Taking into consideration that I am an inexperienced first time author, I previously thought that writing and publishing a book is a fairly uncomplicated process. I had in mind that since the book’s topic is already determined, the steps would be identifying the book’s framework, writing, and then contacting a publisher for review and publishing. Scholastic Press was my targeted publisher knowing that my book’s genre is children’s literature.
I nailed down the book’s outline and started cruising through my first writing experience with a sense of determination, promising myself to see through the end of this authoring project, definitely not knowing what it would entail at the time. Close to the writing process completion, I checked Scholastic’s website to find out that scholastic and many other reputed publishers do not accept scripts from aspiring authors directly, rather, authors have to go through literary agents for reviewing, advertising and finalizing contracts with potential publishers.
I immediately started researching literary agents and contacted a few on-line advertised agencies just to get bombarded with their countless emails and phone calls trying to sell me the dream of the bestselling author against a financial investment even prior to seeing my work. I knew then that I had to better educate myself on this “literary agent” business before contacting anyone. At that point, my main task had suddenly become all about finding a legitimate literary agent, bearing in mind now that a substantial number of scammers/con-artists pose as literary agents on the internet. Based on many credible references, I found two databases for researching literary agents and cross-checking their authenticity. I was shocked to find out that one of the advertised literary agents on the website of one of these databases has a considerable number of rip-off reports. Naturally, I was more confused and discouraged than ever!
While researching further, I came across the story of the bestselling author, Jeff Kinney. Mr. Kenny’s wildly popular “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” started as an online version on the FunBrain website, an educational browser game website for children and adults, just to develop few years later into a bestselling series after attracting millions of readers. Thus Mr. Kenny’s more than well-deserved fame and exposure started online. His story shifted my thinking paradigm completely and I decided to go for an ebook instead of a printed book. I thought if my book gets an online visibility first, it can always be printed later.
Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) site was definitely my choice for publishing the book being the most popular site with books’ readers. So my main task now had once again shifted to figuring out the process of publishing on the KDP site. Fortunately, that was way easier and more manageable than finding a legit literary agent! With the help of the KDP’s help pages and watching couple of YouTube videos, I was an expert in no time. I ended up publishing my book on June 7th, 2013. This date is a memorable one; it is the birthday of my very first children’s book and I do have plans for more.
Publishing the book was a major accomplishment indeed, but this project’s journey has not ended by any means. I realized a while later that the book will not reach its targeted audience without working on its deserved visibility and marketing; and now this is my main task. I am as determined as ever to persevere until the end of this task as well!
Of course I do have hopes for the success and recognition of my book, but regardless of the outcome here, this first time journey in authoring a book, with all its challenges, joys, and disappointments will remain the main lesson as well as one of my life’s most unexpected real tests to my fortitude and perseverance.