Everyone needs help publishing their work. There are so many ways to get your book out there.
There is traditional which I talked about in my last blog and self-publishing which I touched on briefly. What I'd like to do today is ask you to tell me what you want to know. That's what I like doing the best. Helping new authors find their path to having a published book in their hands.
I started out with my very first book, Just Batty, in 2010. A friend I was visiting had written a children's story about her granddaughter and a dragon. It was cute.
I went home and the next day I challenged myself to write one with my grandson in it. The south Florida Museum was having an exhibition on bats at the time and I love all creepy and misunderstood animals. So Just Batty was born.
I decided to see if I could get it published. Boy was I in for a rude awakening. I went on the internet and looked up publishers. A few of the Traditional publishers were names I recognized.
None of them were accepting submissions directly from the author. I then looked up agents and learned you had to send them a query letter first. I kept looking and fell into the subsidy publisher trap. I sent one my manuscript and they wrote back how wonderful my little book was and they would be thrilled to publish it. Great I'm on my way I thought.
Next came finding an illustrator. A great children's book has to have a great illustrator, right? I quickly found that I couldn't afford a great illustrator. I settled for a college student at the local art college. I wasn't thrilled with the results but she was all I had.
I sent all my files to the subsidy publisher and finally held my published book in my hands. I'd spent over $2000 and the publisher convinced me that I needed a book trailer, $400.
Then I should put my book in several international book fairs at the discounted price of $600. Oh and you need to buy some advertising materials, $250. A cardboard display box and a few 11x17 posters arrived. I paid a ton of money I didn't have on a book that was not that good to begin with.
A couple years later I had the book re-illustrated by a much better illustrator and I learned some of the technology necessary to self-publish my books. I've leaned a lot in the years since that first book. I want to help others avoid the mistakes I made.
If you have questions about publishing, illustrating, copyrighting, anything at all please leave a comment or send me an email. If I don't have the answer I know someone who will.
In the meantime I'm writing another novel. It's coming along slowly, and I hope to have another children's book out in the spring.
Have a great day and spend some of it writing and planning your next step on the author's journey.
From the active mind of Brenda M. Spalding