Linda Zajac: Four Unofficial Guides to Minecraft

Creative Mode

Series: My Minecraft Alternator Books (Grade Level: 3–6)
Linda Zajac
Lerner; August 1, 2020; $9.99 (paperback), $21.99 (library binding)
Creative Mode: ISBN-10: 1728414563; ISBN-13: 978-1728414560
Enchantments: ISBN-10: 172841458X; ISBN-13: 978-1728414584
Maps: ISBN-10: 1728414555; ISBN-13: 978-1728414553
Redstone: ISBN-10: 1728414571: ISBN-13: 978-1728414577
eBooks also available

Zajac reports:

I was asked to write this four-book series, which covers various aspects of Minecraft game play. I had worked with this publisher before on two other Minecraft books for kids

The time frame was exceptionally tight. The publisher wanted four books with glossaries and STEM/coding sidebars in less than three months. During that time there were two major holidays and I had a five-day vacation booked. Although it seemed like an impossible task, I took the job because I didn’t have any commitments at the time and I like a challenge.

Linda Zajac


To get a visual sense of my outline and text due dates, I wrote the eight deadlines in my planner. Then I raided the library and checked out every young adult and adult Minecraft book that was on the shelf. Systematically, I scanned through each source, making a list of the pages that pertained to my topics. This way, I knew which books I needed for each of my subjects. Although some outlines weren’t due until December, I finished all of them in a week. Psychologically, checking off half my deadlines was a huge stress reliever.

I tackled the books in the order they were due. Whenever I was at a loss for words, I’d switch to the next book and work on that one for a while. During this flurry of writing, I also received additional unrelated work, so, I ended up taking work with me on vacation. I met all my deadlines, but it was close. I turned in the final book on the day it was due.

Shortly after the books were done, I received a screenshot wishlist for each book. The screenshots were fun, but they took time. I devised redstone contraptions, built the Mark Twain House, and designed a working rollercoaster. You can see the rollercoaster and other redstone contraptions in these videos:

I wish I had known that the screenshots the publisher asked for early on would end up on the actual covers. I didn’t squander time, though, so I wouldn’t have done anything differently.

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