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Meet Carla Jansen (Author Success Stories)

Updated: Feb 8, 2023

Welcome to our latest Author Success Story!

Do you find yourself wondering...

"Can I REALLY do this? Can I really publish my own children's book?"

The answer is YES, and authors like Carla are all the proof you need! Keep reading to be inspired!

Meet Carla Mae Jansen:

Carla writes books she has wished she had over her years as a public and private school teacher and home educator! When she's not writing, she enjoys traveling, rock hunting, hiking, biking, cooking, experimenting, and exploring with her family (which includes 5 kids, a dog, turtle, and frog). She has a BS and MA in Science Education and is a certified National Geographic Educator.

AHA: Hi Carla! So what inspired you to become an author?

Carla: I have a lot of ideas for exciting, educational, and fun books that just don’t exist! The only way for them to be available to my kids (and all the other kids in the world) is for me to write them!

AHA: "Necessity is the mother of invention," as they say! Was there a particular reason you chose to self-publish instead of pursuing traditional publishing?

Carla: By the time I polished my manuscript up to a point where I was confident publishers would want it, I had ideas about the illustrations and designs. I didn’t want to turn everything over (and give all the rights) to someone else! So I set up my own little publishing company!

AHA: What is your background/experience in writing, if any?

Carla: I have always enjoyed writing! I have had articles I’ve written published in traditional magazines, and I’ve worked with several traditional publishers on different projects. I’ve also written a lot of blog posts and resources online for homeschoolers and teachers.

AHA: How long did it take you to publish your first book?

Carla: About 14 years, lol! To be fair, that was 14 years if you start when I first had the idea. Once I really started focusing on my book, it took about 14 months.

AHA: Ha! Sometimes the hardest part is just getting started! Speaking of which, how did you fund your first project?

Carla: I funded my illustrator and early editing with a loan from my other business, and then I did a Kickstarter for the printing.

AHA: Is there anything you wish you would have known before you started the process?

Carla: I wish I knew about the timeline for professional reviews! A lot of the bigger review agencies like to see the book months before it is released, and I did not realize that until I tried to send them my first book (after it was published)! Luckily, you learn as you go, and I will be sending several my second book before it is published!

Also, another really big lesson for me was in publishing timelines. I released my first book in December, which made it really difficult (and, in my reality, impossible) to enter a lot of contests that I wanted to. I didn’t even realize the deadlines for a lot of them! For a big release, I’d recommend publishing between February and September, and planning out contest entries well before you release!

AHA: Those are great tips! Got any final words of advice for newbies?

Carla: I think the best thing you can do is build an honest, professional team around you. You don’t have to have the size of a traditional publishing house to make a high-quality book. You can hire brilliant freelancers for editing, illustrating, and more! Getting honest feedback as you go through the process is super important, and working with other professionals is a fantastic experience!

AHA: Publishing people are the best! Thanks so much, Carla!

Carla's Stats:

Title: (first release)

A Dinosaur Made Me Sneeze: A Rock Cycle Adventure

Release Date:

December 2020


Hardcover: Printed in China

Paperback: KDP

POD or offset print run?

Hardcover: Offset

Paperback: POD

Formats Available:

hardcover, paperback, Kindle, PDF

Total Investment: (All amounts are rough estimates provided by the author and should not be considered 100% accurate or used as estimates for your own project. Do your own research!)


Total Number of Books Sold To Date:

About 1800

Inspired by Carla's story?

Ready to start your own publishing journey?

At Home Author is run by three veteran teachers-turned-authors who are here to help! Click the button below to book a FREE 15-minute consultation and we'll answer any questions you might have.

Not feeling chatty? We get it! ;) Click HERE to register for a FREE webinar.

Disclaimer: This blog post may contain affiliate links to products we enjoy using ourselves. Should you choose to use these links, At Home Author may earn affiliate commissions at no additional cost to you.

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