In case you missed it, earlier this week I announced on my Instagram page that I FINALLY have a release date for the hardcover version of ‘Sam Likes Jam’! Sam will be available on 9/1/2017 on Barnes and Noble.com! While I am ultimately very pleased with the final product, it was a long journey working with a new company. The silver lining is, I now have all of this knowledge behind me for the next one! I realize there are still many lessons to learn, and I will be happy to share them along the way!
This brings me to the real reason, I am writing – one of the realizations I came to this week, was that I wasn’t taking myself seriously. Here I was putting in hundreds of hours into writing, editing, illustrating, formatting and promoting my book, but I wasn’t taking myself seriously. I wrote another book, paid to have it edited, started illustrating and I even submitted it to a publisher and an agent, wrote a press release and I STILL was not taking myself seriously. I know it sounds like I was, but I wasn’t.
For example on the very base level, I became embarrassed and even felt undeserving when I was congratulated on my book. “It’s not like I was chosen to be published, I did it myself.” I would think to myself. Little by little though, those last four words began to resonate with me. “I-did-it-myself.” This was a huge endeavor and I am still at it. I created my website, came up with some clever albeit unsuccessful marketing strategies, I am writing more books, and I am illustrating my books. I can now say with PRIDE that I am a published author of a children’s picture book.
I know what you may be thinking, it certainly sounds like I was taking myself seriously, but I wasn’t. So then what DOES it look like then? Accepting that I am an author was step 1. Step 2 was identifying the type of author I was. I never fully immersed myself in children’s literature. I read to my kids often and my husband reads to them nightly, but I really don’t know who or what I align with. I was having a hard time deciding what genre I fit in, and what exactly my message was. These are very important things to know, especially if you are trying to find an agent or be published traditionally. These are all things I need to (and will) figure out. I have a new mission statement and have found the common thread all of my books have. I am going to share these things with you in the coming weeks. I’ve also joined Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators which has a plethora of reliable information. This was step 3 for me. I plan to meet-up with my local chapter, attend workshops and conferences. There is a ton of misinformation out there on the web. If you are thinking about publishing your book, or you already have, I highly recommend that you join.
I hope all of you are enjoying the last few weeks of summer! I can’t wait to fill you in on the things I have in store.
Til Next Time,