Friday 8 September 2017

Self-Publishing by Sofia Goodsoul

So far, I have indie-published three picture books for young children. As an emergency kindergarten teacher, I see that some social and behavioural issues have to be discussed with children, but can’t find appropriate literature.  I have been working as an emergency kindergarten teacher for over a decade. Being an active teacher gives me the opportunity to communicate with children, who invigorate themes and inspiration for my books.

Self-publishing is both challenging and interesting. I wanted to know inside-outs of this new to me industry. My self-publishing journey started with an online Write Story Books for Children course provided by IAO (International Accreditation Organization). There are 18 modules in this course, including Getting Published/Self-published. After completing this course I wanted to apply just learned into practice.

If you had your work assessed and/or edited privately, can you give details, please?                                                                                    Wendy Monaghan from Wendy Monaghan Editing Services (IPEd-accredited editor) helped me with all our published picture books.   Wendy treated both my work and me with the highest professionalism and regard. She was always more than happy to guide me through the editing process.

How did you find your illustrator?                                                                                    Finding the right illustrator was the most time-consuming task in the whole publishing process. As we know, the majority of authors can visualize their stories. Some of them 'see' their story in a particular art style. I am not an exception. My vision made me to go through hundreds of art-portfolios till I selected five artists. Then, I asked them to illustrate just one verse from my story "Nian, the lunar dragon". One illustration, by Marina Kite, matched a 'picture' in my mind. She is a free-lance artist from Europe. Marina is a very experienced illustrator with more than 100 books in her portfolio. She also helped me with implementing my book and cover design ideas.  I call myself 'lucky' for virtually meeting her around two years ago. Since then, we have created 3 picture books together. I can't be happier with my illustrator!

What was your printing experience?          Despite print-on-demand online printing options, I decided to search for a local printing company. My first printing experience was with Ink Asia  I found this company online and contacted their Sydney office. Their representative came to meet me in Melbourne a couple weeks later. There were a few objective and subjective issues we experienced along the way that why for my latest book, Easy-peazy, lemon squeezy. I decided to ask for recommendations from some established authors. They recommended Tingleman Print Media Group located in Melbourne.

It was quite handy for me to work with this company due to their close locality, professionalism and transparent printing process. The end product quality was outstanding and the unit cost of 1500 copies was a competitive $3.28.  I would recommend this service for you self-publishing projects.

How will you distribute copies?                                                                                          As an emergency teacher working for a teaching agency, I have a great opportunity to introduce my books to teachers at different early childhood facilities. Also, I have been running Creative Reading with Children Program and selling my books at the Federation Square book market on Saturdays. Again, with my fellow authors' recommendation, I was lucky to sign a distributing contract with INT BOOKS, a national distributor and publisher of books for school aged children.

How do you promote your  books?                                                                                    I started creating my media platform with a search for a website developer. Cherry jam & web graphic design company   helped me to develop my author's website:

My next step was to spread a word about me and my ideas. For that purpose I opened: FB profile:                                                                                             Instagram profile:                                                              Google profile :     Linkedin profile :                                             

I am a member of SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) and CBCA (The Children’s Book Council of Australia), where I have my author's profile and books listed for purchase.

Two of my first books Frog Todd and Nian, the Lunar Dragon are available in Kindle format on Book reviews and interviews have contributed to the media presence, too. 
What I learnt from my self-publishing experience is that even if your dreams lie in with traditional publishers, your indie-publishing journey will benefit your future industry collaborations.                                                                                                  

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