SYP Kids Joint Venture

Terri Gerrell and I are pleased to announce the forthcoming joint venture of Southern Yellow Pine Publishing LLC with Mark Wayne Adams, Inc. SYP Publishing has established an imprint, SYP Kids of which MWA, Inc. is excited to become a part. It is scheduled to take place officially on April 1, 2017. The SYP Publishing website, www.syppublishing.com, will soon carry titles for SYP Kids.

With this venture, all authors, customers, and vendors will benefit by increased exposure as well as the expertise of both companies. Terri Gerrell and SYP Publishing are pleased to welcome Mark Wayne Adams as Creative Director of SYP Kids. It is both our goal to continue the tradition of excellence we have put in place for both companies.

All contact for book sales and speaking engagements after April 1, 2017 will be through SYP Publishing. Should you need to contact either SYP Publishing or MWA, Inc., use the contact information listed on either company’s website.

If you have any questions about this exciting news and what it will mean for you, please contact either of us at any time. We look forward to introducing you to our new partners and associates.

We are grateful for your loyalty and are confident that our new affiliation will serve us all for years to come.

“What advice would you give yourself fresh out of college?”—Anna Faktorovich, PhD Interview

Faktorovich: If the young you, fresh out of a BFA program, strolled into your office today and asked you for advice on managing his coming illustration, animation, and writing career, what advice would you give him? What has been the biggest problem on your path you wish you could have avoided? Has there been an opportunity you now wish you had taken?

How to Win Friends & Influence PeopleAdams: I’d give him the best advice I’ve ever received from a stranger. I met her on a flight returning from Los Angeles. She recommended I read these three books: The Greatest Salesman in the World, because we all want to give up. Love is Letting Go of Fear, we all have a personal obstacles to overcome. How to Win Friends and Influence People, because you’re not a people person until you learn to listen.

When the student returns after reading these, I’d recommend, The Graphic Artist’s Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines. And I’d recommend he select two fields of illustration. The first being his focus; the second an alternate income stream. Next I’d recommend seeking out the ugly books in the world and being a better illustrator than the publisher’s existing illustrator.

My greatest problems were not understanding my value and not having a mentor/support system. My first illustration clients took advantage of my inexperience by underpaying and not sharing profits through royalties. I also invested thousands of dollars displaying my portfolio along with hundreds of other illustrators. I also joined organizations that charged to critique my portfolio.

IMG_2307Through trial and error, I learned good clients want to share their success; hanging with publishers is more profitable than hanging with illustrators; and non-paid critiques from professionals are genuine. The opportunities I would have taken sooner, are joining a publishing organization like IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association); cultivating a professional mentor relationship with an illustrator—not as a crutch; and starting my business fresh after graduation.

If I started again from college graduation, I would purchase a building with two storefronts in a small town for the price of a house. One unit’s rent would cover the mortgage. The second unit would serve as my business/studio. The upstairs would be converted to my loft/home. My clients would be found at large conferences where publishers and authors congregate. Technology makes small businesses into global business.

Who says being 20-something is a requirement to start a business. I might retire at 50 and start something new!

Read the complete interview with Mark Adams, Award-Winning IllustratorAdams-Author Bio Photo-mwa.company-template with Anna Faktorovich, PhD

“Do you make money for public appearances?”—Anna Faktorovich, PhD Interview

Faktorovich: You were drawing for visitors to your booth at the ALA. I believe you also do these types of drawings during your art presentations at schools. Do you do these public art projects because of your desire to perform your art before a live audience? Do you ever make money on these appearances? Do you use them for research or to market your illustrations to kids? At ALA, were you giving any of the resulting drawings away? You had tossed a few of them onto the carpet in front of you at ALA, and you toss them on the floor of auditoriums etc. in your school presentations. Do you toss them down for symbolic reasons or to illicit sympathy, or because you want to display them and you don’t have board to clip them onto? Were you drawing what visitors asked for, or whatever came to mind? Do you doodle and free-draw to come up with ideas for your illustrations? If not, what do you do to research ideas or to come up with initial character sketches?

AdamsDrawing Is My Super Power! That would be my t-shirt slogan. I find an audience, whether drawing on a pad, a napkin, or in a Best Sketchbook. I drew for free when I was younger. Some people appreciated the gesture, other discarded my effort. In the 3rd grade, I began to charge for my time and the appreciation level increase. This remains true today.

My first professional illustration contracts came from tossing drawings on the floor at Book Expo America in Los Angeles, California. I did this both for symbolic and sympathetic purposes, depending on the audience.

Publishing (writing, illustration, and marketing) is about inspiring an emotion. I can’t keep every drawing, so I give them to conference audiences who feel sympathy when they step on a “pretty picture.” I also joke, “This drawing is worthless until I sign it!” Publishing audiences find my personality a plus in the working relationship.

IMG_6356I’ve meet over 1 million students through paid elementary school visits. I walk on “pretty pictures” to show students and teachers sheets of paper have less value than the pages within a book. This reinforces the need to journal in hardbound books.

Do I give away drawings for free? Yes, I’ve given away over 45,000 drawings in eight years like the ones you mentioned at ALA. My gift makes others happy and in return makes me happy. I do have two rules. Children are the recipients of most drawings unless it’s for a teacher’s classroom or at a conference. Also, I only draw one picture per person, per day. This rule stemmed from my own children asking me to draw instead of doing it themselves. My children get one picture, just like anyone else’s child.

IMG_3952I have over 100 journals (23,000 pages of drawing and writing). These journals are 20 years of research and inspiration. Illustration clients are asked to provide me a list of 5 of their favorite children’s books, 5 new books they discovered at the library or bookstore, and 5 things they’d do for free. Their favorite children’s books tell me who they were. The new books tell me what they expect based on paper types, finishes, and dimensions. Lastly, incorporating something they love in the illustrations will boost discussion topics with readers.
Read the complete interview with Mark Adams, Award-Winning IllustratorAdams-Author Bio Photo-mwa.company-template with Anna Faktorovich, PhD

Entrepreneurial Author Brandon Royal

Brandon Royal is an award-winning writer whose educational authorship includes The Little Red Writing Book, The Little Gold Grammar Book, The Little Green Math Book, and The Little Blue Reasoning Book. During his tenure working in Hong Kong for US-based Kaplan Educational Centers — a Washington Post subsidiary and the largest test preparation organization in the world — Brandon honed his theories of teaching and education and developed a set of key learning “principles” to help define the basics of writing, grammar, math, and reasoning.

A Canadian by birth and graduate of the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, his interest in writing began after completing writing courses at Harvard University. Since then he has authored a dozen books and reviews of his books have appeared in Time Asia magazine, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal of America, Midwest Book Review, The Asian Review of Books, Choice Reviews Online, Asia Times Online, and About.com.

Brandon is a five-time winner of the International Book Awards, a seven-time gold medalist at the President’s Book Awards, as well as recipient of the “Educational Book of the Year” award as presented by the Book Publishers Association of Alberta. He has also been a winner or finalist at the Ben Franklin Book Awards, the Global eBook Awards, the Beverly Hills Book Awards, the IPPY Awards, the USA Book News “Best Book Awards,” and the Foreword magazine Book of the Year Awards. He continues to write and publish in the belief that there will always be a place for books that inspire, enlighten, and enrich.

Contact Brandon Royal via E-mail: contact@brandonroyal.com or Web site: www.brandonroyal.com

FAPA Founders Award recipient Mark Wayne Adams

On Saturday eventing, August 6, 2016 during the 2016 FAPA President’s Book Awards ceremony in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, Mark Wayne Adams received the 2016 Florida Authors & Publishers Association Founders Award. This achievement award recognizes a longstanding FAPA member for contributions to FAPA, the publishing community, the reading community, and professionally published books.

