This is the first in a series of exciting new updates for you!
I have endeavored in a new project quite unlike one I've attempted before. As the title suggests, I've branched out my self-publishing ventures, broadened my horizons, to include new genres, of a sort:
I've written a baby book!
Well, whatever does this mean? Let me start from the beginning.
My dear friend Halley, who has been mentioned here on occasion (and is in the dedication for Archer has a child, born this past September, a lovely child by the name of Seelie. As the mother of such a child, Halley has dutifully collected baby books of all sorts to supply with which to supply her daughter. We also play D&D with Halley on the occasion (her husband is an excellent-fine DM, anyway). While visiting for a session, Halley shared some of her baby books with us, noting their interesting subject.
They were books by Chris Ferrie, an Australian physicist who has a penchant for writing STEM-based books for children. (Example, ABCs of Math, ABCs of Science, ABCs of Physics). The whole idea was starting big-concept ideas for younger ages. It should be noted that these books weren't necessarily billed as STEM, but it's a pretty good description of them. Halley made the offhand comment, "If there were ELA ones, I would have gotten them too."
The tone of her comment was apologetic, as if somewhat guilt-ridden she did not have any sort of representation for my subject (as I am an English teacher, after all). But it did inspire me otherwise. I'm an ELA person, an English teacher. AND I'm a writer. The answer was obvious. I would have to supply Seelie with her big ELA concepts early on. I would fill this imaginary market of mine.
The actually process hasn't been quite so easy to discern.
The Chris Ferrie books were board books. Naturally, I wanted to self-publish board books, as they are ideal for infants and other young readers. Apparently, there isn't exactly a print on demand service for board books. There are a few companies that will print your board book, but you must buy in bulk. One company has a 1,000 book minimum. Another has a 500 minimum. These were not ideal paths, mostly because I do not have the capital to pursue the bulk-buying endeavor. Nevertheless, I was undeterred.
I wrote the book, deciding to use Shakespeare as my first subject (my classes were studying Romeo and Juliet at the time). I did the ABC concept, assigning every letter with a term, name, or place associated with Shakespeare. I came up with a few other subject ideas, but stuck with Shakespeare. So the writing part of the book was completed. That came the next difficult part, illustrations which are a MUST HAVE for children's books. I am not an illustrator, so I encountered yet another obstacle in this path.
I've considered several different avenues in order to solve these problems. Hiring an outside illustrator, researching how to make board books from scratch. I puzzled over many of these. I had to determine what exactly I wanted and what I wanted to achieve. For my first taste of this project, I started something simple.
I discovered a website called Pint-Sized Productions where you can make your own custom board books. It's similar to a print on demand service, except you are limited by page number, book size, and it's not as cost effective as a POD. For example, one 5.56 x 5.56 in book with 24 pages is over $30 before taxes and shipping. Still, I used their services along with unlicensed stock photography and was able to put together an actual book. You will see it listed for sale on my website, if you go to Books > Little Owlet, listed at just under $57. This price gives me a very tiny profit margin and includes me personally shipping the board book to you. Because of the nature of this posting, shipping will take some time with it (for me to print it from Pint Sized, then ship it to a buyer).
I realize that this is SUPER expensive to spend on a book, a baby book even. But, I wanted to make the option available to any possibly interested parties. I still plan on making a more serious, concerted effort with illustrations, probably hiring a collaborator to assist me. And I'm interested in developing a cheaper, paperback option, which allows me much more freedom with each individual page.
You will also notice, perhaps, that my pen name is slightly different with the baby book. It's listed me as "Kelly Bahney" which will be my future married name. I wanted a different name to offset my other publishing name.
I will update as the paperback becomes available, but I did want to share this exciting new endeavor!