Monday, January 7, 2013

Self-Published Picture Books

I made a commitment on January 1 to get back to work with my writing. I've ignored writing seriously for months while I continued to read. I managed to accomplish my goal of reading 100 books in the year 2012, and I've decided to not commit myself to that again. Don't get me wrong, I had a wonderful time exploring worlds created by others. But it's now time for me to get back to creating some of my own.

I managed to make a small start on a new beginning for a project I've ignored for several years. I plan to change it from young adult to middle grade (where I intended it in the first place), and I'm already falling back in love with it. I know it's strictly personal preference, but I love the characters in this particular novel, and I wasn't happy leaving them locked in a drawer. I'm going to have to do major cuttings to get the word count down to an MG level, but I'm already exploring ideas on how to accomplish that.

Something else I've considered is what to do with one particular picture book manuscript. This is one that has received quite a bit of positive feedback from agents and small publishers, but no one is willing to commit to taking it on. I've read many comments around the web regarding how difficult it can be to break into the picture book world, especially if your work is a rhyming picture book. I know the rhyming aspect diminish my audience because it won't translate into other languages and maintain the integrity of the rhyme, and I understand and accept that. But, without bragging, I know that my rhyme and rhythm are strong, and this little character has taken hold of my heart from the beginning.

So I've been researching illustration artists. It's a daunting process, to say the least. I have been fortunate, through connections with LinkedIn and Goodreads, to peruse the work of some very talented artists. I'm just not sure if I can afford any of them!

My first thought is to submit the manuscript to my current publisher. I don't know yet if they would even consider it without an accompaniment of illustrations. 

Then I thought, if I'm going to invest a lot of money into the project, why not self-publish it in both hard copy and e-format. I have a lot more researching to do, for I don't know how much that will affect the cost. 

Additionally, there's the matter of hiring a voice artist. I know there are picture books in e-format that do not have the Read to Me option, but my granddaughter enjoys climbing into bed for a nap with my Nook Color, and having the books read to her by someone other than Nana. I usually miss that time together, but it does free up my time for other projects - like writing!

So I'm sort of at a dilemma. I still have a few outstanding queries for this particular book, because I've been very selective on whom I've sent it to, and there really aren't that many agents looking for rhyming picture books.

If any of you have experience with self-publishing, especially a picture book, I'd love to hear from you. I'm probably not going to move on this in the next couple of months, but I'm not going to put it off too much longer.

Happy Writing!

Cordelia Dinsmore


Anonymous said...

My brother and I self publish picture books. You can see them at
You can download a free pdf of Chasing Watermelons here:

We're beginning to look for good self published picture books to include in a catalog for a special marketing opportunity.

Cordelia Dinsmore said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Keven. I appreciate it.

I don't know why your link won't work, but I'll check out your page as soon as I have a few extra free minutes.

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