31 Oct The Road to Publishing
The road to publishing does not run smoothly. It certainly has been a bumpy one, but in life, you must strive to reach your goals. The most important thing. Do not give up!
I always wanted to write and after having my two girls, they gave me the inspiration I needed. It escalated from there. It all started one day when my girls were dressed up like a turtle and a spider. I made up a story for them and they wanted to know right then and there what would happen next. My thought process was. What if I write them a story they can hold in their hands forever?
Fast forward five months and it’s no longer a dream but a reality. Since writing The Turtle and the Spider I have written an additional ten stories and have several a work in progress. I started writing and I didn’t stop. I have the writing bug now!
Before I self-published I had looked into traditional publishing. I sent work off to agents and I didn’t do my homework. I have learned so much and now I realise the work I sent probably hit the delete pile before even being looked at! I didn’t have an editor so my story at the time was very raw and needed work. Publishing a book involved a team. That took time but now I have the best team possible. If you want to self-publish a picture book, your team checklist should be:
- Alpha Readers
- Beta Readers
- Writing Critique Partners
My book would have gone nowhere without my amazing team.
After a few rejections, I got impatient and decided to look for an illustrator. I found an absolute diamond and one of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. Jose has brought my books to life and I will be forever grateful. He lives in the Philippines and his hard-earned money is going to help his province. It is so humbling to know that this journey I am on has helped other people through him.
I also had the good fortune to meet Kirsten Rees. She has edited and navigated me through the overwhelming world of social media. Before this, I did not know how to tweet! She has basically led me by the hand and shared so much with me. I would be lost without her guidance. I am so grateful and we both cannot wait to be out of lockdown and celebrate together!
I have been blessed to have two editors and Stephanie R. Graham has been just what I needed to get through the book process. I have never met anyone so devoted and so meticulous. She has worked tirelessly and has pushed me to be the best that I can be. Exactly what I need as making a book perfect is not easy. It’s hours of edits, suggestions, and changes. In the process I know I have made a lifelong friend and that through this book we have been brought together. I can’t wait for all the plans we have with all future projects. Hopefully next year we can meet for the first time when she comes to Scotland!
Finding a formatter was the biggest headache for me as I had no idea about this part. So many problems came up and I felt like giving up but from the beginning, I felt like this was the path I was supposed to be on. I prayed and powered on through. Every time I felt like I had taken a step back, it turned out it was for a very good reason. God works in mysterious ways indeed!
My proof-readers are non-other than my Father and Mother in Law. I am so grateful that they have given their time and suggestions. They have helped polish my stories to give them that final finesse.
Everyone will have a story of what they did during lockdown. Mine has firstly been about being with my girls. While my husband has been at work, I have been home schooling which has been great and eye-opening. In the evenings I have had the time to work on my stories. Normally I would work at night and weekends but like so many others I am out of work just now due to Covid-19.
I am grateful for the time I have had in lockdown as I normally work evenings as a beauty therapist. If I didn’t have this time, I would never have gotten this far so quickly. I also never would have had the opportunity to meet these wonderful people above.
For those out there wanting to self-publish, keep going and don’t give up. Follow your dreams, it’s worth it!
Over and out, till next time.