Mark’s FAPA Founders Award Message:

Thank you Terri Gerrell for allowing me enough time to prepare an acceptance speech. I actually prepared two—a short and long version. Unfortunately, I lost the short version.

Receiving the 2016 FAPA Founders Award is a tremendous honor. When Terri told me I had been selected, I asked myself, why me? I know many deserving individuals, most of which are here tonight.

I began publishing in 2004—33 years old. Craig Winstead, employer and friend, inspired me with these words: “I’ll print your book for free, if you learn to publish it.” Within a month I had purchased a block of ISBNs; registered an LCCN; bought a barcode; and printed 5,000 copies of my first book, Miss Mary’s Missing Book Bag.

Printing books isn’t publishing. Selling books is publishing. The first publishing lesson I learned was, if you don’t sell books they get heavier. My family, those books, and I moved four times between 2004 and 2006. I became a stronger and wiser publisher in no time.

In 2009, Nicholas, That’s Ridiculous! A Story About Being a Boy released. It was not only Christa Carpenter’s first book, but also the first book I published for anyone besides myself. Nicholas won an IPPY, an Eric Hoffer, a Moonbeam, and a FPA President’s Book Award! Elated by my four-medal publishing success, I joined not only FPA, but also the board. I learned book awards lead to unexpected opportunities and a surge of confidence.

From 2009 to 2016, I served in various FPA and FAPA leadership roles—president being one. I thought, what can I do differently from my predecessors? I proposed ridiculous ideas, that if they failed, would make me famous: Mark Wayne Adams leader of FAPA’s demise!

With many of the current FAPA board members’ support, we doubled the book awards submissions; added national librarian judges; attended Book Expo America; and hosted the largest conference and book awards since FPA’s inception. This was a great honor for our board’s commitment. During this time we learned the real definitions of: donating time, working board members, and delegation.

In mid June 2016, I was invited to speak at my first American Library Association ConferenceDr. Anna Faktorovich, a Ph.D in English Literature and Criticism, email queried ALA speakers for blog interviews. When she discovered I wasn’t her traditional academic guest, my interview was declined.

One week later I tossed drawings on the ALA convention floor. A young woman, carrying an armload of books, marched down the drawing path. She quickly apologized for stepping on my art.

“No worries, it’s only paper!” I said.

She glanced up at the booth banner; down at the drawings; then shouted, “You’re Mark Wayne Adams!”

After visiting over a million elementary school students, hearing my name shouted isn’t strange. The six degrees of Mark Wayne Adams story that follows is strange.

“I’m Anna!” she shouted. “I rejected your interview last week, remember!”

Anna shouting my rejection publicly wouldn’t sell books. However, my ability to “draw her into my world” filled Anna with a barrage of publishing questions.

I finally said “Anna, I’m working. Send me your interview questions, if you want answers.” She agreed and asked for a review copy of my latest book. I handed her my first novel. Countless hours went into researching and revising the manuscript for this moment—a review by a Ph.D. in English Literature and Criticism. 

OUTBACK-Bothers & Sinisters-www.markwayneadams.com-3D-book-72DPI-RGBIn my twelve-year publishing career I’ve learned that rejection, criticism, and affirmation are all the same—feedback. How I choose to use feedback defines my professional success. Feedback from my publishing peers, beta readers, editor, and a group of national librarians, made today a founding moment. I can now say OUTBACK: Bothers & Sinisters is my first award-winning novel. 

At last year’s awards I shared: we all have one person responsible for inspiring our publishing career. As Diane Harper accepted her first of several book awards, she whispered, “Mark, you’re my one!” She was the first of many that night to repeat those words. 

I met Fast Freddy long before I met his creator at the FAPA and Readers’ Favorite book awards. One year ago, author Lee Ann Mancini reluctantly confessed she hadn’t sold any of her award-winning books. She recently posted on Twitter, “450 off to LifeWay book stores!” What a Bragger! Lee Ann Mancini.

