Tuesday, November 20, 2007


About two years ago I wrote the manuscript for a toddler book titled, You Are Joy. Intending to get it published, I sought out contacts I knew in the publishing industry. Although I received some good feedback about where my book would fit in, it wasn't the vision I had for the book. So I set out to self-publish and collaborated on the book with my sister, Kim, who came up with some terrific collage images and we finished the book. Well, that's what we thought until we came across a lot of formatting, quality and pricing issues particularly when it came to publishing a picture book.

Do not let these issues keep you from publishing your project! Remember we're here to support not discourage. Mistakes are often the cornerstones on which we build success. Now we're publishing our second book, Moon is Awake, and we're blogging about the process. I've had so many busy moms tell me, Oh , I have an idea, or I've always wanted to do that but don't know where to get started. And then there's the dynamic duo that can halt anything, time & money. You can publish your book idea for no money using print on demand, companies. There are limitations but hey, for no money up front they're a great way to get started and organize your book ideas. The POD company you choose will depend largely on your project, tech savvy, and marketing ideas.

Time, well that's another story. I often write on little pieces of paper that I find scattered all over the house. I write on the back of my daughter's artwork, grocery receipts...you get the idea. Then I schedule in a few late nights to put all those incongruent sentences together and get them into a document file on my desktop. My kids may have a grumpy mom the next day but it's worth it to see my projects move forward. My sister scans her original artwork and saves it as a png. If you don't get that ask at Kinkos or a techie friend is usually willing to show you how.

Before you start your publishing venture you will want to consider:

Is your project a full color picture book or a novel, fiction or instructional book? What will be the format eg: book size, number of pages, text and illustration layout? When using POD companies it's a good idea to order a book similar to the one you are planning. You will want to check out the print and paper quality.

How much initial capital do you want to put into your project, if any?

Do you want an ISBN number for larger distribution (online book sellers including Amazon, Barnes and Noble) as well as your local book stores? Be sure to check out the booksellers guidelines. Who are you selling your book to?

Are you going to need editing, illustration, book formatting services and representation with a publishing agent? And, how soon would you like to complete your project?

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