Thursday, December 27, 2018

Notes from the Field: The Advantages of Having an Imprint - featured on

Notes from the Field: The Advantages of Having an Imprint

You’ve undoubtedly read here previously that you should own your ISBNs. Being the publisher of record for your books gives you complete control over all aspects of publishing and selling, including access to markets and distribution channels. It also means your intellectual property is yours to manage as you see fit. One of the ways… 

The advantages of a self-pub imprint by Carole. P. Roman for
You've undoubtedly read here previously that you should own your ISBNs. Being the publisher of record for your books gives you complete control over all aspects of publishing and selling, including access to markets and distribution channels. It also means your intellectual property is yours to manage as you see fit. One of the ways to establish this is to publish under your own imprint. To further explain the benefits of setting up an imprint, we asked BW member and authorpreneur, Carole P. Roman, to share her experiences...

There are many avenues available to self-publishers these days, from DIY platforms like Smashwords and KDP to full-service subsidy publishers that offer all the adjunct services like editing, cover design, etc. as part of a package (or a la carte). Technically these companies are simply facilitating the actual print or electronic copy of your book, they do not serve as a publisher. But often they will sell or include the ISBN as part of the deal, making them the publisher of record for your book. This is not a good idea.
If you choose KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) an offshoot of Amazon, they will provide you with a free ISBN and when you open your book it will say KDP Services as the imprint or publisher. This is appealing to the novice, as most people see this as an unnecessary expense. Why spend what you don’t have too?
An interesting question, but for the uninitiated, it can cause greater expense and a whole lot of work down the line.

The Limitations of Being Exclusive to Amazon

Originally, I used CreateSpace, the forerunner of KDP, and found myself limited to having our books available mostly through Amazon. Many bookstores do not want to carry books with the KDP or Amazon imprint. They see it as a conflict of interest, as though they are supporting a competitor. While we did indeed have mass distribution sales, the books sold for pennies, and how we priced them affected the entire bottom line. Some books were priced out of their range, just to make a few measly cents selling to a library or institution, such as a school.
The advantages of a self-pub imprint by Carole. P. Roman for
Copyright page "Navigating Indieworld" published by Chelshire Inc.
Schools and institutions may be purchasing your books, but bookstores and other retailers as I pointed out earlier, will shy away from an imprint that reads Amazon. 
Selling exclusively through Amazon can be limiting. While they do hold a major portion of the market share, there are still many other outlets, such as libraries, small independent bookstores, as well as large retailers like Barnes and Noble, or Walmart that purchase books.
In the end, we realized that independent bookstores and other retailers in competition with Amazon did not want to stock products with the KDP imprint. It represented Amazon as the publisher, and they would be enriching their competition.

The Importance of Being the Publisher of Record

So, essentially we became our own publishers.
When we decided to go wider with distribution, I bought ISBNs from Bowker and created an imprint for our books. I had first investigated purchasing ISBNs when a more experienced author told me about IngramSpark. IngramSpark is one of the largest distributors of books, worldwide. They have an enormous reach that can get your books into stores everywhere. I contacted Ingram and they told me I could not load my books on their site with the CreateSpace ISBN. 
I looked at the cost of moving them and while the ISBNs were expensive to buy, the biggest cost was losing the thousands of reviews I had accumulated.
I decided to keep my books on CreateSpace, buy a bulk lot of ISBN’s from Bowker (better value with bulk), and then put them on IngramSpark in both paperback and hardcover (you need a different ISBN for each edition anyway).
As a good amount of my books are children’s fiction and nonfiction, hardcover editions are more popular with libraries, making them attractive to those outlets.The advantages of a self-pub imprint by Carole. P. Roman for
This way I didn’t lose my reviews, the IngramSpark books were clumped with the Amazon versions and all was good with the world.
Now, while I do still publish with KDP, I use my own bulk-purchased ISBNs that are good across multiple platforms.  
This also serves as a sort of safety net. When CreateSpace closed I panicked about the ownership of the ISBNs. Would my books go out of print, like my author friend whose publishing house closed down? Owning my own ISBNs protects my intellectual property and I can make it available for as long as I want, wherever, however, I want.

