

At least that’s what Stella thinks when she urges Pin Pin to return the stolen wallet—until she gets caught with the goods, that is. That’s when all heaven, hell and whatever’s-in-between breaks loose, forcing the BFFs to hit the road.

Tag along with Stella and Pin Pin as they ditch Little Italy for midtown Manhattan—all the while battling archrival Angie Como for the title to SOHO’s Annual Food Drive, their ticket to Regis Academy, a posh high school for girls, hidden far, far away in the Catskills. Oh-la-la, for a chance to leave home—for good!

Problem is… the road isn’t much safer than home, especially when the runaways attract the attention of police, museum officials and—worst of all—Stella’s unforgiving father. Also pitted against their extravagant dreams is the threat of Pin Pin and her family’s deportation, including baby sister, Audrey, who lies at the heart of this quirky coming-of-age novel—STELLA BELLAROSA, a serious MG with a funny-bone.

Available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Stella-Bellarosa-Superhero-immigration-discrimination-ebook/dp/B00I0GB5I2

ISABEL PLUM: Ichthyologist (Picture Book, Ages 3 – 8, humorous. Common Core Objectives: early/beginner reader, vocabulary-building, context clues, reading comprehension, inference)

A girl, a fish, and one little wish . . . .

Isabel Plum likes having her way. And–right here, right now–that means getting a cute and cuddly puppy. There’s only one problem–Isabel is allergic. See what happens when Isabel’s disappointment leads to an important discovery–one the single-minded heroine least expects!

Available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Isabel-Plum-Icthyologist-childrens-friendship-ebook/dp/B00HPC7TCS

Publishing/Marketing

On the Futility of Self-Publishing

Dear Blog Bros—

I wasn’t planning to post a blog today, but we (finally, finally!) got snow last night.  So, in honor of that, I thought I’d write a little essay about my continuing ‘Adventures in Publishing.’

Firstly, I just watched BJ Novak’s book trailer for ONE MORE THING, and guess what?  It’s great.  And so, according to my local bookstore, is his collection of short stories.  Well, I can’t complain about BJ’s talent or success.  I’ve been a fan of his for years.  But what I can complain about is the amount of loud, laudatory, instant, fantastic visibility his book is getting!  Granted, his book is published by Knopf (oh, yeah, Knopf, big name), but that’s not what interests me.  What I wonder is what it takes for a poor self-published slob—the one without name recognition, fame, Hollywood ties, Harvard degrees, etc., etc.—to score in this literary landscape.

Ok.  So I signed up for a free webinar about boosting your book’s visibility on Amazon.  I was not happy about sacrificing family time to do this, but I did.  And what did I learn?  Horror-of-horrors—the host’s main thrust was to encourage us to write 2 books per month, outsourcing the writing if desired, on any subject* we have a minimal amount of interest in (no expertise required; Wikipedia furnishes that) as long as we find the right ‘niche.’

And how do you find a niche?  Study Amazon’s top 100 lists—any of them, all of them.  Choose your subject.  Then look for the last book on the first page of this particular Top 100 List.  Make sure the book isn’t TOO popular (I can’t remember the metric here—something like ranking higher than 50,0000 in the Kindle bookstore) or too unpopular (below a ranking of 30,000, I think).  Then, if the book you’ve found fits these parameters, BINGO!  Write one of your own on the same subject.

I probably don’t have all the details of this webinar correct, but I did get the gist of it.  And while I’m all for self-published books to see the light of day, I’m appalled at the prospect of people finding out what’s popular and writing sham books targeted for a proven (and profitable) audience.  So sad.  Now, not only are aspiring authors (ones who really want to write a book and have studied/practiced their craft for years) up against the BJ Novaks (god bless him) of the world, they’re battling tens (of hundreds?  Of thousands?) of non-writers who just see the internet (and internet book sellers like Amazon) as a place to cast their nets using whatever bogus means possible to make a profit.

Sorry for griping.  I’m just so sad about this.  I really don’t know what’s in store for folks trying to write/publish/sell really good books without a name, an advocate (eg, traditional publisher) or a glamorous scam-plan.

*Special bonus for children’s writers–the webinar host chose children’s books for his first few forays into publishing–because they’re short, don’t require much expertise, and are ‘easy to write.’

Publishing/Marketing

How to create a picture book on iPad and sell it on Amazon

Two tools I’ve used to create picture books are Sketchbook Pro and BookCreator for iPad.

First I draw my pictures on Sketchbook. Then I export them to my Photo Roll and download them in BookCreator, where I’ve already chosen a picture book format: landscape, portrait or square.

Next I type my picture book on BookCreator, adding text to each page.
Then the fun begins. I download the illustrations I’ve created in Sketchbook Pro from my photo stream and position them on the pages of my new picture book.

Next I email my completed book to my email address on my iMac, where arrives as an attachment.

Then I drag the attached file (which is in ePub format at this point) from the email to my desktop.

At this point, I open the conversion kit Amazon has created to convert an ePub file to a mobi file, which is the format that works on Amazon. Go to The KDP Select website on Amazon to find the various parts of this kit—KF8 Converter, Kindle Generating Software and Kindle Gen Zip.

Now I drag my picture book (which is in ePub format on my desktop) into the KF8/KindleGen Converter, and wah-la! KF8 transforms it from an ePub file to a mobi file.

Next I go to the KDP Select page on Amazon and fill it out—my book’s title, author, etc. Then I upload my book (in mobi format) as well as my book’s cover (which I’ve taken a screenshot of while it was in BookCreator and emailed to my Mac, where it appears as an attachment which I then drag to my desktop).

Lastly, I complete the Amazon form (enable DRM, set my price, etc.) and press submit. 12 hours (or less) later, my book appears on my Amazon Bookshelf and is available for purchase on Amazon.com.

Sounds hard but isn’t!