Author Topic: To self-publish or not to self-publish? (children's picture book)  (Read 2610 times)

Offline Procrastinatus Scriba

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Hi all, long time no visit. Looking for a bit of advice...

I've created (and printed) a children's picture book, with my friend doing the illustrations. Very happy with the final result (it was originally a present for my god daughter but always intended to try to get it published), and I recently ran off about 10 printed copies which have come out very well. Over the past six months or so I've submitted digital PDFs of the book to around 30 different relevant agents via their usual submission process, but have received back only standard 'form' rejection emails. My friend thinks I should try to get into situations where I can put one of the printed books physically into the face of agents as they may not even be opening the files, but I'm unsure of this approach, not sure where to start, and beginning to wonder if I should just bite the bullet and self-publish as a print-on-demand book.

So that's where I'm currently at. I could self-publish pretty quickly (I printed via ingram spark so I think it would just be a matter of purchasing an ISBN and then setting it all in motion from there, and I thought about maybe mailing out some of the copies I already have to relevant reviewers, as well as marketing via social media etc.), and I do favour this approach in a way because it gives me more control than just endlessly firing it off into the ether and hoping someone will bite. I'm also aware that it's not neccessarily 'conventional' to be sending a fully finished picture book to agents, so that may be creating a barrier from that angle. There are a few things I'm unsure of though :

*If I self-publish, will this prevent me from seeking an agent/publisher for the book at a later date?

*Is POD a good route - has anyone had any success/ experience of this?

*Are there in fact any good ways to get agents to see your work other than the standard submission process I've already been following? I'm based in London, so there are likely to be many nearby.

Many thanks in advance for any advice you may have. I'm keen to do something with the book as I do believe in it, and it seems a shame to just leave it sitting there when its 'ready to go', I'm just feeling like its a bit of a crossroads and not sure which way to go. Cheers!

Lin

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Re: To self-publish or not to self-publish? (children's picture book)
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2017, 04:50:54 AM »
Do you have to have an agent? There must be some children's book publishers around who would look at this for you?  Self-publishing shouldn't stop you from getting an agent in the future but if I were you I would self-publish if you think it's good enough.  I would certainly get some outside advice first as to how professional your book really is and if it's marketable and targeted correctly.  If you've had rejections maybe you should look at why this could be so.  You never see your own work as others see it. Did anyone give you any feedback with the rejections?  Not sure if Silverwood Books can help you, but mention me and see what Helen Hart has to say.  Just an idea, they are very good and well recommended if you want a really professional self-published book. You are not alone!

Lin  :)

Offline Procrastinatus Scriba

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Re: To self-publish or not to self-publish? (children's picture book)
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2017, 12:30:58 PM »
Thanks very much for your advice Lin :) I've decided to go ahead with self-publishing it and now crunching some numbers to determine how much to sell if for etc. Looks like the profit per book will be quite low (after setting discounts for retailers), probably 50-60p to be split between myself and the illustrator, but then perhaps this is not to dissimilar to regular publishing?

Lin

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Re: To self-publish or not to self-publish? (children's picture book)
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2017, 08:38:14 AM »
There is only one thing wrong with self-publishing.  It's the way others look at it.  I've read a few SP books recently and you can certainly tell they were self-published.  The authors, I don't mean this in a catty way, claws retracted, have published them because they quite obviously didn't get any help or so it seems. The way the work was presented and the errors therein, made me look and see what was going on.

'Ah', I said.  'Self-published eh?'

There is nothing wrong with self-publishing providing you get someone who is a qualified editor and well known to other authors before you publish.  It's not good enough to use a family friend or someone who is also self-published.  This is why I recommended Silverwood, they know what they are doing.  Any good company is worth their weight and they will keep in touch with you and advise you all along the route.  Don't self-publish on the 'cheap' unless you are like Devon author Liz Shakespeare who is very good at her work and does well as a historian.

A shoddy self-published book ruins reputations.  I am sure this is not you, PS, but just a word or two in your ear so you can quote me if you wish. 

Good luck and I'm glad you know where you want to go with this.

Lin


Offline teenwriterlock

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Re: To self-publish or not to self-publish? (children's picture book)
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2017, 08:35:33 PM »
i think one VERY BIG thing to keep in mind about all of this is how much marketing power you have yourself. a publisher will help a lot with getting distribution if they are good publisher. they can get you into bookstores, book events, publications, magazines, etc. this helps you get into bestselling lists that drive even more sales.

there are many really really powerful self published authors who have a good marketing channel already. in doing so, they get to keep all the money they make. don't lose rights to a publisher, and don't need to worry about all of that. others start their own publishing house (funny how that works).

at the end, it's a lot about if you can drive sales. if yes, go for it! if no, figure out how you can
huge anime fan. find my anime work here: https://commaful.com/play/anime/  planning to post alot more there soon

have a lot of writing that i haven't published yet but will soon. stay tuned! may post some here and others on wattpad or something