The challenge of paying for his teenaged son’s college has led a Benson man into the world of children’s books.
Scott Linney has released the first of several books aimed at teaching children about a unique subject — differences.
“It’s a book about the different feet on different types of animals,” Mr. Linney explained. “There’s actually seven different types of feet in the animal kingdom.”
While the book covers paws, claws and talons, it also covers human feet and how they work.
“It’s basically about how feet makes us and animals mobile and how they get us to where we need to go,” he said. “How they help us hunt, help us climb and such.”
Mr. Linney says the main reason he wrote the book, which is geared at young children, was simply because he couldn’t find a book about the subject elsewhere.
“I did some research and I thought animals would make a good book,” he said. “I thought what has been done and what hasn’t. I thought the biology and anatomy of animals was pretty fascinating, so let’s talk about the feet.”
Thus was born “The Amazing Foot Book.”
He didn’t stop there. After completing the book about feet, the Fayetteville Tech Computer Studies professor, progressed through other areas of animal and human anatomy that hasn’t really been discussed in children’s literature. “The next book is going to be about skin,” he said. “The next book is called ‘The Amazing Skin
They’re In.’ It’s about fur, wool, feathers. Then there will be one about eyes, then one about senses. There are five titles in this series that are already written and ready to go.”
In order to bring his work to life, Mr. Linney chose a path that is becoming more commonplace in today’s competitive book market.
He chose self-publishing as the means to get his initial series of books out to the public. The story originally was created in 2014 before it finally found life thanks to a tip from another successful self-published author.
“I talked to a friend of mine who told me he self-published his book and made $65,000,” Mr. Linney said. “So, I got on my Linked-In account and looked for publishers in North Carolina. I actually found a publisher in Johnston County. It was published in Clayton.”
Completing each book wasn’t the real challenge as far as time, it really didn’t take him long, just a day or two, the toughest part came in making the words rhyme and flow properly.
Mr. Linney patterned the books after Dr. Seuss in the sense of rhyming and meter, thus making that a cornerstone of the stories.
“In this book it came kind of easy,” he admits. “But follow-up books, trying to get the meter without being too wordy was a challenge.”
When you take into account the books are aimed at beginning readers or children who are having difficulty learning to read, the challenge was even greater.
“I have to keep the reading level and the words very simple so it’s not beyond a child’s reading level,” Mr. Linney said. “That’s the task, getting words that aren’t too complex for my audience. Getting it where it’s not too wordy and when they read it the words flow smoothly.”
Achieving the task involved simply reading, changing and rereading his work until it all came into place.
“Just trial and error, re-reading it over and over to myself out loud,” he said. “I actually got on the web. What word rhymes with this so I would go to this website and look at all these hundreds of words to find one that would work.”
And what about the son, A’dyn, he hopes to use the profits from the books to send to school?
“He’s read it,” Mr. Linney said. “I think he’s indifferent, he thinks it’s just another one of daddy’s accomplishments. He didn’t get excited about it or nothing.”
His son’s non-reaction to the book has been countered by a good response from the public. “The Amazing Foot Book” is currently available on Amazon.com where it’s received a five-star rating from those who have purchased or read the book.
It’s available in both digital and paperback editions through the website. It will also soon be available on a website he’s in the process of creating.
“It’s been received very favorably,” he said. “My wife is the manager of Jack’s Restaurant Grill in Benson and she’s sold about 40 of them. The feedback we’ve been getting has been positive. The children like it.”
Now, Mr. Linney hopes to use the money that is slowly starting to come in from “The Amazing Foot Book” to fund the next in the series.
“My publisher said she doesn’t really start releasing any dividends until the third book,” he noted. “She said for some reason once the third book hits, you start seeing money.”
“The Amazing Skin They’re In” is set for a fall release. Courtesy The Daily Record