Although science writer James Lloyd is a professional writer, he is yet another author defecting to self-publishing. On the inside of publishing, James knew the thing to do was to get an agent, who then in turn could match his works to a publishing company. It was a fruitless experience for Mr. Lloyd, with many negative answers or no responses from agents. One would think that an experienced professional writer would garner some attention from an agent, as often their reason to turn a writer down is that the author has no writing credits. This was not the case with Lloyd.
Now a new proponent of self-publishing, Lloyd has written and self-published two children’s books. The Guardian shares a detailed interview with Lloyd about his self publishing experience, with questions about the good and bad. Here is an excerpt of the interview:
Tell us a bit about the book.
I’ve published a couple of children’s books so far.
“Johnny and the Wig” is a poem about a boy who’s visited one night by a magical wig that takes him up into space to meet its owner – the Man on the Moon.
“Sam at the Window” is a short story about an old fisherman who spends his days watching the world go by from his cottage, until he’s visited one day by a little viking called Emily.
I’ve made them both available to read here.
Recently I’ve been working on a longer children’s poem, which I’m also hoping to publish once it’s been illustrated.
Why did you choose to self-publish?
Like a lot of self-publishers, I tentatively sent my work out to a few publishing agents, but either received a negative response or nothing at all. After having no luck with my first batch of emails, I thought it’d be quicker and more productive if I tried to publish them myself.
And the negatives?
The age-old problem of how to get your stories out into the big wide world. With traditional publishing, the marketing is generally part of the package. With self-publishing, it’s not so obvious where that publicity’s going to come from. In my case, the illustrators and I both do some promotion around us – on our blogs or within our circle of friends and family – but for the rest we have to rely on word of mouth.
Secondly, putting a picture book together from scratch is a time-consuming business. Self-publishing websites don’t seem to have been designed with picture books in mind, and I spent many an hour hunched over my computer, frantically trying to get the images to fit on the pages or appear in the right places. There’s only so much image-trimming and page-rearranging you can do before you start going quietly mad. (See more)
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