Setting Up Our Imprint

We chose the name "Red Feather Publishing" because it had personal significance. To our dismay, the name was already taken. So we went with plan B and combined the street addresses of my two sons (ensuring everyone felt included in our venture) and arrived at "Chelshire Publishing Inc." as our imprint. We liked the classy sound of it.The advantages of a self-pub imprint by Carole. P. Roman for
Using Legal Zoom, we incorporated. It was less expensive than going through a lawyer, coming in at about one hundred dollars, or so. They took care of the formalities and we attached our real names to all legal documents, leaving a clear record of who is in charge, as well as ownership.

How to Choose a Name for Your Imprint

We had a combined stock of close to seventy books. One book was written by my grandson, another was the rookie effort of my younger son, added to the fifteen successful books written by my older son, plus my approximately 50 titles.
It was a diverse list: fiction, nonfiction, children’s, self-help, and a variety of genres from my son.
The advantages of a self-pub imprint by Carole. P. Roman for
Chelshire Press brochure: Self-Help titles
We chose the name because it seemed elastic enough to fit any type of book. Our imprint is the name of our publishing house regardless of the type of books we may produce.
If we chose a name like Linens and Lace, or Cracked Linoleum, what ‘customers’ would we be attracting? While it’s fun to experiment, you have to remember to treat it as a business. A less specific imprint name will provide a suitable umbrella no matter which direction your writing may take you. However, if you are certain that your imprint will only publish a specific genre, then a name that evokes that genre could help solidify your brand. Whatever you choose, choose wisely and by all means, it should sound professional and "legit".

Pen Names and Bank Accounts

On another note, keep in mind all checks will come to the company/imprint name. You will need to set up a business bank account to deposit them. This is something you should do, whatever the legal entity you publish under, your own name or pen name, as your accountant will undoubtedly advise.The advantages of a self-pub imprint by Carole. P. Roman for
Speaking of pen names. This is another advantage of publishing under an imprint. In our case, we write under multiple pen names, (often one for each genre) so this allows us to manage the financials of our family publishing biz more efficiently.

What Are the Benefits of an Imprint?

Having your own imprint legitimizes you as the author and gives the impression they are good enough to be published by a publishing house.
The advantages of a self-pub imprint by Carole. P. Roman for
Chelshire Inc. brochure for Carole's books
Many people are wary of indies and won’t buy a book if they think it is self-published. Using an imprint not only looks more professional, but it also makes it possible for those smaller bookstores to purchase, opening up new markets.
It’s nice to have all our books under one imprint, as I send out flyers several times a year.  We print up thousands, making Chelshire the representative showing off its collection.

Is Having an Imprint Worth It?

Yes, I think so. Anything that enables your brand to get in front of as many eyes as possible is a good thing. 

The advantages of a self-pub imprint by Carole. P. Roman for BookWorks.comAward-winning author Carole P. Roman started writing as a dare from one of her sons. Her nonfiction series, "If You Were Me and Lived in..." combines her teaching past with her love of customs and culture around the world.  She has expanded her nonfiction culture series to include historical times periods. Roman just published her first adult fiction novella, Bulwark, as Brit Lunden.  If you’d like more information on Carole P. Roman, connect with her at:

Friday, December 14, 2018

Indie Author's Monthly Magazine's Miami Book Fair Featured Author: The Squeezor by Becky Benishek

Indie Author's Monthly Magazine's Miami Book Fair
Featured Author:
The Squeezor
by Becky Benishek

The Squeezor is Coming! is a children’s book written by Becky Benishek and illustrated by Matt Fiss.

What’s a Squeezor?

The Squeezor is a friendly monster who just wants to give hugs, but he looks so scary, other monsters run away from him! How can he get them to look past his appearance and be friends? Then he gets an idea: It isn't about what he wants, but what the other monsters need.

"With professional writing and exquisite illustrations, a universal truth and message come to life through the graces of a monster." - Starred review by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers’ Favorite

Monsters overflow in Becky Benishek's new children's book about the power of empathy and why it’s so important not to judge on appearances. Your whole family will enjoy the imagery and important lessons underneath it all.


