To say that the publishing field has changed is sort of like saying we have a few more cars than we did one hundred years ago. The big change: technology. In years gone by I would do my research and try to find an agent who seemed to be working in my genre, then send a synopsis, letter, and chapter samples. And then wait. It was usually the practice that you could not send to multiple agents, or publishers, at the same time, therefore as you would wait for 3 to 6 months, or more, for an answer you were in publishing limbo. My series about my friend Stu is a process that is like night and day to the old method. Here is a summary of my indie (independent) experience. 1. I woke up at 3:00 one morning with the idea of writing a kids book about an ostrich and an alien. I have no clue where that came from but I got up and had the first draft written by 5. 2. I tried to find an artist that I could afford and eventually listed the "job" on Upwork and found my artist, Stella Wang. Upwork is a wonderful resource, somewhat like international job board. I have found editors, artists, and assistants here. I then hired a children's book editor. There are many other ways to find artists and editors. 3. I built a website and signed up with MailChimp to deliver a newsletter to my email list. Building an email list is a top priority. I published the digital form of Stu through Amazon's Kid's Publishing platform KDP Kids, which was free and relatively painless. 4. I then published the paperback through Amazon's KDP, again free, but I did have to hire a layout graphics person to make my images fit the publishing templates. This was extremely helpful and I would recommend spending the money for it. 5. Marketing. There is an enormous amount of information out there on how to market and it is too deep a subject to delve into here (although I would be happy to share what I have learned if you send me a note at patriciagilbers@stutheostrich.) Marketing is the tough, tough, tough part of writing today. Don't think that if you have a traditional publisher you will be free from it, it sadly is no longer the case. Making the decision to go traditional or indie is one to give some time and thought to. Here is a good video by Joanna Penn. I have a basic marketing plan of building my email list with giveaways and sharing, posting on social media, making sure I have the best possible book to promote, connecting with other authors, primarily through local writing groups and social media, and advertising. Do Not spend money on advertising until you know what you're doing. I spend $20/campaign. Never spend more than you can afford. My information on this came from the wonderful Mark Dawson, Self Publishing Formula courses. I am now turning to a distributor and Print on Demand company called IngramSpark who can place my books in retailers and libraries around the world. The cost to set up my book with them was $49. Finally, my best advice is to learn, every day, how to do this better, whether it is your craft of writing, or marketing, it is definitely a learning curve. Good luck to you! Love what you do and share it with people who are waiting for you! Pat
thank you for coming to see us. we love to see you. stu's mission in life is simply to help people find a giggle and a smile, and to know that they are very loved.