It's Been Rewarding and Painful
by Angela Holzer
(Palo Alto, CA, USA)
Gooey Gummy Geese:
Here’s my story...
I believe I've found a niche that hasn't been published before. (That's what we all hope, anyways.)
Everyone I've talked to says, "You have to write these books!" (I'm sure everyone hears that.)
So, I ventured off a year ago to self-publish my books, because I wanted to get them out there sooner than 3 years (which is what they tell you it'll take once a big publisher accepts your manuscript).
And now, here I sit only one month away from printing 2 of the 6 books in my series. I already have pre-orders in from public libraries, but it's been a new adventure learning that I have to contact everyone directly. I did figure that once I finished the books, and got my website up and running, people would click on the "Purchase Now" link and I'd be able to pay my bills. :-)
Yes, I self-published (which means I started my own publishing company, Good Sound Publishing).
Yes, it's been a longer road then I ever thought it would be. (I was hoping to simply print this summer, but the illustrators needed longer than 3 months to complete the illustrations.)
Yes, I believe I've found 2 amazing illustrators at a reasonable price.
No, I don't know if I would have taken on such a large job if I would have known it would be so much work.
Yes, it's been fulfilling for me throughout the entire process. I really do enjoy learning that in order to be considered "self-published," you need more than your own barcodes.
Yes, it's been frustrating knowing that someone else could have walked me through the process and saved me a lot of trouble.
Feel free to ask me. I'll give you a timeline. :-)
Yes, I'm printing 4,000 books up front.
No, I'm not using an on-line printing press (print on demand). I found a local printer I liked and trusted. That way I have a working relationship with them for the future, and I can tell them how I want the book to look exactly.
Now the marketing....
Every library I've contacted directly has pre-ordered the books, because they tell me there isn't anything out there in a children's book focusing on speech development. So, I continue to contact everyone directly.
I wish I could find a way to get the word out without paying all my income to advertising. And that's the truth of it.
Ultimately, I want to be on Oprah! Anyone have contacts there? :-)
I hope this is helpful for anyone thinking about self-publishing. Honestly though, I have been blessed to financially sustain myself throughout this entire process. I'm not sure I could have gotten this far if I hadn't had the resources to support myself this last year.
Just food for thought.