When I self published my first children’s book back in 2010, there was still a great amount of negativity surrounding the process. Luckily, four years later upon self publishing The Angry Artist, things have changed in a major way! Self publishing is a route previously published authors and illustrators are experimenting with. It allows for more creative control and an opportunity to make more profit off of each book sale. I suppose the greatest lesson of all for me during the last five years has been – it is what you make it! Meaning, the more book events, social media sharing, school visits and press ideas you pour your time into, the more you will get out of the process.
My first children’s book was eventually published by a small independent press because I believe they enjoyed seeing the finished self published product first. From this experience I learned that in today’s changing literary landscape, authors are expected to set up their own events and press with little or no assistance from the publisher directly. This reality makes me even more enthusiastic about the possibilities of self publishing. I can be as creative as I want with book signings, press releases, social media blasts, and events. The possibilities are only limited by the amount of time I have. Because the actual income from book sales can be quite meager, the juggling of time and effort can be the greatest dance of all; especially if you need to maintain a full time job simultaneously.
Here are a few tips I’ve discovered for those looking to make the leap to publish your own book:
- Try and barter your services with other creatives to achieve a professional book cover and interior layout. This saves money and offers a great advantage in the marketplace.
- I find that books priced around $10 do quite well at children’s book fairs and events. It’s a price point parents and grandparents don’t have to think about.
- CreateSpace offers affordable publishing options that sync nicely with the Amazon marketplace. I’ve used their services various times.
- Try and get creative with book sales. Would your book do well in gift, museum or art supply shops? How about selling signed copies with a free handmade bookmark on Etsy?
What have your experiences been like with self publishing? Authors and illustrators – please share your thoughts below!