“Your Book — Your Passion” A Message From Children’s Author Pamela C. Rice

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“Your Book — Your Passion”

Last week we met children’s author and illustrator Pamela C. Rice.  This week Rice took a moment to send a thought for authors new and old about visuals.  Your book is more than just romantic pairings of letters on a blank page; it’s a picture. Your cover is the first impression of everything hiding inside your novel’s jacket.  Below are her words on what to think about when creating a cover:


Being a designer has been my life’s work, (my father and my brother, also) I have found, that more people are VISUAL than not. People are attracted to what appeals to them, no matter WHAT it is.

Although it has been said, “never judge the book by the cover”, the case remains…people are attracted via visual appeal.

A few questions authors should ask themselves: 1) What will make my book stand out before a person knows what the book is about—the title — yes; and 2) the visual—most of the time.

If your book is sitting on a shelf with dozens of other books, does it stand out? Can your title and the author’s name be read from 10 feet away? Are they displayed on the shelves at child-level? Who are you trying to target? Children? What ages? Parents? Are your graphics or illustrations bold and not competing with the heading? Do the colors relate to the market you are trying to reach?

There are some publishers, who in their offering will design your cover. Many will just give you template art and not true R+D, real design.

Too may authors try to do everything themselves. Consider calling on a student of design or illustration at a local college. They’d be ecstatic to produce a cover for a children’s book. Ask to see some of their work. Have them give you a few layout options. Both of you will have something to gain. The student — a piece for their portfolio and you, the author — a book cover that is much more professional.

                            If creating your book is your passion, take it all the way.


To learn more visit Pamela C. Rice’s site KidsShelf

ACNBooks was really happy to see these words from Pamela C. Rice.  Take a step back and look at your book; can you read the title and the authors name from 10 feet away.  Are your graphics not competing with the heading? Is your book getting lost visually with the others on the same shelf? Is it the appropriate color scheme  for the genre and audience you wish to reach?  In future articles we will hit some of these topics with other graphic designers and cover artists including our own amazing everything artist Angela.

If you are an author, reader, or person in the industry and would like to contribute a feature piece to ACNBooks please submit your topic idea to: mkf.acnbooks@gmail.com

The South East Asia Influence: A Conversation With Indie Author Robert A Webster

Ben and Marie sit down to discuss reviews left for last week’s featured indie beginning, Fossils by Robert A. Webster. If you missed the introduction, head back to episode 29 where you can listen to an audiobook format introduction as performed by Benjamin Franke.

Fossils: Viagra, Snuff and Rock ‘n’ Roll follows a group of unlikely geriatric rockers as they travel around South East Asia trying to flee adoring fans, the media, and the music industry in general. No one likes those guys! Being from South East Asia himself, Ben and Marie thought it would be great to learn about how this experience influenced this hilarious indie author.

This week’s topic questions:

1. How much influence has living in Cambodia had on your writing? What has had had the most influence?

2. Are there any drawbacks to being an author in south east Asia? What are the major difference between there and Cleethorpes?

3. Is there anything that is just more difficult to accomplish? For example, we recently introduced authors to a book written by Alieu Bundu from Sierra Leone and he had to travel to, and wait for, internet cafes to open just to send audio files.

4. I have read that your stories have been well received in Asia?

     4A.      Have you had to translate your stories?

     4B.      Do you think that Asia (south east Asia in particular) is under marketed in the writing field?

5. If you could go back and tell your early writing self one thing about being an author what would that be?

Fossils is available on amazon. Learn more about Robert A. Webster on his sites stormwriter or buddhasauthor. Remember to subscribe, rate, and review this podcast as it helps us bring you the best possible show. Let us know your thoughts! Follow Indie Beginning on Facebook, twitter, and Instagram and leave a comment on any of our posts. Better yet leave a comment below (I’m pointing down, but you’ll just have to take my word!) we will always reply. This episode was brought to you by shirtsbysarah.com. Head there now to find a shirt that tells your story. Indie Beginning is an ACNBooks production. Please remember to read more books, be the best possible you, and to simply enjoy this wonderful life. Thanks for listening! Oh yeah, don’t drink too much you git! (listen to the show, you’ll understand)

This week on the Indie Beginning Podcast!

“I Grew Grandma’s Tomatoes” and so much more…a moment with children’s writer and illustrator, Pamela C. Rice.

Indie Beginning Podcast gets a slew of submissions that we go through, giving authors our complete anPeyPIC3ad undivided attention.  Sometimes, no matter how much we adore a book IB has to turn it down for whatever reason.  Pam Rice came across the IB desk, and as much as they adored her children’s book submission of  I Grew Grandma’s Tomatoes the podcast felt they couldn’t do the story justice when visually it is stunning! How can you see that over an audio-book format podcast? Immediately ACNBooks snatched up the opportunity to feature Ms Rice and her work as an author and illustrator.

This week we will get to know a little bit about Pam Rice and her passion for not only writing children’s books, but illustrating them!  Next week the author of I Grew Grandma’s Tomatoes will take over ACNBooks with a piece on being your own illustrator.

Creating children’s books is what Pamela C. Rice enjoys and since August 2015 she has released 12 books including When the Brown Bird Flies, The Painting Speaks, Aaron’s Dreams, and Rufus Finds A Prize. Each book is warmly illustrated by Rice and offers written artistic expression of her childhood experiences and inspirations that children will find fun, imaginative and educational.

Rice grew up surrounded by creative art and design, and believes that she is a person born to write and illustrate for children. Both Pam’s father and brother were in the field of design. Her father was a commercial artist, and her brother was in textile and artisan design. With over 30 years of independent and corporate experience in advertising, graphic design, and visual communications, Rice has earned high recognition and top accolades with over 30 design awards. She has made guest appearances as a lecturer at the Illinois Academy of Design and Merchandising and at Northeastern Illinois University. She has also taught at the University of Illinois-Chicago, in the Principal Scholar’s Program.

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Pam has illustrated for various authors such as Anna K. Morris, Emma Young, and Kay McCrimon, to name a few. For many years Pam has developed her unique illustrative style, and is excited to create content that both parents and children can enjoy. She is currently working with a Peruvian friend and translator to bring more diversity and inclusion to her library of books.

What was the inspiration for I Grew Grandma’s Tomatoes?

The inspiration for the book was an idea of planting and how a few seeds could yield  a plentiful harvest.

I read that you write and illustrate your books; which is your favorite part?

Because my life’s work has been art, graphics, advertising design and visual communications, I’d have to say illustrating…that’s the easy part and my favorite. 

And for you which comes first?  The drawings or the story?

When I’m coming up with the story, my mind automatically jumps to the visual. I believe that the visuals drives the story —for me.

What are you working on now?

I have a book called “Lizzy’s Purse”, that I’ve completed. I will probably release it towards the fall, because it’s season appropriate.

What drew you to children’s books?

For years I had illustrated books for various authors. I realized that my style of illustration had developed and that people would recognize immediately books I illustrated. I also would send my niece stories of events and incidents I had when I was a child, and realized that individually they would make good material for book content. I will never run out of material to write about.

What does a typical work day look like for you?

Since I am still freelance and a graphic designer, I’m working on various projects from websites to exhibits.

What does your writing space look like?

In front of my laptop, wherever I am.

Out of all the books you’ve written do you have a favorite?

Because so many of my books are stories of life experiences as a child, most are my favorite. “Whistle Watch At Uncle Willie’s House”, “I Can Smell The Rain”, “Daisy’s Bright Idea:, “Aaron’s Dream”…On the inside back cover of most of these books I include a small paragraph that explains the reason for the story.

Is there anything about the writing life that you think is misunderstood by the public?

I have to write stories that are meaningful…stories children can relate to ‘from a child’s perspective’. Some children’s books can be too simple and trifling. My stories can be read and enjoyed by adults because I weave in ‘life lessons.”

What were some of the unexpected challenges you faced on your writing journey?

Because ideas come to me in pieces, I have to thread those pieces together, so the books eventually flows together. If that doesn’t happen, I usually ‘can’ the book OR just put it to the side.

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Do you have anything today that is your author “kryptonite”? Examples: Coming up with new ideas, Book readings, book signings, marketing, public speaking, touring, etc. etc. How do you handle them?

I haven’t done any book readings. Marketing, yes. A few Podcasts, no touring. I’ve been asked to get involve with some book fairs, but I am not one to set up, sit around, and personally sell books. At some point I will. My ‘library’ has grown and selling and promoting a variety of books appeals to me more than just hitting the circuit with just one book.  I’ve done the whole ‘exhibit ‘ thing with my paintings. I have had several one-woman shows with my art, and was in four galleries (Wisconsin, Chicago, Michigan)

For right now, my books have been on the ‘organic’ sell. Website, Social Media, local Whole Foods. I guess I, income way , still see it as a hobby.

