The opportunity finally arrived. February 15 I received a reply that the publisher was interested in my children’s picture book! Of course I was excited, but I was aware that it was not simply a matter of them publishing my book.
It would mean some expense for me, so I needed more information. During a very informative telephone conversation with a very pleasant publisher, we discussed many things about the process involved. I learned that I would have a major say in the layout, illustrating and publishing of my book, and I also learned how much it would cost me. Besides the money it would mean a lot of time promoting and selling my book to get my money back and then begin making a profit. But … she will not publish a book she does not believe will sell … and she believed in my book. What to do?
After much thought, discussion with my husband, prayer, talking with writers who have much more experience than I, and looking at all the angles, I made my decision.
I listened to my husband. I said no thank you. Was it painful you might ask? Yes, very, but as disappointing as it was I know it was the right decision for me. Why was it right for me? Because I know myself well enough to foresee that it would be a difficult thing to self promote and sell my books. I would lose. I would be discouraged. That is not the path I want to take.
How delighted I would be — a published author of children’s books! But it is not yet the time for me. So, I have decided that I need to take more time to practice my writing, to connect with other writers, to learn, learn, learn. My time will come, I believe that, when it is the right time and the right path for me.
So now I’m asking: How about you, have you ever self published?
Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂
Lynn, I think you were wise. A couple of years ago I received an enthusiastic letter from a Canadian publisher who said my work was exceptional but needed editing then he made me a once-in-a-lifetime offer to do that for me if only I would pay him an outrageous amount. I was oh-so-tempted but my husband and I, like you, prayed and held back. The next week my friend and writing buddy received the exact same letter. Hmmmm. I suggest if you choose to go the path of self-publication, make sure it’s with a reputable self-publishing company and that it’s you who have initiated the contact. What I did was begin a second novel. Then one morning I woke up with the realization I needed to rewrite novel #1 in the first person. It was a lot of work but now I have an agent. Granted, she needs to sell it, but it’s still a big step. In summary, research the agents/publishers you’re submitting to, rewrite, get involved in critique and start another book. Good luck and enjoy the process! Victoria
To clarify, I did make first contact with the publisher – a new company here in NS. I learned of them through an author I’d met and shortly thereafter I also found them listed by a legitimate writer’s group, so I know they were not out to take me or anything. The publisher herself has writing experience and the knowledge of how long it can take to get published, which is why she started up her publishing firm – mostly for new and yet unpublished writers. I did what research I could, took a chance, but then had to be honest with myself and let it go.
I appreciate your advice about getting involved in critique. This is something I need and recently another writer offered to read and critique my work. It will be of great help to me as I feel quite isolated and I know that I have much to learn.
How wonderful that you have an agent! – another thing I have been wondering about and one day may have to consider in this adventure.
Thanks so much, Victoria, for your comment and your kind and helpful words. I wish you success with your novels. 🙂
Thanks for sharing your valuable information. I went through a long process too when I published my first book. It cost me a lot! But now I publish eBooks and it doesn’t cost me that much and I reach millions of people on the Internet. I didn’t understand the concept of eBook until I bought a step-by-step training course at http://www.ebookmillion.com It has been really helpful and I saved a lot!
Hi Jonathan, Thank you for sharing about some of your personal adventure. As for e-books, I had not looked into that yet, although I have certainly heard some about them. There is another thing I will have to learn about, so thanks for the link. 🙂
Sometimes we have to look at something from all angles and I think you’ve done that. It is better to consider all possibilities than to spend time wishing you had. Disappointment always goes away eventually. I wish you all the best on your journey toward publication. Hang in there!
You are right, disappointment has already subsided substantially. Through this I have realized that my focus is wrong, so now I am working at reordering my priorities.
There was a lesson in this for me – something I believe can make a huge difference if I learn it well.
Thank you, Laura. I appreciate your support and encouragement.
I ave been self-publishing my work since the late 1980’s, and my moter was a self-published author before hat! My 17 books sold 2 million+ copies, in 20 languages. Wile some of my early books were published by traditional houses, all of my books that were SUCCESSFUL were self-published. If I hadn’t taken that leap of faith, my many readers would never have enjoyed my books – and learned the lessons I eac. In the past two years, I went to China twice, Canada, Mexico and all throughout the U.S.You are right to be cautious about the cost of self-publishing, and the amount of work it takes to market your books, but you should know one thing about traditional publishers – they do nothing to help you sell books! Even traditionally published authors have to do what I did. I know, because I am an author/coach, and have clients from traditional houses. I read in the “comments” section about a woman who has an agent. Congratulations! This is a great step. But, your agent’s only ob is to sell you to a publisher. The ultimate buyer of your books is still a long way off.
My advice to authors is simple – don’t die with a book inside you (a quote from Dan Poynter). If you have a book, look for a Print On Demand company and print ONE COPY. The cost? Less tan $20 in some cases. Don’t buy all the services and editing unless you want to get serious about going commercial – either by traditional or self publishing. But, get at least one copy of your book out of your head and on to the desk. Who knows, maybe it will inspire you! Maybe your friends and family members would like the second, third and … copies for their next birthday gift.
Thanks, Bill, for your comment. There is so much to consider in this world of writing. It seems there are many ways to go about getting one’s book out there, and I am finding that there are many opinions on it, too. 🙂 I wish you continued success.