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  • Join in the festivities!

    EMSA Publishing is confirmed as a vendor at the Prosserman JCC’s Sweet Week Market. We will be selling a host of books for all ages, crocheted Harry, Heddy, and Luna dolls, and one-of-a-kind comfy cozy blankets to snuggle under while you read books or watch television.

    Hope to see you there!

  • Shoutout to all Teachers and Homeschooling Parents…

    Teachers Pay Teachers is having a sale and all EMSA Publishing books posted there are 20% off, including the following titles:

  • It’s Finally Here!

    In the magnum opus of her teaching career, seasoned English teachers , author, editor, and publisher Elise Abram curates a collection of lesson plans and techniques related to the craft of writing. This book is suitable as a self-led course or textbook for writers craft courses.

    Abram’s method uses mentor texts to demonstrate elements of the art of storytelling, including crafting believable characters, gripping plots, and finding your author’s voice. Each lesson includes a number of writing exercises, exemplars, and self-assessment checklists to help you assess your progress as you complete the assigned tasks, building upon previous lessons as you hone your writing chaps. 

    • Use mentor texts to read like a writer
    • Practice showing and not telling
    • Construct believable characters
    • Pen plots that keep the reader turning pages
    • Experiment with different points of view
    • Blog and journal about your experience
    • Self-edit your work

    Learn about the elements of storytelling from past and present masters of fiction as you study their techniques and apply what you learn to your own writing. Discover your writing style as you complete the activities in this course as you learn how to shape stories worthy of publication.

    Buy The Shape of Stories: A Comprehensive Guide for Fiction Writers at Amazon.

  • One more Web 2.0 idea for your Teacher’s Toolkit

    What does a poor teacher do when circumstances force her to return to online learning at the start of the drama unit? Create a Web 2.0 tool, of course.

    I spent weeks planning my unit on Macbeth prior to the winter break only to be sidelined by the spread of Omicron. At my school, we long ago decided that since Shakespeare was meant to be watched and not read, we would begin with the movie and pivot to study important scenes and passages after that.

    Last year, I discovered the PBS version of the play starring Patrick Stewart and was blown away by it. The movie is available for free on the PBS site, but only so many viewings are allowed each month. In class, I can show the video to my students, racking up maybe 10 viewings (2 classes watching over 5 days), but at home, sending students to the site to watch, I am looking at more than 300 views in a week, which helps to push the quota and shut down the availability.

    My only other choices for cinematic quality movies (not stage productions) are the Fassbender version–featuring a nude Lady Macbeth–and the Polanski version–which shows Macduff’s son in full-frontal nudity and soldiers raping Macduff’s servants in the background of the scene that seals his family’s fate. Needless to say, neither is suitable for viewing in a grade 10 classroom. Unlike when we watch face-to-face with the Polanski version (or the Zeffierelli version of Romeo and Juliet just after they consummate their marriage), I can’t skip over these scenes if I ask them to watch at home.

    Time constraints were another issue. We lost two days while the government pondered what to do with the situation (under the guise of pivot prep days) and (as would happen later) another two as snow days at the end of the two weeks, meaning that I lost almost a full instructional week when time was scarce to begin with. It is for this reason I made the shift to teaching Macbeth using Web 2.0 tools.

    To put it simply,

    Web 2.0 was coined to indicate all of the interactive tools available online. These tools “enable users to create, share, collaborate and communicate their work with others, without any need of any web design or publishing skills.

    Using YouTube and Google Docs, two Web 2.0 tools, I created my drama unit as follows:

    1. Students were given copies of the organizer.
    2. We watched videos of important passages and/or scenes on YouTube (links in handout for easy access).
    3. Students were given 5-10 minutes to annotate the passage (we learned how to annotate early in the semester).
    4. We took up the answers to the given questions.
    5. I made notes on a master copy that I later shared with students.
    6. Students completed a Google Form diagnostic quiz after each act to test their understanding of what was discussed as we took up the questions on the organizer.

    This took us 6 days (+/- one day) of classes to complete. The nice thing was that it killed two birds with one stone: not only did we watch the important passages, but we also went back to make sense of them.

    The reason this worked so effectively was due to the work done on the context of Macbeth prior to beginning the play, which included watching the Animated Macbeth (also on YouTube), looking at character relationships, and act-by-act breakdowns of the play. Because students began this task knowing the specifics of the play, it was okay (I think) if we didn’t watch the whole play (which we couldn’t without breaking copyright or my responsibilities as a teacher).

    Here is the link to the Google Doc I shared with students.

    For more ideas as to how to integrate Web 2.0 tools in your classroom, buy 22 Practical Ideas: Web 2.0 Teacher’s Toolkit by Elise Abram on Amazon.

    Elise Abram is an educator in the GTA. She is the owner and operator of EMSA Publishing.

  • Children’s author donates to Watarrka Foundation

    Congratulations to children’s author Jan Lillefjære on the publication of his latest book, Åse and the Honeybees. This marks the fifth children’s picture book Jan has published with EMSA Publishing. Other titles include Tales from Lofoten, The Curious Misadventures of Ase the Bear, Matylda Goes on a Walkabout, and Kakadu. Each of these books follows the adventures of adorable forest animals.

    Recently, Jan Lillefjære was featured by the Watarrka Foundation, a non-profit whose goal is to “deliver programs that support a sustainable environment, education, healthy lifestyles and independent livelihoods for Aboriginal communities in the Watarrka region.” Jan has pledged to donate the proceeds from the sales of his books and related merchandise to the foundation, which is both generous and admirable.

    To buy any of Jan’s books, please click on the book title in the above post.

    Read “Children’s Book Author Generously Donates to the Foundation.

    Visit the Watarrka Foundation‘s website to learn more about this excellent charity.

    Discover more about author Jan Lillefjære on his website.

  • 3 Books supporting Children’s Mental Health

    To purchase a Heddy doll, please contact admin@emsapublishing.com. Dolls are $25.00 plus shipping.

    EMSA Publishing announces a new series for children to support mental health.

    Heddy and Harry the hedgehogs and Luna the Unicorn have mental health conditions that affect their mood, thinking, and behaviour. Heddy is sad, and she doesn’t know why (depression). Harry has a lot of energy (ADHD). Luna is afraid of storms. With a little help, they all learn how to overcome their conditions to live happy and productive lives.

    It is the hope that children will see themselves in these cute and colourful characters, know there is help available to them, and that they can control their fears and anxieties rather than letting their fears and anxieties control them.

    Book 1–Heddy is Sad

    Heddy is sad, and she doesn’t know why.

    Heddy the Hedgehog is challenged by sadness. She is grumpy, has negative thoughts, and she blames herself. But Heddy is not alone.

    Heddy is Sad is an excellent book for educating children, youth, parents, friends, and caregivers how to support a loved one in need.

    Book 2–Harry has too much Energy

    Harry’s doctor tells him he has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. At first, he is scared by what that might mean, but then he realizes that his ADHD comes with some awesome abilities.

    All too often, we focus on the negatives that come with a diagnosis of ADHD. It’s time that changed, and we begin to focus on the positives. Harry has a lot of Energy is an amazing book for helping children, youth, parents, and caregivers who have first-hand experience with ADHD to see the upside to this unique condition.

    Book 3–Luna is Afraid of Storms (coming soon!)

    Luna the Unicorn has a debilitating fear of storms. At first, she is afraid, and she hides under her covers, but all of that changes one day.

  • We’re Growing!

    Image Credit: Open Clipart Vector | 27422 | Pixabay

    EMSA Publishing is pleased to welcome Brittany Abram, our new graphics specialist.

    Brittany is a student of media design, and In-Design and Photoshop expert with an eye for aesthetics and graphics.

    She will be working to produce beautifully-designed, next-level covers and interior formatting.

    Welcome, Brittany!

  • Fun and Funky Interior Formatting

    Here are a few samples of my latest creations. 

    A. Skull chapter display was created for a book about vampires.

    B. Clock hand–a great way to showcase that the book is a time travel story.

    C. Simple YA format with chapter numbers and titles.

    D. Simple YA format  with chapter numbers and drop-caps.

    E.  Simple YA format chapter numbers and titles.

    The sky’s the limit!

    Custom headers designed to highlight your work, genre, and/or title along with interior page formatting starting at only $35.00!

    Contact me at admin@emsapublishing.com to talk about your custom header and for a quote.

     

  • 15 Free Book Promo Sites

    Author and EMSA founder Elise Abram writes about her experiences selling her latest novel, I Was, Am, Will Be Alice in a post sharing 15 promotional sites she’s found on which you can post your books for free. Check out the list at http://eliseabram.com/15-free-book-promo-sites/

                                            Image made on placeit.net

    I’m on the book promo path again. Newly edited, my last book, I Was, Am, Will Be Alice will be on sale for the month of January 2017 for only $0.99. I threw a lot of money behind it for advertising in the summer when it was released, so this time I’m reluctant to put any new money into the project. To that end, I went searching online and found 15 amazing and free book promo sites. I signed up at all of them, hoping it will help my prospects, and I want to share them all with you.

    Without further ado, here are 15 free book promo sites (in no particular order) you can use to help promote your book. Note that I am writing this blog post in advance of seeing my book advertised and having any sales, so I cannot vouch for some of these sites except for the fact that they allow you to upload your book for free… [more]

  • To Self- or Indie-Pub? The Pros and Cons

    Self-publishing your books is easier today than ever before. Sites like Amazon and KoboBooks allow authors to post directly to their online sales catalogues. Other sites, like CreateSpace and Lulu, are one-stop shops that allow authors to post their work and have it distributed to affiliate sites including Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks. The question is, should you self-publish because you can, or should you give her manuscript to an independent publishing house to do it in your stead?

    If you’re unsure which way to go, this might help you decide:

    You may need an independent publisher if you

    • aren’t tech savvy

    An independent publisher will accept your manuscript in Word format and complete the formatting and uploading for you.

    • aren’t artistically inclined

    Many independent, hybrid publishers will include the cover art for your book in your contract, which means you will have a professional-looking cover with which to showcase your work.

    • need some clout in the competition world

    A number of contests, competitions and grant-awarding institutions won’t accept self-published novels as contenders. Signing with a publishing house, no matter how small, adds a bit of prestige to your work.

    You may want to self-publish if

    • you want to maintain control

    Indie-publishers have contracts preventing you from changing or posting your work for sale for the duration of the contract. This means you must be willing to give someone else control over your intellectual property for one to several years, depending on the contract.

    • you want to vary the price or “sell” it for free

    Though most indie-publishers are small Internet businesses, there are still overhead costs for running them. Unless you want to run a brief giveaway for a few eCopies of your book, chances are an indie-publisher won’t comply with a “free” sale for the duration of the contract.

    • you are willing to make mistakes

    You can’t make an omelette without cracking a few eggs, right? It takes a lot of research, planning, and trial and error to get it right in any field, and the world of self-publishing is no exception. If you have the time to make revisions, post to social media, and figure out what works with respect to advertising, then maybe you want to self-publish.

    Whichever way you decide to go, the author is generally the one responsible for the bulk of the publicity and advertising when it comes to sales. Some hybrid publishers, like EMSA Publishing, will assist with this for a cut of the royalties, and at no additional cost to the author. In addition to publishing your book at all major online retailers (including print-on-demand options for paperbacks), EMSA Publishing will

    • provide a copy edit of your manuscript
    • write and post press releases
    • post to social media
    • organize a blog tour
    • keep you informed with respect to what’s happening in the publishing world

    most of which are not offered by other independent publishing houses.

    If you have a completed manuscript, consider joining the EMSA Publishing family. See the Submissions page for details.