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“Loved it, loved it. This is a great way for children to not only dream, but to not be scared to go to sleep and dream. Children have wonderful, fascinating imaginations and may not dream of sugar crystals, the moon made of cheese or animal crackers performing acrobatic tricks, but regardless of the type of dreams that they encounter, they too will enjoy meeting the Sandman.”

-Reviewed by Vernita Naylor for Readers’ Favorite

To read the entire review, please click the Readers’ Favorite icon.

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3a18126r Schreyer the Wonder 1901

The circus wasn’t something that happened over night. Actually, the earliest form of the circus wasn’t really a circus at all, at least not how we know it today.

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Before television and movies, people got their entertainment from theater, plays, and live shows. Sometime around 1770, a horseback trick-rider named Philip Astley wanted other types of performers to join him and his horseback trick-riding show, hoping it would bring a novelty to it.  What he found were super-humans; people with extraordinary gifts and amazing talents. Together they formed the beginning of a modern day circus show. But to keep people coming, they needed to make the show even more spectacular.

3a18135r3a25008r The daring ride of Mrs. Eunice (Winkless) Padfield, July 4th 1905

Tricks on horses got more daring. Acrobatics were bending in ways nobody had seen before. Trapeze artists were soaring above crowds.  Exotic animals, such as lions and leopards, were brought in from across the globe. Unlike today, people didn’t have televisions, phones, smart devices, or computers, so the only place they could see such exotic animals would be in a book or newspaper. Now, with today’s technology, children have the ability to search for animals online, or observe them up close and personal. In our modern time,  there is a growing concern for the care and treatment of wild animals in circus shows. Although care has greatly improved for these animals, some performing groups have completely banned animals from their acts, relying solely on their amazing acrobatic skills and phenomenal performances.

3b13942r3b18662r Miss Lillian Boyer, aerial acrobat 19223b18663r Miss Lillian Boyer, aerial acrobat 19223b21169r

The Wondrous Wandering Acrobats Show is a piece of circus history right at your fingertips. If you enjoy reading it and want to see my other products, please visit my website. To stay updated about new products or books, please join me on social media and watch out for The Wondrous Wandering Acrobats Returns.

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Thanks for reading!
Anders Roseberg

I just want to let those following The Wondrous Wandering Acrobats Show picture book know that the book is now re-designed and much more pleasing to the eye.  Before some pages seemed chaotic as they were too large for a child’s eyes at reading distance. We went from 8.5×11 to a beautiful 11×8.5. It will cost a bit more to print, but in the end, it will be worth it.

You can pre-order the book at a discounted price, or wait.  Here are some mock-up images.

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Helen Ward/Wayne Anderson

The Dragon Machine has to be one of the best picture books ever.  Wayne Anderson delivers on some of the most amazing illustrations I have seen. You can’t go wrong with dragons! Like most of Wayne Anderson’s works, the illustrations have a soft grainy quality about them and aren’t overpowered with contrast.  The story itself seems simple, but there are plenty of questions one might ask behind the meaning of it all, if there is one.  This is a book I would think Hollywood studios would love a crack at and I hope one day to see a motion picture version.

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Local Author receives national recognition from the 11th Annual National Indie Excellence® Awards!

Los Angeles: — The 11th Annual National Indie Excellence® Awards recognized (Title of Book by Author’s Name) in the category of (Category) as a (winner/finalist) in this year’s competition.

This prestigious National award is open to all English language books in print from small, medium, university, self and independent publishers.

The National Indie Excellence® Awards exists to help establish independent publishing as a strong and proud facet of the publishing industry. Recognizing authors that put their heart and soul into their work, the NIEA is a champion of self-publishers and the small, independent presses that go the extra mile to produce books of excellence in every aspect. Established in 2007, the NIEA competition is judged by experts from all aspects of the book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers and professional copywriters.

Winners and finalists are determined based on ‘overall excellence of presentation- a synergy of form and content.  Priscilla and the Sandman is a Children’s Picture Book Age 4-8. Priscilla, a child is doing everything to stay up. That is until mom tells her about the Sandman. The Sandman visits her and takes her on a journey of delicious rhyming and eye candy. It’s visually stunning and a fun read for children.

 “We are proud to announce the winners & finalists whose books truly embody the excellence that this award was created to celebrate, and we salute you all for your fine work.” –Ellen Reid, Founder NIEA

For more information please visit: www.indieexcellence.com

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CONGRATULATIONS!
It is our great pleasure to inform you that you are a Finalist in the 11th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards. Your book truly embodies the excellence that this award was created to celebrate, and we salute you and your fine work.

The lists of winners and finalists are proudly displayed on our brand new website, please log on to www.indieexcellence.com to see your name and book cover highlighted for all to see.

The entire team at the National Indie Excellence Awards sincerely hope your participation in our contest will serve you well in the your ongoing success. You have our deepest congratulations.
Warmly,
Everyone at the National Indie Excellence Awards

Before publishing, a self-published author will probably do a lot of research in finding not only the best distributor, but the best, cheapest, and the one with a customer service that actually cares.

Aside from Lulu, and others, most of my research brought top dogs, Createspace and IngramSpark to the forefront, especially when it comes to picture books.  There are plenty of blogs that showcase the differences of prices, perks, and fees comparing the bunch, so I don’t plan to dive into that.  Instead, I’d rather talk about the printing quality of books you’ll get from them and a traditionally printed book.

CREATESPACE

First, I always planned on traditionally printing, but since I had an ebook available on Kindle, I didn’t want to miss out on an audience that purchases through Amazon. Setting up the title was pretty easy.  I decided to go with a perfect bound 8.5 X 8.5 picture book. Createspace doesn’t offer saddle stitch at the moment. The issue with perfect bound POD (print on demand) books is they just stack a bunch of paper on top of each other, and glue the spine.20170517_164014-1-1

In time, with bending and creasing, those papers may fall out.  That being said, for this type of POD glued bind, it seems the glue is plentiful and the pages will probably stay put for a while. It seems each page is not only glued on the edge but glued about 1mm on the side, which could be overspill, though.

The cover is not as thick as your standard consumer perfect bound paperback books you find at the big stores.20170517_171206

Like the consumer books, it has scorched line on the spine where you are to bend and crease for long-lasting, but as I said, not being as thick as standard consumer perfect bound picture books, it’s hard to fold it perfectly on that line. In fact, you have to look pretty closely to even know it’s there.

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The paper quality is nothing fancy.  I’ve seen better quality paper in our home printer! Also, I noticed that my 32-page book now has 2 blank white pages in the back. It’s normal because they want to stamp the last page.  Regardless, it’s pretty tacky.

The printing ink quality itself looks like something I could print off from our printer as well. It’s nothing to rave about. The ink itself gives a sheen in the light. However, everything with no ink is dull white. The machines probably map out the ink and spray a coat of something only on the images to conserve costs.  That or the ink itself has the gloss in it. Looking closely, you can see the spray dots.  Look at it below, then check out Ingram’s.

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  • Outside binding quality- 2
  • Inside spine binding – 6
  • Ink – 3
  • Paper quality – 3

Score:  3.5

INGRAMSPARK

After setting up the paperback, and printing traditionally, I sought book clubs or those that offer monthly subscriber boxes to add my book.  What I found is most prefer award-winning books or books they can find right from Ingram’s website at the regular retail discount of 55%.  Why not, I thought! Let’s learn something new!

As of now, I had a traditionally printed hardback, and an 8.5 X 8.5 Createspace paperback.  After some thought, I decided to go with a hardback of the exact same size as the paperback. After all, it would be offered on Amazon as well. The two versions would be an easy comparison.  I uploaded the files but had to edit the cover with a larger spine, and it had to be able to wrap around the cover.  I’m not sure why, but at the time, you can not add any text to the spine! Lame! The upload process went smoothly but had a quick hiccup on the format of the pdf for the cover. With a little research, I found it was as easy as changing something from a drop down menu in Photoshop.

Upon receiving the book, my first thought was the hardback binding looked great. It’s thick, hard, and sturdy. The printing ink on the cover seems sharper than that of Creatspace.

The colors are different, too.  I wanted a special recognizable spine since I couldn’t add text to it (Did I say, “Lame”?), so I designed a candy cane looking spine to go along with the theme of the book. It was something easily noticed on a proper bookshelf.

