Saturday, April 20, 2013

Decisions, decisions

Yes, I'm behind again. Going to write all three of this week's posts today to catch up, sort of.

Anyway... One thing that being behind did was give me a chance to write about something that wasn't a consideration on Wednesday. So, here's my newest thing to think about:

My uncle has made a suggestion for me to not stop writing my novel, but kind of put it on the back burner for a bit and write children's books. Like for YOUNG kids, so even younger grade than my Fairyland series that I've got rattling around in my head. I have a brother-in-law that could act as kind of an editor, and my aunt is a teacher who would be willing to evaluate them to rate for grade level. And my uncle, two cousins, my dad, my brother-in-law and my sister are all artists who could work on illustrations for me. Then I could publish as ebooks (or even on Createspace or Lulu, too). It would give me an income, and he mentioned it getting my name out there for when I'm ready to publish my novel.

However, I have a few fears with this. First and foremost is the most basic of all, I don't know if I know how to write a children's book. It's not something I've ever thought of, before. I mean, there is my Fairyland series - but that is more of a middle grade thing. Writing books that... in all honesty my target audience is OWEN is a whole 'nother thing. On the other hand... my mom, when she was telling me about this idea, made a suggestion that my brain is kind of running with. The idea that I could write short little children's books with kind of morals, that teach a lesson. And I can't help thinking that I could do that, with environmental type things. That I could write little stories to teach kids respect for the planet and things like that. it is certainly a thought.

But, one other thing to think about is his idea that it would help get my name out there for when I'm ready to publish my novel. I don't know exactly how that would work. I mean... a children's book writer writing paranormal romance? The two genres are soooo separate, that I had planned on using different pen names for my Fairyland series than for the romance novels. I'm not really sure how that would work in terms of using one to build a following for the other. I would REALLY need to think about that. Before I can start a business writing children's books, I need to decide if I would publish those under Isabella Leigh, or something else.

So, what do you think? What would you do if you were me? I am now really confused... Please comment with your thoughts on this.

And that is my weekly ramble. I'll be back later today to post the character profile for Phoenix that I promised two weeks ago.


  1. Sorry if this is a little long.

    I wouldn't necessarily take your uncle's advice. He may mean well, but it wouldn't actually be very helpful. It can be very, very, very hard to write a children's book. It's not something I am talented in and I have one, but I'd never publish it. The market for children's books is very hard, especially if you self-publish. Even with your sisters as illustrators, it could be difficult to sell any books, maybe a few. Most literary agents are hesitant to take on someone who has self-published, especially if their sales were poor. (I don't know if that is your goal eventually to be traditionally published, but I'm assuming.)

    Also, if you aren't comfortable writing something, don't. Writing is about who you are and should be what you are good at writing. Not what someone tells you to write.

    It can also be difficult to be published with several different genres under the same name. Someone who writes erotic romance novels shouldn't use the same name for children's book. Maybe people will search for other books an author wrote if they like them. It's difficult if they write different genres. If the genres are close it helps, such as writing fantasy, urban fantasy and maybe sci-fiction or paranormal romance - those can close in nature and tastes for readers.

    Really, it's up to you. It's your writing career, not your parents or anyone else. Writers rarely live off what they make in sales. It's about loving writing and writing what they love. And it is about being patient.

    My experience: I'm working on finding a literary agent after 3 years blogging and writing 6 novels, thought 4 will not be published. It really does take time to become an established author and hopefully we will both reach that dream someday. If it were me, I wouldn't write a children's book just because. I'd wait for the agent who loves the novel I wrote and to be published traditionally. :)

    Again, sorry that was long! Feel free to email me if you have any more questions. My email is on my blog. :)

  2. I'm always behind, too, so I feel your pain. lol. I'd like to address a few of your concerns/questions...hopefully I'll be of some help.

    First of all, in my opinion, it's never too early to start building a platform and getting your name out there. Getting something published is a great way to do that. So is interacting on social media.

    However, I wouldn't rush into publishing something just to get your name out there. A "bad" book is worse than no book. If you rush to publish something, and it isn't received well by your readers, then that's going to hurt your reputation and credibility more than if it takes you another 6 months or a year to publish. Think of it this way: have you ever read a book by an author that you thought wasn't very good? Will you spend money to buy another of the his/her books? Probably not. And that is the exact attitude you DON'T want readers to have about you.

    Secondly, do you really want to write children's books? (I kind of get the feeling you don't really want to.) Or is it something you're considering simply because (1) you had family suggest it, (2) it'll give you a writing credential, (3) it'll get your name out there, and (4) it'll give you an income? I'd really stop and take a hard look at why you're considering this at all. Is it something you're passionate about? Something you can't imagine not doing? If the answers to either of those are no, then you might want to reconsider.

    In regards to pen names...I've published erotic romance under the name Kara Leigh Miller. And I have my first YA coming out in June--also written under the name Kara Leigh Miller. I know it's a gamble, but it's hard enough building one name, I couldn't imagine trying to build a second one for what might be the only YA I ever write. Why did I decide to stick with the same name? Because I know that my YA has massive cross-over appeal to an adult audience, and because I've already built a fan base for Kara.

    Will readers of children's books also read paranormal romance? Probably not. In this instance, it probably is best to have two different names. Just remember, that is now two names/genres you need to build and promote.

    And as for income, it's hard (at times almost impossible) to earn a decent living on royalties. Plus, if you're plan is to self-publish, you'll have to factor in the cost for printing, should you choose to go that route instead of just offering an ebook version. I'll tell you, I have 5 kids, youngest is 4, and they get physical books (even my 14 year old). None of them have eReaders.

    I'm not sure if I've been of any help, but maybe I've given something to think about. Probably not what you need right now though, huh? lol.

    Good luck with whatever you decide =)