The Journey of Self-Publishing a Children’s Book

Many of you know of my writing exploits. Recently, I wrapped up the illustration phase of self-publishing a children’s book. It required a surprising amount of effort that was largely based on my naivety. After writing the manuscript, I researched and interviewed freelance illustrators on a freelancer online platform. After finding one I thought would be a perfect fit for my manuscript material, we began working together under contract.

Going into the process, I supposed I would hand off the text, sit back, and wait for the final product. What really happened was a multi-month long process of discussing ideas, trading concepts, and critiquing rough drafts. So much goes into communicating an idea.

Thankfully, I really did select a wonderful illustrator and will elaborate on who they are and the book as a whole in another blog post. If you plan to self-publish and, like me, have zero artistic talent, you’ll go down a similar path.

I encourage you in the upmost to be very selective with your illustrator. Don’t settle for lowest price. You want someone who is passionate about their work, respectful of your time and message, and someone who treats their commitments with professionalism. You’ll likely come across people who “seem” to charge a lot of money for the work. Unlike a self-publishing author, illustrators typically receive little to none of the future commissions on a book. So, without this hope of future reward, they typically expect the money upfront. For someone with a small amount of capital, this can seem daunting. Start off small, take some calculated risk, and enjoy the process.

Publishing anything is a journey, not a sprint. You know what they say…if it was easy, everyone would be doing it. Join me on the journey of publishing a story and let’s enrich the world together.

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