When I decided to write a children’s book, the first thing I did was…GOOGLE! Sounds simple, right? The fact of the matter is that it was the furthest thing from simple.
If you were to go through my browser history at the time, it would look a little something like this…
How to get a publishing deal
How to submit my book to a publisher
How to publish a children’s book
Traditional book publishing
Do I need an agent to get a publishing deal
Does it cost to hire a literary agent
Pros and cons of self-publishing
After hours...days...weeks of research, the answer was clear. I was going to self-publish my own book. Here’s the real tea…I like to be in control and I can sometimes be a little impatient when it comes to things I am passionate about. Sue me lol
This is not to say that I will never explore the option of publishing the “traditional” way, however, I had to make a decision, and for me, in that moment, the cons of traditional publishing outweighed the pros.
Here are the FACTS:
1. I did not want to leave it up to a literary agent to decide if my idea was good enough to propose to a publisher
2. Once submitted to a publisher, I did not want to give them the Authority to reject my idea
3. Speed to market is upwards of 18 months or more. I was not interested in waiting that long to bring my project to life. I am a "doer", what can I say.
4. I wanted to have creative control and that just isn’t the way things work when you sign with a "traditional" publisher
Aside from my impatience and the fact that I am a slight control freak, the ultimate factor in my decision making was:
5. Ownership! I am a huge proponent of the value in ownership. As a mother, I am constantly thinking of ways I can set my daughter, my daughter’s daughter, and my daughter’s daughter’s daughter up for success. If you follow me on IG @its_ambertbogan, you know that my daughter co-owns the copyright to my debut title, Little Miss is Destined for Greatness. When I am long gone, she has the option to re-vamp and continue to generate revenue from my collection of books all while inspiring the next generation of readers and writers. This did it for me!
...And so my journey to independently publish my debut children’s book began…
But before I head out, it is only fair that I address several of the primary benefits afforded when you opt for the “traditional” publishing route.
1. Expertise! Now granted, you can pay for consulting as a self-publisher to gain direction and guidance on best practices, but it does add to your start up costs like illustration, books design, marketing materials, website hosting, etc. On the bright side, because your royalties per book should be higher, this initial expense should turn out to be a non-factor in the long run.
2. Credibility! I struggle with this one a bit because when it comes to children’s books, I’m not quite sure I am sold on the idea that the publisher/imprint plays a critical role in how good a person expects a book to be. Point number 3 below, I feel is the biggest differentiator.
3. Publicity and Exposure! If you ask me, this is the deal breaker. As an Indie Author, all public relations, and marketing efforts are up to you, unless you hire outside council. The more people who know about your book, the more people get to benefit from the message and the more sales you can generate. In my experience, this is what I myself and most other Indie Authors I know struggle with the most. I am confident that as I continue to pour into myself on my journey as an Indie Author, the easier this process will become, but the ability to have a built in team to handle this is hard to pass up.
So there you have it folks! I hope you enjoyed my two cents on why I decided to opt for self publishing vs the “traditional” publishing route. If nothing else, I hope it makes you think and gives you points to consider in your decision making. Whichever route you choose, I wish you nothing but the best on your Author journey! Onward and Upward, friends. :)
Amber T. Bogan