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Burning Issues for Publishing a Children's Book

Updated: Jan 3, 2023

I've written a children's book on creativity, "Giselle and the Little Idea", it's gotten positive reactions from my community, and now I'm taking the step of getting it published.

I originally thought I'd sign up with Self-Publishing, but they wanted $7.5 thousand to help me out. That's right, I would be doing the work myself, and they would guide me through the process. They spent an hour on the phone with me, and were super nice and helpful, and responded quickly if I had a question. But, in the end, I'd still be doing the work myself. For over seven thousand dollars....

Other writer friends who had published warned me away. This was an unwarranted money dump, in their opinion. One even said, "You can do it yourself, it's just not that hard!" So I'm on my own, but I am learning how to publish a book.

The biggest obstacle I've encountered so far is finding an illustrator. I joined the Society of Children's Books Authors and Illustrators (SCBWI) and tried contacting some of the illustrators listed there, but not one of them got back to me. And, when friends heard I was looking, I got some recommendations through them.

Self-publishing (ironically) did a great article about how to find one on Upwork. So, I went to Upwork and submitted my request (I attached a very rough sketch of what I wanted, illustrated by my photographer husband Larry's drawings), and got back hundreds of proposals from all over the world! It took me quite some time to sift through all of them.

One of the Upwork illustrators stood out, and I did some further research on her by looking up her social media. We conversed over Upwork, and I became more convinced she was a good fit. I decided to go with her, and Upwork makes it very easy to send a contract and start the ball rolling. So far, I've been very happy with her communication and ideas (she lives in Bulgaria, but speaks excellent English).

I also joined Mark Dawson's self-publishing formula, and it seems very complete, if somewhat outdated. It covers self-marketing using all the social media platforms (they change so quickly, that a lot of the information is incorrect, like what to click on to change something, but I've been able to figure most of it out), how to format your book, what to do about covers, etc. But on the other hand, it was NOT over seven thousand dollars, it was under seven hundred.

I'm just starting to learn formatting. I bought the Atticus program for $147 at a fellow writer's recommendation. Formatting a book is also new to me, and will take some time to learn.

And another big learning curve will be getting the book up on Amazon, but that's partly what Atticus is for, to make that easy. Theoretically, I should be able to make it available in three formats: hardcover, softcover and Kindle/cloud format.

And there you have it! By the time my book is published, I will have done all the steps necessary for getting it out there to you. Hopefully, you will like it, your children will like it, and all will be well with the world.

Until the next book :)

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