Monday, July 15, 2013

Q&A a La Ann Landers: Self-Pubbing a Picture Book

You probably already know I often use a question and answer format in my newsletter and that sometimes I recycle them here.  That doesn't mean you wouldn't benefit from the newsletter, but I sometimes worry if I think you might have missed something important.  So what's so important about this one? It's an example of how--without credible resources--new authors can waste a whole lot of time and money getting in over their heads.

 

QUESTION:

 

Dear Carolyn,

I have a project that the idea is still in the cradle not developed yet.  I want to publish a picture book and text about people taking public transportation in Los Angeles.  What kind of transportation is available.  Why people are using it.  Where they are going, etc. A photographer friend and I are taking the Metrolink to Oceanside. We want to interview people and take their pictures. Do you have tips for me?

 
Catherine


ANSWER:


Catherine, here is something to consider before you start on a project like this. Picture books are either very expensive to produce or very difficult to produce. So there is either a high cost of hiring the work done or a huge learning curve if you want to do it yourself. My advice: This is one time where it would pay to write a book proposal first--before you do a lot of work on the book itself--to get an agent and let him or her get a publisher for it. You want an agent who has contacts with publishers who have published excellent picture books in the past. You want a publisher with a catalog of books that attest to their expertise as well. 


Here are three advantages to approaching it this way:
1. You don't have to do ALL the work until you have a contract in hand. You'll only have to have the book proposal 
2. You end up with a book you can be proud of 

3. A good publisher will help you market it.

By the way, if you need a fast and easy guide to writing a great book proposal, consider my The Great First Impression Book Proposal. It's only 6.95 in paper (http://budurl.com/BookProposals) and 2.99 as an e-book.

 


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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor . If your followers at Twitter would benefit from this blog post, please use the little Green widget to let them know about this blog:

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