Welcome to Younglings Books® Ltd

I am pleased to announce the release of my new book 

  Albert Magpie and Timothy Rabbit
Clarry's Lost Pony Tail

Author: Shirley Todd

ISBN: 0-476-00998-07

Copyright 2004

Reading age: 7-9

RRP: $15.45NZ - add $3.50 for postage and packaging within New Zealand.
Add $10.00NZ for postage and packaging to overseas countries. 
Ten percent discount for schools and libraries.
Currency converter - Click here

Available NOW! A Literature Unit e-book for the above titled book. A valuable teaching aid. The unit contains: Questions for children to discover the answers to while reading the book. Word Find Puzzles. Mazes. Making a Mini Puppet Theatre. Stick Puppet Templates. Teaching Map Skills. Craft and Game Activities AND MORE.
 See contact details below.
RRP: $6.00NZ - free with two or more books purchased.
               About the Book

This is a well-written and beautifully illustrated book. The background scenery is based on New Zealand's flora and fauna. The story revolves around Albert Magpie, Timothy Rabbit and Clarry Pony. Albert and Timothy help their friend Clarry search for his lost tail and in doing so meet up with some of the other interesting characters who live in the valley. The inside cover has a map of the valley so that children can follow along with the search and feel a part of the story. This is a book that is sure to delight both young and old. 

The book consists of 24 pages, with a soft cover that has been laminated on both sides for extra durability. It has been edited by a well-known New Zealand author, editor and manuscript assessor, Graeme Lay, and has his endorsement on the back outside cover. It has also been professionally proofread.

About the Author

Shirley Todd was born in Sydney, Australia and moved to Auckland, New Zealand in her early teens. Here she eventually married and raised her family of four children. She discovered at a very early age that she had an ability to draw cartoon-type characters and would spend hours doing so. She also enjoys writing poetry.

The characters in her book developed over a twenty-year period and were inspired by her children. Clarry the Pony, who was originally a "cowboy" donkey, was one of the first characters Shirley drew for her children as a game at parties. Next came Albert the Magpie, born from a mishap of her eldest son, Albert, who in his teens decided to dye his very dark hair blonde, resulting in his hair actually turning orange.

In time, Shirley finished drawing the other characters which appear in her book. With encouragement from family and friends, she decided to write a story around her characters as a way of introducing them to other children.

What is unique about Shirley’s first book is that she not only wrote and illustrated the book, she also designed her book from cover to cover including page layout and typing of the text.

To acquire copies of Shirley's book for reviews, please contact - younglings.books@ihug.co.nz


Kidz Reviews

Clarry looked funny without his tail, and Albert Magpie looked cool. The story was good!

Brandon, age 9.

Thank you very much for the copy of your book. I love it and so does my little sister . . . I love writing stories and one day I will send you one of mine. It is called The Underground Lab and it is all about a witch. The cool thing about it is that it includes me in it. I better go now and plus my fingers are getting sore. I love your story and hope you become famous so I will have your book and it will be signed. Have a good day!

Laura, age 11. Sophie, age 8.

My son-in-law read it to the boys. When the 3 year old Dylan was done, he came to us and held up the book and on the map part he started pointing and saying, "we were here and here and here and we were here," making sure we knew all the houses he visited. He really enjoyed it. You did a fine job of it. The paper is nice too, it will wipe off if it gets dirty.

Cheryl, grandmother. Dylan, age 3.

Did you enjoy my book?
  Write and let me know!  Kids please ask your parents first!!!

Your Comments

I came across your book for sale on a website, and while I'm not wanting to buy the book, I was interested to see the artwork in the book, it says on your bio you do the art yourself, I'm very impressed. You certainly have a great talent, do you draw the images and scan them, or use a graphic programme to create them.

Anyway, I just wanted to say hi, and comment on your art.

Regards, Lynn. Canz Design.

Hi Lynn. Thanks for your feedback! I draw all my images combining two graphics programs to get the desired effects. Each individual image can take hours or days to create and get just right.

Regards, Shirley Todd

Contact Details

For further information or to purchase the book, you can email Shirley at:


PO Box 79463, Royal Heights, Auckland 1008, New Zealand.
Phone: 64 9 832 1725

Autographed copies provided upon request. 

