This question has been bouncing around in my head for quite some time; & some day, maybe I'll be well-versed on self-publishing, but that just didn't seem like the correct route to go with my first children's book! I need a lot of guidance when it comes to marketing & PR, so that's why a hybrid publishing company was the best fit for me.
Have you heard of Bibliokid Publishing before? I interviewed their CEO, Brooke, on my podcast a month ago (November 13th) & we discussed the ins & outs of publishing. I'll link that episode below; it might help some of you who are trying to get your books published & are wondering the best way to get it done!
The episode is called: The Ins & Outs of Book Publishing.
Here are a handful of the publishing companies that do not require you to go through a literary agent. With my first book, this was the route I took to get published and I am happy to share this information with you, in case you want to try querying and submissions on your own. Also, I'm just providing a few of the ones I found because then I purchased a Literary Marketplace membership to find a lot more of the publishing info (in the United States, International presses & Canada, etc.)
There's a lot you will learn along the way if you choose to publish without a literary agent! I think it's definitely useful and a lot of hard work. A quick reminder to check these individual websites because some publishing companies have shut down temporarily due to the coronavirus or perhaps only accept submissions during certain seasons of the year (I.e. September-December.)
(Disclaimer: These are in no particular order.)
PUBLISHING COMPANIES accepting un-agented submissions:
1. Cardinal Rule Press
2. Red Paper Kite
3. Pelican Publishing Company
4. Free Spirit Publishing
5. Flashlight Press
So one thing has become readily apparent to me in this publishing process; a book (whether it be a children's book, self-help, or business book) should be viewed like a small business or investment. You are going to have to pour some money into it, regardless of your time and proficiency of writing.
Just last night I completed the 30th editing and revision of my children's book, Sophie Stands Out. That includes professional edits as well as ones solicited by family and friends, and I feel like I have to commit to it being completed, or I will never get it submitted how I want it.
That being said, last night I cut the manuscript down from 1,800 words to 1,630 words, and while it's still a lengthy children's picture book, it's nothing compared to the 2,800 word wonder it was even a week ago!
I will be posting a lot more about the publishing process soon, especially for those who are curious, because I have done a lot of research, and am still planning to get my book published without a literary agent. (We will see how that goes!) My next post will include all of the publishing companies you can submit to without a literary agent; bear in mind that most of these are children's publishing companies, as that is my primary focus for now.
I have a thing I do when I'm stressed out or overwhelmed; I write. It helps me process my emotions better. These months of quarantine have been full of despair & loneliness; I am a socialite who needs to connect with other people. So, instead of letting this confusing & difficult time derail me, I decided to sit down and make a list of the lessons coronavirus has taught me. I'm choosing to be optimistic in a not so pleasant phase of life.
1. Slow down! Life is already passing us by in the blink of an eye!
You don't have to speed off anywhere anymore; we usually aren't "running late" for events or needing to go places quite like we did before the COVID-19 pandemic.
2. Stay connected with those who mean a lot to you, but who may not live close
(i.e. Marco Polo, Facetime, texting, email, some new apps etc.)
3. Learn how to ration & portion food & save-- waste not want not!
(This is a good time to learn to cultivate a home dry food storage in preparation for an uncertain future.)
4. Learn some new skills or relearn some old ones!
(i.e. art, stress coloring, playing music, baking, puzzles, reading, walking, yoga, crossword puzzles)
5. Spend more time outside, soaking up nature!
(Go feed the ducks, hike, go swimming or fishing, walking, etc. Just get OUT!)
6. Make simple, everyday errands fun!
(Pack some snacks or a book & go through the car wash with the kids or to curbside pick-up for the library.)
7. Curl up with a good book & some snacks and avoid overdosing on TV or social media (just because it's more available & in our faces now.)
(I very rarely get optimism & hope pouring into me by watching the news or scrolling through Instagram or TikTok.)
8. Love on your immediate family & cherish this time together--whatever that looks like for you!
(It might mean family dinners, a water balloon fight in the backyard, skateboarding or bicycling together, etc.)