Psalms for Kids Books
by Sherri Trudgian
(La Habra, CA)
This is the 5th book in the Psalms for Kidz series
I didn't sign up for this!
I am a pastor's wife and had been teaching several ladies' bible studies on the Psalms. After one of the studies I thought to myself, "Isaac needs to know this." Isaac is my grandson and was 1 1/2 years old at the time.
My first psalms for kids book, "Psalm 139 for Baby," I envisioned as a board book and submitted it to several Christian publishers. I actually got a positive reply from Zonderkidz that my book was being considered. Unfortunately I was one of five that were being looked at. The daughter of a well known pastor/writer was chosen. (I think it came down to dollars because she had an instant market.) My contact actually encouraged me to submit it to other publishers.
I continued to write various psalms for Isaac over the next four years. We would read them together. Isaac loved them, which says a lot, being a boy and without pictures.
In 2004 we moved to southern California, where I was encouraged by a former children's editor at the old Gospel Press to have them published.
I attended a Christian writers' conference where I was told that children's picture books are very expensive to produce (4 color print) and that the few Christian book publishers only release two or three books a year. One of the seminar leaders encouraged me to look into self publishing, which I did. Over the next six months I spent a lot of time at the public library.
A child's picture book needs a great illustrator, and I have been blessed with a very creative one. When I pitched the project to Melanie she informed me that she was looking for a new outlet for her art. I told her that there was no money in this and that we would publish a new book in the series only as the money came in. Melanie is a full time teacher, and it took her approximately nine months to create the illustrations.
Next came the book prep for the printer. I have been fortunate to have people in our church who, for a reduced cost, put in the hours needed to prepare the files for the printer.
A gentleman at our church owned a printing company, and he graciously answered all my questions. I got quotes from four recommended printers but went with my original guy. He gave me a big discount!
I had of course to come up with the money to have the books printed, which came out of my own pocket and that of a very generous friend who believes in the "Psalms for Kidz" series.
You think publishing a book is hard work? Think again! Marketing or promoting your book takes more time and effort. Most of us don't have a marketing budget. I have had the privilege of speaking and selling my books at MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), ACSI Preschool Teachers Conferences and various school chapels in the SoCal area. The books are available on our web site, Psalms for Kidz and recently on Amazon.
It's been a real learning experience. Computers have made self publishing easier, but be prepared for a lot of hard work. Would I change anything? Yes, I'd like to have a big publishing company pick up the tab and do all the work, but I've loved doing what I'm doing. I have complete control over the process. I don't have to give up my baby and let someone else edit or choose the illustrator. I get to do all that myself through my "Little Sprout Publishing House."