Since I started Alli Brydon Creative 5 years ago (!!), I've worked with clients of all stripes:
Big traditional publishers, like Scholastic, S&S, NatGeo Kids, Bloomsbury, and more
Small, independent publishers, like little bee books, Gregory R. Miller art books, Sooper Books, and Fourth Wall Creative
Film production companies, writing reader's reports on middle grade and YA
Writers and illustrators who seek to publish traditionally and/or sign with an agent
But there is another category of client who are altogether something like a mythical creature: the SELF-PUBLISHING client! These brave souls hire me to help bring their self-published books into the world. They have wild motivation. They have sheer will and purpose. They have passion beyond passion.
💖 And I really love getting stuck into a long-term project with a client.💖
With my self-publishing clients, I usually join them close to the beginning of their process, where they have only a manuscript and a dream to see that story become a book. As editor, I help them polish up that manuscript to near-perfection, as I would with any other client.
But I also become their Project Consultant and bring 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), a kid's book designer, and a domestic or overseas printer. I 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. I help them stick to budget and timeline. And sometimes, I have to help put their minds at ease (we've ALL been there!).
Together, my client and I become a totally awesome book-making-machine!
My many years as an in-house editor, where I worked so closely with design, production, sales, and marketing teams, means I have a strong and steady hand to guide a new self-publishing author towards their goal.
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 a bit tangled at the beginning, then becomes smooth and streamlined as the project progresses. And even though I am usually not located anywhere near my self-publishing clients, we can videochat, email, call, and share files digitally. The process, especially now, is so easy!
The best thing is seeing my clients' pride as they celebrate their book and themselves as creators.
So...give three CHEERS to some of these amazing book creators:
Author 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 6 books and have more on the way!
Kim says, "I hired Alli to edit and project manage my new children’s book series and she has exceeded my expectations. From day one, she has been professional, efficient and very insightful. I was new to the world of children’s books, and Alli’s depth of experience and guidance have been invaluable.”
Author Dr. Caroline Carter is a kind and generous soul, and super-creative as well! She and I teamed up to publish her book Every Body is a Rainbow just in time for Trans Day of Visibility 2022. This nonfiction picture book celebrates the diversity of bodies, gender identities, and expressions, and offers a positive, inclusive, and factual approach for ALL families. Caroline is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist whose expertise in working with transgender and gender nonbinary (TGNB) children, teens, and their families makes her the perfect author for this important book. Her belief in the power of all kids seeing their lived and embodied experiences mirrored back to them is what motivated her to write Every Body is a Rainbow. Trans-identifying illustrator Mathias Ball brought their bright color palette and superb talent to make this book a total dazzler.
Go check out these books, people!
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 to publish... (just putting that out into the universe!)
I have room in my schedule for a few more self-publishing clients this year, so if you have a manuscript and a dream...tell me about it!