Marg Gibbs, Australian Children’s Author shares her thoughts and insight into Self-Publishing and more.
The last 6-8 months I have been conversing, creating and connecting with Marg in a poetry anthology called Kingdom of Rooms – Poems for Children Who Love to Collect, where some of my poems featured throughout the 54 pages and grand watercolour illustrations by Margeaux Davis. The majority of work of course, is by Marg and some of her poem titles include Clustered Gems, Swords and Prayer in my Pocket. I chat with the Super-Grandma briefly about her work and where she is headed.
Kingdom of Rooms is your 5th Self-Published Children’s Book,
What have your learnt along the way?
I have learnt to be self-disciplined, motivated, work harding and ask for help. I do lots of drafts of a poem or story, then send it off to be professionally edited. I make changes and think about the look and feel of the book. For those who start out, it does feel like a huge learning curve. I do like a certain amount of control and efficiency.
I found an excellent book designer who assists with layout and typography, uploading files, and pay her for her services accordingly. I recommend getting different quotes for printing costs, particularly premium paper and colour quality. I am still learning each day about pricing, sizes of books and marketing. POD or Print on Demand, with Ingram Sparks offers a fast, reliable and more inexpensive service, however, there is still much to read and learn here.
How did you feel about featuring another author (Jenny Catalano) and why did you choose to get another person on board?
I really like the idea of 2 voices/ perspectives in choosing another person to contribute to Kingdom of Rooms. I wanted to be bold and ask Jenny if she was interested in writing poems to include. She was. I gave her some context to the poetry anthology and answered any emails she sent me. I discovered Jenny was prompt, enthusiastic and wrote some beaut poems.
I chose Jenny Catalano because she loves history, writing and has a passion for sharing her creative ideas with others. She’s also a different generation to me and this is helpful with social media, contacts, thinking outside the square and her lifestyle as a mother with young children.
What do your grandchildren think about Grandma the author?
I believe they are proud of me. They show interest when the book comes out and read at home with their parents. Each of my grand-children know I love what I do so hopefully that shines through to them. I really encourage them to read widely. At times, I am sure they get embarrassed with my antics.
What’s next for Marg Gibbs?
The Post Office Pup is a picture story about the surprises behind the counter of our local Post office shop here in Mapleton. It’s about team-work, family and one gorgeous dog. I have found a Western Australian artist, Alicia Rogerson to do the art. Hoping to see it released in May/ June this year. I am also compiling a series of fun Viking poems and illustrations to be included in I’m a Viking Kid. Adventurous and a bit quirky. As for April, I have 2 children’s books out simultaneously with Ingram Sparks – Animals at Work, A-Z and Harvey and Rose from Head to Toes both ideal for ages 2+
Above: The new publication amongst a sword collection at Sunshine Castle, Bli Bli Australia
Marg, if you could transport to any Palace or Castle in the world, where would you choose?
Any Scottish palace or Castle would excite me. Tantallon Castle in East Lothian. Dumfries House in the entrance hall. Traquair House, south of Edinburgh in the High Drawing Room and Scone Palace in Perthshire where James 1 was crowned on 21 May, 1424.
Can’t go past a French Chateau de Chenonceau east of Tour in the beautiful gardens. Fortunately for me, I have visited the exquisite Versailles Palace in Paris. Being present in any of the library rooms in any Castle or Palace, would bring me joy!
Kingdom of Rooms for ages 4 – 10, Explores nine royal rooms and what treasures a King or Queen collects. From the fun “A Bottle of Bugs” poem in the Banquet Hall and giggly read-a-loud “The Royal Sprinkling” in the Palace Chapel, there is a poem for every little squire or fair maiden!
To learn more or order your own signed copy please go to…
Jenny Catalano is a children’s writer and illustrator. She lives in Eastern Australia where she is inspired by the natural environment and drawn to ancient worlds through her family history.