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It is also POD perfect bound in the same way as the Createspace version. They just lay a bunch of pages down and glue them on one edge. I will say that it doesn’t seem to have as much glue towards the spine as the Createspace paperback, or that overspill I mentioned.  Perhaps pages may fall out of this version quicker with some wear and tear of a child.20170517_164243-1

The paper quality seems slightly thicker.  I must not have selected gloss, as the images all came in matte, something I’ll have to change.  Because of that reason, I can’t quite compare the ink quality with that of Createspace. Again, there is a color difference.  It has sharper images, but also seems a bit creamier. Just look at the close-up of the eye compared to the Createspace version. Is it from the ink, paper or both? Not sure.

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A quick note: A huge problem with IngramSpark is figuring your cost.  As I mentioned those buying at the Ingram website want that 55% discount!  Authors have to bump up the book price just to get a profit. I had to keep the price the same as my beautifully printed traditional version. I couldn’t offer that 55% and make a profit! So I had to change it to 40% and I am making a whopping 20 cents from each book! Isn’t that awesome!

As I mentioned, I wasn’t planning on getting the IngramSpark version, but I’m glad I got to learn something. Unfortunately, it’s not getting the traction and that could be possibly due to not meeting the 55% discount as retailers want.  Right now, I plan on doing a saddle-stitch paperback version of my newest book.  I am able to keep the retail price of the book low enough, offer that 55% discount and still making a whopping 30 cents! Fabulous!

  • Outside binding quality- 8
  • Inside spine binding – 4
  • Ink – 7
  • Paper quality – 6

Score: 6.25

The Traditionally Printed

With all these free to “nearly free” options, why print traditionally at all? Although I’m far from perfect, I do strive to get as close to it as I can. especially when it comes to my books!  It all came down to the fact that I didn’t want anything holding back a large bookstore chain from carrying my book, especially when it’s something that could be controlled like page quality, printing quality, or the ridiculous ISBN argument. I wanted a product that when a consumer held it in their hands, they’d feel as if it was published by a large publisher, not a tiny self-published author.

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The binding is beautiful and has the title and author printed right on the spine. The company offers a laminate on things like the title, etc.  So, I opted for that.  A few things on the back also have the glossy laminate.20170517_164623

It also is perfect bound but, this time, properly. Instead of stacking papers, they fold 2 sets of 4 pages and staple or stitch each set. Both sets get glued together and to another paper (colored as opposed to Ingram’s white) which gets glued to the inside of the hardback.

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The book is larger than the others, as intended. The font of the words is a tad smaller than the other two versions, but the pictures are larger.

The paper is thick and has a great feel between the fingertips.  Because of the meaty pages, when folded, some of the pages weren’t folded directly in the center, causing a sliver of an image or two to flow onto another page elsewhere. I’ve seen it in even big publisher’s books.

The glossy finish is not just on the image itself, but on the entire page, unlike the Createspace version. The sheen is not too glossy, but a kind of in-between, like a glossy matte. It’s beautiful.

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  • Outside binding quality- 9
  • Inside spine binding – 10
  • Ink – 10
  • Paper quality – 10

Score: 9.75

THE FINAL VERDICT

So, of course, it’s a no-brainer.  The best version, hands-down, is the traditionally printed version. For a self-publisher, it’s tough to just toss out that much money, hoping you’ll recoup your costs.  20170517_164535

Think about how many friends and family members you have, not on your facebook, but in your intimate bubble. How many of those in that bubble would spread the word as well? Could you sell at least 200-400 books? If the answer is no, then you’d probably be better off going with POD versions, and in that case,  go with a saddle stitch or hardback on IngramSpark. They’ll distribute to Amazon, and you’ll make a penny.  However, if you could sell that many, you’d probably recover your printing cost. Anything after that is per profit. If I sold 200 books on Ingram, I’d make 40 bucks. If I sold 200 of my traditionally printed books, I’d profit an estimated 1,000-1,400 dollars. With that in mind, it may take a few hundred book sales to recoup your printing costs and illustrator fees. You have to be willing to do some legwork for sure.  For those interested in traditionally printing, let me know if you have any questions or need any help.  I may be able to help you out with my printer.

Check out the video below to see more!