In Which I Get a Publisher

It’s been more than a month and I still feel all kinds of humbled and vaguely surreal.

I’ve been enjoying my two children’s books already out there on Amazon, and trying to find more time to focus on the marketing thereof—if anyone tells you it’s easy to be an indie author, they’re selling something themselves!—yet I’d also sent a couple other manuscripts to agents and publishers at the same time, because you never know.

A piece of great advice I heard in the earlier part of this year was, “You have to have a tough skin and a sense of humor about this process.” These two things can be applied to just about anything, and they certainly hold true for writing when you’re doing the “Like me?” rounds with your creations.

So when the email came with the ubiquitous Re: Query subject line, initially I thought it was another rejection. I was prepared to take it in stride, but all the same, I wasn’t going to rush to open it.

“Oh great, another returned query,” I said. (Not to myself; my husband and guinea pig were also in the room.)

But this email had an attachment.

And that attachment had this as its label: “Author Agreement.”

My brain caught up a few seconds after my eyes.

“Oh…my…goodness,” I said, possibly. I said something, at any rate. My husband looked up from his laptop. Our guinea pig looked up from his food dish. Okay, that last part I made up. Guinea pigs have priorities.

I still couldn’t quite believe the words meant what they said they meant, but I clicked nonetheless, and yes, there it was–

MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing had accepted my manuscript, “The Squeezor is Coming!”

And I couldn’t be more thrilled.

What’s super-cool about this publishing house is they also care about kids and adults who have dyslexia. I talked with the founder, Tannya, about how a certain font (Dyslexie) has been shown to help people read. Just think how marvelous it is for parents with dyslexia to read books to their kids with some peace of mind.

So now I’m in the midst of a whole new, exciting process. I signed the (standard) contract, and just went through preliminary blocking out of text and illustration notes. I’m looking forward to experienced guidance. And, sometime in the near future, to see the Squeezor in print!

“Dare to dream” is MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing’s motto. I dared. You should, too.



Interview With Award-Winning Author, Carole P. Roman!

I’m happy to host Carole P. Roman on my blog today! She is one of the most generous indie authors I could ever hope to know, giving unstintingly of her time, experience, and advice to help fellow indie authors on their own roads to success.

Speaking of roads, let’s travel for awhile with Carole and her amazing “If You Were Me” books!

Please tell us a bit about your Countries books:

The “If You Were Me” books are an introduction to customs and culture around the world. It is a series designed to place children in the same shoes as a child in different parts of the world, letting them experience the things that are important in their lives.

The idea of countries, borders, and customs is hard for young ones to grasp, so I broke it into various subjects that small children could identify with- what their name might be, where the country is located, what they would call their parents, what kind of food would they eat, what one thing identifies the country, like a landmark.

They finish each book able to identify both similarities and differences. With the added benefit of having multiple books, they can compare how life is all over the world.

If You Were Me and Lived In....jpg

Have you always known you wanted to be a writer?

I am an avid reader. I will read everything. I don’t think I had the confidence to write until Createspace came along and said, you don’t need to worry about rejection- we will give you a platform. I have written my entire life, plays, stories, I did a vanity published romance years ago, but with Amazon, KDP and Createspace, I can now do it successfully.

How did you come up with the idea to write books about children from different countries?

I was in Vegas for a family vacation. My grandchildren and I were walking on the strip and when my oldest grandson saw the Eiffel Tower, he asked what it was. I tried to explain national identity and realized his four-year old mind couldn’t understand what I was talking about. I ruminated all night and at about dawn, both the format and  the name of the series came to me. I wrote Mexico, France, Norway, Turkey, and Kenya that first week, wanting to make sure I explored the “four corners of the earth.”

What do you enjoy most about writing for children?

I love their discovery. I enjoy hearing from parents that they are having fun reading the books and learning right along with their children. When I hear that I created an opening to further discussion or exploration to learn more, or somehow one of my books helped a child deal with peer pressure, problem-solving, or any other kind of distress, I feel completed.

What kinds of things do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I work in a family business, so I am pretty busy with my day job. I do yoga, play with my grandchildren, have lunch with my daughters-in-law, beta-read my son’s books (he is author Michael Phillip Cash). I promote all of our books on social media and keeping our names in the spotlight. I play a wicked game of craps and love Words with Friends.

Who are some of your favorite children’s book authors?

I love JK Rowling. I read Harry Potter when it first came out and was not impressed with it. However, my grandson was having a reading issue in school. I started reading with him on Facetime nightly and now a year and over twenty books later, we are reading for an hour together every night.