See bottom of page for Payment Options.

©  Younglings Books® Ltd  2005

Message from the Author-Publisher 

Having your manuscript published is not just a dream — even if you've had endless rejections from publishers.

You can become your own publisher!

I have put some hints and links below to help you on your journey to realizing your dream: seeing your book in print.

You will meet some nice people on your journey but you will also meet some who are not-so-nice! I call these people ‘the dream destroyers!'

The Dream Destroyer

You have a dream, but beware!
You are gonna meet those
who do not care!
They wear a grin
and at first seem nice within.

But stand firm and stand tall,
just like a concrete tower.
Because these ones are really
seeking to devour.

Your hopin’ and your dreamin’.
But you keep right on believin’!
let them win!
Don't let them foil yer!

This type of person is called, 
the Dream Destroyer!

©  Shirley Todd  2005

Publishing Your Manuscript

You have spent hours upon hours writing and rewriting your manuscript and now you think it's ready.

What do you do next?
The next step is to have your manuscript assessed (see below). You might also choose to have it edited at this stage so that it makes the most favourable 'first impression' possible — and, on the off-chance your manuscript does not end up among the 'less than one per cent' of manuscripts submitted (the percentage quoted by one publisher) that are actually selected for production by a traditional publisher, it will mean there is one less procedure for you to do if you decide to self-publish.

So, how do you increase your chances of being selected?
The more polished your manuscript is — the better your chances are of having your manuscript accepted. You might think what you’ve written is perfect and doesn’t need fixing — and that may be the case — but to have your manuscript looked over by a professional editor and/or assessor is the best advice I could possibly give you! Check out 'Write Right' as I've found them to be excellent.

Please don’t be discouraged if, after having your manuscript assessed and/or edited, it turns out not to be as perfect as you first thought and changes are suggested. DON’T take it too much to heart! Look at what is suggested and see if the suggested changes improve what you’ve written! On having my manuscript edited and assessed, I found the information I received extremely helpful and I worked very hard on turning the weaknesses of my story into its strengths. 

And after you've polished your manuscript until you're fully satisfied with it — how can you find the right publisher?

You can go to the Book Publishers Association of New Zealand.
Once the web page opens, click on - ABOUT US. When this page opens look beneath the heading:
What We Do. Scroll down to the subheading:
We publish: Publishers and Distributors of Aotearora New Zealand. Download the current copy.
The current copy is a .pdf file and has information on the publishers of New Zealand with a brief summary on what they publish. (This could take a few minutes to download) For a free Adobe Reader download which enables you to view .pdf files click here.

Alternatively, you can go to the New Zealand Society of Authors.
Once the web page opens, click on - Getting Published. When this page opens, click on -Publishers. (Note: it also lists literary agents, manuscript assessors and editors and so on)
Once the page opens, if you click on a listed publisher, it will show a brief summary of what they publish. Also, click on - Publications. When this page opens you will find booklets and leaflets you can order to help with publishing your book.

Lastly, you can go to a bookstore or library and look for books which are in a similar category to yours and see who the publishers are.

Next, you have a choice of sending your manuscript to the different publishers yourself or finding a literary agent who will approach the publishers on your behalf.

If you choose to send the manuscript to a publisher yourself, check their Web site as they will usually specify how they want your manuscript presented to them; e.g. A4 paper, double spacing between lines and so on . . . If you can't find the information on their Web site then contact the publisher directly.

IF you don’t get picked up by a traditional publisher, do not despair, all is not lost. YOU can become the publisher of your book.

I’ve provided the basic information you’ll need to get started under Links For Self-Publishing. As your journey to self-publishing begins, it is advisable to use the services of a professional proofreader to review ALL your material before going to print; e.g. your manuscript, letters and e-mails promoting your book, and also any information you might put on your Web site. The one listed in my links, ProofreadNZ, offers a very personalized service and can check the spelling, grammar, punctuation and language usage (because there are real differences) for either the New Zealand, the UK, or the American markets. If you’re planning to sell your book overseas, it might be wise to have it corrected for the appropriate market. I chose to have my book corrected for the American market as I was informed it would be accepted in both the New Zealand and UK markets. Check out 'ProofreadNZ' as I've been very happy with their services, efficiency, and reasonable prices.

