Yogabets: An Acrobatic Alphabet

Hello, Friends, Readers, Writers!  It’s been a long winter and I for one am ready to come out of hibernation!  Please join me this weekend in downloading one of my newest children’s picture books, YOGABETS: An Acrobatic Alphabet.  It’s a short, sweet, and rhyming story/poem that introduces the alphabet in an unusual (I hope) way.  Here are the first few lines . . .

a . . . earring for a tiny lobe, or

a teacup resting one its side.

b . . . Mama with a baby bump,

baby bumpkin tucked inside.

The digital version is free for download from Amazon this week (Saturday, March 12 – Wednesday, March 16th).  The illustrations are by yours truly as well.

Here’s the link:

Happy Spring, everyone!

Cover 1200 dpi YOGA single pp for CS - 9 22 15_Page_01


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!

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…

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Confessions of Motherhood; Interview with Laura Diamond

Inspiration from Indie Author, Laura Diamond

Jessica Schaub Books

There was a day in my past when I truly believed that I needed to know how to do everything. And then I became a mom. I realized I knew nothing.


No thing.

I wish I had read Deliver Me: Confessions of Motherhood, a compilation of essays edited by Laura Diamond. Mothers are a species unto their own. Stories of labor and delivery are bonds of friendships – those personal battlefields of brining forth life when we struggle against the pain to receive the joy of motherhood. And the pain doesn’t stop there… as I’m typing this, there is a four-year-old loudly singing as he rifles through the box of Legos for just the right piece. In the background, my three daughters are all practicing their instruments. And now the dog is barking. As much as I would like to run screaming from the house, I also know…

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Adventures in Self-Publishing, Part 2

Greetings, friends, readers, and fellow writers.  Just wanted to let you know I’m still trying to publish my picture books on amazon’s createspace.  So far, I’ve exported the files from my IPAD–where I created them as epub files on Apple’s Book Creator–to my I MAC.  At first I exported them as PDFs, but this didn’t work well because once I imported the files to createspace, the images turned out to be less than the 300 DPI CS recommends.  So I asked my son to help me increase the resolution on my books.  He was able to do this, but I’m not sure how.  I think he used Adobe Acrobat Professional to convert the raw epub files into PDFs that were higher quality (more DPI) than the PDFs I’d exported directly from BookCreator on my IPAD.

The first book–Isabel Plum: Ichthyologist–looks good now, but it has a couple of mistakes/typos/misaligned words I have to fix.  Problem is I don’t know where to fix them.  Surely not on the PDFs (they’re inalterable, right?).  So I need to find the raw epub file he uploaded to adobe acrobat before converting it to a PDF.  Sure, I know where the epub file is, but does this mean I fix the original, resend it to my Macbook and then ask my son to reconvert the whole thing to a new PDF using adobe acrobat to produce good quality (at least 300 DPI) images?

I hope this makes sense to you, fellow readers and writers.  If it does, you probably know more about these technical issues than I do.  I just hope that by writing about my difficulties those of you with similar problems will feel encouraged.  I’m NOT gonna give up.  I’m not.  I just wish this stuff weren’t so hard.  I want to get back to writing, to illustrating, to actually completing my books.

Goodbye for now–and happy weekend.

Welcome to #mywritingprocess blog tour, children’s books edition!

So happy to be part of the #mywritingprocess blog tour! It’s a fun way to meet new authors and hear their stories. All lives are full of twists and turns, but the writing life…? Sometimes it feels like one big circle. So buckle in, mates—my writing process may get your head spinning!

Many thanks to Christy Lynn Allen, fellow indie-writer and author of the Samantha Green Mystery Series ( Christy and I first met during a 2012 interview about e-publishing by columnist Susie Wilde in Durham, NC’s Herald Sun.

You can read Christy’s #mywritingprocess blog post at

What are you working on?
Right now I’m working on a picture book called Yogabets: An Acrobatic Alphabet.

Yoga darker - Image-1


It’s a really fun little book that imagines the alphabet as a series of ideograms or symbols that represent objects or ideas. After I introduce each letter with a phrase describing what the letter looks like, I provide an interpretive drawing.

Yogabets is also a poem and a bedtime-story—so there’s a lot going on!

How does your work differ from others of its genre?

