First I should tell you that I wrote this story as a children's book. Then when I started giving away copies, it was adults who had lived through this era who were enjoying it. Then I got worried that the book wouldn't appeal to children, especially when the children who would be reading it would be third to fifth graders, but the main character was only five. However, when I did readings in libraries where there were children, those at the right age stayed with me as I read, and they giggled at all of the right places. I almost stopped reading and said, "Oh, thank you!"
That being said, I had read that everyone thinks he/she can write a children's book. They think it is easier than writing for adults, (which, by the way, is not true). As a result, publishers of children's books are usually swamped with submissions. Then about the time I was ready to submit this book, I saw that the hot topic for many children's books was about people in the Middle East. I felt my book didn't fit with what publishers were looking for at the time.
Two things happened next. Anne Baack, whom I referred to earlier, decided to self-publish the letters that her mother wrote to her aunt who was in the military during World War II, and I watched as Anne went through the steps of self-publishing. The procedure was so easy, and the minimum cost was for only one book to proof. How could I go wrong! Then I attended a writer's conference where I learned that it was no disgrace to self-publish. Many authors were self-publishing and using companies that would print on demand. I got busy and worked my way through the template at Lulu. I now have that experience in my writing background.
The downside of self-publishing is doing the marketing. One time I was interviewing an artist for a magazine article. She told me that daily she painted in the morning and she marketed her work in the afternoon. That meant that she marketed 50 percent of her working time. OK, I was willing to do that, but what exactly should I do? To be quite frank, I'm not exactly certain of the way to do it. So far I have done readings in libraries near to the area where I grew up. I felt that was successful. In the next months, I will be able to tell you more how the marketing portion of a self-published book is working out for me.
Does anyone have any tips for Suzanne on book marketing?