As I mention on my website, I had the idea for my first book while I was rocking my son, Logan to sleep at night. The content of the book quickly took shape and I refined it over several weeks, and had some feedback from family, friends, and other mommies. I had the makings of my first baby book…soo….now what do I do? I’ve had zero experience in the publishing world, but have always wanted to write a book. In fact, writing a book was on my 30 things to do before 30 list. Well, I’m 32 now, so I’m not THAT far off. But, at the time, I envisioned writing a novel. But, I think opportunities and talents present themselves and you have to hang on tight for the ride they will take you on.
The first question I tackled, should I solicit publishers, or should I self publish? Very hard decision. After doing some research, and learning how difficult and LONG it takes to go through the traditional publishing methods, I decided to self publish. When I have a great idea, I want it to happen NOW. I decided to self publish, at least my first two books, so that I’m able to have a body of work when I’m ready to look for an agent and a publisher.
Second question: Who will illustrate my book? I can draw, but two problems here: My imagination and skill to turn an idea into picture is not as good as I’d like it. Sure, I can copy anything you put in front of me, but an original piece of art? Not so much. I also feel very behind the times with the tools out there to draw and illustrate. Everything is digital now. When I used to draw, I used pencils, charcoal, pastels, and crayons! I was out of my league and needed a professional to make sure this book was exactly how I envisioned. I found two amazing illustrators, it was very hard to choose. I decided not to choose exactly, and use one for my first book and one for my second. (They are both fabulous! Nicolas Milano and Taryn Dufault) I developed a drawing plan and worked with my illustration on The Best Place for Me and we had 14 amazing illustrations and a cover in about two months.
Third question: How on Earth do you self publish? To be honest, I’m still working on this one! But here is what I did. I read several books on self publishing and followed some recommendations based on my individual needs and capabilities. I chose to go with a service to assist in the interior layout and cover layout of the book. Since it is my first, I want to ensure that it is done properly and professionally. I researched several options including: Lulu, Authorhouse, and CreateSpace. I selected CreateSpace for their children’s book service options, relationship with Amazon, and their value. So far, they have had excellent customer service, been able to answer all of my questions, and have been very quick to respond.
Today I had my consultation with the design team. Went over the entire book, cover to cover, with my thoughts and ideas, and their recommendations. In 7 days, I will have what is called a “Design Mock Up” and will be able to evaluate all of my layout options. I’m very excited, it feels like Christmas again!
For aspiring authors, interested in the self publishing process, I will continue to post my adventures here and hope that it might help guide others to realize their goals and dreams of publishing a book!