I recently spoke with, well - via email - a local children's book author who was able to offer some sage advice for an aspiring author such as myself ... and here's the "gist" of it:
With her very first children's book safely ensconced in reach of the public, the author of "Dante the Dancing Goose" is well on her way, I'd say, to becoming a household name. Check out this piece I read about her at the Lakeland Local on-line;
I'd have to say that any advice from Katherine Boll, as a published author, should definitely be heeded as gospel. The lady knows what she's talking about. Hey! She's been published!! She's a success story as far as I'm concerned. And Katherine told me that, "... - it's not easy!". She's right! Because my own mother told me time and time again that, "Anything worth having or doing well is never easy". And trust me, I take the phrase "labor of love" very seriously; labor means work.
Also, Katherine reiterated the regards of copyrights, self-publishing and research. All for me to keep in mind.
WAY TO GO Katherine!
I mentioned to her that I actually thought about keeping the marketing local. I'm an avid proponent for keeping money in the local economy. To me, that's a WIN-WIN situation; I'm keeping the local businesses [my neighbors] employed & those local businesses [my neighbors] are supplying a need I may have. I once mentioned to my husband that I could see copies of our book, "That's Just Ducky!" displayed at say, the local Beverly's Consignment Shop off of Edgewood Dr. and South Florida Ave. or have a book signing set up at the South Gate Shopping Center on South Florida Ave. or at the Lake Morton Library.
Merchants that I frequent, I'd ask them if they'd be willing to offer times for book readings at their establishment during times when families with children visit most. I could see a quiet time during dinner, listening to an author read to the audience. Or say in a corner of a local department store, have a blanket laid out with floor seating for the kids to sit and listen while their parents shopped. Not so much as a babysitter, just a quiet time out of sorts.
Can you tell that I'm a dreamer?
The publishing time frame is something to take into consideration as well; and understandable. Nothing will happen overnight - and a processing time frame of say four to nine months is to be expected. Again, I hear myself saying this is a labor of love; nine months comes to mind in that regard. [smile]
I actually thought of that as well. But then I wasn't sure if that was a part of the copyright gamble. Although, I have designed a website, for other reasons; at http://www.tributellc.webs.com/ - it's something for my own multi-generational family to consider and think about embarking on some day. (...and that's a whole other business endeavor...)
But http://www.webs.com/ is where you can create and maintain a website - for free. It's when you decide to upgrade your site there or do not want ads to show up is where any additional costs will be incurred.
Proof is in the pudding:
Trust me, instant gratification is not on my agenda at all. I do realize this whole publishing/self-publishing process will take time, patience, money and the love and support of my family and friends in order to achieve this endeavor. But above all else, as a Christian, I know that if I keep in my heart and mind that God has blessed me with a talent, a gift, for writing and getting along with others - then I do not intend to make a mockery of or waste this blessing.
I've subscribed to the Downtown Lakeland Partnership at http://www.downtownlakelandfl.com/
in order to stay abreast of the local economy; merchants - new and old, city plans, etc. So I will make certain to contact their offices when we're ready to move forward in order to get their feedback as well on promotions in conjunction with local merchants. And Oscar & I have a business tax ID# already established with the Polk County Tax Collectors office; once we are ready to sell items.
Katherine has become a beacon of hope for me. And I am eternally grateful to her for having taken the time to communicate to me all that she has - and yet we've never met. This is exactly why I believe in angels. For their guidance through this life in order for us to connect with people who are willing to take a chance. Katherine's advice alone is priceless.
So here's to the beginning of something wonderful!