Writing has always been my passion, ever since I was about 9 years old. it didn’t matter if It was poetry, short stories, or even just filling up the lines in my notebook with my name. As long as I was writing everything was right with the world. I had always said that one day I would be an author and write fictional children’s books.
But let’s face it, sometimes life just happens. We have big dreams and make big plans, and for no good reason life interrupts those dreams and plans, and eventually they just become an afterthought. If your dream was ever to become a published children’s book author, today is the day that I’m going to give you some tips so that your dreams will start to become your reality.
From Retail Manager to published author
I don’t have a prestigious degree in literature, or any degree for that matter. I am a mom of 2 with plenty of retail experience. I worked at a wireless cell phone company for 4 years starting as a part-time sales associate and pretty quickly worked my way up through the ranks. My plan was to become a singer/songwriter, however I also needed to pay the bills, and at the time the commission that I was making was definitely helping me do that. I was making decent money and as I mentioned moving up pretty fast in the company , however I wasn’t fulfilled.
Delivering my son via C-Section in Nov. of 2019 gave me the chance to have some time off of work. My healing process was slow, which gave me time to revisit my writing dreams seeing that I couldn’t do much else. A few months into my healing, Covid-19 would put a lot of companies and businesses on pause, Including my daughter’s school. Unbeknownst to me, this would be a blessing in disguise.
While helping my 7 year old daughter Kameryn, adjust to her new norm of attending her school virtually and doing digital learning, I was able to see hands on what some of her challenges were. Kameryn, who had been reading since the age of 3 , was experiencing issues with retaining information that she read.
I strategized and came up with a plan to help my daughter overcome this challenge. The strategy would be to write short stories with her and allow her to be as creative and she wanted. She would always have a pencil and paper in hand anytime she saw me writing in my notebooks so, including her would be perfect!
Before long, we weren’t just writing to help improve her reading comprehension. I was writing and breathing life back into my dreams.
After many sleepless nights, and Facebook groups, and hours of research. Through trial and error I was able to find out how to self publish the book that me and my daughter had created. But here’s the thing. I don’t want you to spend time sifting through Facebook groups trying to find the right one to steer you in the right direction, or doing hours of research trying to decipher what method and steps to take. Here is a list of 10 Steps to help you become a self published author
- Figure out your “Why”? Why do you want to be a published author, why do you write?
- What do you want to write about? Brainstorm for 60 seconds and write down every topic that you can think of writing about.
- Figure out who you’re writing for. Example: I am writing this book for: beginner readers grades k-4th grade
- START WRITING! (Hint: If you’re writing children’s picture books ,usually the word count is between 500 to 1000 words)
- Find an Editor. Once your book is complete, I suggest you find an editor to look over your work for grammatical errors and story consistency. If you’re confident in your own editing skills this is not necessary, but highly recommended.
- Size Your Book. You will need to determine the desired size of your book. Visit your local libraries or look at some of your favorite books and see what sizes they are to help you decide.
- Find an Illustrator. This is an exciting yet very important step. When looking for an illustrator whether it be for the cover of your book or the illustrations inside. Make sure that you are clear about your vision and that they have the skillset it takes to bring your vision to life. Make sure they know the size of your book before they begin illustrating
- Copyright your book. It’ll cost about $65.00 to copyright your manuscript. You can find more info on Copyright.gov
- Self Publish Your Book. Once your book has been illustrated and copyrighted you are ready to publish. I suggest Amazon KDP, IngramSpark, or Barnes and Nobles which all offer print on demand. These companies will print and ship your books for you as people order them online. Each company has their own guidelines so make sure to research each one and figure out which company best fits your needs.
- Change title in your bio to AUTHOR!
This feature was submitted by Ren Lowe
Ren Lowe, Author and Mompreneur , continues to inspire others to fulfill their dreams of writing by sharing her story and knowledge and has been featured in Medium. You can find her on Instagram: @RenLoweAuthor