Free Download!! : A Week of Anticipation for Gator McBumpypants in Dee Dee Makes Three

cover of third book in Gator McBumpypants and Friends series

New cover first look!

Back Cover DDMT

Gator McBumpypants’ new adventure has been a year in the making, but it is finally almost here. For those of you who have not read the first two books in the Gator McBumpypants and Friends series, get over to amazon for specials this week. Starting Oct. 27th, the first book Gator McBumpypants Hears a Scary Noise is free to download until the jack-o-lanterns go out on Halloween night. And, starting Oct. 28th, the second book Gator McBumpypants in Herman Learns to Fly is only 99cents for a week.

What is so exciting about this new picture book that would make you want to read the first two books in anticipation?

  1. Maria designed and made Dee Dee the duck (completely one of a kind) with wire armature in her beak, feet and wings(that detach).
  2. Maria bounced ideas off of an awesome think tank of her niece and second cousins which led to extra fun.
  3. Artist Spencer Matthews helped with image planning and visual action as photography assistant.
  4. This time there are props!
  5. And swimming as well as flying!!

Dee Dee the duck is a character of many talents. Everyone around her became more daring (especially Maria).

I hope you take advantage of the Gator McBumpypants specials in anticipation of Gator McBumpypants in Dee Dee Makes Three.  I would love to hear from all of you who write children’s books, want to talk about Gator McBumpypants, have any encouraging words, or have questions.

Happy writing and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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Dee Dee The Duck and A Thousand Words A Day

Mt. Rainier and puffy clouds

The last month has been very busy in my writing life. I am happy to say that I reached my goal of sending out a draft of my novel to first readers on August 28th. I have already received some invaluable feedback and I am excited for more over the next couple of months.

In the meantime, I set another major goal which is to write and publish the next Gator McBumpypants book. For the third book in my picture book series I wanted to design and build a new friend for Gator and Herman and she is finally finished. Meet Dee Dee the duck.

Dee Dee the duck stands by the water

Dee Dee Wings Tucked

Dee Dee showing off her wings

Dee Dee Wings Out

This week I’ll start taking the photographs for the book, but I want to keep making progress on my other stories as well, so I joined Robert Evenhouse over at Part-Time Novel for his Novel Recommit. The goal is to write 1,000 words each day this week. I’ll admit I only reached 581 words yesterday, but I was inspired to get up early and write 863 more. Since I usually have trouble writing anything at all on the weekend, Robert’s challenge has already inspired me to write 1,444 more words than I would have written. However, the day is not done. Robert and I agreed to hold each other accountable by writing a blog post with our word count for each day. Hopefully, this is my report that I wrote 1,444 words for Saturday and tomorrow I’ll report at least 1,000 words for Sunday. This should be a fun and productive week.

Stay tuned.

My first vocal interview: Chris is a talented interviewer; I want to buy my own books.

ROACHOPERA

The cover of Christian Champagne’s poetry book.

YAT DICTIONARY ine YAT DICTIONARY2Chris Champagne, author of  Roach Opera and The Yat Dictionary who has been voted Best Comedian in New Orleans two years running, interviewed me about my books for his podcast. It’s a great interview. He made me want to read my books.

The first part of the podcast is a comedy quiz show, my interview starts at 24:37. I recommend following his podcast; it’s funny and I learned most of the truth about New Orleans politics through Chris’s comedy. He is a true New Orleanian.

My first interview as a children’s book author!

I planned on re-posting the fun interview Andy Mulberry did with me, but that’s not working, so I’ll link to it instead.

Here are the first few lines from Andy’s post:

Welcome Maria L. Berg, Children’s Book Author | Guest Post

It’s Sunday! Which means, it’s time for a fun Q&A with a children’s book author! I’d like to welcome Maria L. Berg to my blog! She’s a fellow Goodreads author and recently released a photography picture book, called… 434 more words

Thank you, Andy, for taking the time to support your fellow authors. What a treat!

New Book! Gator McBumpypants in Herman Learns to Fly!!

