Adventures in Self-Publishing with Lilly Maendel


While many of you are slogging through years of classes in pursuit of your MFAs and sketching outlines of your first novels, my 6-year-old niece Lilly is already one step ahead of you. With only a kindergarten education, she has penned numerous short stories and is well-known in her North St. Paul neighborhood.  Lilly travels door to door, selling her work for 50 cents, which everyone knows is  minimum wage for authors.

I was honored to receive a first edition copy of her novel, The Missing Pig, while visiting her last week. She wrote, illustrated, and self-published it. The Missing Pig is the first book in her Pig Trilogy. The second one, The Pig Knocking Food Down, was also recently released and gifted to her Grandpa Hanson. Rumor has it, the third and final installment, yet to be named, will be on the shelves around the Christmas holiday.

Keep your eyes open for Lilly Maendel, publishing world!

Everyone knows that all good novels starts with “Once upon a time…”
Who needs a major publishing house when you have construction paper, a red pen, and three staples? Keep overhead down and bring your profits up.
The hardest working self-publisher under the age of ten.


18 comments on “Adventures in Self-Publishing with Lilly Maendel”
  1. words4jp says:

    Wow. This is awesome. I hope her love of writing continues as she grows older. In looking at her beautiful face, I am quite certain I am looking at a future JK Rowling:)

    1. I hope it continues to grow as well. Thank you for such a lovely comment! 🙂

  2. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

    1. Thanks so much for reblogging this!

      1. For a pretty redhead…especially if she’s as talented as you are….ALMOST anything!!!! 🙂

  3. Tara S. says:

    This is adorable! Makes me think back to my younger years. I wish I still had that fearless ambition!

    1. Me too! Maybe we can get it back!

  4. Brilliant! And boy did her auntie take a gorgeous picture of that incredible little face! They’re all good, but first shot is stunning. Congrats Lilly! Rock that pen and paper darlin’!

    1. Thanks, Dawn! I’m so proud of that little one, just as if she were my own.

      1. with that hair… she could be! So jealous. I got 3 blondes!

  5. Trilogies are HOT. She’s onto something!

    1. I agree, Kari! Hopefully she’ll keep up the momentum as she grows older.

  6. Kimberly Laing says:

    Miss Lilly is cuter than a ladybug. I have to say the portraits captured Lilly’s adventures perfectly! Nice one/

    1. Thank you! I had a hard time putting down the camera around her. Luckily, she didn’t mind too much. 🙂

  7. How cute is that! Thanks for sharing Lilly’s story…she looks so much like Carol : )

    1. Thanks, Michelle! She does look like her. I wish they weren’t 1,800 miles away. 😦

  8. Children are horribly industrious! Just when you are comfortable moving forward at a slow pace, a child races past, no fear of failure and unburdened by ego.

    1. We could learn a thing or two by watching kids – and remembering what it was like without ego. We could accomplish so much!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s