Finding Self-Publishing Help
Written by Rita Emmett
When I started writing my first picture book, I didn’t know how to find help, especially self-publishing help. Although I had written several other successfully published books.
My first draft was 2,000 words. I attended a seminar, heard that books should be approximately 800 words or less, and decided to trim it down a little bit.
Then I took a webinar and learned that each page must be written to the illustration. In my book, Farkle Shark, You Are Not Stupid, the first four pages were the same two fish talking to each other.
So, I decided to give my character, Farkle some goofy sayings. Big sister Sparkle would mock him and ask him to imagine if that were true. Then a cloud would float over their heads while she imagined whatever it was he said.
Then I went to FIVERR.com, selected an illustrator (who turned out to live in Romania) and placed my first order for illustrations. Farkle’s opening goofy saying was “Holy Mackerel Manhole.” I envisioned a mackerel popping out of a manhole in the middle of the street and bystanders looking astonished and amazed.
Brilliant, yes? I thought so.
The next day, my 11-year-old neighbor (one of my beta readers) told me kids would think that a manhole is a man’s butt hole.
Oh. Crap. Self-publishing isn’t easy.
After several awkwardly worded emails, that is exactly what the Romanian artist thought also. If you read the book and see the mackerel popping out of a mailbox, you will be one of the very few people who know that “Holy Mackerel Mailbox” was not the original quote.
When looking for more help, I stumbled across Chrissy at Indie Publishing Group. She formatted the book for Kindle and Create Space. Then gently took me by the hand and led me through the next steps for publishing and promoting a picture book.
No more wasted time. No more embarrassing mistakes. If you ever are hitting a wall not knowing what the next step is, I recommend reaching out for help. There are many people out there that promise a lot, but ultimately end up delivering very little. Marketing and publishing books, especially self-publishing, is hit and miss. What works for one may not work for another. Perseverance and the ability to learn and adapt are essential for any authors thinking of publishing their books.
Rita Emmett’s book Farkle Shark, You Are Not Stupid is available on Amazon.