Last Saturday I attended a writer’s workshop, “Teachers as Authors.” It was offered by Region 10 Education Service Center, and was taught by Michelle Stimpson. Michelle is a successful author, with 5 books on the Amazon best seller lists. Here is a link to her website MichelleStimpson.com ~ Where Writing and Faith Got Married.
This workshop was all about how to self-publish a book, and was very informative and hands-on.
We walked through how to publish a book through Kindle Direct Publishing, which publishes ebooks and paperbacks through Amazon, and Draft2Digital, which publishes ebooks to many different digital outlets. (Links to both of these publishers will be at the end of this article.)
Both of these self-publishing websites are user friendly, offering tutorials, help groups, and templates.
You do everything yourself.
1. Write a book.
2. Hire editors and critiques.
3. Hire cover art (Michelle suggested using fiverr). Or design a cover yourself.
4. Upload the book and artwork onto the website.
5. They sell it for you, and you collect a paycheck.
If you are writing a novel, this seems like a really quick, easy, and effective way to get your book into the hands of readers. However, I am writing a children’s picture book, which requires a few extra steps. I started typing into a template that Michelle offered. But I don’t have any design skills, so I am having a hard time figuring out the best placement for the text, and the best font that is interesting looking but doesn’t look homemade. I think I need to check out a bunch of books from the library or go sit in the bookstore and pay attention to the layout of picture book pages.
I also am not an illustrator. I have some ideas for how the pictures could look, but I can’t draw or paint and I can barely color, so I will have to hire out someone for the pictures. And the pictures in a picture book are just as important as the story, so I will need to hire someone good! That is going to be a big cost upfront. My bank account is not really ready for that. $$$
Sooooo, I don’t think I am ready for self-publishing yet.
But remember in my previous post (part3) I told you that Arbordale Publishing suggested I get my manuscript critiqued? Well my mom helped me join the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and I am currently trying to navigate this new community to figure out how to get a critique. One more baby step taken.
Subscribe to my blog to keep up with my progress. Comment below if you are working on a book, as well! Let me know where you are in the process, and Happy Writing to you!
Here are the links to the self-publishing websites: