Me - A BiblioKid Author
This is the homepage for BilioKid Publishing. Here’s the link: https://bibliokidpublishing.com
I’m not on the homepage but you can find me. Click on the button – OUR AUTHORS & ILLUSTRATORS or the link below. I’m at the bottom. That’s because I’m the new kid on the Biblio Block!
Meet Brooke Van Sickle, the author of four books. Teacher to aspiring writers, like me, who dream about getting our stories out to kids. If you want to join me on this trip, click on . . .
This year Brooke founded BiblioKid Publishing. The publisher’s name – Brooke Gansemer. That’s her new married name.
Brooke is incredibly talented . . . she’s also the Regional Webmaster for the Iowa-SCBWI region. It shows. Just look at the BiblioKid website! I checked into it when I started writing this post. BOW – WOW – WOW!
Click on this button – SHOP OUR BOOKS, or this link:
This is what you’ll see. Brooke’s newest book, THIS IS MY CASTLE. You can preorder it from the BiblioKid website.
You can also find my Lake book, with a new title – ZOE’S SCAVENGER HUNT FUN. Click on READ MORE, and you can! I was surprised to find something here. I didn’t write it, but I love the ideas Brooke used. I see them added into my words, and it’s thrilling!
Here’s what she posted – I love it! Thanks, Brooke!
How I Became a BiblioKid Author
I never expected to take this voyage. It started with last summer’s book about Zoe, Maddie, and Nick, and how they found lake fun. It also had room for the reader to record their own lake experiences. I had nine great reviews, but the book never took off.
Covid made everything harder, but Lake Fun never found a market at the marinas. That’s where I thought it’d sell.
I might have a better market. Someone bought a book for his sister. She has a house that she rents at Norris. He thought it would make a great gift for her renters. Someone else told me they had the same idea.
I can only publish in paperback with KDP. Ingram won’t print anything in the journal style I used. I thought a hardback book might be a better fit for the rental market, so I decided to ask Brooke.
Brooke interviewed me in 2019 when NEIL ARMSTRONG’S WIND TUNNEL DREAM came out. This year I went on her podcast for the Indie Publishing Summit. I talked about LAKE FUN. Then I attended the rest of the conference. I learned a lot!
Like Brooke publishes with a local printer in Iowa. My first question – could she print LAKE FUN in hardback? Her answer – yes.
The next – was she interested in working with me and my manuscript? Her answer – YES! We met on Zoom to talk about how the process would work, and the timeline. Brooke had her presentation ready. I watched and listened. My questions came later.
I’ve never been in this situation before, and I wanted to understand my rights and responsibilities. Brooke wanted to do the new book as a second edition. I would have the copyright, and Brooke the ISBN numbers.
I checked every detail I could think of. It took me a week or two to decide, but I did. Brooke became my publisher and my editor. I knew changes were coming, but I was surprised when Brooke divided it into chapters.
I’m lucky . . . I have control over the changes. The first day I couldn’t imagine LAKE FUN with chapters, but the next morning I saw the potential. Now two months later, I’m happy I did.
The biggest change – Brooke asked for more detail, with the setting, with how the characters felt, and so on. I couldn’t do that on the 1st edition. Every time I added a sentence, I cut another one.
If I didn’t, the illustrations slid off the page. I think this 2nd edition is richer because of those new details. Now my part is done, and I can’t wait to see what BiblioKid and its art director will do with my illustrations.
Final Edits, Illustrations and Marketing
My work for Zoe and her scavenger hunt is almost done. I edited the new chapters, and Brooke loved them! Yay!
I just finished the questions for the scavenger hunt. I’m waiting to hear back from Brooke. She has a good eye for things that could be edited.
Tomorrow I’ll send her my new acknowledgements and dedication for the 2nd edition. I want to listen to them on narrator a few more times before emailing them to Brooke. I’m a perfectionist!
I just started looking for comp titles for Zoe and her scavenger hunt. When I wrote Lake Fun back in 2019, I didn’t find any that were similar to what I wanted to write. I thought that was a good thing – I had a novel idea. I was surprised when Brooke wanted them for this project.
Comp titles are similar books. They help publishers figure out if your manuscript fits them. They need to make money if they invest in you, and Brooke needs comp titles to market Zoe’s scavenger hunt fun, and I think I found some titles for her to use.
I used a comp title when I reviewed Mr. Lemoncello for you. It reminded me of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. A comp title helps you link an old favorite to something new. It makes it easier to try a new book.
Comp titles are also used in marketing. That’s the part of publishing I know the least about, and I’m hoping Brooke will be my teacher. It’s one of the big reasons I signed with BiblioKids.
Can you guess what else Brooke started working on? If you guessed illustrations, you’re right. She has an art director who’ll look at what Rick and I did on the 1st edition. Then he’ll improve on it.
I’m thrilled! I did my best, but I’m not an art major. BTW – I draw stick people so my art skills are pretty limited, but, I have a good eye. I can tell what goes together. If you’re good at picking out your clothes, you have a good eye too!
I learned a lot being the art director for NEIL ARMSTRONG and LAKE FUN, but I’ll never be a professional. I’m glad to have one around to make ZOE’S SCAVENGER HUNT FUN a great 2nd edition.
Plus, I get to approve their work. Usually authors don’t have a say on the illustrations, AT ALL. I’m excited to peek into their work!
P.S. I’ll keep you in the loop with Zoe and her chapter book. That’s the part of marketing I do understand.
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When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!