As you might surmise from reading the biographies of the other women that post on this blog, I'm the newbie. I self-published my first children's book in 2014. I used a Press. There are pro's and con's of publishing with a press so, I'd like to share my experience with you. Then, you can make a more informed decision for yourself.
I had written about 10 books when I was a child. Nothing that I would publish today but the dream to be an author was alive and well when I was young. I loved stapling my little book together and showing it off to my family. I always knew I wanted to write a book for publication. People would ask, where do you see yourself in 5 years? and I would always say, I will have published a book. I didn't know what kind of book, but I knew I would do it one day.
I had worked for 10 years as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and thought I might write a self-help book. But, nothing ever came to me to write on that topic. Maybe one day though. However, once my daughter started kindergarten and I was going through a pre-mature empty nest syndrome, another parent of a kindergartener asked me what I really wanted to do. Of course I said, write a book! She encouraged me by telling me she knew someone that published a book and she would get them to help me. That, apparently, was all I needed. A children's book came to me one morning and I didn't stop writing until I was done. I worked on it some more, making it into a chapter book and polishing the ending. But, by then, my friend said her friend couldn't help me. My little dream went up in a puff of smoke.
But, then an email landed in my inbox asking, "Have you always dreamed of publishing your own book?" How many of you can see "gullible" written all over my forehead? Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying publishing with a Press is a bad thing. They can make dreams come true. So, I responded to that email. Publishing a book through this Press was expensive; at that time nearly $1500 for them to help my dream become a reality. I didn't have the money. However, I do get paid an additional fee for working extra hours in the summer (I work in a school). So, I told them I would save my money this summer and be back. The next summer, the price had risen to $1776 (it did happen to be July 4th). I knew I had to jump at this deal before it went any higher. I had done my research and they were a reputable company. This is an important step if you choose to publish through a Press. Please, please, please do your research and be sure they are reputable. I worked with a man who was super nice and I added some additional services like editing and things that seemed important and that caused the price to zoom up to $2500.
I paid them in payments and they worked with me to create a beautiful cover that I loved; they edited my book to a professional level; they secured the copyright and ISBN; and they put my book up on Amazon, B&N.com and other affiliated online bookstores. These were all things that I didn't have the ability to do or didn't know how or didn't know who to hire to do it for me. I was and am very grateful to them for bringing my first book to reality.
Wanda Luthman has her Masters of Arts in both Mental Health Counseling and Guidance Counseling from Rollins College located in beautiful Winter Park, Florida. She has worked at the local Community Mental Health Center, the local Community College, Hospice, and is currently a Guidance Counselor. Her calling in life is to help others be their best selves. She writes magical, whimsical, adventure books that delight and inspire children. She has always loved reading and writing and wrote many books and poems as a child growing up in Missouri. She presently resides in Brevard County Florida with her husband of 22 years and 2 dogs.
You can follow her at www.wandaluthman.wordpress.com