Children’s Book Self-Publishing: Lessons As I Go

My illustrators (daughters, ages 13 and 14) have been busy with homework and violin concerts this week. But I hope they make a lot of progress this weekend:


Unfinished Illustration (by Ava)


By Ava Wipff


In the meantime, I am shopping for translators at our school. Fortunately, I have access to a couple Spanish teachers and one Mandarin teacher. I will be asking them today if they’d be interested in doing language translations.

This means I need to create a document with just the text. Currently, I have text and illustrations (or placeholders). Lesson learned: next time, create a text only documents first.

I’m pretty excited about this stage because it adds a lot of value to the book. Adding a language component can expose children to other languages and pique their interest if they’re not already learning Mandarin, Spanish, Korean or French.


Self-Publishing: Last Minute Changes

I’m still uploading illustrations and I’ve discovered I’m missing several – actually, many – illustrations. The girls (my daughters) are not going to be happy about creating more at this point.

Oh well.

I also learned that published books through only come in MATTE, not glossy. Traditionally, children’s books are glossy. You know what? I’m OK with that, I think it will be cool to have it matte – sounds old timey in a good way. My book is definitely NOT traditional, anyhow.

I’ve also decided to translate the English to several different languages: French, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish…this way, it will be educational in a foreign language/cultural/anti-bullying way.

With these changes, this is going to take a long time. My goal is to complete it by March 2017. That is when I first starting writing the book. Yes, that’s an awful long time to write and publish a dinky children’s book, but I work full-time and I have two daughters who are very busy with violin extracurriculars. I’m also wife to a very high-maintenance husband. Just kidding,  he’s pretty easy-going.

The DOG on the other hand…


I was doing yoga and Bryan Kest said something I’ve heard a hundred times (I practice to his DVDs) which finally made an impression on me:

“Go as far as you want to go, as long as there is stability.”

Stability = family + work balance

Stability = emotional, mental, spiritual

Stability = physical (strength and flexibility)

Working consistently in an even-keeled manner, not stressing and taking it out on your loved ones…this is yoga.






Self-Publishing: Formatting Your Pages

It’s a Saturday night. Hubby’s watching TV, girls are on their phones and I’m at my desk again.

Tonight, I’m starting the process that stopped me before: formatting my pages! I got overwhelmed in March. I’m determined to see this through! So here goes.


CreateSpace has a template you can use in Word! How easy is that? The first is the interior cover page and then a dedication:


…a blank page follows that and then the Table of Contents.

Note: I started this whole process with and I enrolled in the “Self Publish Your Children’s Book” course given by Tim Johnson. He has a very warm, enthusiastic manner and makes the process less intimidating. Check him out!  I got 62% of the way through. I will be completing that course in tandem with the website going forward.

I’m going to upload my content and update my blog tomorrow.

And to all….a good night!

Esther and Mia on a blanket
Illustrated by Josie Wipff  March 2016




Esther and Mia Owe Me

During this self-publishing quest, I logged into my CreateSpace account (the one I opened yesterday). They prompted me to provide my EIN (Employer Identification Number). Basically, if you’re going to make money publishing, then you need a Tax ID#. Mind you, I signed up for a wonderful course on Udemy last spring and got about 67% through it when I decided to take a break. It also recommended that I secure an EIN.

I applied for an EIN and I received it.

I then lost track of it.

And I just spent (no jokeTWO HOURS trying to track it down. I just found it.

I’m going to bed now.

So there you have it, that is my progress on the self-publication journey. Not stellar. Not satisfying. C’est la vie.

If you’re following along and pursuing self-publishing, go to this site:

Get yourself and EIN and call it a night.



Self-Publishing “Esther, Mia and the Stars”


I’m a newbie to self-publishing. I wrote about my children’s book a couple nights ago and I’m going to share my learning process with you in this blog. My hopes are two-fold:

  1. This will hold me accountable and make me DO IT; and
  2. You will follow along with me and get your book published too!

Coincidentally, (and doesn’t the universe provide when you with what you need when you express your desires out loud?), I was reading Choose Yourself by James Altucher and he has a chapter on self-publishing! He recommends using I know there are a kajillion other sites and ways to do this. I’m going to try this first. They have a step-by-step process built in for you and you can then sell through

Tonight, I signed up. Each night, I will do something to get closer to publishing and share it here. But for now, I have to make lesson plans for the week. I spent most of today cleaning and taking my daughters to the mall. One had Girls Day Out (she had a fantastic time with three friends) and the other needed to pick out a Homecoming dress. Done!

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset
My Beautiful Fresh(wo)man

I also made progress in re-typing a short story I wrote over 13 years ago (I lost the Word doc, but had a hard copy).

As long as I make consistent progress in these areas, I’m happy. As a wise woman once said:

You can have it all, just not at once.

Oprah Winfrey