Walter Brown and the Magician’s Hat (7-9yrs)

Updated September 2017

*4.5 Stars* “A superbly written, magical adventure. Highly recommended!” Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards panel reviewer

I’m delighted to announce that my latest illustrated children’s book, Walter Brown and the Magician’s Hat, for ages 7-9+ was a Red Ribbon Winner in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2016 (judged by school children and their teachers in 2016, with winners announced in Spring 2017). You can order in print or as an eBook using the online links at the end of the page or in print through your local bookshop.

Boy with top hat and figures flying up into it
I created a new cover for Walter Brown following feedback from the Wishing Shelf Book Award 🙂

The making of Walter Brown…

With over 30 interior illustrations to brief and then lay out there was a lot of fine tuning to do once the manuscript was finalised. Once again my illustrator, Damir Kundalic, came up trumps with his images – and once again we worked online between London and rural Bosnia to bring the story to life visually. An indie author’s life is never dull 🙂

I garnered feedback from both beta readers experienced in children’s books and 11 school children in the development of Walter’s story – and worked with a professional children’s book editor for the final draft. My huge thanks go out to all of them.



Walter Brown and the Magician’s Hat – the blurb

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 18.42.40

A sneak peek at Chapter One

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 15.26.32
Walter Brown has black and white illustrations scattered throughout – a perfect read for ages 7-9. It also includes the first two chapters of The Secret Lake & Eeek! at the end. NB the text doesn’t slant like this – that’s just the odd camera angle… 🙂

Free chapters of The Secret Lake and Eeek! The Runaway Alien

At the end of Walter Brown I’ve included the first two chapters of The Secret Lake (bought and enjoyed by over 7,000 readers) and Eeek! The Runaway Alien (still a firm favourite at school visits – including with reluctant readers). I’m hoping this will tempt young readers to try out my other books if they’ve not done so already – follow the links below to Amazon to read the synopses and check out the reviews.

Read chapter one of Walter Brown and the Magician’s Hat

To open in full screen, click on the diagonal arrow —magic!

Where to order Walter Brown and the Magician’s Hat

You can order Walter Brown and the Magician’s Hat using the links below or through your local bookshop.


Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

Why I changed the Walter Brown book cover

Feedback from the award was fantastic — the children and teachers loved the fast-paced plot, the characters and pace. However they were less keen on the purple cover, which they felt didn’t do the book justice and looked (possibly) a little bland.  I am thrilled with the new version above. If you’d like to see the previous cover and grab yourself a signed limited edition of it while stocks last drop me an email or go to the signed orders page here.

8 thoughts on “Walter Brown and the Magician’s Hat (7-9yrs)

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  1. Hi Karen, Many many congratulations on your new book and wishing you all the very best for it. Your blogs are a great help to any aspiring author who wants to self-publish. Thanks a lot for that. I have completed my first children’s story book. I want to do you do personal mentoring to new authors too? I need some guidance regarding my first book. Just few basic questions, is there any way for a Q/A for new authors?


    1. Hi Pallavi — I don’t offer one to one mentoring in terms of your story but if it’s a general self-publishing type question just post it here and I’ll see if I can respond. Or is the question relating specifically to the story you have written? If I can’t help I may be able to recommend someone who can. I ask writers to post queries here as comments as it helps every one else who comes to the site too. I’m a bit tied up today but will look out for your reply later on and will reply then :-). All the very best. Karen

      1. Hi Karen, Thanks for your reply. I can imagine you are too busy these days. 🙂 I have few general questions like, Which publishing platforms you used for you new book? CS, LS or you also went for some print firm like you mentioned in your ‘Self-Publishing Picture book’ blog. Are you using silk finished paper for this one too?


      2. Hi Pallavi – before I answer on this, can you tell me where you are based and what type of book you are creating? Is it a colour picture book or a book for slightly older children with just black and white illustrations? I’ll then give you my view on what I would recommend based on my own experience. Best wishes, Karen

  2. Hi Karen,

    I am creating a colour picture book with many illustrations. Another thing I wanted to ask about is Hardcover vs paperback for kids. I would love to have hardcover but CS will not do sell it online. And they are very expensive to print. Any suggestions for it?


    1. Hi Pallavi – so sorry not to have replied yet. I’ve been very busy the last few days. I haven’t produced hardback — I think it would be very expensive to do. I think Ingram Spark offer it using Print On Demand — but I’m afraid you’d need to do the research to see if it makes financial sense and I somehow don’t think it would unless you are sure that you can sell lots and lots of books. Here is their website. >

      Regards silk paper, you can only get this by printing using a short-run digital printing company or traditional offset printing, *not* print on demand (ie not LS and not Ingram Spark). And it’s only worth doing if you are prepared to have several hundred printed at a time – ideally 500-1000. I talk about this in detail on my page about self-publishing a picture book… In short be sure you will be able to sell lots before going this route. I think it would make sense to start using CS, for example, to test the water with your book and then if you sell a lot then look at options for hard back or silk pages if you really think you want to go this route.

      (Walter Brown and the Magician’s Hat is black and white interior and on normal pages.)

      I hope this helps in some way, but do read my picture book page again if you’re not sure. Karen

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