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  • Writer's pictureClaire Walmsley

Self Publishing is the easy option ... right?

I used to be a little bit embarrassed about the fact I am self-publishing. There is a bit of a stigma attached to self-publishing - it means you can't get an agent/publisher and it is the easy option...

Those people are DELUDED. Like seriously...

I did a lot of research before considering self-publishing and it is not an easy option - it is hard work! You are everything and every decision comes down to you. You have to pick your people and answer ALL the questions (which for someone like me is mentally exhausting!) Plus it can be expensive (especially as a picture book author!). You have to learn a whole new world about formatting, ISBNs, marketing, retail discounts etc. etc.

And then, when you finally have a book in your hand, you have no one to champion it for you. No on to go around saying how wonderful it is and that they should stock it. It's all down to you. Endlessly bringing it up in conversations with bookshops/museums/libraries. Plus, you have the snobbery of some people (definitely not everyone!) turning their nose up at a self published book like you aren't worthy of the title author.

So why did I decide to self-publish?

It wasn't a decision I took lightly. I thought about it, made a plan, researched and talked to people. But quite simply, when you self-publish, there is a lot more freedom. I have worked hard on 'The Town That Threw Everything Away' for nearly two years now. I have a very strong vision for what I want it to look like. I began my journey by asking for designs for the dewds and performing it with props. If I handed it over to someone else, how would I know the dewds would make it in? Would Memphis be replaced by a different looking creature?

By self-publishing, I have retained creative control over the story that has grown and developed with me as a writer. It means I can create merchandise, worksheets, workshops and all kinds of exciting things that are inside my head.

As I reach the next stage of the journey and my book is about to come to life, I am proud of the fact I am self-publishing. It's not a "I'm only self-publishing" it's "I am self-publishing and i have worked hard to get here!"

The Town That Threw Everything Away will be released later this year. I can not wait!

Be proud of your choices,

Claire (and Memphis) x

To add: I have absolutely nothing against traditional publishing - I will likely continue to seek representation for other stories I have. Everyone is on their own journey.

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2 commenti

08 ago 2023

Hi Claire,

thanks for articulating this so well! I’m in the same position, publishing my first picture book. So very few publishers are accepting unsolicited manuscripts and there’s a tiny window of opportunity if you manage to be one of the lucky manuscripts that get read.

But I’ve found going down the self-publishing route a positive experience, albeit a challenging one! As you mentioned, there’s so much to learn, but it is achievable, so I would encourage others not to give up. Retaining artistic and content control is important to me as I have a clear picture in my mind what I want the book to look like. I found my own illustrator, who has managed to take my thoughts…

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Claire Walmsley
Claire Walmsley
11 ago 2023
Risposta a

Oh Wow! I will keep an eye out for your book and congratulations. What an achievement! There are so many wonderful children's books that COULD be published but just never get seen by the right people. There are so many people submitting it must just be a blur to agents and publishers.

Fingers crossed for you! I look forward to hearing how you get on!

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