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Can’t I Do It Myself?

Buried in the Slushpile

When I was a kid, my favorite phrase was By Myself. 

I wanted to be independent. I wanted to be self-sufficient. I wanted to be left alone to do my own thing. 

In some ways, I haven’t really changed. In many ways, I still prefer to do things on my own including things like learning how to publish kid’s books. The thing is, I now understand that most of life is a team sport. There’s very little that can be done 100% by yourself. And publishing definitely isn’t one of those things. 

If you are publishing with a traditional publisher, the team is going to be huge. But even before you have that contract you’ll have your critique group or writing group giving you feedback. You also have any paid professionals like free lance editors or critiques from agents, editors, or writing coaches that you get at a writing conference. Finally, you also have your agent. Some are more editorial than others, but all of them are dedicated to you and your book. They are there to make sure the relationship between you and your publisher runs as smoothly as possible.

But what about self publishing? Surely that can be done alone.

Yeah. Not so much. 

Self publishers have teams too. Unless they are an expert in writing, editing, graphic design, and possibly illustration, they are going to need to work with experts in those fields. And even once the book has been created, they still have to get the books to readers through distributors and their sales teams. And let’s not forget marketing! Authors with traditional presses have to do a fair bit of marketing both on their own and in conjunction with their publisher. A self-publisher does it in conjunction with firms they hire. 

And then after all that is done, there’s still the readers. They are a part of Team Book too.

Despite the cliche of the lonely author hunched over a keyboard, the truth is no one writes in complete isolation. No one learns how to publish kid’s books alone either. 

And that’s why we’re all here. To learn, to publish, and to celebrate our successes.

Together.

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