Jane R. Wood has gone from visiting schools, a niche market for authors; to publishing the book, teaching others to succeed. She is also the first author I know to sell over 6,000 books in one day!

Having your first stalker sound likes Misery, but Patti Brassard-Jefferson went from stalking me for StuPendous publishing tips to being featured in Publishers Weekly for her indie bookstore, PBJ Boox. Indie authors and publishers are now her stalkers—I’m her biggest fan!

Like I said there are many people more deserving of this award. Before I close, I’d like to thank my family: my beautiful wife, Angela; my overly talented daughter, Isabella; and my handsome giant son, Carter; you all keep my ego in check. Thank you to my author family: Christa Carpenter Blaney, Linda Smigaj, Eddie Price, Irina Dolinskiy, John Hope, Kay Whitehouse, and many other talented authors who ignite my imagination. Thank you also to my FAPA family, who work equally as hard to support others as they do me. You’ve shown me the Founders Award is not about being first but placing others first and contributing to their success.

4 Ways Publishing Businesses Succeed

The big challenge in my publishing business is “steady” income. Some months the business earns $12,000, other months it earns $1,200. How does it survive?

Through diversifying its income streams.

January through March and June through September are slow times for book sales. During these seven months I schedule new illustration projects which generate $48,000 in illustration income. (6 contracts x $8,000 per book = $48,000)

March through May and October through November are peak months for elementary school visits. I schedule 36 school events. 36 school visits generate $18,000 in speaking income. (36 events x $500 per event = $18,000)

On average, 10% of the students I meet buy a book. Meeting 36,000 students in elementary schools generates $36,000 in book income. (3,600 students x $10 per book = $36,000)

Five weekends a year I attend book festivals that have a minimum attendance of 10,000 readers. On average, 1% of the attendees buy a book. This generates $5,000 in book income. (100 attendees x 5 events x $10 per book = $5,000)

Illustrating, speaking, book sales, and festivals are four ways my business creates a six figure publishing income. A book is a product of publishing. A publishing business is the income streams around the product it creates. Learning this helped me overcome my biggest challenge—“steady” income.

—Mark Wayne Adams, Award-winning Illustrator & Publisher of Nicholas, that’s Ridiculous! A Story About Being a Boy

Quoting Illustrations: A Simple Formula

Quoting illustration projects varies among professionals. The formula discussed in this post gives authors, indie publishers, and new illustrators a simple formula for quoting picture book illustrations.

This “Simple Formula” was created using the Graphic Artists Guild Handbook average $500 to $2,500 pricing for a color, single page, picture book illustration. Illustrators with a fine arts degree and little to no picture book experience $500 to $1,000 is a fair per page price.

$1,000 per page will be the example used. 

An average picture book is 32 pages. Whether the title and copyright pages are excluded, a front and back cover illustration is needed. 32 pages is a fair estimate for any picture book quote.

32 illustrations at $1,000.00 per page equals $32,000.00. Encountering an author or publisher who purchases illustrations outright is unlikely. Negotiating a percentage deposit and a licensing royalty* is standard for publishing budgets.

The formula works in this way. Ask for a 25% non-refundable deposit**, which equals $8,000.00 (.25 X $32,000.00 = $8,000.00), plus a 10% royalty on the book and all licensed products. If a book has a Net Sale of $10.00, the illustrator is paid $1.00 (.10 x $10.00 = $1.00) as a royalty.

Low budget desirable projects allow illustrators to decrease the deposit and increase the royalty. If the illustration budget is $4,000.00, ask for a 12.5% non refundable deposit, which equals $4,000.00 (.125 X $32,000.00 = $4,000.00), plus a 20% royalty on the book and all licensed products. If a book has a Net Sale of $10.00, the illustrator is paid $2.00 (.20 x $10.00 = $2.00) as a royalty.

