With the dawn of 2017, it is time to take charge and follow your dreams. My dream has been to inspire children with my stories. It is not as easy as one might think. The hardest part is getting your book into the hands of children! Marketing is a tricky business, especially for indie authors whose work load is already filled to capacity. It is one of the reasons I turned to Story Monsters Ink.
If you haven’t heard of Story Monsters Ink, it is a literary magazine and it hosts a bevy of features. Whether you are a parent, teacher, or author, you’re sure to find an article tailored just for you. Their cover stories have encompassed James Patterson, Dolly Parton, Jamie Lee Curtis, Shaq, and more! Additionally, there are book reviews and a section entitled, “Kids Can Publish.” Yes, they accept children’s submissions! I love this aspect. What a wonderful way to inspire children to create!
I strongly encourage you to subscribe to their free digital magazine! March’s issue has an excellent feature article entitled, Can Reading Aloud Reduce Anxiety? There is also an article celebrating 25 years of Mary Pope Osborne and the Magic Tree House series. Of course, you can always pay for a subscription to the print edition of the magazine. I have both!
For schools that need a little help when it comes to promoting literacy, apply for their BookBank Grant! The deadline has already passed for 2017, but get an early start for next year and bring either copies of the Story Monster Ink magazine or books into your classroom!
They also have a Story Monster Approved program. It’s mission is to:
“recognize and honor accomplished authors in the field of children’s literature, as well as children’s products that inspire, inform, teach, or entertain. A Story Monsters seal of approval on your book or product cover tells parents, grandparents, educators, and caregivers they are giving children the very best.”
[Source: Story Monsters Ink]
In order to become Story Monster Approved, a book has to go through two rounds of judging. The first round is conducted by industry experts, and the second round is completed by a panel of youth judges who also have to give their seal of approval.
What interested me most about this program are the two separate rounds of judging. Adults and children do not always agree on reading material. In fact, their opinions can differ dramatically. What an adult believes is appropriate, a child may think is boring. What a child feels is funny, an adult may not appreciate. It can sometimes be a fine line trying to keep both sides happy. Even more challenging is trying to incorporate a message without a child feeling like they are being lectured. Receiving Story Monster approval tells an author they have accomplished the goal of creating a well-balanced book that both adults and children can agree upon.
We’re excited to announce that Dani and the Haunted House has received this distinction and is listed in Story Monster Ink’s March 2017 edition! Personally, I couldn’t be happier that the cover for this month’s edition is Sonia Manzano who was the voice of Maria on Sesame Street. An instant smile comes to my face as I think back to a certain honey-brown haired toddler, with an Elmo tucked under each arm, sitting on her little couch reading. Who knew that one day she would become her own little storybook character!
In addition, we’ve also had Dani and the Haunted House Lexile Measured so that you can more accurately pair it to your child’s reading level. To assist my author friends and colleagues, you can learn more about Lexile Measure in my January 5th blog post. It also explains how parents and teachers can utilize this information to help match reading material with their child.
I am excited to announce that my first book, Dani and the Haunted House, has gone through a lot since its initial release. I couldn’t have done it without all the help from the Dani P. Mystery team! We’ve released a second edition, it has been an Amazon Best Seller in Children’s Mysteries, is an Inkspokes Select award winner, a 5-Star Readers Favorite, and most recently, Story Monster Approved!
This has been my dream, but what about yours? What are you doing to pursue your life-long passion? If there is something you’ve always wanted to achieve, go after it! Make your dreams into reality. I wish you every success in 2017. More importantly, I wish you health and happiness!