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Think of the Possibilities

  You are about to explore some exciting possibilities. What if you didn't have to find an editor who wanted to publish your story? What if you had the power to decide whether to turn your story into a book? What if you could control, not only whether the book is published, but how well it sells and how long it remains in print?

This writer's dream can be achieved. But your manuscript will not become a book by magic. It will require a lot of hard work on your part. You will have to plan, fund and drive your story from manuscript to book and into reader's hands. Your story will only proceed from one stage to the next if you invest time, energy and money. But it can and is being done. You'd like to know how? Good, that's the purpose of this book.

Many people reject the idea of self-publishing a children's book because they believe one or both of the following myths.

Myth 1: If you can't find an editor who will publish your book, it probably isn't good enough to publish.

Editors may reject your book because:
  • It is too similar to another book they have published.
  • It does not match the image/style they are trying to project.
  • They are too overwhelmed with submissions to properly consider yours.
  • They don't think readers will buy it.
The first three reasons have nothing to do with whether the book is good enough to publish and the last reason is just an editor's opinion. Editors are right about which books readers will like and buy about as often as stock brokers are right about which stocks will go up in value. Not that often.

Still if your story was rejected by publishers, it can be hard to shake the feeling that you are self-publishing because you had to, Consider the words of Karen L. Oberst, author; and owner of QuoteLady.com. Karen worked at Amazon.com on their Advantage program and says, "I believe passionately that the interesting books, music, videos, and DVDs come from the fringe--the self-publishers, micro-publishers, and others who can't get a hearing at the big publishing houses." Don't assume that just because an established publisher didn't choose to publish your story that it isn't worth publishing.


Myth 2: No one in the book industry takes a self-published book seriously.

While many people in the book industry may belittle the self-publisher or small publisher, there are plenty of others who are waiting to support and applaud your efforts.

Writer's Digest runs an annual contest for the best self-published books. ForeWord Magazine believes "the best ideas have always come from independent thinkers." ForeWord Magazine's annual Book of the Year Awards were established to bring increased attention to the literary achievements of independent presses and their authors. Benjamin Franklin Awards are given by Publishers Marketing Association (PMA) to recognize excellence in independent publishing. Winners are recognized at Book Expo America. All of these awards include a children's book category.

Even a few editors in the New York publishing world are taking self-published books seriously. Angelle Pilkington, an editor at Puffin, said self-publishing and selling more than 5,000 copies of a book, can be a short-cut out of the slush pile for an otherwise unpublished author. Each year publishing houses are purchasing an increasing number of previously self-published books.

Regardless of whether you win an award, sell your book to a big publisher, or enjoy more modest success as a publisher, you will find the independent publishing community is well-connected and supportive. There are many newsletters and groups that provide a wealth of advice and assistance for the new publisher. I'll describe these in more detail in a later chapter.

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