Well, that’s an interesting question, because I do lots of different types of work. My first project was a middle grade novel called Stella Bellarosa: Tales of an Aspiring Teenage Superhero.

Stella Bellarosa Watercolor Orange Arch Option 3




It’s set in New York City in the 1960’s and centers on the lives of two thirteen-year-old girls who get suspended for stealing a substitute teacher’s wallet. It’s different from other middle grade novels in that it’s a humorous-cum-historical novel with a multicultural theme—the main characters are a second-generation Italian-American teenager and a recent Chinese émigré.

I’ve also written and illustrated two picture books. One is about a little girl—Isabel Plum: Ichthyologist—who’s used to getting her way, but is about to get the surprise of a lifetime.

isabel plum cover 1400


Unfortunately, she’s not too pleased with the surprise. My other picture book—Tip & Oliver: BFFs is about an old dog whose owners adopt a young pet to cheer him up.



Things don’t turn out as planned, though, because Tip sees Oliver as an interloper rather than as a friend.

So I guess you could say what makes my books different from others is that they set stereotypes on their heads—which makes for some funny as well as heartbreaking stories. And that’s a bit genre-busting in itself!

Why do I write what I do?
Boy, that’s a really good question and one that piggybacks well on the one above.

I think all writing stems from the writer’s experience, which sounds cliché. But as I’ve indicated above, although I write for children, there’s something subversive about my work. I’m not writing about the traditionally successful, well-adjusted child. I’m writing about the Boo Radleys and the Holden Caulfields of the world—good kids who are trying to figure things out but aren’t quite there yet. Kids who make mistakes, who dream big but whose dreams don’t quite sync up with reality. Stella is like that. She wants to save the world, but, as her father points out, she can’t even get out of bed on time. Isabel Plum’s another. She wants the one thing in life she can’t have—a puppy (because she’s allergic). And poor, old Tip just wants to be loved—and doesn’t realize that he is just that—loved, well-loved—until the end of the story.

How does your writing process work?
Boy, these questions keep getting harder. I’ve tried all different types of writing processes. After reading Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, for instance, I started keeping a journal and writing what she calls ‘morning notes.’ This is a really good method for finding out what’s on your mind when you’re not quite sure what to write, because it extracts ideas, events, situations from your subconscious. The idea is you put pen to paper before you’re fully awake and just write without stopping to cross your t’s or dot your i’s—and definitely, definitely, without editing what you write.

I did this a lot when I first started to write, and eventually amassed a ton of raw material, some of which I went back and shaped into picture books or novels or poems. I still do this, though right now I’m so busy polishing up the stuff I’ve written over the last ten years, I’m not sure when I’ll have time to generate fresh material. I hope I do, though, for sure. Maybe after I publish my next book. Unfortunately, self-publishing, as many others have noted, is a time-consuming process, which complicates things even more. But it’s fun. And it’s rewarding. And it’s a step toward getting your material out in the world.

More information about Julie can be found at Krantz/e/B00996YNZ4/

#mywritingprocess blog tour update…

Next up—writer Lisa Otter Rose, author of You’ve Got Verve, Jamie Ireland!

Lisa is a writer and visual journalist. She appreciates how creativity, determination, and courage play key roles in every child’s development. Like Jamie, Lisa and her children have learning disabilities. She has experienced firsthand the frustration that undiagnosed learning disorders bring, and then the relief that proper diagnosis and intervention offer. Lisa, who has always loved books and knows the power of story, has crafted a funny and realistic character, Jamie Ireland, who defies any label.

Check out Lisa’s blog at

Meet Aviva Gittle, Self-Pub Author with a Mission!

New children’s author interview–enjoy!

Jessica Schaub Books

The world is full of writers, from devoted list-makers to poets and short stories to novels and beyond. For as many writers there are, it’s not too far fetched to claim that there are as many purposes behind the writing. Personally speaking, I write because it helps me organize my thoughts…I just happen to think in a story format.

Once the decision is made to take writing from sketching little stories and poems for our own enjoyment to the next level – that elusive publication. With Self publishing making waves in the industry, these stories are sometimes mistaken (sometimes not) as lesser in quality. As such, self-published authors have come together as a community in several different formats and in online forums. Aviva Gittle is one such author with a heart for helping other self-published authors.

Aviva is my next featured author. Along with amazing stories for children, Aviva has…

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