Updated: Aug 27, 2019
I never imagined in my wildest dreams what kind of place this book world is like. I'm not going to lie! I was SUPER overwhelmed by all the steps you have to take before getting your book out there for the world to see,(STILL AM)! But I was fortunate enough to find some amazing, and supportive groups and mentors to help hold my hand and walk me through step by step.
First, of course I came up with one adorable children's book story, and then another one, and another one to make that a series. Since I was on a roll I wrote two more stand alone stories. I did that all in one months time. (All rhyming too, which I found out was a big no no! But we'll get to that later)
So Great I have all of these stories, NOW WHAT? The first thing you think of is to find a publisher right? WRONG... LOOK OUT for them!!
I looked up and contacted about a dozen of them and they all got back with me and Loved my stories which made me super excited!! But after doing more research I learned that most of these "so called" publishers are actually Vanity publishers that just want your money.
A true publisher is called a Traditional publisher and they will not charge you anything to publish your book. However, traditional publishers normally don't take first time authors (unless your famous), and if they do it could take over 3 YEARS to get your book published. Aint nobody got time for that!!! If your like me you want to see it done now or else it isn't going to happen.
So that's when I gave up on that idea and looked into Self Publishing.
I thought, this shouldn't be to hard, I can do it on my own. (haha NOT!)
Since I have AMAZING family and friends, they helped me out and read all five stories and did some spell check, grammar check, and gave me lots of feedback on them, which I truly appreciated. Editor CHECK! Unfortunately I later found out that that is the number one thing your not supposed to do. Family and friends won't lie to you and tell you your story is terrible (my friends and family are just that...they are to sweet, kind, and supportive) So I hired professional editor and author Bobbie Hinman who is Incredible and bless her heart put up with me! After what seemed to be about 200 edited manuscripts (Ok..I may be exaggerating a bit, but when you get to your editing part you will understand) and once you change one thing, then you have to change another part and so on and so on, but once you get there and know this is the FINAL edited version you get Super excited!!!
Then I thought...well I know enough people who are amazing drawing artist. I'm sure I can get one of them to work with me. Illustrator CHECK! Unfortunately even though they can draw, there are soooo mannnny guide lines when putting them into a book, its easier and less stressful to hire a professional whos done it a few times.
So Even though its called SELF publishing, you do not want to do it on your own!!!
Step by step
The best thing I did was go onto Facebook and joined a few groups. (I'm sure there is a group for anything) So I joined a Children's Book Authors and Illustrators: Publishing, Marketing and Selling group. Which was SOOOooo helpful! There are so many connections and you can make just on this page alone. That's where I met my mentor April with TheLittleLabradoodlePublishing. She offers a 12 week online class that helps you walk though it step by step. She is amazing and held my hand the whole way. She helped me find my professional editor (who was God sent) my illustrator (who does incredible work), my graphic designer, and so much more. If anyone is interested in writing a book, I highly, highly, highly recommend looking her up and signing up for her 12 week class. Check out her website for more information Thelittlelabradoodle.com
Also another very helpful site kindlepreneur.com
Dave Chesson gives you a break down on all of the phases on writing, publishing and marketing your book.