peeps: Julie Anne Grasso
A pediatric nurse, for many years Julie Anne Grasso was literally wrapping one child after another in cotton wool, and witnessed the “great courage and resilience from the tiny people” under her care. A lover of science fiction, all those strong little children inspired Julie to write stories about Caramel, a little girl elf just like them, mixed with funky technology and “a desire to impart great values,” resulting in Escape From The Forbidden Planet. the first in her Adventures of Caramel series.
Julie lives in Melbourne, Australia, with Danny, her husband, and Giselle, their own little elf.
How Julie Got Started Self-Publishing
Escape From The Forbidden Planet is for a middle grade audience, aged 9-12. Although she had done her research and knew that the market for children’s literature is highly competitive and difficult to break into, she took a shot anyway. Well, she found out they weren’t kidding and collected her share of agent rejections.
But Julie knew that her book had spunk. And besides, she says, “The buzz in the literary world was that self-pubbing is the new query letter.”
So, she used CreateSpace to release her book in print. And realized soon after that it really wasn’t going to take all that much more work to go directly to the Kindle. So she did!
“I have really enjoyed the self publishing experience,” Julie reports, “and I am happy to say I will be self-publishing my sequel, Return to Cardamom, to be released in July 2013, but beware, my books have been known to cause a caramel cupcake craving.”
Self-Publishing Tips and Observations
- “At the time I published, my research also showed that kids were not yet really using ereaders due to the expense of the devices. However, I have found quite the opposite in reality. My ebook has sold loads more and managed to rank on Amazon, whereas my paperback has only been bought by a few loving family and friends.”
- “My advice to wannabe middle grade authors: Give Kindle Direct Publishing a try, use their free promotion days to get your book out there, have a great cover (David Blackwell from Draw Shoot Move is awesome), and get yourself linked in to wonderful sites like Mother Daughter & Son Book Reviews and participate on the Kid Lit Blog hop to get to know other great authors and readers of Middle Grade Books.”