Happy almost Valentine's Day, #kidlit lovers! Whether you celebrate this "holiday" or not, I want to tell you about something I really love:
Photo by Aung Soe Min on Unsplash
Yes, I have worked in "traditional" children's book publishing for 15 years.
Yes, I love working with big publishers like Scholastic, Disney, NatGeo Kids, and Bloomsbury.
And double-yes, I love working with writers and illustrators who seek to publish traditionally.
But there is something really unique about my clients who hire me to help bring their self-published books into the world. There is wild motivation. There is sheer will and purpose. There is passion beyond passion.
💖 And I really love getting stuck into a long project with a client.💖
With my self-publishing clients, I tend to join them close to the beginning of their process, where they have only a text and a dream to see that story become a book. I become their editor, helping them polish up that manuscript to near-perfection.
But I am also their Project Consultant, bringing them through the entire publishing process, from raw manuscript to illustrated and designed, print-ready files. I assist on the editorial part, then I help my clients find a professional children's book illustrator (if needed), some of the best kid's book designers in the biz, and domestic or overseas printers. I help art direct the illustrations from sketches to final, oversee the design layouts, finalize the book's physical package, and ensure the files are to the printer's requirements...all on the client's preferred schedule.
Together, my client and I become a book-making-machine.
Photo by Bank Phrom on Unsplash
My 10 years as an in-house editor in NYC, where I worked so closely with design, production, sales, and marketing teams, gives me a strong and steady hand to help guide a self-publishing author towards their goal. And there is really nothing like seeing a finished book that you helped create from the very start!
What I especially love about this type of work is developing a relationship with my client over time. Often, we're together for a year (if we're creating one book) or several years (if we're creating a series). What's really amazing is how the process starts slow and possibly a bit jumbled at the beginning, and becomes smooth and streamlined as the project progresses. And the best thing is seeing the pride my clients feel about their book and themselves as creators.
I would be remiss if I didn't showcase some of these amazing people:
Kim Linette is a force of nature! She created the
EQ Explorers picture book series as well as the charity Kapalua Cove, to which 100% of the proceeds from the books are donated.
Each EQ Explorers book "teaches children powerful principles of happiness and emotional health—one adventure at a time." Kim and I have been working together since 2018; we've published 3 books with 2 more in the immediate works, and about 19 more planned for the series' future.
For The Magic Christmas Ornament, I worked with authors Jim and Victoria Barbato to bring this new Christmas classic to life. This is a retelling of the Barbatos' favorite family Christmas story, lushly illustrated in a photo-realistic style and published as a picture book in time for the 2019 holiday season. The book also comes with the same ornament that is featured in the story!
The Kudu Adventures, by Enenge A'Bodjedi, is a series of full-color, illustrated chapter books, three of which have already published. The rest are due to publish this year, and Enenge is one of the most enthusiastic people I know. He is so ready for children everywhere to enjoy his engaging animal stories, which are fables and allegories based on folktales of his Ndowe culture from West Central Africa.
Books 3 - 6 just arrived this weekend!
So far, I've helped clients self-publish picture books and illustrated chapter books. I'd love to work with someone who has a graphic novel they'd like to publish... (just putting it out there into the universe!)
I have a few more self-publishing clients whose projects are in more fledgling stages, but I will be sure to brag about these amazing creators when I'm able to!
Do you have a manuscript and a dream? Tell me about it!