All of my life I have been a lover of words. I love spoken, sung, written or recited. Words can build up or tear down, be beautiful or ugly. Words convey emotion, action and description and I can’t get enough of them. When I was young, I would ask so many questions. Everything from how things worked to why things happened in certain ways. My parents probably got tired of that and put a book in my hand. Once I started reading, I devoured every book in our school library and then some. Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie: check, check. As I grew, so did my love for books. Since we moved around a lot, I had a hard time keeping friends, but book friends were always close. I never lost my love for words and when the opportunity came to share them with Charleston Moms Blog, I couldn’t wait.
I’m a bit of a free thinker, even though I’m mainly conservative; but when the idea came to write a children’s book, I jumped on it.
The idea hit me like a ton of bricks and I couldn’t put my pen down until I was done.
Proudly, I typed it on a Word Document and printed it up to show a few friends. Several loved it, and one even cried! They all said that it should be published. I agreed and decided to bring the book to life through publishing. Every movie that I have ever seen about writers proves that the publishing company would write me a big fat advance check and then they would do all of the hard work of marketing the book. Then I would get paid millions. Right??
How self-publishing actually works
The first publishing company that I called sent me a form requesting that I send them the manuscript, and then they would tell me how much that I needed to invest…WHAT? The next publishing company I called said that I would need to pay them $1,700 for their services as a partial self-publisher, not including the illustrations or marketing. Here’s the thing, even if I did have an extra $1,700 laying around to give a publishing company, I didn’t want to just hand it over unless I knew exactly where the money was going to. I inquired if I could illustrate the book myself, and was told that it had to be reviewed before they would put their name on it as the publisher. I get it, I really do, but still wondered if there was a better way…
I decided to look into real self-publishing and watched a ton of YouTube Videos. Some helpful ones I found were:
After hours of watching videos and taking notes, I decided to try to self-publish my book. I used Createspace.com as my platform for publishing, since there is little to no upfront cost, but then that meant that my daughter, Lily and I would be the ones illustrating the whole thing. So we set up the dining table as our central command center and got to work. We knew what we needed as characters went and started from there. Everything used in the making of the art and the book was from our art supply. Eventually, things started coming together and we were able to make some great art. One of my favorite pages couldn’t be used because there wasn’t enough space for words. But, you live and learn.
After many hours of trial and error, and several uploads, our book was finally ready to Proof, which is basically printing one just to see what it looks like.
Making it happen!
Let me tell you, the best way to proofread a book is to read it with my six-year-old son. He reads every word for what it is, and not what I thought I wrote. After a few tweaks, copyrights, Library of Congress stuff, and much prayer, I am happy to say that Why Did You Make Mosquitos? is now available for purchase on Amazon.
Concept to completion took about two months, but now I am not only a published blogger, but also an author! And since I have discovered how the process works, I am already (mostly) done with my next book! Luckily, there will be no need for illustrations. Whew!
I am so happy that I stuck with this writing process and I love that, as an author, I have an even greater platform for the words I love to share.