It is advisable for you to get your own ISBN number for your book. In so doing, you'll be listed as your book's publisher. Some printing companies may offer to acquire the ISBN for you, but then it will be listed under their name, and should you later wish to change to another publisher, you will find you'll need to get another ISBN and barcode for your book. Acquiring your own ISBN and barcode at the start gives you the freedom to pick and choose who prints your book now — and in the future. How to acquire an ISBN and Barcode number is listed in my links. At present these are free for books published in New Zealand.

I’ve also listed, First Edition Ltd, who does digital printing of books. I’ve found the quality to be very good thus far. They’ll print a single copy or whatever number of copies you require — the cost-per-copy remains the same.

Advantages with digital printing: The digital files from your computer can go right to print. Alterations can easily be made between print runs. You don't need to print large quantities that could possibly not sell. You supply according to demand.

Disadvantages with digital printing: You could have difficulty negotiating a realistic retail price as successful distribution of your book, apart from quality, largely depends on your cost-per-copy. (Note: If a printing company says they can get your book distributed, find out how and by whom and check this is the case!)

You may choose to offset print your book. This usually means you have to print large quantities in order for the book to be cost-effective, short runs can be expensive. When choosing a printer to offset print your book, take along a sample of a book that shows what you want the finished quality of your book to be. It will help when choosing binding method, paper thickness, cardboard thickness and the type of paper to use, etc. Some printers do CTP (computer to plate) this cuts out the cost of having film made.

 Advantages with offset printing: Better quality print. Cheaper cost-per-copy; the larger the quantity you print.

Disadvantages with offset printing: Plates are made which could contain four or more pages of your book, depending on book size. This means both new film — if the printer doesn't do CTP —and plates would have to be made when making future alterations. Also, due to the larger quantity printed, if they don't sell, you could be stuck with a lot of books gathering dust.

Once you’ve chosen who is going to produce and/or print your book, it is advisable for you to make sure you have — in your possession — copies of ALL the computer files relating to your book’s production; e.g. the graphic design for your book cover, page layout, text, etc. This ensures that you retain control of your book and are not limited in making future choices. Also, by having your own copies, you are protected in the event the company is sold or closed or they lose your files. 

Check out this Web site: Books Just Books. 
This is an American Web site which has a lot of useful information on self-publishing. (Some of the information may not apply to New Zealand) Once the Web page opens, click on FAQ. When this page opens you will notice it is very long. Scroll down and you’ll find information on the differences between digital printing and offset printing. Also, check out the Self-Publishers Association of New Zealand. Read their current newsletter and their newsletter archive. You’ll glean very helpful information from them. Their January 2005 newsletter has very good information on starting up or naming one's own company. 

Most important: Be persistent and don’t give up. When you see your first book in print, the effort involved will have been well worth it!

Legal deposit. If you're publishing a book in New Zealand, you are required to provide two copies to the National Library of New Zealand. 

In New Zealand, you are automatically granted protection from the time a work is created.

Final note: Beatrix Potter originally self-published The Tale of Peter Rabbit in 1901 after having been turned down by a half-dozen publishers. She produced 250 copies and either gave them away or sold them for a half-penny. She was later picked up by publisher Frederick Warne — and the rest, as we know, is history. Click here


©  Shirley Todd  2005

Readers Comments

Just writing to say thanks for the time you must have put into collecting and compiling the list of websites and information on self-publishing. I am currently writing and one of my real concerns was 'what if it's rejected' even though I think it is publishable. However having read your site I can have confidence and may even consider self-publishing anyway.

Thanks again

Your website is fantastic! It's great that you have shared your knowledge about self-publishing which I'm sure is an incredibly daunting task for first timers.

Kind regards, Stacey and Josh. LOUDMOUTH PRODUCTIONS.

Your info on your website is fantastic! I wish I had known about your website earlier on, as certainly it would have eliminated a lot of the frustrations I had experienced when investigating the whole debacle on self-publishing.

Bettina. EthnicWord.


