I’ve come to a bit of a boggy cowpat with my picture book. As any indie publisher knows – there are many different options – and trying to figure out the best option for me is something I think I could research until the cows come home. (And I don’t even have any cows, so you see how long we could be looking at!)
I want to be sure that the print quality of the book is going to be sound enough
Currently, one the most popular methods in which to self-publish, is to use a platform such as CreateSpace (Amazon’s own self-publishing platform), IngramSpark, Blurb, etc. Many of these sites will do as much or as little as you want them to in your book editing/designing/publishing process. I have been looking at all three of the afore-mentioned companies and can see pros-and-cons of all. One of their major pros is ‘Print on Demand’ – which saves the author having to order large print-runs. This sounds great, except that I want to be sure that the print quality of my book is going to be sound enough. Can I do this if I haven’t even see a copy apart from the one I have ordered myself? Having said that, these sites are hugely popular and do tend to offer small print-runs and different paper stocks, finishes and weights, so could still be a goer. They are also pretty handy for helping you get your book out onto their own – and other book-selling platforms – also a major pro.
A helping hand where my knowledge, and confidence is lacking
Another method is to use a more scaled-down version of one of these companies. A small independent publisher that will give me the bespoke options that I need, and a helping hand where my knowledge, and confidence is lacking. They will also be able to help me with tailored marketing advice – something else I otherwise need to learn. Main downside here is that my costs will go up.
The other option that I feel is perhaps my strongest contender is to publish completely myself. I have already got an ISBN, begun the process of registering my book on Nielsen’s book database (this is the database that enables your book to be found by booksellers), and I even have an imprint name, Designer Mum Books. Obvs! So what am I waiting for? Well … Now I have to go out into the world and find myself a printer.
Finding a printer suddenly seems like the most scary part
So far I have found a few, contacted a couple, got a few quotes – but I am definitely nervous here. Finding a printer suddenly seems like the most scary part. Why is that? Well, I want my book to feel as lovely as all the best books I read with my own tiddlers, and I don’t want to get the quality wrong. And I suppose its because its the final major piece of the puzzle. The part where I might actually succeed in my (sounds corny but is absolutely true) lifelong ambition of being a children’s book author and illustrator.
So here’s my real blocker: The fear that I might actually succeed, and of course, the fear that I might fail. At this point I could delve the route courses of my fears, but that is not the point of this post. We can do that another day. For now, I need to get my head down – do some serious reading and price comparing – but be decisive too as I don’t currently have room for any cows that do want to stop by … And once I’m happy that my book is as text and image perfect as it is going to be … Get ordering a proof!