'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 4 April 2009

How to Self-Publish a Children's Book, Phase IV


I’m ready, baby…

After my last more emotional self-publishing blog entry, I am officially back to business.

I took a chill pill, re-sought my equilibrium, spent some more time with my daughter, and got a little more sleep. I also got some exercise because my body atrophied into the sitting position, with my hands curved into typing claws and my neck permanently craned forward, with a wild, unblinking look in my eye. If you had taken my chair away, my body would have stayed in the same position.

How I long to go for an endless, undulating, spine-stretching swim off Nha Trang. Soon enough, my pretties. Soon enough.

But to the task at hand…

Some updates for you wannabe self-publishers (and if you are not a wannabe self-publisher after following this crazy journey – what’s wrong with you?).

I managed to snaffle my last photographs for the book – while we had that amazing (short lived) stretch of gorgeous, clear weather recently. My very tardy illustrator sent his last piece in and I let out a little peep of excitement when I took that artwork, configured it onto its page and clicked the save button on my graphic design package for the very last time.

I started emailing pages to my printer, after checking last week if things were on track, in terms of file size and quality. All good. Then they came to my house, took the files, went away, made a proof, brought it back and showed me.

Yes, there were tears. It looks beautiful. And thank the heavens it looks even better than I had envisaged in my head (how many times does that ever happen in life?) We signed the contract on the spot and right now, those machines are churning our hundreds of copies of my book.

I can’t believe this.

Last week, I also managed to garner even more wonderful support regarding my book launch – people are fantastic in this town and so enthusiastic. If it weren’t for them, I surely would have collapsed under a very overwhelming load.

I had some advertising material printed, which was very exciting, and I also liaised with my wonderful book launch venues – The BookMark and the Boomworm – on logistics and requirements.

Another great thing is that my son Riley gave me official approval on the illustrations for the book – he loves them, and that meant the world to me. I also started preparing some special ideas and items for the book launch, which is taking up more time than expected, because, well – I want to celebrate! And I want others to share in the celebration.

But the most exciting part of last week was receiving my Cataloguing in Publication Data from the National Library of Australia. I ran around like a spinning top screaming when I received this. You know – it looks like real publishing data! Like – with my name and the title and the ISBN and the subject and the edition details and even a Dewey number. I have a Dewey number for goodness sake! A Dewey number!!

Seeing this Dewey number and all these details – well, it was like the pinnacle of achievement for me. After all the stress and intense hard work of these past few weeks, it finally made things REAL. Really real. I felt – I felt… well… published.

I am self-published.

For those out there who love to write, can you feel how this makes me feel right now? You too can have this feeling!

I contacted www.bowkerlink.com – a worldwide publisher access system, with my publisher record number (ahem!) and started the process of registering so I could report my assigned ISBN and catalogue my work in their Global Books In Print database.

And the most recent thing I’ve done is take a moment to appreciate all that is happening right now. Although I’m existing in a sort of stress/bliss-induced haze, I’m also aware that all this hard work is paying off and I’m am absolutely, 100% certain that the reason it’s paying off is because I am refusing to quit and I categorically believe I can do this.

This may sound basic, but as we all know – it’s a key to success.

I have the key – and it’s entering the lock… please please please let the door open.

First published on the City Weekend Beijing website.