Tag Archives: publishing

How I Write a Children’s Book – Part 9

We are quickly coming to the end of our story. I’m sure by now most of you know how it will end, but we’re here for the long run. Slappy now realizes he’s the one “person” who can save the baby pigeon.

In our final pages Slappy will come to the realization that he doesn’t need to fly, he’s unique as is. He will realize that being a plain-old-penguin is pretty special.


Page 25 : He dove into the water, flapping his flippers as fast as he could.
(Slappy diving into the water. On the water’s edge a woman says “Look at that penguin go!”, while a nearby man says “Wow!”. A child says “Mommy! Look!” )

Page 26 : Slappy just knew he could save the pigeon. He swam faster and faster.
(Slappy zipping through the water with a look of determination. )

Page 27 :Being underwater, he could see the pigeon above him nearby. The pigeon was fluttering his little wings trying to swim.
(View from Slappy’s perspective seeing the pigeon above him with ripples in the water as he splashes about.)

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Totem Tales has a new web site

After a long delay, Totem Tales Publishing has its new web site. We’re still tweaking it a bit, but I think you’ll like what you see.

The new site is designed to promote existing books and products and to announce new projects in development. What’s in development you ask? Well we have our book Steven the Vegan, a web comic about a Polar Bear named Hugh, and a web comic strip called Don’t Worry Be Crabby, featuring Crabby McCraberson from Eartha’s story.

But that’s not all, as you know The Tale of Eartha the Sea Turtle is available as an iPhone App. It will soon be available as a full page iPad app, and as an ebook. We also have a new App being approved by Apple right now called “Animal Totems”. This app provides reference cards on different animals and their meanings. Ever encounter a butterfly several times in one day? Well it may have a message for you. The project was heavily researched and the app provides clear bullet points as to what your encounters may yield.

We’ll let you know as soon as the App is approved by the iTunes store.

Check out our new site at

Your copy of my book may be a collectors item.

Comic Book Guy - The SimpsonsHave you purchased a copy of my book “The Tale of Eartha the Sea Turtle”? You may have a collectors item.

Here’s why.

Distribution houses, like Barnes and Noble and Ingram, require the price to be printed on the book, as well as being encoded in the ISBN barcode. In order to do this, I need to modify the cover of the book. That means the print run of the original sixty copies were printed without the price on the book. This makes them unique since all future print runs will be printed with the price.

So, if you have a copy already, then you have a collectors item. Now it may not be worth much more than what you paid right now, but, when the TV show, children’s toy line, and the movie (starring Miley Cyrus as Eartha) is released I’m sure you could sell it to the “Comic Book Guy’ on the Simpsons for a pretty penny.

7 Days

7NumberSevenInCircleSeven days ago I made the decision to move my book to,’s print on demand service. Today I received notice from them that I will be receiving my printed proof in 10-15 days. It took seven days to do with what it took several months with Not to mention that the per copy price from was over 2 times the price from told me it will take thirty days to cancel with them. Why does it take thirty days to cancel a book that was never printed?

Progress on my next book is going well. The character development is just about done, and progress on the main pages is beginning. I have also been working on setting up the web site for the new book as well.

I’ve been doing some research into different children’s novels for the next project on the list. Character development, and story plot has begun on _a__a_y Wy___ and the _a_e _a__da. (Sorry for being cryptic, but too bad.) The main character was developed by my friend Ron years ago, and I am glad I can help turn his vision into a book.

I’ve registered the ten ISBN numbers with my new publishing company. Oh that’s right. I never told you the name of it.

Publishing in a new direction

As some of you already know, I’ve been having problems with Author House. So this week I sent them an email telling them that I am no longer publishing my book through them. I have asked them to refund my payment for services, and I have decided to take the entire publishing process in a new direction.

Upon the advice of several people I have been communicating with on, I have decided to start a publishing company, and publish my own books. By utilizing print-on-demand services like, I can publish and print my book on my own.

I purchased a block of ten (10) ISBN (International Standard Book Number) numbers, and I am currently working on reformatting the book for the new standard. This paves the way for me to create ten books, and publish them under my new publishing company. I actually may get the book printed quicker this way, than if I continued with Author House.

Although it sounds like a set back, it actually will work out for the best in the long run. My next challenge is marketing.

I’ll reveal the name of the publishing company soon.

Publishing is pissing me off.

I received an email with a link to my “completed” book, only to find a page totally messed up. There is also a problem with the cover. That’s not why I am pissed. Those items can be fixed. I am pissed because of their pricing. Every time I’d ask them what the cost of the book would be, they would tell me they cannot calculate it until the pages are processed, and setup.

I received an email with a link to where I can set my price. the only problem is that the base price is way too high for my liking. Keep in mind that I paid for the service to assist me with self publishing, and I know that they would deduct the cost of printing of the book once one is sold. The difference between the price I set, and their cost of printing is what the profit would be.

The problem is, their cost of printing is way to high. Now I see why they didn’t want to tell the the cost of the book. I would have pulled the plug then.

I am looking at, which is’s Print on Demand service to see if it is feasible.

Until this is resolved, one way or another, I will not mention the name of the publishing company.

I am hoping that they will do the right thing, but I am not counting on it.

P.S. sucks.

Tom Petty was right!

Waiting is the hardest part.

Currently I am waiting for illustrations (No pressure Ron!) and I am waiting for Authorhouse to finish modifying the cover for Eartha the Sea Turtle.

I sent Authorhouse all the PDF pages of my book, and a PDF of the cover on the 25th of September. I was told that they would begin my book on the 30th. I emailed Authorhouse yesterday and asked them what is taking so long. They replied…

“We will still put the PDF’s together and then add the ISBN assignment and bar code, along with the AuthorHouse logo information. We are completing covers in the order that they come in, which is the reason for the 10-15 day timeline.”

isbn-13_9781438945927_88768Um, what? That’s like 15 minutes of work. I went online, found a web site that generates ISBN-13 barcodes and created my own. (Yes this IS the correct ISBN number for my book)

So what’s left… adding their logo, and inserting a page that says copyright…blah blah blah. Let’s face it, they should be able to do a cover an hour a LEAST. So if it takes 10-15 days for the cover to be done, they obviously don’t have enough people to get the job done.

(Gripe session over. Please return to whatever you were doing.)

Progress on Eartha’s book moves forward and a new book is in the works.

Well after several failed attempts to get to approved the formatting of my book, it was finally approved. On September 30th it went into “Galley Design” phase. (No idea what it means … I think they may this shit up). It’s now passed Galley Design phase and is now in Galley Quality Assurance. This means that someone is checking all 32 pages. Oh my, that could take weeks. According to them it can take 10 to 15 days. (It’s a children’s book people. I can write a new book in that period of time … and I did!)

On the more productive side, I did design and order the postcards featuring Eartha that will be sold with the special signed edition. Each postcard has a different photograph of the real sea turtle named Eartha, along with a one word message. The messages are Protect, Endangered, Conservation, and Respect. On the back of each is an explanation of each of the words.

On the new side of things, I wrote a new book entitled, “Steven the Vegan”. This book is a bit special too since it is a topic that is close to home, and I get to work with a childhood friend of mine, Ron Robrahn. Ron is an amazing illustrator and cartoonist. I know he is excited about our joint venture as much as I am.