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Bobbie Hinman - How Self-Publishing Authors are Changing the Landscape

Updated: Oct 12, 2022

It's your time!

Now that the kids are back to school, you can have some time to think about your next big project. How about a children’s book for instance? If that’s on your agenda, you’re going to want to speak with Bobbie Hinman, an extraordinary author, and editor of award-winning children’s books! Bobbie edited my own book, My Monster Truck Goes Everywhere With Me, and I cannot recommend her strongly enough.

Bobbie Hinman is a former elementary teacher with a B.S. degree in Elementary Education and a Minor in Children’s Literature. The combination of her teaching experience, along with the time spent with her 13 grandchildren, has made her feel right at home in the world of children's literature. She loves to create stories that reveal some of the less practical and more magical explanations of life's little mysteries. After all, who better to blame it on than a fairy?

Bobbie's five rhyming fairy books have received a total of 28 children's book awards, including the Moonbeam Children's Book Award for “Best Picture Book Series of 2017.” She is also the author of “How to Create a Successful Children’s Picture Book.”

Bobbie has been a featured speaker and presenter at numerous schools, libraries, and book festivals across the United States and Canada. In addition, she is currently in demand as an editor of children's books.

Bobbie, your Fairy Book Series was and is a smashing success winning 28 children’s books awards! You had the opportunity to speak and share your stories with countless children, seeing those smiling faces in person. Please share how the series came about and a few of those favorite moments sharing your books.

My first book was totally unplanned! My hubby and I were babysitting 3 of our 13 grandchildren for a week. All was well, except that 5-year-old Emily refused to have her wild, curly hair brushed. After pleading and bribing, I did something grandparents seem to do well—I made up a story. I told her about the little fairy who comes into the house at night and tangles children’s hair. “It’s all her fault,” Emily said with a smile. I suggested that we brush the tangles out and see if the fairy comes back to try again. It worked so well that I wrote the story down so I could share it with our other grandkids. They loved it too, so we shared it with friends…and you get the idea.

A book was soon to follow. Then the grandkids thought of something else they could blame on a fairy—missing socks. That became Book 2. Then came the Belly Button Fairy, followed by The Fart Fairy (my husband’s idea) and The Freckle Fairy. The grandkids played an integral part in the entire process, even going to book signings with me and carefully printing their names in each book.

Did you imagine after earning a B.S. degree in Elementary Education and a Minor in Children’s Literature, you would someday be helping so many authors self-publish children’s books? Was writing for children something you had always dreamed about?

I’ve always loved fairies and fairy tales, but I never really thought about writing them. I actually began my writing career by creating 7 cookbooks. I guess I never thought of that as writing. But when we were blessed with a brood of 13 grandkids, my love of children’s literature came flooding back. I became known as “the grandma who always had time for one more story.” So when the story for The Knot Fairy had come to me so easily, I felt the tide going in a new direction. I started self-publishing in 2006, when few people tried it and even fewer believed in it. I made my share of mistakes, but I like to think I helped pave the way for the flood of top-notch children’s books that are being self-published today.

You have two books to help authors, including How to Create a Successful Children’s Book which helped me through the process of writing my first picture book, My Monster Truck Goes Everywhere with Me. You recently released How to Master the Art of Writing Children's Books. Please tell us more about these two books.

The goal of my first book, How to Create a Successful Children’s Book, was to offer an overview of the entire process of self-publishing: developing an idea, working with an illustrator, finding a graphic designer and editor, having the books printed, and marketing, marketing and marketing. I wanted to help others avoid the early mistakes I had made.

The second book, How to Master the Art of Writing Children’s Books was born out of necessity. It was becoming easy to self-publish, but not everyone knows how to write. As an editor, I see a fair number of frustrated people struggling to produce a book without knowledge of the writing process. In this book, I offer information and examples of everything you would learn in an expensive writing course—including how to rhyme.

Your newest release, I Saw Santa's Underpants, is an excellent example of rhyming done right. Where did the idea for this book come from?  

Ideas have a way of materializing out of nowhere. This one appeared in a conversation with my grown grandchildren about the idea of writing a Christmas book. Poof! The title popped into my head and made us laugh hysterically. That was it…An idea was born.

You discuss beta readers as a critical part of the writing process. Please share with us a favorite story about your special beta readers.

My preferred beta readers are children in my target audience. Kids are so creative and honest, and I always recommend listening to what they have to say. One particular book that I read to a kindergarten class was a total bomb. The kids didn’t like it at all. (I could tell as their eyes glazed over.) I politely thanked them for their honesty, then trashed the idea and moved on.

As an educator, author, editor, and grandmother, how do you see self-publishing authors impacting diversity, inclusion, acceptance, and kindness in the books you have enjoyed editing?

One of the beautiful benefits of self-publishing is that these books are written by people with firsthand knowledge of their subjects. No one knows more about children’s struggles than their families. I have heard numerous writers say that they couldn’t find a book to help with their children’s issues or disabilities, so they decided to write it themselves.

Traditional publishers are publishing to a broad audience, so it is obviously more profitable for them to stick to broader topics. Authors who choose can submit their ideas to publishers, but the chances of being accepted within a reasonable time, and of keeping the story intact, are slim. Self-publishing moms, dads, teachers and grandparents are having a huge impact on the industry.

What are some of the tough topics self-publishing authors are bravely tackling? How important do you feel addressing these issues of disabilities, diversity, and differences is for society? For the children and families affected by them?

I think it is extremely important for children who feel different in any way to find validation that they are okay just the way they are. In my opinion, traditional publishers have often steered away from any book that didn’t look like bestseller material. Enter the brave indie publishers! For the most part, we live in the real world and know what children like to read and what will help them learn and grow.

Stories inspire children, parents, and educators in many ways. So how are self-publishing authors impacting our thoughts and ideas related to disabilities?

Make way! Self-publishing authors are driven to educate the public and get their important points across!

Do you have any advice on how self-publishing authors can work with teachers in preparing lesson plans to accompany their books?

My best advice is for authors to speak with several teachers when preparing lesson plans. This will help ensure that the vocabulary and the depth of concepts are handled appropriately.

You also offer author services. I highly recommend you for editing services. I love your quick response. The feedback and editing of the storyline, pagination, and every edit were impressive. I am honored and grateful for our relationship. You were there for the story, the book blurb, and so much more. I got to know you and your family through you. I found encouragement to persevere in the journey of releasing that first work. I am looking forward to working with you on my next book.

I love what I do and I look forward to helping each author I work with tell their story in their own best voice. Information about my editing services, along with my contact information, can be found on my website:

Where you can learn more about the books she has edited and her

Please share with us the book you write and publish!

We love hearing from you.

Working together, we can accomplish great things.

Every child has a gift to give.

ASL Picture Books is helping them discover it.

You may enjoy reading about debut authors in these blog articles:

Seasoned Award-Winning and New York Times Best-Selling Authors:

Thank You!


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