Sunday, November 29, 2009

Rhode Island Lighthouses and Narragansett Bay History

Our home in Arizona is filled with reminders of the ocean. The walls are covered with pictures of boats, framed charts of Narragansett Bay and a few fabulous lighthouses. Most guests who spend some time with us are treated to a history lesson from Emerson about "The Ocean State" as he walks them through the pictures, telling stories about his home state. Most recently, he tracks the sea gull's journey from Bristol, RI to Block Island, describing the various points along the way through Narragansett Bay.

A visit to our house is much like his presentations to children, taking them on the trip with the bagel loving seagull. Little did we know that he has been practicing his storytelling for over two years before the book was released. The message of sharing is certainly foremost for importance in the story. All parents we know would love for their own children to be as kind, generous and polite as this seagull. The geography and history Emerson shares during his presentation is a side benefit for those children fortunate to hear him read the book here in AZ. 
As you flip through the pages of "The Bay Gull," you may notice that several different lighthouses are part of the seagull's journey. Emerson incorporated six of Rhode Island's twenty one standing lighthouses which together protect ships from the 384 miles of shoreline in Narragansett Bay. His illustrations were created from photographs, drawn with accurate detail and incorporated into the book as resting places for the sea gull.
If you are interested in learning more, there are many lighthouse resources on-line. One of the best sites to check out Hog Island, Prudence Island, Castle Hill, Beavertail, North Light and Southeast Light is Lighthouse Friends. Thanks to their hard work, you can look up U.S. lighthouses by state, then click on each lighthouse individually to receive well organized, accurate, detailed information along with interesting stories about each one.
In addition to all the information, the site offers lighthouse merchandise. Perhaps we'll even have "The Bay Gull" available through their site one of these days!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Great Resources for Self Publishing

After publishing "The Bay Gull," my husband & I thought we had ALL this great advice for anyone else who was thinking about publishing a book. Although we successfully navigated through the unchartered waters for ourselves, we have since found some amazing resources that we wish we had seen 6 months ago!

By far, the very best tool that I found is a complete list of steps to take in order to publish your book. Small Publishers Association of North America offers a "Self Publishers FAQ" page with detailed information about every step involved in going from your creative work to a published book. We had all these steps scribbled on a sheet of paper thanks to a couple of self-published friends who helped guide us. I'm so glad that this organized list is available for you!

Another site with great tools available is Strategic Book Marketing. Our marketing strategy was in place before we even had the printer chosen. Many of the services they offer are areas that you will need to be thinking about as you plan how you will attack getting your book out to the public. Their blog also has great tips and is worth reading as you build your knowledge of the industry.

Best Children's Book is a site created by writer Steve Barancik. Check out the tab "Ready to Publish" for some real words about getting your book published but beware as this could be discouraging. However, look at it as an opportunity to know your obstacles. They will be there so why not be prepared?

I still need to go through this list of 50+ Sites for Book Lovers. There is a host of information available for you if you are willing to sift through and check out the different sites that can help you through the book business including review sites, communities, publishing resources & book searches.

These four resources could take quite a few hours to go through and I'm sure there are so many other great resources available. What would we do without the internet access to all this information?

It would be super to hear any comments about these links so let us know what you think and we'll look forward to hearing from you!