Front Cover Herman Learns to Fly

Front Cover of new book Gator McBumpypants in Herman Learns to Fly

Back Cover Herman Learns to Fly

Back Cover of new book Gator McBumpypants in Herman Learns to Fly

Now that the second book is finished and available in both paperback and kindle, I will be back to my regular blogging schedule, finishing up my free guide to self publishing children’s books and exploring guest posts (activities that went to the back burner to simmer while I finished my book).

So, today being Monday Marketing, I am happy to report that my marketing efforts with Gator McBumpypants, specifically with facebook and a targeted email list, resulted in first day sales. Because knowing what works is the only way to wade through all the money traps for self promoters, I am glad I found some freebies that actually work. Be careful with both facebook and email lists to make sure you target to trusted friends and family, then groups specifically interested in your genre — your target audience, then (hopefully) fans, and people who truly want to work with you.

I noticed early in my marketing, my responses came from other marketers who weren’t marketing anything to help me and would have loved to have my money for no reason whatsoever. This almost turned me away from blogging and self publishing, but then I started finding good blogs with my interests. I also focused  my reason for marketing which is selling my Gator McBumpypants books to support my writing and photography obsessions.

I hope my readers will find what they need here on this blog and my other sites as I continue to focus my time on publishing all of my projects. Next steps: An agent for my middle grade fiction book and revising my adult fiction novel while writing the novel all of this has been practice for: Within the Lahar.

Exploring: Kindle Free Downloads – Lots of free books, why not?

Mt. Rainier reflected in Lake TappsSince I’ve been pushing my free kindle download all week, I decided to go explore the free kindle download offerings. I was pleasantly surprised.I now have an eclectic library on my Kindle Cloud Reader. I found children’s picture books. I found books on social media marketing. I found cookbooks. I found an exercise motivation book (which I needed). I found books on speed reading (so I can read all these books really quickly) and of course Gator McBumpypants Hears a Scary Noise. Last day, folks. Don’t miss your chance to download it for free!

So with all these fabulous free kindle offerings out there, why aren’t people’s libraries exploding? I have to admit, the kindle cloud reader and library weren’t exactly straight forward to use at first.

When you download a kindle book, it opens in kindle cloud reader while you’re at amazon.com, but when you go back to amazon.com, your kindle cloud reader isn’t on the menu. It is at https://read.amazon.com/. Also, when you search free kindle ebooks in the amazon.com search box, you don’t get the nice selection of kindle ebooks. I finally found them here.

Have fun exploring all the fabulous free books!

Revision: Adding Videos to Your Blog

You can see why I put this under the revision topic, I’m revising my post of Gator McBumpypants’ first movie. Why didn’t I think of this yesterday? So, how did I do it? It was much easier than I thought.

When I clicked on Add Media above my draft’s text box, like I usually do to add pictures, I looked around and in the column on the left I clicked on Insert from URL. In a new tab, I went to the Youtube page for Gator’s video and copied the URL. When I pasted it into the box, TADA!, the video is now playable on my blog. So fun.

Now that Gator McBumpypants and his friend Herman have a youtube page, they wanted to find some fun videos to share. First they subscribed to other children’s books about alligators. Hear are a couple fun book videos:

I tried to change the video sizes so they were about half as big in this post, but assigning height and width in the html didn’t work (I turned off mobile in theme settings as per instructions) Any one know how to change the video size?

This morning I had an idea for other content to add to Gator and Herman’s YouTube page: Alligator crafts! First I thought of origami, but to Herman’s happy surprise, the Pterodactyl origami video was WAY cooler.

The best video for alligator crafts (Gator forgives the artist for saying he drew a crocodile) so far was this one:

One thing I have yet to figure out is how to get the videos I’m following to come up in the right hand column of my video. Does anyone have any advice? I’ve made a favorite videos playlist, I’ve picked out kids book channels to follow, but none of these things are showing up when I play my video. If you’d like to see Gator McBumpypants and friends favorite videos playlist, it is a tab on their YouTube channel here. I’ll keep working on this and update when I figure it out.

While I was searching for fun Pterodactyl kids books, I happened upon this great video and learned something I think I don’t want to know– Pterodactyls Aren’t Dinosaurs!

