It’s a big dream to make something yourself, something that is valuable and meaningful to you. To share it with other people, with great faith and hope that they will appreciate it, like or even love it too. Your invention, your book, your painting; “A thing” you want to show to the whole world. Exciting and scary, exhilarating and uplifting, feeling of happiness and fear of disappointment and/or failure – all mixed in one. Those feelings should give you the power to proceed and turn your dream into reality. None of them should stop you. If you have an idea, a vision, you simply have to follow your dream, otherwise you might always regret that you have never tried.
There are lots of websites with advice on how to “self-publish”. Explore them all. The websites I recommend are www.thecreativepenn.com by Joanna Penn and www.thebookdesigner.com by Joel Friedlander.
London Book Fair
There is also the London Book Fair every April with lots of seminars, possibilities to meet other people like you, agents, publishers, print on demand providers, basically all people involved in publishing. It’s even just good to have a walk around, to get to know your competition, to familiarize yourself more with the world you are about to step into. If you can’t come to London there are other self-publishing seminars through the year, lectures, local support groups – you just have to find them. Ask in your local library or community centre.
From various books I would recommend: “Children’s Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook 2014”. This book provides advice on the publishing world and “how to write” etc. There are contacts details for agents, illustrators, publisher and other useful information.
I am a newbie in the publishing world. I don’t have much experience as yet but already I can say that, if you want to self-publish you have to be:
- patient, patient, patient (3 times on purpose here)
- hard working.
Some people say you might need money too. Well, if you write, draw (for a picture book), can design your cover and upload your book on kindle, kobo or ibooks yourself or have someone who will help you for free, then you don’t need them.
If you want – do both: try to publish in a traditional way and self-publish at the same time. Your skin might grow thicker as you start sending your submissions to publishers and the rejection letters start to come to you. Again be persistent and patient.
Also be prepared to feel that sometimes it might seem as if things are stuck, not moving forward or as if they are actually going backwards. Just hold on, stay motivated, it will pass.
The most important thing!
Finally the most important thing is: believe in yourself! Believe in your dream, your vision and success. Believe it strongly because for a while you might be the only one who will. Hopefully there will be someone or a group of people who will support you, even help you, but there also might be those who will ignore and laugh at you. Just get ready for it all and do it! So if you have an idea do not procrastinate. Stand up and take the first step, the next one…. Your own shoes and your own road. Not always straight and easy but fulfilling and rewarding. What you will find at the end depends on you. Follow your dreams! Good luck 🙂