Frustrations of Self-Publishing – New Book On the Way!

laptop-3087585_1280

I spent hours yesterday and will likely spend more time today trying to format my new book for publishing on Amazon. The new book is a combination of some of my more colorful, playful artworks and poetry bits for kids. I used the art itself to inspire the poetry. I think the book will turn out great once I finally get the kinks worked out with the formatting.

One thing I really wish Amazon would do is to make it easier to format books using Word, especially if you use quite a few images in the book. For some reason, Amazon can not recognize when you split up content on different pages in Word, at least not when images are mixed in. It is pretty frustrating sometimes.

Once I get the book done, can proof the hard copy, and get it up for sale, I’ll definitely be sharing it with you all. I hope you will like it!

New Children’s Ebook for Sale on Amazon: “No More Grumpies!”

51fUhxCB-eL

Yesterday I published a new illustrated children’s short story ebook on Amazon! It is called “No More Grumpies!“, and is a fun story about a little boy who just can’t shake the grumpies.

Here is the official book description:

Michael is having a very grumpy day. His mother keeps warning him that there will be “trouble” if the grumpies keep making an appearance, but what will happen if Michael can’t get rid of the grumpies? What kind of “trouble” is he heading into?

From multi-award-winning author and artist Maranda Russell, this illustrated short story is funny, cute, and sure to help get rid of the most stubborn grumpies!

The ebook is available for only $.99 per download (FREE for Kindle Unlimited members). If anyone would like a free copy of the ebook in exchange for an honest review on Amazon, let me know and I will hook you up!

Special thanks to my friend Brian Reinbolt for adding the illustrations to my story!

Goals for 2019 – Blog, Writing, Art

happy-year-3848864_960_720

I don’t set personal resolutions for New Years, but I do try to set some goals to try to reach the coming year, especially for my blog/social media, writing, and art. I did meet and even surpass some of the goals I set for 2018. For instance, I hoped to have 500 Instagram followers by the end of this year, and I’m already over 1,400!

When setting these goals, I try to be realistic but shoot a bit high. I figure even if I miss, at least I dreamed big and tried my best. I try to not beat myself up if I don’t meet a goal by the end of the year, I just set my sights on the next year.

So without further ado, here are my goals for 2019:

Social Media
Blog – 1,500 followers
Instagram – 5,000 followers (dream big!)

Books
Write/publish 2 new books/ebooks
Sell 300+ copies of my books

Art
Sell to 2 new countries (would love to add Ireland, Germany, Japan, China, or India!)
Countries I have already sold art to: USA, Canada, Australia, France, Switzerland, England, Wales, Norway, United Arab Emirates

Merry Christmas Eve! My Fave Gifts So Far!!!

Happy Christmas Eve everyone!!! We do our present opening today, so my husband and I went ahead and opened our gifts for each other. Here are a few pics of my favorite things!

First off, my Harry Potter Death Eater wand:

48415114_2263133620387651_6937538537243803648_n

My new illustrated version of “The Tales of Beedle the Bard” (featuring commentary by Albus Dumbledore!):

48422643_2263134220387591_8621636458576347136_n

My curseword-laden coloring book:

48412371_2263134483720898_2945810380611387392_n

A pagan-themed children’s book and plenty of stickers to craft with:

48930700_2263134307054249_1754976181775499264_n

49157262_2263134653720881_129056208102359040_n

48408874_2263134517054228_5868698649613041664_n

I also got a couple other books, some gel pens, a cool, four-sided Buddha figure, and this new black bear stocking I fell in love with:

48424815_2263133637054316_8850550720735215616_n

Tomorrow I am celebrating Christmas with my mother, so am sure I will get more gifts then! The holidays are so much fun!!! Hope you guys are having your own happy celebrations!

By the way, I am running a special Amazon giveaway for my new children’s Kindle ebook, “How to Find Fun Adults“! Feel free to enter! Three copies are up for grabs! Of course, you can always buy a copy for $.99 or download it for free if you have Kindle Unlimited!!!

New Art Markers, Reborn Doll Halloween Outfit, and Sleepy Hollow Action Figure!

Today is just going to be a fun post where I share some cool stuff I got recently! First off, we have these new art markers that I bought with the prize money I received from a recent art contest win. It has been so much fun experimenting with them so far:

41830076_1915241725181242_7292389040182001664_n

While I was at Walmart yesterday, I saw an adorable newborn-sized Halloween black cat sleeper and had to get it for my reborn doll Anya. I haven’t been as invested lately in my reborn dolls, but like all of my hobbies, my interest tends to come and go:

41680091_1914339048604843_4860794280509177856_n

And lastly, I finally got this Headless Horseman action figure from the 1999 Sleepy Hollow horror movie (starring two of my favorites, Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci)! I already had the Ichabod Crane figure, but this one is probably even cooler. It comes with two heads that snap on, the skull as you can see in the photo, and the Christopher Walken head next to the figure:

41702455_1915246151847466_1392410985565782016_n

New book release – “Searching for the Truth: Poems & Prose Inspired by Our Inner Worlds”

Searching for the Truth cover

I am happy to announce that my new book, “Searching for the Truth: Poems & Prose Inspired by Our Inner Worlds” is finally available! This is a book that I have been planning and working on for the last few years. I have always been interested in subjects such as spirituality, philosophy and psychology, so I feel a strong desire to share my thoughts and feelings about those matters. Most importantly though, I wanted to show that the real magic is in being allowed to contemplate these deeper subjects and be open to possibilities instead of focusing only on one aspect. This is not a “religious” book because it doesn’t adhere to any specific theology, but it is spiritual in nature.

“Searching for the Truth” embraces simplicity and honesty in an almost zen-like fashion. It is easy to understand, but often filled with layers of meaning for those who like to dig deeper.

If you would like to purchase a copy of this new book, it is available on Amazon ($6.99 for paperback and $2.99 for the Kindle version) and Barnes & Noble. I love to know what my readers think of my books, so if you read this collection, please consider leaving a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Goodreads.

Are printed books really endangered?

With the advent and increasing popularity of ebooks, many doomsday prophets are now proclaiming that printed books will quickly meet their demise. I have heard experts claim that within the next 50 years, traditional books are destined to go the way of vinyl records. They might be used for decoration or sought out by collectors, but other than that, books as we have always known them will be obsolete.

Is this true? I hate to think so. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not one of those purists who believe that ereaders are evil or anything, in fact I own a Kindle myself, but I still prefer the feel of a real book in my hands. Maybe I am old-fashioned or sentimental, but nothing will ever feel the same to me as flipping the pages of a new book.

I don’t really want to live in a world where the only place I can buy books is Amazon either. I like the convenience and wide diversity of internet bookstores, but I would much rather browse a brick and mortar store. I could literally spend hours in a cozy bookstore reading area. I prefer to sit down and try a book out before I buy it. Plus, in the bookstore I get to snoop around to see what other people are reading and get in some people watching, which happen to be two of my favorite pastimes.

As an author, I can also attest to the fact that there is nothing like holding your own book in your hands. I have had both ebooks and traditional books published, and the ebooks don’t elicit near the excitement from myself or others as the handheld ones do. This fact gives me hope for the future of traditional literature. What about you? Do you think that printed books are on their last leg? If so, will you consider it a great loss?