Kevin White's Blog

March 17, 2016

New Book!!

I'm proud to announce the arrival of our newest book, R.C. Duck, Private Eye. This book was tremendously fun to write.
I challenged myself to put Rex in a book (R.C. stands for Rex Cameron) and I wanted it filled with puns. As it turns out, most of them are egg and chicken puns. The story itself emerges in bits and pieces as I brainstorm, the who,what, where, when, why, and how a thousand times.
Rex worked another miracle with the illustrations by inserting the characters into actual photos. I was not sure I was going to like it, or the fact that the story isn't just on a farm, like I imagined, but he certainly pulled it off beautifully. Once again I am reminded to trust his instincts and let him manage the art and layout.

While you're here, check out our fundraiser information!
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Published on March 17, 2016 12:38

May 12, 2015

Writing Workshops

I have been doing quite a few writing workshops this spring along with all the author presentations. This has been a wonderful experience! I've held workshops for fifth graders all the way down to kindergarteners. The typical day starts with an author presentation for the whole grade together, followed by 1-1.5 hours workshop in each classroom. The students get the opportunity to begin numerous projects and share their starts with their peers. I simply can't believe how excited they get about writing!
I've had teachers tell me that I should be putting together a proposal to be be a presenter at next years MRA conference, so I believe I shall! I've also been told to start preparing presentations for teacher in-service and professional development days... I'm on it!
Long story short, it has been an exciting, productive spring.
Which reminds me, Rex is getting close to finishing R.C. Duck, Private Eye, so look for it before summer is out!
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Published on May 12, 2015 10:30

February 17, 2015

Revving up for spring presentations! 

My favorite time of the year is fast approaching! March reading month is almost here!
There really is very little I enjoy as much as going to schools and winding up the children with the excitement of reading and writing. These are days that are exhausting in all the best ways.
Tips for those who may be looking for presenters, and those who are thinking of entering those waters themselves:
1. The presenter must have more energy than the group of children in the room.
2. The presenter must be very good at directing the flow of energy rather than attempting to stifle it. (never try to get a group to be quiet, rather, convince them to make the noise YOU want them to).
3. The presentation needs to be tailored to the age of of those in attendance.
4. The presentation must be interactive throughout.
5. The presentation must support the reading and writing goals of the host school.
6. The presenter and the material must be exciting and informational.

This can be done! It is not, however, for the faint of heart. While presenting to groups of students is a great deal of fun, it is also a great deal of work. This is not a place where one can afford to fail.
Good luck!

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Published on February 17, 2015 07:43

February 12, 2014

February 12th, 2014

School Presentations
Spring school presentation season is upon us. This is one of my favorite things about being an author; I love getting up in front of the kids to get them excited about reading and writing, especially with their own stories.
Admittedly, I am a bit of a ham, but excitement and energy is contagious. So is boredom.
I tailor my presentations to the age level of the children, so I prefer to do a separate presentation for each grade, or no more than two grades combined. This way I can also increase the number of children I ask to come up front to help.
Children prefer interactive presentations; they want to participate. Every presentation I deliver gives every child the opportunity to participate in the stories to some degree. I also include some fun with the guitar for the the younger kids.

This year I have also had the privilege of traveling to Bay City, MI, to speak specifically about the writing process with a great bunch of kids at Bangor Central Elementary school. I look forward to seeing them again in March when they will also get to meet my illustrator and brother, Rex!

Anyone who would like information regarding presentations can contact me at: kevin@chimericpress.com. I can also offer advice to fellow authors on how to have a successful presentation.
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Published on February 12, 2014 08:17

August 8, 2013

Using Kickstarter to fund books

Picture Funding a new book is always tricky for the self-publisher. One needs to spend enough money to reduce the per-piece cost (in hopes of making a profit on sales) while understanding that, as the per-piece cost is reduced, the volume of books, and thus the grand total, goes up. This creates quite a dilemma of economics, as the bank continues to insist I make a mortgage payment each month as well.

Kickstarter is a crowd funding site that has helped many independent authors publish their books by essentially offering books and other rewards in return for financial support toward a set dollar goal. It can also be viewed as pre-sales with bonuses.

We have initiated a project for The Whisper Stone on Kickstarter at: http://kck.st/16uZQ5l

Click the link to view the book tr

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Published on August 08, 2013 09:37

August 7, 2013

August 07th, 2013

I  am sending out review copies of The Dragons of Pan Gu and hope to be hearing from reviewers soon. Chasing Watermelons received some wonderful reviews that have definitely helped sales to the library market.
The difficulty comes in finding reviewers that book buyers (of all kinds) respond to, that are also affordable to the independent publisher's bottom line. Unfortunately, some reviewers, like Kirkus, charge huge amounts to review a self-published book ($425 or $575 for express). And, I haven't seen separate fees for picture books, which take about 1-2 hour to read and review. We produce between two and three QUALITY books each year, so those prices start to feel more like extortion than reasonable fees for a service.  Publishers Weekly is another effective reviewer however that does not cost an arm and a leg. They don't promise a lengthy review, just a blurb, but they do feature the best submissions for a full review... so if the book really is as good as you think, no problem! The cost: $149.  This is much more reasonable considering the service provided and the results obtained.  The websites don't include a fee structure of any kind for  traditional publishers...
My favorite reviewers are those who do it for the love of reading and the free book they receive, and who also have a large enough following that the review can translate into sales. These combinations are tough to find, but worth the effort.

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Published on August 07, 2013 07:58

June 17, 2013

June 17th, 2013

The Dragons of Pan Gu is officially on sale! Buy one today!

