Our second interview is with Yogi Superhero series creator, Anna Smithers! Anna is a wonderful author, yoga teacher and an amazing and supportive friend! I am so happy to have connected with her!
1. Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Anna Smithers and 18 months ago I gave up my full-time job as Quality Engineer and became full time yoga therapist for kids and also an author.
2. What inspired and motivated you to write your first book and how long did it take from the initial idea to publishing?
I wrote and illustrated my first book when I was 5 years old. It was never published. However, my auntie still has got the copy of it. I wrote my first self-published book because I needed a resource for the children I was teaching and could not find anything similar on the market. That’s how “Yogi Superhero” was born. It took me 8 months from writing to the book being live.
3. What are some of the challenges you have encountered on your author and self-publishing journey? How did you overcome them?
Not knowing the full process from the beginning till the end. Joining Facebook support groups and learning from fellow authors gave me a better understanding of how publishing should be done.
4. What are some of your proudest moments?
Yogi Superhero Adventures in Nature – Forest won a bronze medal in children’s picture book category in Living Now US Awards 2020. I was even more excited because I was competing with traditional publishers.
5. What is something you wish someone had told you about self-publishing before you started?
Writing the story is the easiest part of the self-publishing job. The hard work starts after the book has been published. Marketing the book is a full-time job. Oh, and learn from my mistake and make sure you use your own ISBN.
6. Have you had any negative experiences or disappointing moments throughout your publishing journey? How did you handle them?
My Yogi Superhero book has received some low ratings on Amazon. There are some 1-, 2- and 3-star ratings with no comments which I don’t find helpful because I don’t know what is wrong. However, seeing those low ratings was hard at the beginning. I always thought of my books more like children, and if someone criticises them it does hurt. But with time I’ve learned that is part of the job and all the reviews are very subjective, depending on the person's previous experiences, likes and dislikes. And even the best books get low ratings because there is no way you can make everyone happy.
7. What’s the best thing someone has said about your book? Or something they said that made you really happy.
This review. I wrote my last book to help children rest and it seems it worked:
Magical. My 4year old loved this - it's been tough getting him off to sleep recently and I was willing to try anything that might help. I read this to him at bedtime he was fast asleep before the end of his 10 breaths. Absolutely magic, and it's teaching him grounding techniques as well. I can't praise this book enough!
8. What advice would you give to other aspiring writers or authors?
If you are thinking about publishing a picture book, make sure you choose an illustrator you love. This person will be bringing your story to life. And even if you have the best story in the world, rubbish illustrations can kill all the joy.
9. Finish the following sentence: If I could only read one book for the rest of my life, it would be …
If I could only read one book for the rest of my life, it would be Lord of the rings.
10. What does ‘a day in the life of an author’ look like? Describe your typical day.
I think it’s difficult to describe a typical day. But like everyone else from 9-5 I work on my books depending which stage they are on. Either marketing the books or working on new one.
11. Can you tell us more about your books?
Yogi Superhero is a series of soothing, lyrical stories - walking children through yoga poses and relaxation techniques because even Superheroes need to keep fit and rested! Helping children learn how to relax and unwind, these colourful books are perfect for parents, yoga teachers or to be enjoyed as a bedtime read. The perfect way to introduce mindfulness and yoga to a young child and enable them to learn relaxation techniques that can equip them for life. The books are based on the Yogi Superhero programme for children, delivered for the last few years, which combines passion for yoga and creative teaching. Each book can be read standalone. The 2015 World Happiness Report states that 220 million children worldwide suffer from mental health disorders, about half of each are anxiety related. Yoga helps us to find stillness in the midst of the storm. By becoming mindful of body, thoughts and emotions, children learn how to cope with them and how to become a happier person.
Award-winning, fun and educational rhyming yoga stories, they are perfect picture books for parents, carers, teachers and Yoga teachers.
Yogi Superhero stories have received glowing reviews: ★ Yogi Superhero - 5-star review from Reader's Favorite
★ Award Winning Yogi Superhero Adventures in Nature - Forest
★Yogi Superhero Time to Rest - 5-star review from Reader's Favorite
Thank you so much for sharing your publishing journey and books with us!
You can find links to the author's books and social media pages here:
Series on Amazon: author.to/YogiSuperheroSeries
If you get a chance to read these wonderful books, don't forget to leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads!