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How I got My Childrens Book "Tommy the Courageous Bird Book" Self-Published
A Children's Picture Book About Courage
What is courage? That was the question I asked myself when I came up with the idea for this story. Is courage having no fear at all? Is courage what Superman has? Or is courage being afraid but not letting you that stop you?
For me being courageous always meant facing your fears. Courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to overcome it. So what happens when you are a bird that loves to fly but is afraid of heights? That's the question the book tries to answer.
It's a great story about courage, fears, and family that both children and adults will love.
The idea for Tommy the Courageous Bird came to me quite by accident. I was walking through a park when I noticed a bird land on a tree branch a little too fast. He kind of fumbled forward on the branch but quickly corrected himself. That's what factually happened but my imagination decided to make up it's own story.
I immediately thought that that bird was afraid of heights. And the reason he fumbled was because he landed on too high of a branch. After that initial thought the idea stuck in my head. After a few days of letting it stew, I started to think about the definition of courage and what it really meant. Then it came to me, the exact words that would be said to Tommy about the meaning of courage.
The Writers Market
Submitting Your Manuscript
I went ahead and did a lot of research on how to submit books to publishers. The conclusions I came up with were these:
- Buy the latest edition of "The Writers Market". It's an amazing source of crazy information for authors. It's a must have.
- To get a book published by a big time publishing company you pretty much need a book agent. To get a book agent you pretty much need to be a published author.
- Your best chance as a new author is to go with a small publishing company.
- Buy a notebook. Keep track of who, when, and where you sent your story to.
- Visit each individual publishing website and see how they want you to submit your book.
- In said notebook keep track of how they want it and when you sent it.
- Be ready to get rejected. Some companies receive thousands of manuscripts in a year and only publish 5 titles.
- Proceed to self publish if all else fails
Illustration from the book
When I had had enough of being rejected from traditional publishing companies, I decided to self publish. After looking into CreateSpace, Lulu and Mascot Books I decided to go with Mascot simply because they offered a hardcover version. Plus it's not print on demand so more hope was creating that maybe I could get the book into a brick and mortar store.
My experience with Mascot Books was nothing short of amazing. Everyone was very helpful and they seemed to want your book to succeed. They offered great advice and i never felt alone in the entire process.
I also had total control over everything at Mascot Books. From the layout, illustrations (I was able to choose the illustrator from a list of contracted illustrators plus go over every page with her), cover design, and editing. Not only that but when I received my physical order of books I was able to go to bookstores and gift shops to see if they would take my book through distributors (Mascot books are available to bookstores through Igram and Baker and Taylor) or on consignment.
This Kickstarter Video Shows Some Very Cute Illustrations From a Friend of Mine, The Early Version of Tommy
I decided to go with Kickstarter as a means of funding my book. It worked or me but from what I understand books tend to get lost there under all that other cool stuff.
You can also try to crowdfund on Indiegogo. For more information on how exactly they can help authors please click here.
Check out the fees for both below then watch my video on the right from my Kickstarter campaign!
Prices for Crowdfunding
Crowd Funding Site
Crowd Funding Site Fee
3% - 5%
8% - 10%
3% + 30c
7.5% + applicable wire fees
Buy Tommy The Courageous Bird
Check out my Book
I hope you enjoyed this page or at least learned something new. Now if you have a chance please check out my self published children's book Tommy the Courageous Bird!
An E-book version is also available for only $1.99!
Are you Thinking About Self Publishing?
Self Publishing Links
- Mascot Books
Great for publishing kids hardcover picture books among other types of hardcover books. This is who I went with.
- CreateSpace: Self Publishing and Free Distribution for Books, CD, DVD
CreateSpace provides free tools to help you self-publish and distribute your books, DVDs, CDs, and video downloads on-demand on Amazon.com and other channels
- Lulu - Online Self Publishing Book & eBook Company
Whether you're a teacher, photographer or hobbyist, share your expertise. Create & self publish your book today!
BookBaby is a self publishing, print on demand, and book distribution services platform. Publish your eBook on Amazon’s Kindle, iPad & Nook. Self publishing a book is easy!
- Blurb I Self publish your own beautiful photo book, indie publishing
Call it self publishing or indie publishing, make your own book with Blurb’s creative publishing platform, the best publisher for first time authors.
Self publishing your book is easy with Xlibris' supported self-publishing services. Gain complete control on how your book is published.
A wealth of information for all facets of self publishing
An amazing Wordpress plugin that every Author should be using that could help boost sales of your book!
- Get Your Book Reviewed
Get a professional review of your book.