Thursday, November 5, 2015

Self Publishing a Children's Book

Act 1: Conception and Fleshing Out; I'm totally stoked on the act of self publishing a book. I did a lot of research in how to make the book great, and that involved talking to other people. I had a classic concept in mind, and knew that I wanted very small children and adults to enjoy it together. This character Moon Bunny came to me, and he was grateful to be alive. So I just listened to the fun stuff he liked to do, and drew him acting them out. Then I took the writing skills I have been developing and threw rhyming words to the actions. That was the easy part.

Act 2:  Revealing the Book, asking for Criticism;  I asked multiple people to read the text, look at the pictures and give me reviews.  This took years of attending SCBWI conferences, Press Expos, festivals, and sharing with people who were in the publishing industry.  I turned this idea of Moon Bunny into a 12 page calendar postcard set and vended to my friends and family.  They got back to me years later with stories of how their grandchildren, children, and even aging parents cherished the little cards and wanted to know what Moon Bunny was up to next.  This is where things get juicy.  Getting feedback from people who love your work is fuel for the fire.  And bookstores would buy Moon Bunny postcard packs, but  more and more they wanted a book.   

Act 3:  Reformatting;  I spent another year or so reformatting Moon Bunny to make him into a 32 page picture book, and having researched layout, cover design, copy editing, etc..the book came to be.  I had a Create Space account on Amazon, and ordered my first proof for quality checking.  I received more help from people who filmed promo videos and took photographs for the release of Moon Bunny.  And once the final copy had been approved, I informed my social media platforms that something exciting was coming their way.


Act 4: Selling and Sharing;  People bought my book and left awesome reviews on amazon.  The ball was beginning to roll.  Since I have trouble distributing the book on a mass scale, I still rely on expos, festivals street fairs and craft shows to sell.  So while I'm working on becoming a bestseller for children's books ;) , for now I enjoy the faces of the people who buy my book, hearing a class of kindergartners laughing at my pictures and getting letters from little kids.  It is something I get to enjoy for as long as I live.  And the book is forever in my family and eternally on the web.  And I'm sure I left out many other details about this process, but my main point is to give people inspiration to go for it themselves.  Happy researching and follow your heart!

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