Pinterest Win: Fairy Wands

Inspiration

The original inspiration for this was from a post about reading pointers for early or beginning readers. It looked like a fairy wand to me, so I took the idea and ran with it. You can find that post by clicking the image below or CreativeFamilyFun.

picture courtesy of CreativeFamilyFun.net

My criteria for a Win:

  • Can children aged 5-7 do this with only verbal instruction? Yes.
  • Can more than one child do this project at a time? Yes.
  • Does the finished product look like the pinterest picture? Yes, if the same items are used.
  • If not, does it look good? Yes, my changes still looked good.

What I did different:

  • I added ribbons.
  • I found smaller sticky gems and stickers.
  • Different foam shapes are okay. If you are not using it to point at something then you can use what ever shape you want. Hearts anyone?

Groups:

My sample group only had 1-4 kids at a time, but I had over 20 kids come through my tent, with a wide range in ages and genders. They all seems to enjoy this craft, the youngest needing more help, but still had lots that they could do themselves.

I’d say this is great for groups aged 5+. For younger kids it might be best with one on one attention. I also think there is lots of room to make this craft personized for a specific group or event.

Be Aware:

My indorsement in no way implies the safety of this item. You must use your own judgement and take responsibility for your own choices. Follow the age restrictions for the items you choose to use and never leave a small child unattended with anything made from popsicle sticks or anything similar in shape or size.

Pinterest Win: Origami Dragon Bookmark

Are you like the rest of us? Scrolling Pinterest looking for a craft or project to do with a group of kids. Maybe you have a theme, maybe not, but you just need something that will fill 10-15 minutes and come out in one piece? Hey I’m on kid three I’ve seen what a classroom or group of kids can fail at. Truth be told its not the kids that failed, its the quality of the craft supplies. Still we want wins for all the kids.

The Craft: An Origami Dragon Corner Bookmark

You can find the original post here: https://www.redtedart.com/dragon-corner-bookmark-design

The Pinterest Effect:

It looks so good on Pinterest. Tons of people are pinning it. But will it really work? Can I really get a group of kids to follow along and end up with a cute craft? Pinterest says you can but we all know Pinterest lies.

I set out to see if this craft was worth doing, by doing it myself. Then I had my 7 year old do it. So far so good. Then I analyzed the possible problems in a group setting with a wide range of ages. (My group of kids was at a Pfarmers Market, so I had no idea who would show up.)

How I Prepped for Success:

What I learned from my test samples helped me decide the best way to prep for this event. This may be different than what you need. For example if you have a classroom full of 3rd graders, then you’ll want them to do some of these steps themselves, a troop, or classroom full of 1st graders may be different.

  • I used cardstock and cut out the rectangles for this project 3in. x 6in.
  • Color and precut the eyes. (I per dragon)
  • Draw and precut the ear piece.
    (I per dragon)
  • Draw and precut the wings.
    (I per dragon)
  • Precut the spikes as one solid piece. To do this I cut a 2in x 2in square and shaped the outside edge on two attached sides, then cute off a 1in x 1 in square from the opposite corner.
  • Use glue sticks on the dragon , not the individual pieces.
  • Stick the ear on last, with instructions to hold it tight for awhile.

Success is in the smiles

I had about 20 kids stop by my tent and make this project, they ranged in age from 2 – 12. The day of the event it became very clear that the younger kids wanted to participate and just couldn’t do the folding. If I had used regular paper, they still would not be able to fold, but thinner paper would have been easier for the 5-7 year olds. So I quickly folded up a small pile of dragons, and the kids had just as much fun, gluing the pieces on.

The project took between 5-10 minutes per child. I personally could walk a group of about 3 through the process, but my table was small. Everyone left my table happy, even if some of the dragons got an extra eye, or some bling from my stash of sticky gems meant for a different craft.

Self Publishing Question and Answer Series

Price Points

  1. How do I know if my book is priced to sell?

One of the joys of self publishing is doing your own market research. Go to a local book store, wonder over to the section that fits your books and take notes. Here is my list:

  • What is your trim size? Exactly what sizes are your books printed in? Really look around, take a tape measure if you need it.
  • Besides, what other differences are there? page count, hard cover, soft cover, color vs black and white images, etc.
  • Make a graph and list price points that go with each difference you found.
  • Make a list of at least 10 books featuring those differences to compare online pricing.
  • If your book is only an ebook, then research your genre, look for page length, word count, and popularity of genre.

After you have done this research you should be able to pinpoint the market standard for your book.

Examples:

  • I write children’s books. 8×8 fully illustrated hard cover books sell for $8.99-$12.99 in the US. If it costs me $8 to print it, then I won’t make any money.
  • The same book, printed in 8.5×11 fully illustrated with a hard cover. They sell for $17.99-$22.99 and cost the same $8 to print, then I have room for profit.

Traditional Publishers have their books printed in China and get their pricing down to $2 or less per book. That is how they can sell an 8×8 book for so little and still make a profit.

2. I though self published authors made more per book sale, than traditional authors?

I can’t guarantee that your book will sell, nothing is guaranteed in life or in business. If you do the research and size your books accordingly, then the profit per book should be greater than what a traditional author earns. I can tell you that a traditional author typically makes an advance then a small % of each book AFTER the advance has been earned through sales. I can also tell you that the % (called royalties) is split with your literary agent.

Self publishing is a business, so you have to get to know the competition. If you treat it like a business and not a hobby, then you will have done this research before you finalize the details for your book so that you can maximize your potential profit.

3 .I did the research and my price and size is competitive , what else could it be?

If your using Amazon’s KDP then, raising your price is the only option for making more. If your using someone else, like Ingram Spark, then you can change a few things. One you can change your wholesale discount. Yes the industry standard is 50-55% but if most of your sales are Print on Demand, then changing it to 30-40% can give you the extra profit room per book that you need.

Ingram Spark has a handy calculator that shows the differences that wholesale discount makes. Play with it and see what difference it may mean for you. https://myaccount.ingramspark.com/Portal/Tools/PubCompCalculator?hsCtaTracking=d9033cc7-9d81-4894-a3a6-99b8cc08bf02%7C42e1dc3e-a6a6-4177-b468-589181ab94f4

More about Writing

Please, always do your own research. All the information is presented in good faith. I gathered this information from information I gleaned while walking through the process of self publishing myself. Every genre is a little different, I personally publish children’s picture books, and middle grade fantasy novels. At the time I wrote this article I had two pictures books, one middle grade novel, a coloring book, and a teacher’s guide self-published.

Free Valentine Coloring Pages

In honor of Valentine’s Day

Thank you for visiting my site. This month I have made a series of heart images. Maybe your like me, and just have a child that likes a simple page to color. Something to give them direction without filling the whole page. Or maybe your a teacher who just needs something for those kids that finish their assignments/projects early. Or maybe your someone else entirely. No matter, I hope you find these printable helpful and useful. Enjoy!

Teacher’s Pay Teacher’s

Please go to Teacher’s Pay Teacher’s to download the free coloring Pages.

Come back for more.

Then throughout the year I’ll share them with you here on my blog. Make sure to follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram to get the next set. Click below to get This months free coloring pages.

Previous Free Coloring Pages