Today I’m featuring author Henry Herz and his childrens book Nimpentoad. The story of how he wrote the book with help from his two sons is heartwarming and inspiring. To top it all off, he’s giving away a copy, so make sure to enter below after you read the post.
I wanted to share my love of fantasy with my (at the time), five- and seven-year old sons. They were too young for watching most of the fantasy and sci-fi movie classics, and there are only so many good fantasy books available for that age range. Struck by inspiration one day, I came up with a way to share the joy of entering the magical realms of fantasy. I would write a fantasy book for them.
What I did not anticipate was that my boys would give me feedback on the story. They devised some of the character (Nimpentoad) and creature (Neebel) names, and made plot line suggestions. And who better to help make the story appealing to kids than other kids? So, my goal of interesting my sons in fantasy transformed into also encouraging them to write.
Originally, I only shared the story of Nimpentoad with family, for their own enjoyment. I had no thoughts of having the book published. But one day, my sister-in-law suggested that I consider publication because she felt the story was much better than a good deal of the books she was seeing for her similarly-aged kids. I thought about it for a while, and decided to give it a try.
The first step was to find an artist who a) had the skill and style suitable for our book, and b) was willing to work at a very reasonable (translation: negligible) price. This turned out to be the most time-consuming part of our journey.
Once again, my sons were involved, this time in providing art direction. We would explain in words what each illustration should contain. Collaborating remotely via email and DropBox, our artist would give us a rough sketch, and we would provide feedback on details and color palette. Nimpentoad came to life, while my boys added another dimension to their experience.
Given the amount of time that had passed, as well as the anticipated challenges with finding an agent or publisher willing to take a chance on an unproven entity, we decided to self-publish. CreateSpace has a fabulous web-based print-on-demand service, backed up by superb customer service support. We were in business!
Well, sort of. We had a good book, but we lacked readers. So, we then embarked upon the most arduous part of our journey – promoting Nimpentoad. Luckily, my boys (dare I say it) are charismatic and precocious, and are comfortable conducting public readings and doing book signings.
I have booked my sons as much as their school schedules would allow. We’ve done readings and signings at San Diego libraries, elementary schools, La Jolla YMCA, the New Children’s Museum, Mysterious Galaxy Books, Readers Books, Warwick’s Books, and Barnes & Noble. We have books for sale in Mysterious Galaxy, Readers, and Barnes & Noble, as well as online at www.nimpentoad.com.
Nimpentoad has gotten a very favorable reception. We have 34 five-star ratings on Amazon, and positive reviews from several well-known authors. All these appearances have further enriched the journey for my sons. They now understand some of the aspects of running a business, like revenue, costs, and profit.
We’ve been doing all the promoting and sales ourselves. We would love to be represented by a literary agent to take Nimpentoad to the next level, broadening our reach beyond Southern California. We think the story themes (discouraging bullying, and promoting teamwork, creativity and perseverance), and the meta-story of two boys helping to write and promote a book, send positive messages to elementary school aged kids.
***PLEASE NOTE: THE GIVEAWAY IS OPEN TO ALL COUNTRIES, BUT THE PAPERBACK IS ONLY AVAILABLE TO THOSE WITH A U.S. ADDRESS. IF THE GIVEAWAY WINNER LIVES OUTSIDE THE U.S., A COPY OF THE E-BOOK WILL BE AWARDED INSTEAD.
***THE BOOK WILL BE SENT DIRECTLY FROM THE AUTHOR. BECCA J. CAMPBELL HOLDS NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY ISSUES RELATED TO SHIPPING/DELIVERY.
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