Write Right - http://www.writerightnz.com

ProofreadNZ - http://www.proofreadnz.co.nz

New Zealand Book Council - http://www.nzbookcouncil.org.nz

Mechazoic Era for illustrating, book cover design, web design - http://www.mechazoic.com

FBI Illustrators. They have a selection of illustrators to choose from - http://www.illustrators.co.nz

LOUDMOUTH PRODUCTIONS. Full illustration services - http://www.loudmouthproductions.co.nz

First Edition Ltd. Digital book printing, Wellington. Very good quality - http://www.selfpublish.co.nz

The Copy Press. Digital book printing, Nelson. Very good quality - http://www.copypress.co.nz

Limited Edition Books. Digital book printing - http://www.limitededitionbooks.com

INKSPOT PRINT. Digital and offset book printing, Auckland - Phone: 09 270 0234

K&M Print – Digital and offset printing, full book production. Very good quality. Check out their Glossary page for printing terms - http://www.kmprint.co.nz

Willson Scott Publishing Ltd – for offset printing, full book production - http://willsonscott.biz

Taieri Print. Typesetting and design, prepress, printing services - http://www.taieriprint.co.nz

Deed Printing. Book production and printing services - http://www.deedprint.co.nz 

BookNZ. Book design, typesetting and production - http://www.booknz.co.nz  

To obtain an ISBN number you can either, phone the National Library of NZ on 04 474 3074, or apply online.

National Library online ISBN application form - http://www.natlib.govt.nz/en/services/5isbn.html  

To receive a barcode number ring EAN NZ on 04 801 0833

Obtaining an ISBN and barcode number for your book, is free to this point. 

Two Auckland companies that make up barcodes - approximate cost $30.

Barcode Technologies Ltd phone: 09 448 1577

Walker Datavision Ltd phone: 09 522 3678 

These two companies can provide your barcode via e-mail - state whether for digital or offset printing.

Note: The above book production and/or printing companies are listed as a starting point to help you find a company that will best suit you and your budget and what you want the finished product of your book to be. I wish you all the best and I hope the information contained on my Web page helps you! Please e-mail me if you find a company, which isn't listed above, that gives you excellent service with reasonable prices so that I can add them to the links to help other authors.

Shirley Todd


Online For Books. Self-published authors - http://www.selfpublishedauthors.com

Privately Published Books. Advertise your book - http://www.privatelypublishedbooks.com 

Self-Publishing. Life tips - http://selfpublishing.lifetips.com 

Organic Search Engine Marketing - http://www.webmarketingnz.com/wm-organic-search-engine-marketing.html

SelfPromotion.com. An excellent resource for web promotion - http://selfpromotion.com

When can you call yourself a writer? - http://www.mw-land.com/thebigq.shtml  

NZS.com - NZ Search Engine and Web Site Directory. Add your NZ site - http://www.nzs.com  

NZPAGES - NZ Web Site Directory. Add your NZ site - http://www.nzpages.co.nz 

New Zealand Small Business Directory. Add your NZ site - http://www.nzsbdirectory.co.nz  

SEARCHNZ - NZ Web Directory. Add your NZ site - http://www.searchnz.co.nz

Linknz - The Kiwi Search Engine. Add your NZ site - http://www.linknz.co.nz 

TIP: Those in the know suggest getting your new Web site listed on established Web site directories which get read by the search engines on a regular basis. This will help get your new Web site out on the search engines faster. 

Payment Options

You can purchase either through Book Haven Click Here or directly from me.

In New Zealand, you can e-pay by direct deposit to my bank account.
A personal cheque (check) is suitable for payment within New Zealand
It is also suitable between countries.
It will take four business days for a cheque sent within New Zealand to clear, and can take up to three to four weeks for a cheque to clear if sent from overseas. So overseas customers can expect a delay in receiving their order.

Other Alternatives
You can do an International Money Transfer between banks.
Western Union
Cash Transfer. 
Bank Cheque (Check).

Bear in mind that although these methods of payment are faster, they can add extra costs for you.

To order:
Send payment to: Shirley Todd 
PO. Box 79463, Royal Heights, Auckland 1008, New Zealand.

 Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away!
- Author: Unknown