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Writing and publishing a children’s book

By Vashty 26/02/2021

I will start by saying wow it’s a process!

I was awake one night writing storyline notes down and now some 6 months later I am still working towards publication.

I honestly was very green and had no idea about the actual ‘ins and outs’ of writing and publishing a children’s book. I seriously thought I would write the story, draw some pictures, and then just push my book out into the world. Unfortunately, it is not that quick of a process.

I wrote my manuscript and sat down daily drawing what I thought were fabulous illustrations. I came up with a title and thought okay I am ready to go, what’s next? I started googling for days on end about how to publish a book. There were so many varied, at times complicated and conflicting, answers. I was starting to think there had to be an easier way. Thank goodness there was. This is where I insert Ocean Reeve Publishing into the equation.

They are a publishing house that takes the complication out of the whole process, with a team of enthusiastic professionals that know their stuff.

I made a phone call to Ocean and the ball started rolling from there. He loved my story, the purpose behind the story and was very keen to help me get my book published. I chose to utilise the option of assisted independent publishing. I was sent through a full publication process manual and costings for each step of the way. I was at first a bit overwhelmed by all the options and how much was involved. After a few emails and phone calls I began to feel at ease and it just flowed seamlessly. Some options are more expensive than others, but you really can choose which you will need and what you can do yourself to save on costs. I am not that tech savvy so for me using professionals in this area was so worth it.

The last 6 months have been a culmination of many different aspects towards publishing my children’s book.. Each one a new experience and at times a bit overwhelming but oh so worth it.

  • being assigned a publishing mentor (worth their weight in gold)

  • being assigned a mentor to help with marketing my book (the most fabulous lady )

  • zoom sessions with my mentors (so many)

  • proof reading and editing

  • illustrations being drawn (the longest part of the process)

  • marketing and more marketing (ongoing from day 1)

  • webpage setup (I love my webpage and it continually evolves)

  • social media platforms being utilised (a constant)

  • title registrations

  • blogging

  • Countless emails

  • Text formats

  • Cover designs

It’s been a busy but exciting time. I can’t recall how many conversations and emails have gone back and forth throughout the whole process. I must say though, the team I have been working with at ORP have been so diligent and courteous with their responses and they genuinely want to help me produce the best product as possible. It was decided from the beginning stages that my original illustrations should not be used in the book. Although they were loved and were extremely cute, professional illustrations would be more marketable and make for a more polished outcome. This was fine with me if the illustrator really stayed true to my original images and vision. I am very happy to say that this was the case, and I am in love with the illustrations that have been produced. Below you will see my original illustration on the left and the new improved on the right.

I really haven’t had any dramatic hiccups along the way. The process has flowed smoothly. I am naturally impatient and want everything done yesterday and I have had to really learn to get some patience. This has been the hardest part for me lol. The finish line is in sight. There will no doubt be a wait for the printing of my books as this will most likely be done overseas due to costs. I know the wait will all be worth it in the end when I have those books in my hands and when I can say that I have written and published a book. I cannot wait. I have had great responses from friends and new followers of my journey. Everyone has been so supportive of my cause and I will be so delighted to get the book to everyone. I know that my book will help young children learn about personal safety and love that I can give back to Kid’s Helpline with a percentage of each sale. Not long to go, the finish line is in sight.

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