November 10, 2011

Do all your research first…say WHAT?

The book began to take shape with all the questions and was ready to illustrate.  I took art classes with the fabulous Cathy Little (clittleartist.com). It was the start of a great friendship and Cathy was very patient. She told me to use watercolor, I used acrylic…

Well, five years later, and three versions, alas, the project complete…
in watercolor.
So what do you do now, send to publishers? Well…small detail found in some “Publishing 101 for Dummies“ book after the fact:

*It is very hard to “Make It” as a author AND illustrator.
Almost impossible. *

There were Publishing Formats and Publishing Rules, and so much more! Well, I really liked my book… I mean it was complete, it even had a name, 'Haven's Heaven'. And it was dedicated to the three previously mentioned families, and most importantly, it had their blessings.

So I decided to self-publish. A family member was already in the works self-publishing a children’s book with Mirror Publishing, so I used them too. The benefit of self-publishing was immediate release and it would be exactly how I wanted it. The drawback is that I would do all the marketing… and I (err... my husband) paid out of pocket for the publishing of the books (thank you!).  Six hundred books to be exact (of the one million, yes one million, I told my dad I would sell, okay, I was being overly optimistic, I think we compromised on 10,000.)

In the past year, I have been on the fast track of “Marketing Your Book 101” self-researched by Katie Grant. I now can tell you that a Zip drive is a the little doohickey you plug into the computer to save files on, a PDF is much better than a JPG because of a bit map (whatever that is), a Tweet doesn't come from a bird, a Post isn't on a porch, being Followed is good, and you can never be Liked by to many people. And also, people don't magically find your website and want to buy your book because you like it. 

And MOST IMPORTANTLY,
before you get your website paid for and printed on the back of your book,
you REALLY, REALLY... REALLY should make sure a porn (yes, I said, PORN)
company did not own your website name back in the 90’s.
So apparently, there is another Haven. It was my father-in-law's middle name, who would have thought! I found this out after proudly emailing my new website to former colleagues and they responded, “I couldn’t access it due to 'pornographic and inappropriate content'.  I thought it was a children’s book, ha, ha”

In a panic I paid some online computer genius to tell me how to 'FIX' it, and was told “there was nothing I could do, that it was a former porn site”.
Soooo, I got to thinking......who blocked my site? The Blocker Companies! I started emailing them one by one, and low and behold, they started “recoding” my website from inappropriate to safe. (I may have missed a couple “blocker” companies,  so do let me know.)

AND, then I emailed the computer “genius" and got my money back!
My poster from my first LifeWay Book Signing!

Haven's Heaven was published a year and two weeks ago, and I have sold over 250 copies. I just learned that 250 is the average self-publishers sell, but we will just forget that statistic, cuz I told my dad, I would sell......


  

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