Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Teachers Pay Teachers/State Stories restarting

To all my followers,

I apologize for not posting regularly over the past few years.  I hope I still have folks who are interested in the state mystery series as I'm about to get the series going again. 

I've opened my Teachers Pay Teachers store just to put my state stories up in digital versions including the accompanying study guides.  You can find my store here, so please take a few minutes to explore and/or follow.   There are three states available right now with the first one in the series about to undergo a revamping so it matches the rest of the books story wise with new illustrations and cover coming in early fall (late August or early September).  State of Wilderness has been published by a publisher (the first story I had published by a publisher) and since coming out of contract with the publisher has now been republished by me.  It needs some editing to match the other stories available and then I can work on getting State of Quarries and State of Reservations republished since they never were done after coming out of contract.  State of Successes, State of Heights, and State of Nature need a bit of modification (copyright page has changed slightly) but for the most part are completed and up in my TpT store. 

Once these three stories are republished, then I finally will be able to move on to getting more in the series published.  Hopefully we will have between 6 and 10 new stories come out each year until the series is completed.  Books 7 through 10 are in various stages of completion so it's just a matter of getting the illustrations completed and formatting, et cetera on each of those. 

Please pass the word to all homeschooling parents and teachers alike.  The Teachers Pay Teachers site isn't for teachers only.  Homeschoolers are welcome to purchase various curricula supplements. 

Also, just reminding I'm running a gofundme campaign to pay off my first illustrator so I can get going with the new illustrator to get this series back on track.  If interested in helping out, please drop by here and contribute whatever you can to this campaign.  Minus the fees that the campaign takes, everything will go to pay off the illustrator.  Thank you all for helping me and thank you for believing in my series to stay with me.  I promise as this year unfolds there will be more postings here due to lots of announcements and updates.

See you all in the postings - Ma America (aka, Mrs. E, Elysabeth Eldering)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Elysabeth's Writing Emporium: Two Fundraising Campaigns

Elysabeth's Writing Emporium: Two Fundraising Campaigns: Hey All, I started two gofundme fundraising campaigns Sunday morning.  One is more in need of being funded immediately; the second one has...

Friday, January 8, 2016

Exciting News

I know it's been a long time since I've posted on this blog but I have some exciting news about the JGDS series. 

As most of you know I've put the series on hold for a while.  I've not published any new stories in the series and this has been due to mostly a financial reason.  I signed contracts with an illustrator previously for way too much (not affordable to me in the long run) and still owe her some money and I hope to get her paid off this year.  I've missed this series tremendously. 

I've always felt this series needed to be out there.  So exciting news is I've found an illustrator who isn't going to charge me nearly what my prior illustrator was and she is excited about working on the series with me.  Of course, this will be between her own projects and doing work on fiverr.com.  State of Wilderness was the first book in the series and is different than the others so it needs a redo/edit/short rewrite - whatever you want to call it.  So in August of this year, we will start working on State of Wilderness and see how things look time wise for republication.  I'm hoping by late September/early October to republish (second republishing of State of Wilderness) and republish State of Quarries and State of Reservations shortly after as both of these have been missing from the series and need to be republished; within a couple of months after Wilderness is republished. 

Hopefully by the end of 2017/very beginning of 2018 State of Acceleration, State of Imagination, State of Monuments, and State of Production will be published and what is owed has been paid off so that I can put State of Successes, State of Heights, and State of Nature back out. 

I also have a storefront on TeachersPayTeachers (TpT) and will be offering books with study guides over there.  I'm not sure what I'll be selling them for there but it will be in the range that most other teachers sell their stuff for.  I will be conferring with some teacher friends to see where to price my books/study guides.  It will be a slow process to get all the books published but I promise there will be 50 books when it is said and done with a bonus clue booklet and possibly a coloring book, but those are at the end of the overall project. 

I hope all of you are as excited about this project as I am.  For the next few months, there will be a few postings but once we starting working on State of Wilderness be on the look out for more postings as well as some streaming time with the illustrator while she works on the images.  She uses twitch to stream when she is working on her writing or her drawings or other creative projects so I'll be posting when there are streaming episodes. 

Stay tuned for more in the upcoming months as things progress.  See you all in the postings - "Ma America" (fondly known as Mrs. E :))

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Revamping the Series

I've had a few ideas on revamping the series and will keep everyone posted when I've come up with the right idea for the series, although it may end up not being a series after all.  I will have to see which route I'm going to take.  Anyway - more when the revamp is completed - E :)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Agent Query Update

Around the middle of June, I sent a query to Michael Bourret from the Dystel Agency thinking he would be a good fit to shop my series to Scholastic.  This week (Wednesday or Thursday) I got a form rejection email from him, stating the series would not be a good fit for their list.  My first rejection.

