Last week, I made available an online version of “How To Explain Christmas To Chickens,” and while I was waiting for feedback, I uploaded the files to make a print copy with Amazon. I wanted to make sure that the cover and interior color images would print as expected.

I was pleased with the cover shown in the photo to the left. Though I must admit that I don’t like the “Not for Resale” that Amazon uses. (Barnes & Noble does not do this.) I was also pleased with the interior color illustrations as shown in the photo on the right.

The shorter length of only 8,000 words and lower page count allowed for color illustrations throughout, and that was good. But there was something missing. The book didn’t have the same “feel” as the old books I had saved from when I was a child.

One of my favorites was “Wood Woodpecker Drawing Fun For Beginners.” If you have followed my work for any length of time, you can probably guess why! (I have always enjoyed drawing.)

Most of the books saved from my childhood were about 25¢. This particular book has “29¢” printed on the cover, and so it appears to have been a bit pricier and more special than my other books. After all, Woody Woodpecker was quite popular back in 1959 when this book was printed! Fortunately, the  J.M. Fields Department Store sticker says “6/97¢” which may be why I was able to take it home with me. Either price certainly seems like a real bargain to me these days!

How do you know a book is truly treasured by a child even when you don’t know anything about the child or the adult they grew up to be? Where does that feeling begin?

As it turned out, the thing I thought of last was the thing that I should have been thinking about from the beginning. Can you spot it in today’s photos?

Next Time: Four Perfect Words To Begin Any Beloved Book

In keeping with the topics of drawing and coloring, for our Facebook fans, we have a free coloring page that you can download and print. Just go to our “My Life With Gracie” Facebook page and click the link there. It’s pinned to the top to make it easier to find. The coloring page will open in Dropbox, but you do not need a Dropbox account!

P.S. It is okay to print and color even if you are a grown-up!


18 thoughts on “So What Is Missing?

    1. Yes, and I had forgotten all about Zayre’s myself. Thanks for the reminder! I’m glad that my Mom kept a lot of price tags on things. Really takes me back. And personally, Walmart can not compare. 🙂


  1. Woody Woodpecker- hehehe heh heh! Oh that cackling laugh. My family always had old TVs that broke down given to us, but I managed to glean enough cartoon culture to embed such audibles in my memory. And I am remembering all the Little Golden Books- not sure I get what is missing from yours though….

    Authoring a book into print and distribution is a whole other aspect of being a writer- wishing you the best.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m with you on the ‘not for resale’ banner. I don’t order proof copies from Amazon any more. I publish the thing and then order an author copy.
    After all, it’s easy enough to upoad an updated version at any time if I’m unhappy with anything. And It isn’t as if I have battalions of fans waiting on a pre-publish schedule, or regularly checking my author page to see if there’s anything new.
    Right now, I’m the only person ordering.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Cathy. I appreciate your tips and helpful suggestions. I’ve been struggling with Amazon for the past few days. I can get my PDF file to upload on Barnes & Noble but not Amazon. And there are no messages to tell me why. May need to rework a file just for Amazon. When I do get it uploaded, I will do as you suggested-just publish and order a copy for myself. I did that with Barnes & Noble just now. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My best guess right now is that it has something to do with the way the Pages app on my iPad creates PDF’s. I did some experimenting this afternoon with PDF’s created with other apps, and they uploaded fine, but the quality was not nearly as good as the PDF’s created with the Pages app. But when you only have an iPad, what do you do? You just keep working at it until you find something that’s right. Thanks, Cathy!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. We learned our lesson with Amazon proof copies. Not only is there a problem with the banner but when we tried publishing Amazon found problems that hadn’t been found when the proof copy was printed. These faults had to be corrected before we could get the printing proper underway. As Cathy says best publish, sort out all the problems then and order author copies.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You are such a perfectionist with colour, your illustrations must sing to you! You want the perfect pitch I can see. Good luck and do let me know when I can purchase… you will achieve your fine tuning for sure


    1. Catching up on my WordPress reading and realized I hadn’t seen anything from you for a while. Found your last post. Sad for us who enjoy your posts, happy for you and whatever the future hold for you. “How To Explain Christmas To Chickens” is now available on if you are still interested. Thanks for your support and encouragement through this long process! Best wishes always, John

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello John. I have just purchased’How to Explain Christmas to Children’s’ on Amazon. I am sure that the children and I will love it. Excellent… so looking forward to its arrival. I will be very happy to write a review on Amazon. I also just followed you on Amazon authors. Just a thought! As you know, I have actually written 2 x non fiction novels. I wondered if you would also be prepared to buy a copy of Eighteen Moons and review on Amazon? No pressure, it is an enlightening read. If you have Alexa, she will even read it for you if it’s in your kindle App Library. The paperback version also available via the link on my blog pages or just Google Andi Webb or Eighteen Moons. Be well and talk soon…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks, Andi. I appreciate that very much! I just ordered a paperback copy of “Eighteen Moons.” I just prefer paperback to ebook. (Very “old school” that way, I guess.) it should arrive this Saturday, and I will be glad to write a review. The parts that I’ve read on your WordPress blog were wonderful. Best wishes always! John

        Liked by 1 person

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