Meet any desired illustration request, create income during non-illustration time, and save time quoting projects using this formula.

*Note: Understand the difference in licensing rights verses assigning rights. One limits the usage rights while the other transfers rights. 

**Note: Deposits are usually paid in increments throughout the illustration process. 50% deposit, 25% after layout, and 25% upon completion or vice versa.

Inspiring Small Business: D. W. Harper

“Mark,

You did a wonderful job this past year as the FAPA President. To be honest, associations like this have been known to come across as “snooty.” This entire FAPA board has been helpful, informative and very welcoming when I attend the conferences. Your pictures show you having fun! I will continue my membership because of this.

I sincerely thank you, specifically, for all you’ve done for my author and publishing career.

I never anticipated my life taking the path of a writer/publisher which eventually turned into a small business for me. I will always be grateful to, Jane Wood and Frances Keiser, for all they’ve done and who eventually introduced me to you.

I’m a FAPA member and award winner per your suggestion to join. The inspiring recommendations and suggestions, (the networking) you’ve offered such as, school info for presenting my children’s books, award submissions, Bookbaby.com for eFormatting, and especially my wonderful editor, Jennifer Thomas, who did a great job editing, The Lost Twin have been spot on. You offer great advice through your own experiences, and I can’t thank you enough.”

—D. W.  Harper, Author of The Lost Twinn, Jace’s Adventures, and LOVE, GREED and LIE$

Outgoing FAPA President

How did volunteering make a difference?

For over five years I’ve served as a Board Member for the Florida Authors and Publishers Association (FAPA). From day one, I brought the same drive and vision used in my publishing business. My main concern was how much time would volunteering take.

During my terms as VP of Communications to President, I illustrated over 30 picture books. 15 of those were published for other authors. My marketing efforts included more than 90 school visits each year, encouraging nearly 100,000 students annually to write and illustrate books. Creating and marketing books while serving as a board member had challenging but manageable moments.

Rewards to volunteering began with the creation of annual conference sessions, and grew into implementation of new programs like the BookExpo Display Opportunity and the national FAPA President’s Book Awards growth. Writers’ conferences to book festivals invited me to share publishing knowledge I gained through the FAPA organization. My personal network of publishing professionals also grew through educational events, social media, and annual board retreats.

As my term as FAPA President comes to a close, I’ll remain active in the organization as Past President—mentoring future board members and members. My goal has always been to make a positive impact on FAPA through guidance and encouragement. Unexpectedly FAPA positively impacted my publishing success. Volunteering was the greatest reward!

Self Publishing: ABC’s

Self Publishing: ABC’s

  • Workshop Title:  Self Publishing: ABC’s
  • Instructor:  Mark Wayne Adams, CEO MWA, Inc., FAPA President
  • Date:  Saturday, April 25, 2015
  • Time:  1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Location:  110 West Railroad Avenue, Dawson Springs, KY 42408
  • Price:  $50.00

Award-winning author, illustrator, and publisher Mark Wayne Adams shares basic principles needed to produce a self published book. Receive valuable knowledge about formatting, design, layout, and more. Discussion includes the importance of book covers, copyrights, ISBN’s, price point, and more.  Everything you will need to self publish your first book.

Topics Covered:

  • Copyright:  How to register for a copyright
  • ISBN:  What is an ISBN and how many are needed
  • LCCN:  Library of Congress Tracking Number
  • Editing:  Editing Software, Editors, and Beta Readers
  • Printing:  Traditional Printing vs Print On Demand
  • Distribution:  Where to Sell, How to Promote, and When to Market

This class is for teachers, writers, and authors interested in self publishing. Laptops, iPads, and/or tablets are not required, however would be helpful. Wifi access is provided. Participants receive an interactive course pdf with resource links to topics discussed.

Class size is LIMITED to 15 people. Register early to reserve a seat!

Register Here.