I adored Harry Potter after reading it with him, and will admit was teary when we finished the last book. We are reading the Percy Jackson series right  now. He enjoys the Hilo books by Judd Winnick. I loved “Martha Doesn’t Like to Share” by Samantha Berger. “Knuffle Bunny” by Mo Willems and “No, David” by David Shannon are some of my favorites too.

 What types of books do you like to read?

I am a big history reader, both fiction and nonfiction. My entire life was spent reading blocks of genres. My 20’s were filled with science fiction, my thirties were spy thrillers, my forties were all about historical romance, fifties were the years of historical fiction and now we are in a free-for all–I’ll read anything.

 What would readers be surprised to know about you?

I can work on my books and have an entire conversation while being creative. I am the Queen of Multitasking.

How can readers connect with you?



Amazon Author Page



What are you currently working on?

I have just completed “If You Were Me and Lived in…Cuba,” as well as “If You Were Me and Lived in..the Ancient Mayan Empire.” I am finishing up an early reader chapter book- my first called “Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag” and I am starting another self-help with my social media partner called “Self- Publishing- As Easy as ABC.” I am also doing my own Blog Radio Show called “Let’s Say Hello to our Neighbors,” highlighting children’s books.

What advice would you give aspiring authors?

Don’t be afraid! Join a good discussion group on Goodreads and ask questions. Write and when you are done, be prepared to wear multiple hats, otherwise no one will hear about all your hard work.

Carole P. Roman Author Photo 3.jpg


Carole P. Roman is the award-winning author of the Captain No Beard series. Both “Captain No Beard–An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life” and “Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis” have received the Kirkus Star of Exceptional Merit. The first book in the series was named to Kirkus Reviews Best 2012. “Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis” has been named to Kirkus Reviews Best of 2015. Each book in the series has won numerous awards including the NABE Pinnacle Award, IAN Award, Moonbeam Award 2014, National Indie Excellence Award Finalist, Shelf Media Outstanding Series Award, ForeWord Review Five Star and Finalist in the Book of the Year, and Reader’s Views Children’s Book of the Year 2013.

Carole P. Roman is also the author of the award-winning non-fiction culture series, “If You Were Me and Lived in…“, that explores customs and cultures around the world. She has co-authored a self-help book, “Navigating Indieworld A Beginners Guide to Self-Publishing and Marketing.” She lives on Long Island with her husband and near her children and grandchildren. Carole invites readers to connect with her via her website.

JRR Tolkien Has a New Book!

Well, in a way.

Beren and Lúthien (Amazon link), a love story about a mortal man and an immortal elf, was edited by son Christopher and “contains versions of a tale that became part of The Silmarillion.”

Plus it has fantastic illustrations from Alan Lee. I just ordered it today!


Alan Lee

This is particularly sweet: “The names Beren and Lúthien are carved on the gravestone Tolkien and his wife share in Wolvercote cemetery in Oxford.”

Join Me For #ESNChat on May 18, 1 PM CT!

What’s all this?

#ESNChat, or Enterprise Social Network chat, is a weekly Twitter chat held Thursdays from 1-2 PM CT around any aspect of corporate / internal online communities.

Such as Yammer, which is what the chat will focus on for May 18! Join me and my Yammer MVP friends as we discuss how to realize AND get value from Yammer, how awesomely Yammer integrates with SharePoint, and what we’re excited over for the future.

Skeptics welcome, too! Give us feedback!


I use Tweetchat with some measure of success to keep track of the hour’s worth of tweets coming in. At 1 PM CT on May 18, sign in to your Twitter account through here:

See you there!


There, I did it: I entered the Readers’ Favorite Contest

I’d been sitting on this for awhile now, and missed all but one of the deadlines.

Today, I thought: Why not?

So I did it.

The Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest says it’s one of the largest and most popular book award contests in the world, and I have no reason to disbelieve them.

They have oodles of prizes to win even if you don’t get their actual award; plus you can enter just about any published or unpublished manuscript with no word count restriction or publication date requirement.

So I entered What’s At the End of Your Nose?. I chose it over Dr. Guinea Pig George and one of my as-yet-unpublished children’s stories not just because it was the first book I published, but because somehow it felt like the right thing to do.

You should do it, too. Deadline is June 1!

“Congratulations, you are an official contestant in the 2017 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest, one of the largest and most popular book award contests in the world!”

Now to wait until September 1! 🙂


Copyright 2017 Becky Benishek