I am in the process now of writing a book on African American ’adventurists’. I’ve selected some very interesting people who I know and their stories needed to be told. This is something I had been pondering for a while…a few people you may or may not of heard of. I’m hoping to complete by November.

What advice would you give to someone just beginning their career as a writer?

One needs a source to draw from, that’s important or you’re always going to run into writer’s block.

For more on Pam’s work in illustration check in next week! To get yourself a copy of one of her beautiful life lessons you can click the link here:

Pamela C. Rice’s Children’s Books

Learn how people have reacted to Pamela C. Rice’s stories on Goodreads

Curious about Pamela C. Rice? Learn more on her webpage!


Are you a writer, reader, or person in the publishing industry? Would you like to talk books with our followers? Email mkf.acnbooks@gmail.com with your topic idea!

Fossils by Robert A. Webster as Read by Benjamin Franke an Audiobook Introduction

It is our goal to bring story lovers and indie authors together through reviews, dialog and unique topic discussions. Sad news in the indie beginning family, Marie’s grandfather Don has passed away and I wanted to take a moment for us to send our thoughts and prayers to Marie and the rest of our family. I’d also like to send my thoughts out to the universe. Living in different states, we weren’t able to visit as much as we’d have liked. It’s hard breaking through that Minnesota ‘Game of Thrones’ style wall of ice, but when we did Don was always so happy and full of stories, which I can only assume is where Marie fell in love with books. Don will be missed, and I am saddened to say goodbye to a wonderful man I wish I knew more. It is only fitting and somehow universally frightening that we had already scheduled the story Fossils by Robert A. Webster. This story follows a group of geriatric rockers as they meet, form a band and become a sensation! They become so adored that they must flee many countries in order to escape their crazed fans as well as the media and record companies. I will admit here that I adored this beginning and hope you do as well. Don, I hope you’re up there with a fish on the line and a beer in your hand, have a story ready for everyone when we catch up. This indie beginning is for you!

This week on the Indie Beginning Podcast!

Small Publishing Starter Houses and When to Move it on Up: A Disscussion With Author John Abraham-Watne

Last week we introduced you to Last Man On Campus by indie author John Abraham-Watne about a young man named Michael Sinclair who heads off to college only to discover a mystery that may change his entire life. We left off just after Michael has listened to an introduction speech by the headmaster and have already been teased a little about the college’s past in a conversation with Michael’s father. Head back to episode 27 to hear the introduction.

Author Questions:

1.-What made you decide to go with a small press such as North Star over being more traditionally published?

2.-What made you decide to go with a small press over the more popular Create Space, Author House, or KDP for your novel?


3.-How did the process go to use your publishing company?  Was it the standard “here is my work, publish it” or was a  negotiation (back and forth) of sorts?

4.-Are you going to stick with indie for your next piece or will you be querying agents for a more traditional approach-why or why not?

5.-If you could tell you past self anything about this journey what would it be?  What advice would you offer to a writer just beginning their journey?

Leave your thoughts about this podcast on our ACNBooks website and follow us on you’re the social media platform of your choice. Become part of the ACNBooks and Indie Beginning family by starting and joining in on conversations and helping indie authors learn in grow their craft. Last Man On Campus is available on Amazon and through North Star Press. Indie Beginning is an ACNBooks production and was edited by Ben Franke. This episode was brought to you by Shirts By Sarah head over and grab that ‘T’ that speaks your truth! All reviews were taken from Amazon or Goodreads. Leave a rating and review on your favorite podcast platform. As it is with authors, reviews are one of the best ways to support the podcasts you enjoy. We here at Indie Beginning ask everyone to read more books, be the best possible you, and to simply enjoy this wonderful life. Thanks for listening!


This week on the Indie Beginning Podcast!

Let me tell you about…

coming-soonComing later this month; ACNBooks will be giving followers the stage!  We have lined up authors, people from the industry, and BOOK READERS to take over the site with their own articles. They have put so much time and effort into writing stories to help you learn and understand the world of books.  We have everything from being a children’s book writer and illustrator to what it is like to adore books when you have ADHD.


If you are an author, or someone who enjoys reading and would like to participate in a takeover please email: mkf.acnbooks@gmail.com with your idea!