Have you ever dreamed of doing something for so long that you start to think of it as just that, a dream? Well, I’ve dreamed of writing books since I was a little girl, but never thought it would ever become a reality. That all changed after the birth of my third son when in my “free time” I wrote my first book on decorating a beautiful Christmas Tree. (you can check the full story Here.) After writing my first book, my eyes were opened to the possibility that I really could do this author-thing, so today I’m going to share with you how I decided to become a children’s book author to my first book, “Three Sneezes in a Row“!
After the launch of my first book during the week of Thanksgiving 2017, I jumped right into the busyness of the holidays. Baking cookies, hosting family, wrapping gifts, and decorating lots of Christmas trees took up the bulk of my time and before I knew it, New Years Eve and the new year 2018 was upon me.
New Years is always a season for dreaming new dreams and setting new goals and this year was no different. I boldly put down the goal of launching 2 new books in 2018 along side my personal goals of eating better, being more intentional with my family time, and starting every morning in prayer. Little did I know that in less than 3 months I would have half of that goal already completed!
Early January is a notorious season for colds, sniffles, and sneezes and while we were blessedly spared any serious illnesses, my boys did pick up a little virus that rendered them runny nosed and sniffling. One afternoon, while holding my 3 month old son, he sneezed three little baby sneezes one right after another. Into my head popped the rhyme “3 little sneezes all in a row, all bundled up and ready to go!” The fun rhyme stuck in my head and I started to envision 3 cute little sneeze balls all bundled up in their coats and hats and ready to go out to play.
About that time my sweet hubby took over snuffly baby duty and I hopped into a hot bath in an attempt to fight the snuffles myself. (You can read all about my love for a good bath HERE)
While relaxing in the bath, my brain kept going back to the three little sneezes and I started thinking of other sounds the body makes and fun rhymes to go with them as well. By the time I got out of the bath I had the rough draft of my book written in the notes app on my phone. And there it lived for several weeks…
Something in me kept going back to my little rhyme so I decided to read it to my boys and gauge their reactions. They both loved it so I decided to start researching illustrators “just for fun”. After looking at countless illustrations on multiple sites, I finally found one I clicked with. I loved his drawing style, his creativity, and his use of color. I took a deep breath and messaged him to start the process.
I still have a hard time taking a lot of credit for this book because I truly believe that God inspired the words and my wonderful illustrator Mark Nino Balita brought my characters to life. I’ve heard so many horror stories about other illustrators and I consider myself blessed to have worked with a true professional. Mark took my ideas and turned them into actual, lovable characters in a timely and enjoyable manner. I truly felt like a kid at Christmas every time he would send over a batch of new sketches!
Getting the illustrations completed took about a month and a half and then it was time to format and publish my book! I took the time to learn how to upload my book into Createspace in order to have paperback copies and after much trial and error I re-hired my original formatter to get my e-book ready for Amazon. (let me know if you need his info, he’s really great!) The entire formatting process took roughly 3 weeks, mainly because I took extra time learning how to do several of the steps myself.
All of a sudden it was time to publish my book out into the world! My favorite part of the entire process was sharing the first proof of the book with my boys. My seven year old was almost more excited than I was, and my 2 year old kept saying “that’s my mommy!” to my picture in the back of the book. That experience alone was worth the entire investment of time and money for sure! If I didn’t sell a single copy, my heart would have still been happy by their reactions.
With my book uploaded onto Amazon as both an e-book and a paperback, I sat back, ate a big piece of celebratory chocolate cake, and launched “Three Sneezes in a Row” into the world! I have been so blown away from the support and positive feedback I’ve gotten from the book so far. 1 week after the launch I have 35 5-star reviews, the Amazon”Best New Release” banner in several categories, and several personal stories of children enjoying the book.
While I won’t be able to retire early or anything off the sales of the book, I am hoping to recoup my initial investment and be able to save up enough to hire Mark back for my next book in the “Three in a Row” series!
If you have any additional questions about the process, or want to know when more of the books are going to be released, simply sign up for the newsletter or e-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading and I can’t wait to chat with you soon!