Goodnight Del Rio: A Mom & Daughter's Journey to Self-Publishing a Children's Book (and How to Support These 30Seconds Tribe Members!) by Tiffany Zook

Goodnight Del Rio: A Mom & Daughter's Journey to Self-Publishing a Children's Book (and How to Support These 30Seconds Tribe Members!)

Over Christmas, our daughter received a board book written about the quaint town we called home for eight years in Northern New York. Now living in Texas, I was drawn to create a book that highlighted our city, to celebrate the geography, landmarks and organizations that make Del Rio, Texas, our new home. 

Teaming up with a freelance writer, my mother and fellow 30seconds contributor Marge Jesberger, I booked a plane ticket to my folks in New England and we got started. We wrote rhymes and researched printing companies, we laughed over slaphappy rhyme wrecks and drove my father crazy with our antics. When I flew back to the border, the book had taken shape on a yellow legal pad. 

Our book was created to be a fundraiser for an organization near a dear to us, The Gem Foundation, home to special needs children in Uganda. With a budget of zero, we knew hiring an illustrator was out of reach. I remembered my teenage daughter playing around with filters and cartoon apps on her phone. I downloaded one and began running photos of our city's landmarks through the app. It was an easy way to illustrate on a shoestring, only costing $2.99 for the download.

At high noon on sunny days, I was out with my trusty iPhone 6 taking snapshots and asking friends to do the same. Neighbors became editors, friends photographers and we bootstrapped the cost of printing. I quickly learned how to create a domain name, website and copyright the work. The wheels were turning.

April arrived, and so did 500 copies of Goodnight Del Rio. The creative process has now shifted into creating marketing and fundraising strategies. One of the kindest comments from a customer has been, "When does the sequel come out?" 

If you are looking at a way to celebrate your city or you've always wanted to write that novel, go for it! Take one step at a time, enjoy the process and don't forget to laugh at your mistakes. Before you know it, 500 copies will be sitting on your front porch.

Learn how you can get a copy at

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Goodnight Del Rio
Goodnight Del Rio $10
100% of your purchase benefits The Gem Foundation, a home for special needs orphans in Uganda.

30Second Mobile, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Meet Emma Quisenberry of The Gem Foundation & Help Give the Gift of Hope This Holiday Season

Asking Big This Giving Tuesday: Can You Help The Gem Foundation Build a Village & Care for Special Needs Orphans in Uganda?

Caleb’s Kindergarten Journey: How You Can Be Part of the Story Through The Gem Foundation

Donna John
Congratulations, Tiffany Zook and Marge Jesberger ! This is beyond amazing. I will be ordering my copy today.
Tiffany Zook
Thank you Donna John ! It’s been an excited journey.
Elisa Schmitz, 30Seconds
This is amazing, Tiffany Zook and Marge Jesberger ! I am so excited for you and proud of you. I would love to order a few copies and donate them to families in Del Rio who would benefit from this book. Please let me know how best to do this - can I make the donation online and then you guys provide them to local families? Thank you for all you do to make a difference!
Tiffany Zook
Wow!! This is so fabulous! You can donate directly to and then just let me know # of books to deliver to local families. What a kind gesture! Thank you from mom, me, and The Gems!
Elisa Schmitz, 30Seconds
Dieter Schmitz and I made a donation for three books to the Gem Foundation. Thank you for getting the books to those who can benefit the most. And, thanks for all you do to make a difference, Tiffany Zook and Marge Jesberger !
Marge Jesberger
Love spending time with my daughter. I know I'm biased but I think it's a great bedtime story. It's a win-win situation because all proceeds go to the g e m Foundation

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