Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ug Goes Out: Self Publishing

With this link you can view the first half of the book on Google Docs or even download it directly from there for your eBook reader.

Ug Goes Out is a children's book I published earlier this year. Here's the description on the back of the book: “When a caveman quits his job at the coffee shop, he takes a break to discover who he truly is.”

Nearly a year ago I leapt into the foray of self publishing, hoping against hope to draft a Newberry Award winning children's book on the first try.

Previously, for a college course, I had already mapped out a certain narrative about a caveman living trying to navigate life in a suburban neighborhood, a life in which he experiences everything from pet ownership to courtship and a career switch.

I spent the next several months drawing the pictures, whipped it up into a PDF, and uploaded it onto This shouldn't sound so simple: I was able to complete this book mostly by using weekends and precious vacation days from work. It felt like a monumental task.

I marketed my book through word of mouth, using a blog, Facebook, and by passing out pretty fine-looking bookmarks (if I do say so myself) with my design of the book cover and where one could get a copy if one so chose.

Ordering about a few test copies, listing my book on Amazon and eBay, and ordering the bookmarks to pass out at work took a reasonable step of faith on my wallet's part ($138.98). Fortunately, my wallet's blind faith was satisfied for a net proft of $4.17, enough for a small sip of coffee at your local multinational coffee chain. After reading the dangers of self publishing, I considered this no small feat and patted myself on the back for a job well done.

When the process was completed, I wanted to do it again.

I had seen all kinds of potential for Ug and the world from whence he came, including the characters I've made but haven't used yet. A ninja learning patience. A pirate learning communication skills. A Western outlaw learning temperance. A knight learning bravery.

My work with students who have special needs showed me that Ug could be a great metaphor for their cause: a unique individual puts his talents into a real-world skill set while at the same time learning to connect with, for the first time, another human being.

Although Ug doesn't have a particular disability, I began thinking about how I could extend the metaphor while at the same time making it more particular. Could the pirate have Tourette's syndrome? Could the ninja have ADD? YES! A heart-warming series of children's books in which lovable mythical characters live in a suburban world and have to deal with issues that make them different and special—some of the same issues that many kids today have to deal with.

Raise your hand if this is a good idea. All I need now is to take a paid year sabbatical to work on these books.

If you would like to download the first half of Ug Goes Out in PDF to read on your eBook device, please follow this link.

If you would like to download the entire PDF for $3.99, please follow this link.

If you would like a paperback version of the book for $19.99, please follow this link.

If you would like a SIGNED paperback version of the book: let me know with an email to, and we can work it out.

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