We finally did it! Our new children’s book, I’m Going to My First Comic Convention, is now available on Amazon! After over a year of working on the book and COVID crashing our GoFundMe, and then trying not to let the fact that every convention got cancelled get us down, we made it to the end of our self-publishing journey and now enter the part everyone says is the real challenge- marketing!
Huge Heartfelt Thank You
I’m such a bundle of emotions and excitement, I’m not sure where to start. We launched the GoFundMe in an effort to raise several thousand dollars so we could have the books published by Mascot Books. Mascot is a “hybrid publisher” meaning they are a real book publisher, but also a type of vanity publisher because you have to pay them to publish and they get royalties on top of that.
The GoFundMe was going well, but then COVID hit so we pulled the plug on it. It just didn’t seem right asking for money when so many people were suddenly out of work. But we were in a position where people had already invested in this book, so we had to do SOMETHING. And that’s when we lept into the world of self-publishing. In the end, I’m so glad we did it this way, because I learned a lot along the way and now know we can do a second book easily and without a big fundraiser.
Bringing it All Together
I wrote the book, which is actually a long poem, in about 30 minutes after getting a rush of inspiration. The tricky part for me was going to be the illustrations. I needed someone who knew what I was talking about and had seen the same things I had seen. Someone who knew what these people and places looked like. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to hire a random illustrator off Fiverr for this project. And that’s where Katherine comes in.
Katherine Margaritis, aka That Nerdy Mom, is the first person I thought of. I liked her art style and always saw her at the same events I attended. I knew she would get it. We set up a playdate for the kids and clicked on the project from our very first meeting.
I had written the ideas I had for the illustrations after every line. I also did one laughable attempt at drawing what was in my head. It certainly would not have turned out well if I hadn’t contacted Katherine. I’ve never been great at drawing people…or wookiees apparently.
She managed to take my silly sketches and notes and turn them into something real. And my job was taking the illustrations and figuring out how to make them fit and add the text.
Friends and Family Made it Happen
I’m so grateful for the support we received from friends and family, both from the fundraiser and throughout the publishing process. Every time I felt like giving up, which actually happened a lot during quarantine time, I would think “These people gave me money, I need to give them a book!” And I’d keep going.
And two other children’s book authors that I relied on for advice were always there to answer my questions- Katie Reed, who writes the Wizard and the Lizard series, and Mike Crowder , who wrote Wild About the Alphabet and has another book coming out soon. Being able to talk to other authors gave me invaluable insight and guidance.
Our shipment of books arrives Oct. 6th and we will be signing copies and sending out all the pre-orders soon after. And if you missed the pre-ordering, you can now get a copy on Amazon in both print and e-book editions. Click here to check out I’m Going to My First Comic Convention on Amazon!