Hi everyone! I’ve been asked to share my first children’s self-publishing adventure with interested writers, would be writers and friends. I have to say that it’s been a serious learning curve, exciting, fun, rewarding and successful (so far!) but it has also been scary, expensive, out of my comfort zone at times and I’m always asking, “What’s next?” If you’re interested in following my journey, I’m more than willing to share!
Is your children’s story overcooking in the crockpot?
I know just how you feel! You’ve had a great idea in your head for years now. Perhaps you’ve taken a writing course or two and managed to get it down. You’ve read it over until you’ve memorized it, ran it by your family, friends, neighbours, and colleagues until they don’t want to talk about it anymore. You’ve taken intelligent advice and edited the story to the point that it’s truly the best it can be. Perhaps you got up the courage to submit the manuscript to traditional publishers and expectantly checked the mail every day for that one acceptance letter. I did that about 40 times with Too Hot To Moo and many times heard nothing at all – ever.
Now what? Several years and a lot of postage later you’re in the land of “I guess it’s not good enough, so forget it.”
Or … perhaps you’ll get lucky and find someone who kicks your bottom and says, “It’s good, it’s unique, publish the damn thing yourself!” That person for me was Beth Craig of www.BeNovel.com as well as my enthusiastic friends and family! xoxo
Backing up, I should tell you that I was a primary teacher in British Columbia for 25 years and had a pretty good idea of what constitutes a good children’s story. I spent a lot of time reading to that age group and hanging out in kids' libraries and bookstores. I also knew what constitutes a bad story. I had read a lot of them. I took two in-depth courses through the Institute of Children’s Literature that really helped me develop the (surprisingly difficult) art of writing for kids.
So back to Too Hot to Moo…
I started by exploring self-publishing companies in Canada, comparing services offered and costs. I spent a fair bit of time researching what other book titles were already out there and how they compared to my topic and format. There are some neat cow stories out there but I couldn’t find any with a similar story line or non-fiction (Cowabunga!) facts at the end. That fact encouraged me to proceed. (Looking back, I should have started with that exercise!) After a fair bit of research I settled on Friesen Press in Victoria, B.C. Their fee structure seemed fair and from the beginning I felt that I had a team supporting me as a first time writer.
Check out their package at www.friesenpress.com.
Next time I’ll talk about the process of creating the book. There were some real surprises in store!
Thanks for your interest!