Of course, I had to immediately do some research and if you wanna listen to Science then hears a link

However, if you wanna keep believin’ hears some info here

I’m not facing facts yet, and I’m not ready to share this with Gator and Herman, so sadly the great video did not get in their favorites, yet.

Another thought on revision– Learn from my mistake. Make sure to pay attention to current events before launching your marketing campaign. Planning my big push the same week as the Ferguson decision, could have been avoided if I was paying attention to current events. I had no idea this could be a factor, but it is what people are talking about and paying attention to (as they should). The story of a cute bumpy stuffed alligator is a bit out of place in that discussion, except for the theme of not being afraid of people different from you. Perhaps that could be part of the discussion with children. That said, when planning a marketing campaign, give yourself enough time to see what else is  happening during your time frame that could eclipse your efforts (again, as it should in my case).

Anyone have other video suggestions for Gator and Herman to add to their YouTube Favorites?

Marketing: A little outside the box.

Gator and Herman's first movie on youtube.com

Gator McBumpypants and Herman’s First Movie is on Gator McBumpypants’ Youtube.com channel.

Since my writing life is completely consumed with promoting Gator McBumpypants Hears a Scary Noise this week, I’m jumping off schedule and continuing to talk about promoting your book. I announced my kindle free days everywhere I could think of yesterday, so how do I keep the internet’s attention today?

I stepped away from writing today and explored a couple other art forms. I took some pictures that didn’t get used in the books (book 2 coming soon!) and made a little youtube movie. One of the fun things that you can do with google+ is create a youtube channel. I made one for myself and a separate one called Gator McBumpypants and Friends.

Making the movie in Windows Live Movie Maker was pretty straight forward once I figured out that I could speed up the picture rate by using fractions in the duration box. The hardest part was picking some music since the program didn’t include music editing and just started the music choice from the beginning. Luckily, I have a large library of music I wrote, so I don’t have to infringe on anyone’s copyright.

This first film is just a quick, fun promo. I plan to do more with pages from the book and perhaps reading the first few pages. I’ve seen some really nice book promo videos online. I think video is a great way to get people excited about your book. Check out Michelle R. Eastman’s promo video for The Legend of Dust Bunnies, a Fairy’s Tale. Andy Mulberry did a really nice interview with Michelle R. Eastman on her blog andymulberry.com/blog

I also went over to RedBubble,com and made some Gator McBumpypants merchandise.

Gator McBumpypants baseball shirt from RedBubble.com

What about a fun T-shirt?

Gator McBumpypants tote bag from RedBubble.com

or a lovely tote bag?

A Gator McBumpypants coffee mug from RedBubble.com.

or enjoy your hot beverages with Gator McBumpypants and his friend Herman the baby pterodactyl.

RedBubble is a great site where I’ve set up a portfolio of my photography. They will put my photos on a variety of merchandise including t-shirts, sweatshirts, stickers, cards, pillow covers and the adorable items shown here. All would make great gifts! It is also, yet another social media site with a nice journal entry space where I’ve been letting people know about my kindle free days.

So, to sum up, book promotion doesn’t have to be hitting people over the head with your book and free kindle days announcements, it can be fun promotional art projects that then give you an excuse to go post about them on all your social media sites.

Anyone else found promotional ideas that are a bit outside the box?

Gator McBumpypants Hears a Scary Noise

Picture Book Cover 00 Back Cover Yellow

I am excited to announce that my children’s picture book Gator McBumpypants Hears a Scary Noise is now available on my create space estore. It is also available at amazon and can be purchased for Kindle.

Gator McBumpypants Hears a Scary Noise is a full color picture book  about a friendly stuffed alligator who investigates a noise that is interrupting his happy day. Unlike most picture books these days, Gator McBumpypants Hears a Scary Noise is illustrated with photographs. My favorite response I’ve had to the book so far was from a little girl who asked, “Are there really alligators in the lake?”

For those of you who are interested in self publishing a children’s book, now that I have a nice product I am proud of, I will write up a detailed account of the steps I went through and make it available to you as soon as I’m finished.

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