About the Author

Becky Benishek has a B.A. degree in English, and is the author of several children’s books, including Hush, Mouse!, What’s At the End of Your Nose?, and Dr. Guinea Pig George. She loves to create stories that help children believe in themselves, and find the magic in ordinary things. Becky is married with guinea pigs.

Find & follow Becky Benishek:

Starred review from Readers' Favorite:
“Far too many kids feel as unlovable as the Squeezor, and this story is for them. Benishek’s droll and humorous story will please everyone in the room and maybe especially those adults who are still kids at heart. Matt Fiss’s brilliantly grotesque illustrations make this book one to linger over and read again and again and again. Literally. It’s that good.” – Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

Starred review from Readers' Favorite:
“This story is highly recommended for young readers, especially for those who find acceptance by others as a challenge.”–Bruce Arrington for Readers’ Favorite

Starred review from Readers’ Favorite:
“With professional writing and exquisite illustrations, a universal truth and message come to life through the graces of a monster. And if monsters can make friends with monsters, what's not left for which to hope?"-Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers' Favorite

5 Stars & Top 50 of the Month on Goodreads:
"Oh. My. Gosh. I'm SO in love with this one. . .from cover to cover. . .an absolutely perfect read!"-Miranda Reads, top Goodreads reviewer

“This wonderful story teaches two significant lessons: acceptance of others who are different and self-acceptance.”–Erica Graham, author of the Talking Talesseries

“This is not just another story book. It has a strong scholastic element to it . . . This story will turn the readers into givers and social enthusiasts.”– Ashish Kejriwal

“Kids will love the book’s splashy color, monsters aplenty, and gross-out humor. Parents will love the story’s durable lesson: be yourself.”– Terry Vittone

“A delightful book! Read it for the story, read it for the lessons, read it for pictures that have a subtle and humorous attention to detail. Just read it – you’ll smile and be better for it.” –Lesley Rynders

“The characters are so alive that I often find myself wondering what they're up to right now. Kids will love meeting Graywick (the Apothecaryterror)... Bitey (the scared [yes, scared!] vampire who wears BUNNY SLIPPERS)... Grumpypuss (who looks like a bundle)... and the full cast of marvelous monsters who inhabit Ghastly Gigapolis -- and ostracize the big-hearted Squeezor (who through his kindness eventually succeeds in making friends with everyone). This book is SO fun to read and every page is a delight for kids' imaginations.”-Lemon

Read an excerpt:

The Squeezor is Coming!
By Becky Benishek. Illustrations by Matt Fiss.
© 2018 Becky Benishek

The Squeezor is a monster who loves to give hugs. Great, big, wrap-his-arms-around-you-twice, squeezy hugs.

The trouble is, the Squeezor doesn’t look like he just wants to give you a hug. He looks like he wants to eat you up!

“The Squeezor is coming!” all the other monsters would shout when he came to the nearest town, Ghastly Gigapolis, for supplies.

From behind shop doors and curtains, from roof peaks and from alleyways, from third-floor house windows and through cellar-door slats, monsters furry or feathered, scaly or slimy, big or small, quivered as the Squeezor stumped along the sidewalk on his squat legs and big, squashy feet with three greasy toenails each.

They trembled at the sight of his giant, curved horns and frightfully fanged grin. Even the fur on his big blocky shape looked all wrong—a sickly, saggy mix of lime green, purplish brown, and mustard yellow.

And they were practically petrified at the chillingly sharp claws that glinted at the end of the Squeezor’s wrap-around-you-twice arms!

This made the Squeezor very sad.

“It’s not my fault I look this way,” he said to himself one day as he sat in his lonely house up in Vile Vale. “I don’t want to hurt anybody. How can I get everyone to trust me?”

The Squeezor stayed home all that day to think. He didn’t have to worry about being disturbed because nobody ever came to visit him.

He wandered into his library and leafed aimlessly through 7 Habits of Highly Disgruntled Monsters; then he read, How to Stop Worrying and Start Eating, and he finished up with, I’m Okay, You’re Decaying.