Around the first week of July, I submitted a query to NatGeo Kids and Schoolwide, Inc and have yet to hear back from either of them. 

NatGeo's site states that they are not taking unsolicited work so my query was mostly how one goes about submitting to them; what the process is and how long to wait for an answer.  Schoolwide's policy states that if nothing is heard back within 6 months to assume that the work was not accepted. 

Since it has been about 6 weeks now, I am planning on submitting to several other places to include Young Palmetto Books (A University of South Carolina Press subdivision geared for young readers); Edupress (this one reaches both homeschooling and regular school systems, which would be perfect for me since my books fit both a homeschooling curriculum as well as supplement a regular social studies curriculum); Creative Learning Press (now Prufrock Press); State Standards Publishing (this is based in Georgia and they are looking for authors to present work about the state they live in but since I'm doing all 50 states, can't possibly live in all of them but I'll do a query/proposal for them and see what happens with them; I also believe I talked with this group when I did the school librarian conference a couple of years ago in Macon, GA); School Zone Publishing; PowerKids Press; and Barron's Educational Series.

All these were found in the Book Markets for Children's Writers 2014 book with over 650 listings.  I went to the index and went through the geography/travel listings and probably some of the regular educational listings to try to find the best fit for my series.  So tomorrow, I'll be delving into making more inquiries and seeing who is willing to pick up the series and publish it so that it gets out there to the schools and homeschooling sector (sounds like Edupress may be my best bet right now for that), but I will do my research and pose my queries/proposals and go from there. 

I keep hoping to hear from NatGeo saying they are definitely interested and offer me a very nice deal for the series but for now, instead of just waiting around, I must persevere and move forward and keep sending out to other possible publishers.  I will keep you updated as soon as I hear more on what happens. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Series Update

The JGDS series is still on hiatus until I can figure out what to do with it.

I've been trying to decide whether to keep the same format or revamp the whole thing.  I'm on a teachers' sell site where teachers post lesson plans, worksheets, et cetera, and sell them to other teachers.  I recently hooked up with a member who is a "curriculum coordinator"; I asked Mr. Hughes to make an introduction as she is a friend of his.  We started chatting via email.  I sent her copies of the books I had on hand and the study guides of the six books I have previously published.

She just finished an event in or near Provo, Utah, and read the first book and sent me some great information.  She feels my books would make a great Scholastic addition but they are no longer taking submissions from anyone other than an agent.

What this means is that I need to find an agent who can shop the books around and hopefully have Scholastic pick them up.  The process is long and drawn out to go through an agent and as I've never had an agent before, I'm about to find out that the process is more of a challenge than anything else.  The waiting to see the whole series in print is fine with me but I don't know if I want to keep the same format as I've already started or if I want to start fresh and do one novel or regional state chapter books or go a whole other direction.  I think the biggest problem I'll have in finding an agent is that right now I only have six states completed with the next four started and in various stages of being completed.  This is only 1/5 of the total books to be published (if I stay in this format) and I don't know that anyone will pick up the series not being completed.  If I revamp and do something totally different, that means I have to take time to write whatever I plan on doing and then shop it around to an agent, probably another year or so.

I looked at the Agent Query website last night to start getting an idea of some of the agents I might query and didn't get very far.  I'm only looking at agents who deal with children's books.  The three that I'm leaning toward right now are Faith Hamlin from Greenburger Agency, Ellen Levine from the Trident Media Group, and The Betsy Amster agency.  I think Faith Hamlin would be a great agent, since she represents the illustrator for Ms. Lynne Cheney, author of Our 50 States A Family Adventure Across America.  The other two because they have worked with some of the other publisher's who deal with children's books (McGraw-Hill, Simon & Schuster).  The ultimate would be to have Scholastic pick up the series and publish them but I'll be happy wherever they land. 

So, I'm in a dilemma right now of what direction to go.  Please comment on any ideas you may have on a direction to go in.  Any help is appreciated. - Ma America & the JGDS (Mrs. E :))

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Series on Hold

I've decided that the series will be on hold until I find a publisher and can get back on track. Right now, the goal is to pay off Heather and terminate any further work with her (my choice and my doing since I can't afford to pay her with the loss of my job). I've got a possible publisher but nothing will be determined until the end of the year or first of next year. I will continue promoting Ma America and the JGDS series but won't be selling any books for now. All of you who have been entered in the drawing for the red, white and blue afghan, the drawing will still occur the first part of December. Tickets will be available through Thanksgiving, so if you are interested in getting your chances in the drawing, please email me at eeldering(@)gmail(dot)com with how many you would and I'll send you info how to pay for them. Tickets are 2 for $1. You have just under two months to make sure your name goes in the drawing. Nothing else to report here. I will keep you all posted when the series gets reborn. Signing off for now - Ma America - :)

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