Critter of the Week: Scutellosaurus

Meet Skittles.  She might be all hard and pebbly on the outside, but on the inside she wants nothing more than a nice warm hug.  Scratch just a little in between those rocky scutes, and she’ll roll on her back so you can rub her smooth, soft belly scales.


Skittles is happy to see you!  She wonders if you would please, pretty please, give her a treat.  Can you resist those puppy-dog eyes?

She may be about the size of a golden retriever, but believe it or not, Skittles here is the great-great-great-great-grandmother of Stegosaurus!

It’s hard to imagine how long a time span the Jurassic period covers, but we can get a few hints when we see that a little critter like this had enough time to change and diversify into animals like the spike-tailed Stegosaurus, or the armored, club-tailed Ankylosaurus.

The Jurassic period started at the end of the Triassic period (big extinction event there, to separate the two), and lasted 56.3 million years until the beginning of the Cretaceous.

56.3 million years.  Think about that.  Humans have been around for about 2 million.  Between us and the latest dinosaurs like T-rex?  About 65 million years.

So that means Dinosaurs had their “golden age” in the Jurassic for almost as long as the nearest T-rex is to us.  Pretty mindboggling.

And that’s not even thinking about the Triassic and Cretaceous periods yet…

Dinosaurs have been around for a looong time (especially if you count birds living today!).

Skittles is just happy to have a few moments to cuddle. 🙂  Completely oblivious to how long dinosaurs have been around.  Or that she’s related to Steggy. 😛


Making progress…

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One more down, three more to go!

I was doing a little research on Createspace, and I discovered a few things…

Createspace is a company that allows you to sell a print book on Amazon.  It’s not the only one out there, but it’s my best (and cheapest) option at the moment, so that’s the one I’m going with.

I was double checking what sizes I can print the book in and, alas, 10×10 inches is not available. 😦

10×10 is a fairly common size for children’s picture books, so I guess I assumed it was a “standard” size, but there’s always trouble when you assume.  It’s not what I would like, but I’ll be printing this book in a “standard” 8.25×8.25 inches instead.  On the plus side, this means it’ll be available at a cheaper price for you. 🙂

A quick interesting tidbit on the money side of things. (because Createspace has a little calculator to estimate royalties)

The average paperback picture book that is 8.25×8.25 inches sells for about $5.

If I sell my book for that price, I lose money with every book (about $3 in fact).

The average hardback picture book in the same size sells for about $10.

If I sell my book for $10, then I earn about $4

If I sell my book for $9.50, then I earn just over $3.

Naturally, you understand if I don’t want to lose money for every book I sell.  I love what I’m doing, and it’s fun, but it’s also a way to help pay bills.  😛

So for now, while I’m still new at this and figuring things out, I’ll stick with Createspace and print an 8.25×8.25 paperback book (Createspace doesn’t really print hardbacks).  I’ll sell it for $9.50, and earn about $3 per book.

$3 doesn’t sound like much, but this is a book we’re talking about.  The key to earning money with books is to have a lot of them.  The average number of books 6 figure authors have in their back-list is about 30, so I’ve got a long way to go!

I’m in this author business for the long haul.  $3 or $10 here and there adds up after a while, especially if I try my very best to go out and meet my audience so that you know I exist.  It’s not enough to have a bunch of books.  You have to put yourself out there and let others know you exist too. 🙂

Later on, once the series has a gained more of an audience, I can host a kickstarter event to fund the printing of the full size, beautiful hardback books.  That’ll be awesome. 😀

Thank you for stopping by, I really appreciate you spending a little time with me. 🙂

And for my fellow Americans, I hope you had a great (and safe!) 4th of July yesterday!


Coming Next Week…

This critter is furry, loves to swim, and has a flat, sorta scaly paddle tail…Is she even in the right time period?! 😉

Share your guess in the comments! She’ll be one of the critters over on the critter page. 🙂

8 thoughts on “Critter of the Week: Scutellosaurus

  1. I think if I were going to have any pet dinosaur, it would most likely be Skittles. ^^ The golden retriever of the Jurassic! I wonder if she can do tricks just as well.

    Very interesting! I’ve always kind of wondered in the back of my mind how authors turn their books into a reality, and now I’m starting to get an idea how. Where have you been getting all this information? 🙂 General research?


    1. Hi Brownie, it’s good to see you here! I love Skittles too, and of all the critters at the shop so far, I’d take her home in a heartbeat. I don’t think she’d be nearly as smart as a golden retriever though…

      Think, turtle-dog-bird, and that’s more along the lines of her way of thinking. Turtle-level intelligence, perhaps a more birdy energy and activity level, with dog-like docility since she’s domesticated. 😀

      Not exactly “man’s best friend”, but probably quite fascinating to watch and easy to care for as a pet. Not house-trainable though. 😉

      Some of my information I get from general research online from blogs of authors kind enough to show others how to follow the same path. Most of it comes from the podcasts I listen to though, especially Joanna Penn’s podcast and a podcast called “The Sell More Books Show”. 🙂

      Between Mrs. Penn’s expertise, the news and tips from Sell More Books, and Tim Grahl’s awesome website on building your author platform and reaching your first 10,000 readers…I get a lot of great info to help steer me in at least a generally right direction. It’s interesting to try to figure out how things will work for a picture book vs. the novels they usually talk about, but most of the info is really great and certainly applies.

      What’s hard is taking it one step at a time and not getting overwhelmed by all the things I “should” be doing! 😀 Or should have done last week!


  2. SO.CLOSE.TO.FINISHING.ZE.BOOK!But 3$ for each book,I think it’s hard to do a foundation,first the audience needs to be a lot bigger,and i’m from what i’ve seen so far,DTF looks like the biggest one.Have you been telling this to other people? Just concerned,will try to support this as much as I can! And Cassie is the next COTW.


    1. So close, yet so far! 😀

      I think if I tried Facebook there might be a pretty good audience there (especially grandparents with dino-obsessed grandchildren), but if I’m going to spend time somewhere, I’m happy to be at the DTF. Lots of great people there that enjoy dinosaurs as much as I do, and those are the sort of people I want to be with. 🙂

      I’ve been talking to other people in my area when I get the chance, but most aren’t really all that interested. They seem to think even the kids aren’t really into dinosaurs these days, so a picture book series like mine won’t be successful.

      I say that the popularity of movies like Jurassic World, plus the ever present market of all sorts of dinosaur toys, games, books, etc…is proof that they are still quite popular.

      Thank you, I really appreciate your support. More than I can say with words. I need all the help I can get! 😀

      And yes, that applause you hear is Cassie slapping the water with her tail. She’s happy you got it right. 😉


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