Episode 78: On Investing in Your Dreams, Children's Book Production & Distribution with Lorie List (Equestrian Author Spotlight Podcast)
Episode 78: Welcome to the Equestrian Author Spotlight podcast! In each episode, you’ll hear inspirational stories from horse book authors including writing advice and marketing tips to help you write your own horse book. If you are an author, aspire to be an author, or simply love horse books, then you are in the right place!
In this week's episode, you'll meet Pony Dreams children's book author Lorie List. You'll learn ...
Watch Lorie List's Interview on YouTube!
Or listen to the audio only episode.
About Lorie List
Growing up in Texas, Lorie wanted a horse more than anything else, but it simply wasn’t in the cards. So instead she read incessantly about horses and never got on a bicycle without imagining it was a horse. Knowing next to nothing about horses, Lorie somehow managed to talk her way into a job at Robert Redford’s Sundance Stables in her mid-twenties, determined to immerse herself in the horse world and make up for lost time.
She moved to Southern Oregon and bought her first horse just before she turned 30. In 2014, shortly after meeting her dream horse Indie, Lorie decided she wanted to find a way to connect kids with the magic of horses and the idea of Pony Dreams was born.
The idea turned into a reality with the launch of www.ponydreams.com and publication of The Smallest Horse in 2017. Lorie is passionate about good horsemanship and competes in Mountain Trail. She also does Mounted Archery for fun.
Lorie List Interview Excerpt
Carly: I imagine your experience with horses led you to your author life. You are an author of children's books and you have the website ponydreams.com. Talk to us about your book and how this blossomed for you.
Lorie: My book is called The Smallest Horse and I'm kind of an accidental children's book author. I didn't get to have horses when I was a kid and then when I grew up Indie came into my life. Horses have transformed my life.
I was so desperate for a connection with them when I was a kid that I started thinking about how I can better connect kids with horses. I read everything there was to read about horses. That was a wonderful escape and connection for me but I wanted to take it one step farther. I had this idea of creating a book about real horses and then creating a website where kids could go online after reading it and meet the horses in the book.
All of the horses in my book are real. My horse Indie is one of the stars. If you go online to ponydreams.com, you can meet all the real horses in the book. There's pictures, videos and information about them. It's like an educational hub where children can learn all sorts of information about horses.
Lorie: The Smallest Horse is about Trixie who is the smallest horse on the ranch where we have our horses. She's also a therapy horse. We came up with a story about this horse on a ranch who's too small to do any of the things that the big horses do. She can't go round up cattle because she gets lost in the tall grass. She can't be the lead trail horse because she's too small to cross the river. She can't give kids lessons because she's not big enough. We wrote a book that looks at her purpose and meaning in life.
Watch the Illustration Process
Carly: How did you educate yourself on writing and producing a children's book?
Lorie: I'm very research oriented. I ordered a bunch of books about how to write a children's book. I joined an online writing group where every week everybody submitted writing and then you signed up to critique other people so you can get feedback on your writing. I spent probably a year going through that process while I was looking for an illustrator.
Carly: Talk to us about cost because this was an investment for you.
Lorie: If you had told me up front that this was going to cost thousands of dollars to get this book to print, I would never have even embarked on it, but I shifted my mind frame from "it's going cost me thousand dollars to publish this book" to "I'm going to start a brand new business for this investment." I realized I was going to have a product that I can share with the world and that I can sell.
Change your mindset. What other business can you start for ten thousand dollars and get a brand new product that nobody's ever done before? I really can't think of a lot. I think that's a helpful thing for other authors. Don't cut corners. Spend the money to get a book that looks like it belongs in your local bookstore. Just make it happen. I wanted to touch on that because it is a lot of money, but it can really pay off in more than one way. It did for me.
Carly: Talk to us about distribution. How are you getting the book out to the masses?
Lorie: If you self-publish, distribution is is definitely tricky. A lot of people do print-on-demand. It's great because you don't have to manage inventory. However, my book is landscape and not portrait. I originally thought that I would do print-on-demand through Amazon but you couldn't do that if you had a landscape book. It might have changed but they only did portrait books then. I'm involved in a program through Amazon called Amazon Advantage. It's for books, music, or media. They place orders for the book. I ship it to them and then they do the fulfillment. If you order my book on Amazon, you can get Prime and you can get free delivery. All I have to do is is ship the books that Amazon orders. Also, it's available in local bookstores.
When I finished the book, I felt like I had all this knowledge that was hard earned. I have a website called indieinsights.com. I wrote blog posts about my journey and my process. The posts break down exactly how much I spent on everything. I go through my social media campaigns and how I did pre-orders. What Amazon Advantage is, how it works, and what you need to know. All that information is online to show people what I went through to bring this book into the world.
Watch Lorie's Book Being Printed
Connect with Lorie List & Pony Dreams
Read all about Lorie's adventures in independent publishing here: https://indieinsights.com/
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About Host & Author Carly Kade
Carly Kade is an award-winning author, horse owner, creativity coach, and the host of the Equestrian Author Spotlight Podcast. She helps fellow writers start, grow, and expand their author careers. Creative writing makes her spurs jingle!
Carly's In the Reins equestrian romance book series was written with horse lovers in mind, no matter which discipline they ride. The horses are as vital to moving the story forward as the human characters are.
These books are perfect for poolside reading, taking to the beach, or settling down with after a day of horseback riding.
Books by Carly Kade
Carly Kade writes for anyone who loves horses, handsome cowboys and a great romance. Creative writing about horses makes her spurs jingle!
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