More on Getting Started

As I’ve said , my first books were published around six months ago. It took awhile for me to decide how I wanted all my picture books to look when published—and I’m sure this is a process still in the making as I learn. At the moment, my books are first published with IngramSpark , hardback, then paperback, with a kindle edition being added shortly. Why? That was my question exactly. Why would anyone offer a kindle edition of a picture book? But I finally understood when I began reviewing picture books. Kindle is an easy, and often free (well, I choose books when they are free, anyway). Why do I do this? Because everything I have read from the beginning of this indie journey hammers in the importance of reviews, which we will go into at a later time. And because I am still trying to figure out how to get them. Here are the three reasons I review picture books.  #1 It shows me what is being published since I stick with books published within the past couple of years. #2 It shows me what works. I will not go into here the way too many self-published books that have not been properly edited or the zillion books with poor illustrations and forced rhyme. #3 And most importantly, every book, as well as every thing,  can use a review in the world of today. Now I have to confess that I do not give reviews to any book I feel rates a 2 or less. Sadly, authors will learn this on their own.

Do I put my books up myself? No. I decided early on that I needed direction. And I already had a million other things I was trying to understand. For me, this was a wise decision, and I am lucky to have a budget that gives me room. I count my blessings it was Emerald Books I found, Keep in mind, how you think and how they think doesn’t always align at first. That’s why it is so important to find someone who listens, who explains, who is willing to work with you. And if this makes any sense, someone who makes you feel that they aren’t with you solely for the money. Always keeping in mind, we are the newbies.

Option two works even better for authors on a tight budget. Find an illustrator/publisher. They are out there. I work with three at the moment and love knowing that my books are in good hands. Think about it, it’s a collaboration, their names are on the book, too. It only makes sense that they would want a perfect product as much as you do.  As writers of picture books, we need an illustrator. Dual-purpose is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. Maybe a poor choice of words, but you get the picture.

Why do I use IngramSpark?  Mainly for distribution. I feel some of my books will fit well in libraries. And I love seeing what might happen when my book gets to distribution.  I’ll discuss this more in the future and by then we may even see if some of my tries are working. At this point, I have no idea what to expect. That’s another problem with being a newcomer; learning indie is akin to learning another language, which for me takes a long, long time. If ever. Let’s hope learning the rest of Indie’s secrets goes better.

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