The road to self-publishing "A Christmas Love Story: Nicholas Nutcracker & Brittany Ballerina"

The road leading to self-publishing a children's book - it's a long and expensive one. No, I'm not complaining, well, maybe just a little...

I started writing "A Christmas Love Story: Nicholas Nutcracker & Brittany Ballerina" back in January. I had no idea what would be involved to bring an idea for a children's story all the way from idea to book form. From clipart, of a dangling nutcracker and ballerina hanging from a tree branch, and ten typed pages, how would I turn that into a full-blown children's Christmas picture book? Over the last nine months, I now know that it involves a ton of work and money. The old adage "time and money" is very accurate in regards to producing a self-published book.

Besides, I don't have children or grandchildren, so I had no "test marketing" audience of children to get feedback. Well, there was the one eleven-year-old in the neighborhood who didn't think there was enough action. By that point, though, I was way too far down the road with the plot to go back. More accurately, after hundreds of changes, I was unwilling to go back to do one more edit, one more tweak, one more anything. So, I was undeterred by the "first critical comment" about the story. Rejection on a mini-scale by an eleven-year-old! Of course, authors know that going in, there will be rejection by people who won't like what you created, but, alas...I persisted.

After illustrations were procured (ka-ching) to make the story more fascinating, I started sending it out for some reviews by April. Then, some willing parents and their children were found to try the story out during the very early, early stages. And the feedback was positive. And, it was my editor, friends, family, husband, neighbors, and "early reviewers," I am so grateful to who believed in the "cuteness factor" of Nicholas & Brittany. Damn the expense, I forged ahead. Thank goodness, my husband is such a nice man. He still says sweetly to me, "it's cheaper than golf or skiing." Realize though, a decade ago or so, our motto as a couple actually was "follow your folly."

Back to the back story of "A Christmas Love Story: Nicholas Nutcracker & Brittany Ballerina." What happens next? Well, more (ka-ching) as I am now in the "marketing and advertising" phase. Yikes! It's not only uncomfortable but, dare I say it "expensive."

So, for now, I will wrap up this blog post for all you authors and readers out there with the following words of wisdom. Authors, the road to self-publishing a book is both exhilarating and disappointing with pebbles, rocks, and boulders in the way. It will be necessary to climb over them or ride over them on your dirt bike at full speed ahead as my niece does. And, Readers out there with young loved ones, ages four to ten, feel free to check out my "labor of love" coming this Christmas 2020, the year of the pandemic!

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