Sick of waiting for your Fairy Godmother? One too many rejections? Don’t like the odds of your book ever making it to the shelves? Thinking of doing it yourself? You need Camilla Chesters new KnowHow series on self-publishing!

1. It will be published

Why do you write children’s books? So children will read them, right? In this competitive market the odds on getting your book published are slim. Even if you have written the best piece of children’s literature since Watership Down, it has to get into exactly the right hands at exactly the right time. If you do it yourself you get your book published - it really happens, in the real world!
There's nothing like the feeling of handling a copy of your very own book!

2. Control

You’re in charge on everything, the content, the cover, the blurb, the quotes, the size, the layout, the pricing EVERYTHING! You also keep the rights to your book, there’s no signing anything away and it can stay in print for as long as YOU decide it stays in print.

 3. Time

Quick. It can be very quick. There is no year of waiting for your publishing contracts then another year for the book to be out there, we are talking months, even weeks of turn around time. Super fast. 

 4. Having the product

Being a children’s author is a business. How can you have your business running without your product? You need that book, or books in your hand before you can go into schools, libraries, start doing events and establish yourself as an author.

 5. Getting on with it

Self-publishing is an enormously satisfying way to get rid of that pent up feeling of frustration; that ‘chasing your tail’ feeling of going nowhere fast. It’s a bit like that moment when you’ve been waiting for someone else to fix the dripping tap, when finally you reach into the toolbox, pull out the spanner and realise you can do it yourself.

 NB: A little word of warning…

I am giving a nice rosy tint on self-publishing because these are all the reasons to do it but there is one thing you need to know, it takes energy. You have to be an entrepreneur type. You need to be willing to learn as you go, be open to the process and stay confident with your decisions.
But hey, you are that kind of person, you have to be if you’ve decided to stop waiting for that illusive piece of good luck and do it yourself. Go for it! If you talk to any self-published author they will all tell you that it was worth it. 

Header image: Medieval printing press (Wikimedia Commons)

Camilla Chester writes for children aged 8 to 12. She has always written fiction, but after moving to Hertfordshire with her family in 2010, she enrolled onto an OU Creative Writing Course (receiving a distinction), joined several writing groups and then discovered the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) before publishing her debut, Jarred Dreams in 2016. Camilla’s second book EATS came out at the end of April 2017 and her third, Thirteenth Wish is due to be published in April 2018. In addition to being a children’s author Camilla runs a small dog walking business.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with all these points about being self-published, esp having control over everything and not having to wait all that time for it to be published.


We love comments and really appreciate the time it takes to leave one.
Interesting and pithy reactions to a post are brilliant but we also LOVE it when people just say they've read and enjoyed.
We've made it easy to comment by losing the 'are you human?' test, which means we get a lot of spam. Fortunately, Blogger recognises these, so most, if not all, anonymous comments are deleted without reading.

Words & Pictures is the Online Magazine of SCBWI British Isles. Powered by Blogger.