I found Midge Newth by seeing her books that were appearing next to my kids books and saw that she not only had some very cute books, but also a good amount of reviews. It turns out that she recently jumped into the arena like many of us.So I wanted to find out how she got started and how she dealt with the challenges of being a new author.
Tell a bit about your background.
A wife, a mom of two grown boys, my husband and I own and operate a group home for adults with special needs, I am a personal trainer, life coach, and I want to help others be the best they can be.
What got you started in doing kids’ books?
It kind of evolved especially my book Grandma, What Are Teddy Bears Made Of? I wrote it years ago before self-publishing existed. It is about the bond I had with my grandmother and the bond I witnessed with my boys having the same loving relationship with my mom (their grandma). At first, I thought I would publish for fun and now I am going to be using some of profits of the books to help fund the nonprofit co-founded.
Have you done any other books?
I have published another book titled “The Adventures of Odonata the Dragonfly” It is about going after your dreams even when others tell you not to.
How do you come up with story ideas?
Just looking at life and seeing it like, I think, a child would understand it. I think that it comes into play with my background.
How long does it take to write a story from an idea? What is your process?
Depends, sometimes just a matter of minutes that an idea hits usually at quiet moments in dreams and then the story seems to just flow and it will take anywhere from a few hours to write to a whole day. Then other times it can take weeks and even months to write it. I have a book I am working on now about bullying and it seemed like a good idea when I started but finishing it seems to be taking forever… I have written about 4 books in this new series, I am going to publish soon…and still waiting on an ending to the bully book, which I am not sure will ever get completed.
How do you decide what should be illustrated in pictures for the book?
I let the story and the artist tell me. I write in a descriptive way and I give pages to the illustrator and see what they come up with; which is usually spot on with what I was thinking.
Do you do the art work, or how did you find your artist?
I do not do the artwork myself, though I think that it would be very cool to have that talent. I found my first illustrator on Elance his name is Spencer Epps or if you look for him on Elance he is known as spencerepps24 He is awesome. He is very busy and cannot do the job in the time frame I want so I had to look elsewhere a friend of mine suggested this new illustrator I have currently hired and I will see if it goes well.
Was there anything you needed to do to format a picture book? Any software you used?
I am not computer savvy in any shape or form. I just use word then when the illustrations come in I can size them to the paper above the words. I have not tried doing full page illustrations as of yet…maybe in the future.
Describe any problems you had in the whole process?
Create Space saying that they can format for kindle. They really haven’t been successful at it in my opinion. I learned to do the kindle first and then format it for Create Space.
You have quite a few reviews already. How have you been able to get so many so quickly? Anything you recommend in regards to getting reviews?
Join groups and promote your free book there. Everyone likes to be a critic…I just ask for downloads most times in the different groups, I will ask for honest reviews in the children’s book groups.
What about standing out among all the other picture books? Have you found any tips or secrets?
I am not a real marketer as of yet. I am always willing to try new ideas…just have not broken through to that level yet. I will; It just takes a while and my life is quite busy. So I need to make time to do the lead pages and give the free offers and get a reader following. I am still learning. I have just been at this since January of this year (2014)
Have you done any marketing for your books? If so, can you share any results?
No just free promotions. I really need to learn how to do this. I want to learn how to do book launches…just need to find out how to do them that will not break the bank. When I do free promotions downloads are high, I have had 833 downloads now to convert them into sales somehow. Any and ALL ideas are welcome. ;-)
What resources, tools, websites, and tips can you share/recommend? Elance to find illustrators, 6fkc, and Beau Blackwell’s Lets Make Kids Books Mastermind group.
Midge Newth grew up on Long Island, New York, and currently resides in Florida with her husband and is a mother to two grown sons. She is also an author of children's books, a weight loss coach, a personal trainer and a certified life coach and enjoys helping people. A portion of the profits of her books will go toward Creating Positive Change, a non-profit organization Midge founded to help low-income and homeless families get back on their feet again and pursue their dreams.