Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Jack of all trades!

I've come to discover that self-published authors need to quickly become "Jacks of all trades", and the writing itself is just the tip of the multi-tasking iceberg.

When I first wrote the story of The Littlest Knight, I never thought much about what lay ahead as far as responsibilities went.  But the work already began as I had to consider my own requirements: Did I want to self-publish? Would I attempt to illustrate the book myself, hire a friend or look for an independent artist?  Would I go with a self-publishing company or do the printing myself?  What did I want the final product to look like?  How many copies should I print?

Once some of those questions were answered, I researched contracts between authors and illustrators to ensure both my illustrator and I were protected and fairly compensated (in case we should eventually see any profit).  Fortunately for everyone, I did engage an illustrator - and an awesome one at that - but it was a cooperative effort to settle on the layout and design so we were both happy with the final product.  The fine-tuning and editing are skills all on their own.

Now, I'm also the accountant for my self-publishing company, although any true accountant would probably cringe at the way I'm keeping track of things.  (It works for me, and everything is accounted for, but all those accounting classes from university have been long forgotten.)  And, just today, I wrote my first press release and sent it out to the media to announce the launch of The Littlest Knight which means I'm also the publicist for the company. :)

So, writer, business analyst, contract negotiator, layout designer, accountant and publicist.  Who would have dreamed I would have to develop all of these skills just for one book?  I'm really enjoying the challenge, though, because for each step I take, I feel more confident that I could do this all again.

By the way, our first signing and the official launch of The Littlest Knight will be held on Saturday, June 1st from 11am to 2pm at Tag Along Toys in Kanata (499 Terry Fox Drive).  Both Darren and I will be there to sign books, and we'll have stickers and colouring pages for the kids. We're so grateful for the support this local business has given us.

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