Our first chapter book, The Whisper Stone, should be available in August. It is a wonderful tale about a young boy and a summer spent on his grandfather's farm. The reviews I received  from peers were extremely encouraging.  I'll be writing a curriculum to go with it so it can easily be used in schools too. 

Keep writing and sharing!


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Published on June 17, 2013 09:09

May 2, 2013

Waiting on the Printer

The most frustrating part of publishing is waiting for the finished books to come back from the printer!  The Dragons of Pan Gu should arrive any day now.
In the mean time, Rex had a baby boy!  Now we have to see what this does to his illustration time.  I keep thinking about how much work we could get done if we didn't have day jobs as well...
Rex is working with a wonderful artist from Kendall College to get our first chapter book published in July.
I am working with some self-published picture book authors to include in our special-marketing catalog in 2014.
One thing I would like help with myself: What is the best/easiest way to take an existing picture book and convert it to an ebook for Amazon and B&N? I'll take any help I can get.
I also want to point out that Chasing Watermelons got a wonderful review in Publishers Weekly.
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Published on May 02, 2013 08:53

April 4, 2013

April 04th, 2013

Lots and lots of good news!
The Dragons of Pan Gu is at the printer and will be available to ship to you by the end of the month!  Show support and pre-order signed first editions at: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1...
March was a busy month at the schools. I did full day presentations at six schools, and half day presentations at three schools.  The kids were great, and participated wonderfully.
I am currently fleshing out a new story called No Dragons Allowed!  I expect it will take a couple months to finish, but will share it here when I do.
And finally, Rex and his wife, Sophiarry, had a baby boy on Tuesday! Bohdi White is sure to inspire greater work in us all.
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Published on April 04, 2013 08:53

January 23, 2013

January 23rd, 2013

I've neglected this site for too long, so I thought I'd give a little bonus. I just finished a new manuscript called Night at the County Fair. I thought I'd share it with you.

When night has arrived at the big county fair,
and all of the people who spent the day there
have headed back home in their trucks and their cars,
with headlights and taillights that twinkle like stars;
the only one staying is Mr. McCade,
who cleans up the messes the others have made.

He wipes off the counters, the tables and chairs,
and throws away half eaten apples and pears.
He sweeps up the wrappers, the cups and the spoons,
the napkins and cans and the broken balloons.
He takes all the trash and he throws it away,
then turns out the lights and he calls it a day.

But look in the shadows, who’s creeping about?
It looks like the pigs and the chickens got out.
And wait, there’s a goat and a cow and some sheep.
They’re sneaking around when they should be asleep.
And now there’s a horse, and a goose, and a duck.
They’ve turned on the lights and they’re running amuck!
 
They woke up the rooster, who crowed with a shout,
“You’re all in big trouble if someone finds out.
You shouldn’t be out here; the fairs not for us.
You know they won’t like it; they’ll raise quite a fuss.
If people should see us who knows what they’ll do?
With our luck they’ll ship us all off to the zoo!
 
We’ll end up in cages with lions and bears;
they’ll catch us and eat us, but nobody cares!
Well I’m not about to be some lion’s lunch;
I won’t get in trouble because of this bunch.
I’m riding the Ferris wheel right to the top
so they can all hear when I tell them to stop.
 
The Fun House won’t seem near as fun as you thought
when shrieking and shouting gets everyone caught.
Stop smudging those mirrors and making that face;
you’re leaving your hoof prints all over the place.
You take off that mask and stop chasing the duck;
I’m telling you now that you’re pressing your luck.
 
 You pigs in the taffy, I see what you’ve done;
you take all that goop off that hamburger bun.
Get out of the ice cream and elephant ears,
stop eating the peanuts and licorice spears.
You’re spilling your pop and your chips and your fries,
and don’t even think about cutting those pies.
 
The Octopus spinner, the Space Graviton;
those rides are off limits, don’t even get on.
And so are the Zipper and bumper cars too,
the Rocket Ship Launcher, and Swing Spinneroo.
You all have to stop and get off of your ride,
the lights and the music are too much to hide.
 
Stop playing those games and get back to your pens,
stop throwing those rings ‘round the necks of my hens.
No popping balloons, don’t you dare throw that ball,
the shooting range shouldn’t be open at all.
Stop plucking those ducks and stop ringing that bell;
I’m taking down names and I’m going to tell.
 
“Hey Rooster,” said Goat, “you should leave us alone,
or come down and play for a prize of your own.
There’re whistles and rings and a motorized shark,
the swords and the necklaces glow in the dark.
They played and won plushies, a ball, and a flag,
and some of them even won fish in a bag!”
 
“I see a truck coming; it’s headed this way,
you’re in for it now is all I’ve got too say.
You’re all in big trouble, I’m glad I’m not you,
he’ll drive through the gate in a minute or two.
He’s going to catch you, and then you will see,
it would have been better to listen to me.
 
I’d like to get back to my nest on the ground,
So somebody please make this wheel go around.
You’ll all have to stay here to clean up your mess;
he’ll keep you up working all night I would guess,
then lock you in cages and throw out the key,
I’m glad I won’t be here, I’m glad it’s not me.
 
 Hey, where are you going? You can’t run and hide!
He’ll think that I did this!” that old rooster cried.
“Get back here and help me, you can’t disappear.
He’ll come through the gate and he’ll see me up here!
I’ll get all the blame for what YOU did tonight;
that wouldn’t be fair, and it wouldn’t be right!”
 
But that’s just what happened that night at the fair,
when Rooster got caught on the Ferris wheel chair.



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Published on January 23, 2013 11:59

Kevin White's Blog

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