Katie Mullaly aims to help aspiring author write and publish their first book
Katie Mullaly, a local author, wants to help budding writers fulfill their New Year’s resolutions to write their first children’s book.
To do this, the author of the “Land Of” children’s book series has penned her first nonfiction book titled “Self-Publishing Your Children’s Book: A Practical Guide to the Planning, Printing, and Promotion of Your Children’s Book.”
The 56-page guide includes chapters about good story components, book layout, marketing and distribution – everything Mullaly learned while writing her “Land Of” book series that help kids and families learn life lessons such as decision making, developing self-esteem and inclusion.
“This isn’t a book about how to write a children’s book, even though there is a section that tells about the components of a book,” Mullaly said during an interview with The Park Record. “It really doesn’t tell you how to write it. It’s about how to publish one.”
The biggest challenge of writing the self-publishing guide was editing.
“I knew I wanted to keep the information concise,” Mullaly said. “I have purchased self-publishing books in the past, and I would get lost in the pages because they were so thick. So for my book, I had to prioritize what belonged in the book and what I could leave out because I wanted this book to be something someone could pick up and simply solve a problem.”
The guide has been in the planning stages for less than a year.
“I taught a class last February about how to self-publish a children’s book at the University of Utah,” Mullaly said. “I made an outline of everything I learned, what I stumbled over and what I succeeded at.”
Mullaly had compiled a list of websites and other information outlets that she discovered while publishing her own books.
“I thought that taking all of this information I had acquired through research, trials and errors would help other writers because when I first started out, I didn’t know where to start,” she said.
While the outline served as a basis for the three-hour class, Mullaly realized it also served as the foundation of a book.
“It was all a matter of sitting down and getting all of the ideas, experiences and resources together with a certain flow,” she said.
Mullaly said she had been organizing her notes and writing the book for the past few months.
“The process came in spurts,” she said. “I would sit down and write for a bit, and then I would get distracted with life and business. Then I would sit down and evaluate and rewrite. I would say the core writing of this took place in the past three months.”
In November, Mullaly taught another class.
“How I taught the class in February and how I taught it in November was a little different. I had to look back on what I had learned between then and changed things. I would update the slides because by that time I had all the materials together and ready to go.”
Mullaly wanted to give “Self-Publishing Your Children’s Book” a visual element, so she reached out to Toby Allen, the illustrator of her “Land Of” books.
“Not only did he design the cover and did some illustrations, he wrote a section of the book called ‘Working With Your Illustrator,’” Mullaly said. “I felt that it was important for him to do that because when I started writing my children’s books, I had no idea about how to work with an illustrator.”
Allen gave some good insights on the topic, she said.
“Artists, like other creative people, think differently than most,” Mullaly said. “So I had Toby write about what illustrators require or need from authors to help with the process.”
Mullaly enjoyed working on her new book because it was a shift from her children’s books she started writing in 2013. And she sites author and former Parkite Stacy Dymalski as a major influence.
“I attended a self-publishing class that she taught and it inspired me to start on this wonderful journey,” Mullaly said. “And I wanted to show people what worked for me in a simple, easy-to-read format because writing a children’s book is doable.”
And although it’s doable, writing a children’s book is a major undertaking, she said.
“It is hard and it takes a lot of money,” she said. “While this book this book could be a guide to fulfilling dreams, it also can be a warning. It all comes down to how much the writer wants to do it.”
Mullaly hopes her book helps people take that step to become a published author.
“I always meet people who tell me they want to write a children’s book, and I want this book to push them off the edge,” she said. “This is all that they need to know how to get started.”
Katie Mullaly’s “Self-Publishing Your Children’s Book: A Practical Guide to the Planning, Printing, and Promotion of Your Children’s Book” is available on Amazon. For information about Katie Mullaly’s “Land Of” children’s books, visit andofchildrensbooks.com.
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