I’ve been meaning to write about this for several months now. I should have excitedly written a blog post in October when I finally self-published my second children’s book. Upon self-publishing my first children’s book, I immediately told the world! And I shared the news here. I was extremely excited about doing it. I was incredibly proud of my book. And I had a lot of support from family and friends, which was surprising, encouraging, and heart-warming. Although I had those same emotions with this book, I didn’t promote it in the same way. Obviously doing something a second time is not as significant as doing it the first time. However, my lack of enthusiasm, I think, is due to all of the frustration I’ve felt while working on this project.
My first book, The Duck Who Lost Her Quack, was written, illustrated, and self-published within two months. There were no problems using the software provided by Blurb. There were no problems with the picture files, the amount of text, or the formatting of pages. And, because it was my first book, a lot of family, friends, and acquaintances bought books to support my creative endeavour. I even did a few radio interviews with my colleagues at CKNX Radio, and a business owner in my town asked if she could carry some books to sell. It was a wonderful experience.
Unfortunately my second book, Sammy’s Rainy Day – And How It Went Away, was not such a smooth venture. I wrote it about a month after I wrote the duck book. However, I decided to submit it to a publisher with the hopes of it getting published, not self-published. So I had to wait three months. Nothing. No problem, I’ll self-publish this one too. I was ready for an illustrator, but because of busy lives, several people who were supposed to fill that role did not get any drawings submitted to me, after almost two months. Luckily I found someone to do the illustrations for me, and by the end of August they were done. And they were adorable and perfect. But when it came time to put them into the book-creating software, there was a problem. The resolution was too low. After using many different methods, over several weeks, it finally worked. Then I realized I had too much text for the pages. But it was too late to ask for more pictures. My illustrator had gone back to university and was tremendously busy. It took another few weeks to re-size all of the pages, and, while I was doing that, I was also trying to create the book using another method, so I could keep the price to print it down. That just caused more unnecessary stress in my life…and did not work. Finally the book was ready to self-publish…seven months after I wrote it.
Although not as many people ordered my second book, I was proud of it and happy with the response. However, the delays, the snags, and the frustration soured my experience with Sammy’s Rainy Day and did nothing to motivate me to write about it here. That makes me feel bad because creating something, no matter how long it takes and how many wrenches are thrown into your plans, is something to be pleased about.
I’m glad that today I can finally put behind the exasperation involved with this book, and acknowledge Sammy’s Rainy Day – And How It Went Away. I honestly – and biasedly, of course! – think The Duck Who Lost Her Quack and Sammy’s Rainy Day are two really good books for children, with great messages about being yourself, problem-solving, overcoming sadness and struggles, and finding your happiness. (And if you want to see for yourself, they’re available at blurb.ca, blurb.com, and amazon.com!)