Story written by: BOBO Marketing Services
Creating “A Very Beautiful Rainbow!”
As someone who’s been writing his entire life, Marcus Mulenga is a self-published children’s book author and professional proofreader & narrator. His first children’s book, “A Very Beautiful Rainbow,” received lots of praise — which was first created on a whim with no plan in mind. As his wife and family shopped at OfficeMax, Marcus sat at a kid’s table and drew a rainbow. From there the idea for the story about a rainbow who gets his colors back after sharing them with others came to life.
“You want to take what’s in your mind and somehow put it on paper” – Marcus Mulenga, Author of “A Very Beautiful Rainbow!”
Growing up Marcus loved writing poetry, and his father would read “The Napping House” by Audrey Wood to him when he was a child. It instilled in him a vivid imagination and a love of reading, which ultimately led to a passion for writing his own creative stories and poems throughout his childhood and adulthood.
“I actually became what I wanted to be” – Marcus Mulenga
A lot of Marcus’ inspiration comes from Dr. Seuss because he made up words that we still use today just so they would rhyme with the rest of the story. Other favorite authors include Mark Twain, Shel Silverstein, Lemony Snicket, and Jules Verne.
Overcoming Challenges with Self-Publishing
Writer’s block can be one of the biggest challenges as an author because you often feel the pressure to one-up your previous book. Ultimately Marcus knew however that it was just about making a great story, so a year later “Apples in My Backpack, and a Medley of Other Quirky Poems!” was created — a story about a family playing hide-and-seek with healthy food to make them more exciting. “Balloons on Mars” later followed too!
Marcus says his biggest advice to combat writer’s block is to just write down any ideas that come to mind. A poem might come out of it, even a year later. A doodle might grow into a character you use for a book. If you didn’t write it down, then you won’t have anything to work with. Just try to be creative and learn how you like to express yourself. People will always give you suggestions, but you should stick with your own lane once you find one that’s successful.
“No one sees things the way you do” – Marcus Mulenga, Author of “A Very Beautiful Rainbow”
Also, know your platform if you’re planning to self-publish. There are different guidelines for how your book should look on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing versus Lulu.com, for example. To gain exposure Marcus booked a booth at Toronto’s The Word On The Street in September 2019. One customer returned to tell him she loved how his book teaches children a lesson in a fun way.
Finding Clients as a Proofreader
Marcus recommends creating online profiles on freelancing websites like Fiverr and Upwork if you’re just starting as an entrepreneur. You can also reach out to websites and social media accounts that seem like they could use your proofreading service.
Marcus secured one of his proofreading clients as a result of his narration service. A manuscript was difficult to read and he offered to proofread and edit it, and the client agreed!
“You can make any idea work” – Marcus Mulenga
You can get more clients with a consistent follow-up plan. Marcus retained two repeat clients just by following up with past contacts. Then be sure to keep your clients happy by meeting deadlines and communicating efficiently. If people like your work, they’ll hire you again.
Spending Time with Family
Marcus enjoys spending time with his wife and family, as well as playing basketball outside and listening to music. Most importantly he loves talking to family and friends in person, via phone call, or even via Zoom. In fact, that’s how he stays in touch with his biggest fans — his five young cousins who live out of state!