None of them helped, not even the one called, First Things First: 10 Tasks to Sink Your Teeth Through.

He went into his kitchen and half-heartedly stirred up a pot of his favorite, putrid green tomato soup and slowly munched a moldy grilled cheese sandwich.

He didn't really feel hungry, though, and wasn't even tempted by the box of Nose Nougats on the counter.

He switched on the television in the living room to look for an advice show. One of the channels was running a marathon of Game of Bones, and he'd watched two and a half episodes before he realized it.

The Squeezor didn't even like Game of Bones. He switched off the set.

"How can I change anything when I can't even figure out what to do with myself?" he grumbled as he wandered around his house.

Just then, he stopped short in the hallway, under a portrait of his Great-Grandmother Squeezums, who always seemed to be glaring lovingly at the Squeezor.

"Maybe that's it!" he said. "Maybe it's not myself that I have to figure out."

The Squeezor, excited now, heated up another bowl of putrid green tomato soup, ate half the box of Nose Nougats (the box itself was edible), and didn't go to bed until he had a plan.

Instagram Post
"With professional writing and exquisite illustrations, a universal truth and message come to life through the graces of a monster." - Starred review by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers’ Favorite

Monsters overflow with a great message and fun reading for kids AND adults in @beckybenishek's new book. Get THE SQUEEZOR IS COMING! at https:/

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Indie Author's Monthly Magazine's Miami Book Fair Featured Author: Bonjour! Let’s Learn French and Hola! Let’s Learn Spanish by Judy Martialay

Indie Author's Monthly Magazine's Miami Book Fair
Featured Author:
Bonjour! Let’s Learn French and Hola! Let’s Learn Spanish
by Judy Martialay

Buckle your seatbelts! Your child 6–10 is about to take off on a trip of adventure, discovery and learning with the Award-Winning Series: Bonjour! Let’s Learn French and Hola! Let’s Learn Spanish. Easy to use, whether or not you know Spanish or French. Your child’s guide is Pete the Pilot. Kids take a pretend flight to Mexico and France.
Free downloadable audio version at Download before using book.
About the Author
Hi, I’m Judy Martialay. I live in Sea Cliff, N.Y. with my husband. My daughters are grown up. I have a toddler granddaughter.
I have lots of interests; I am a guitar jammer, a painter, gardener, knitter, volunteer, and I love to cook (but have to watch my sugar). I studied Japanese but had to give that up when my Japanese friend with whom I exchanged lessons moved away.
I retired from teaching foreign /world languages, and now I devote time and energy to advocacy for foreign language study for the Public Advocacy Committee of the New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers (NYSAFLT).
Foreign language learning is an uphill battle in the English-speaking countries. I think, though, that more parents are becoming aware of the many benefits of being bilingual, and they want their kids to learn languages.
I wrote the books ¡HOLA! Let’s Learn Languages and Bonjour! Let’s Learn French because I want every child to have the opportunity to learn a world language at an early age. This is the best time to start learning a language. Children’s brains are wired for learning languages. They have a better chance for acquiring native pronunciation, and they have ample time to become truly proficient in the language.
I often hear the comment from teachers of young children:” Children absorb languages like sponges.” My granddaughter hears Spanish every day; she has an au pair girl who speaks to her in Spanish. She understands everything.
I want children and their parents to enjoy the experience of learning languages. It is an adventure into the soul of another world. If your child continues study of a language, he or she will have a skill that will provide life-long benefits.
Twitter: Judy Martialay@judyruth10
“Whether you are a parent hoping to broaden your child’s linguistic skills, or a teacher studying other cultures with your class — you will find Bonjour! Let’s Learn French (and it’s companion book, Hola! Let’s Learn Spanish) a painless way to begin your journey.” Amazon Review
“This is one of the most informative, well-written children’s tutorials I’ve ever had the pleasure to review. As a former teacher, I was impressed by how many additional teaching tools Judy Martialay included with the base story. Imagine being provided with a skit, a cute song, and a short art lesson on impressionistic painting — none of which you had to create for yourself to extend the story. Martialay has done teachers everywhere a big favor by including these value-added features.” Amazon Review
“Martialay has a passion for teaching children foreign languages and it comes across in the book. I loved it and plan on buying the French one next. An excellent resource for teachers, parents, educators and even grandparents. A must own!”
¡Hola! Let’s Learn Spanish
(picture of a bean field on a hot summer day in Mexico, audio provided)
Cri …Cri…Cri say the crickets. They are chirping under the hot sun that is shining down on the bean field. The beans los frijoles are growing in their rows of plants. Nothing is moving.
Look! –¡Miren! Something is moving. It’s jumping! In fact, it’s jumping towards us!
Hola, niñosMe llamo Panchito, the Mexican jumping bean. Look how high I can
jump. ¡Miren!
Panchito jumps around the field. He wants to talk to los frijoles.
¡Hola! ¿Qué tal?” says Panchito.
But los frijoles don’t answer. They don’t talk or play. They are not
jumping beans like Panchito. They just stay in one place and grow.
It’s lonely here on the bean field with no friends to play with.
Bonjour! Let’s Learn French
(Picture of a beach on a hot summer day in France. Audio provided)
“Arlette, bring more water!”
Arlette runs to the water’s edge, where the waves roll onto the shore, foamy and bubbly. The sea is a bright blue bleu under the summer sun. It’s a beautiful day at the beach à la plage. There is a boat un bateau in the distance.
Arlette scoops up water with her pail to mix with the sand. Pierre, Arlette and the other children are making a castle un château out of sand le sable. The children pat the sand and water together to form the walls of the castle le château. Marie and Jacques make towers. Pierre has some toy soldiers who will stand guard on the towers, protecting le château de sable

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Indie Author's Monthly Magazine's Miami Book Fair Featured Author: Catch that Chinchilla by Erica Graham

Indie Author's Monthly Magazine's Miami Book Fair
Featured Author:
Catch that Chinchilla
by Erica Graham

Talking Tales-whimsical stories that entertain and teach as each story centers around a core sound in the English language. The series includes Catch that Chinchilla, Puppy’s Bubble, Cricket’s Guitar, The Bright Red Tricycle, and Sam’s Sticky Sucker. What a fun way to help your child’s speech development. 

Description—Catch that Chinchilla
Fletch and Rachael cannot wait to play with their new pet chinchilla. After Fletch’s impatience overcomes him and he opens just a little, the chinchilla escapes! The chinchilla quickly leads Fletch and Rachael in a chase across town. Will Fletch and Rachael catch the chinchilla before their dad returns? This humorous story is a great way for any parent or therapist to target the “ch” sound. There are over 115 examples of “ch” in various word locations to help improve speech development. This book also includes tips for parents who are working with the child’s speech at home. 

About the Author

Erica Graham is an award-winning children's author. Graham graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with her Master of Science Degree in Speech Language Pathology. She also holds her Certificate of Clinical Competence with the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. As a mother, Graham understands the difficulty parents have finding time to work on speech with their children. In her pursuit to create a fun easy way for therapists, children, and their parents to enhance speech development while promoting literacy, she has written a series of exciting children's books. Each book focuses on a core sound used in the English language. Outside of writing and working as a Speech Language Pathologist, Graham enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and daughters, volunteering with the youth group at church, and a good cup of tea.

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Review excerpts

Picture books for young children serve several purposes. Most entertain. Some entertain while presenting a moral or lesson. Erica Graham’s “Talking Tales” teach sounds while entertaining with a delightful, humorous story and whimsical illustrations.” Amazon Review

"The atmosphere of the story is one of fun, and I found myself quite unexpectedly smiling throughout the entire story!" -Readers' Favorite

“The story itself is a fine little idea, a very fine lesson in phonetics and speech therapy that introduces a whole new level of importance to children’s books!” Amazon Review

“First, the teaching part of the story is about the letters "ch" and the sound. As the story is read, you see that duo heavily throughout the story, and it is placed perfectly. The story makes sense and is quite interesting for being a child reader. This story was adorable and entertaining.” Amazon Review