Kas Winters

Is there a book in your head

Is there a book in your head?
by Kas Winters, Mother of Family Ideas™

Kas Winters

Mother of Family Ideas

Have you ever thought you should write a book? Would your child or children like to see their words in print? It’s an incredible experience to hold your ideas in book form, and it raises self-esteem at least a couple of notches. The really good news is that it is possible. You usually see my writing in this column, discussing ideas for children’s and family activities, but I have also written a total of 16 books, many on that family topic. My most recent effort, Get that Book out of your Head and into Print, includes innovative methods that can help you or your children accomplish a publishing dream.

It’s rare that I tell people what I do without at least one person saying that they always wanted to write a story or know someone who has an idea for one. Many people think they can find a publisher to produce and market a title for them, distribute their full color hardbound volumes to bookstores and royalty checks will show up in their mailbox. That is not impossible. I’ve seen it happen. It is also not very likely. The great news is that there are many other ways to write, publish, distribute, and promote your stories and ideas. You can become a successful author even if you don’t make the Best Seller List. There is an absolute explosion in the publishing industry that has opened possibilities for you, and even your children, to get books out of your heads and into print.

In addition to my own work, I have illustrated 15 books for other authors, and have been instrumental in getting a total of 56 titles from writers’ heads to paper. More than 70 authors are represented on my Web site and each one of them began with an idea. Many have multiple books listed with my company. The experiences of these authors, as well as my own (that include a lifetime of work in the printing industry), are included in my latest manual. Whether you want to share a family journal including photos and stories with your loved ones, write and produce a children’s story with color illustrations, compile how-to directions featuring your creative concepts, or position yourself as a guru in your industry with a professional work, it CAN be done.

Technical changes in production and the advent of e-books make innovation publishing possible. One author on my site designs puppets. Her volumes include black and white copies with patterns and directions. Binding is done in a plastic-slide report cover. This allows patterns to be removed and duplicated for groups of children. These simple books retail for $10 each and she sells them regularly online and at workshops. http://www.winmarkcom.com/brittain.htm Other authors use local copy shops to create children’s stories in color and order a few at a time or even individual books to fill orders. It isn’t necessary to purchase 1,000 books. There are ways to produce your work without a huge upfront investment. Recently, two 12-year-old boys who wrote and illustrated a story about Samurai, got to see their 92 page paperback featured on local television news shows and in the newspaper. http://www.winmarkcom.com/samurai.htm In after school classes, I provide students with printed examples of their work that come straight from my computer. You would be as delighted as I am to see the expressions on their faces and the difference in their self-confidence when they hold these items in their hands.

Do you have a dream for a book of your own? Believe in it. Explore the possibilities. My new how-to title is available to help. http://www.winmarkcom.com/publishyourbook.htm. It has a plethora of ideas for getting words into print, details on each step, and cautions to help you avoid unpleasant experiences with companies whose market is authors and not the readers who might purchase books. (There are countless online and other publishers who mislead writers, overcharge and under-produce. Learn how choose by getting the right information upfront.)

If you miss my family fun ideas this month, my family guide, Mother Lode has over 5,000 activities for children.  http://www.winmarkcom.com/motherlode.htm There are also free Valentine ideas at: http://www.winmarkcom.com/valentinecelebrations.htm and http://www.winmarkcom.com/valentineactivities.htm. For other February family activities, go to:  http://www.winmarkcom.com/februaryholidays.htm.