Lately, I’ve heard from a number of people hoping to self-publish a book someday and they are curious how I was able to get my book to print in this way. So today, I’m going to share my story and give you an overview of what I’ve learned for those of you are looking to self-publish too. I’m no expert so this will be a VERY basic and short overview. But hopefully my experience can help some of you in some way.
First, the bottom line up front (BLUF) – it was a complete God thing! The fact that our first print run of books will be here next month is so amazing to me, especially because it’s only due to the support of my family, friends, community and Kickstarter backers. God truly provided and showed me this book was meant to be!
Now, let me tell you a little bit about how and why I chose the self publishing route for my book, Sunshine In Her Soul ….
I always had a feeling I would write a book some day. So I would naturally pay close attention whenever I came across something summarizing the pros and cons of each method of publishing. The strong benefits of self-publishing were clear to me and this is information I basically stored up for when I’d need it someday.
In 2021, we experienced major life events that ultimately led to me writing Sunshine In Her Soul. After I realized my words were really going to become a children’s book, I joined a few self-publishing related educational groups on Facebook to start learning everything I’d need to know about how to move forward. There are many of these groups, but my favorite is the Independent Authors Publishing Collective. I highly recommend joining and reading through as many past posts as you can. You can also do topical searches on any topic you want, using the search bar.
This group taught me just about everything I needed to know about self-publishing and how to use Kickstarter as a pre-order platform. At first, I was on the fence about using Kickstarter. But I have my daughter Emma to thank for giving me the push I needed to move forward with it. With Emma’s vote of confidence and from what I learned in the IAPC group, it was clear to me that Kickstarter would be my best option for setting up pre-orders of an offset print run. If you want, you can see details of how we set up our Kickstarter here. There are many details and tutorials on the Kickstarter website about how to set up your Kickstarter too!
The internet and the is full of articles (and the IAPC group has much info) comparing and contrasting offset printing vs print on demand. These are the main two methods for printing a self-published book. For anyone thinking about either, I highly suggest doing as much reading as you can to make the best decision for you and your book.
In my case, I wanted to get my book out into the world as fast as possible, so self-publishing was a no-brainer. Doing so via offset printing was too because this is the most efficient way to print as many books, as fast as possible. In light of the current youth mental health crisis, it seemed important to have more mental health related resources as quickly as possible, particularly for younger ages.
If you are a prospective author, your book topic and rationale may likely be different. There are many other variables to consider when deciding whether to pursue traditional of self-publishing. Even then, if you do decide to self-publish, alot goes into deciding between offset printing vs. print on demand. So my very best advice would be to do your own research, evaluating the pros and cons based on your particular book topic, timeline, budget, etc. For that research, I do truly believe the best place to start is the IAPC group on Facebook.
I hope this helps you get started for now. I will try and add to this post in the future if new details arise that I think would be helpful! Feel free to share with anyone you know who this info may help and feel free to follow along with our book updates on my Facebook page or Instagram page or our book website 🙂