It all began one sunny summer evening in 2020. It was peak early pandemic and we were able to get outside to a beautiful park for a picnic dinner with friends. We ate, we laughed, and we rejoiced in being around each other (though 6 feet/2 meters apart). And of course, there was that pesky wasp nest!
Just like that, a children’s picture book idea was born. A first draft was written within a month and then that was it. As in, I did not touch it again for several months until I seriously decided that I was ready to write and organize the self-publication of a children’s book. Looking back, I had no idea what I was getting myself into and I’m glad because I would have talked myself out of it. I would have been overwhelmed by the anxiety of putting a book out into the world and asking people to buy it and enjoy it. I am still overwhelmed by that anxiety at times, but I’m working through it.
I didn’t just write a book but I made a book! I came up with an idea (with an assist from one of the picnic attendees), hired an illustrator (the incredibly talented Catherine Cachia), figured out how to project manage, and wrote umpteen drafts of the story. Hard part, done! Or so I thought. But then it came time to do the actual making of the book. I did extensive research into fonts and font sizes, paper types, dimensions, binding, gloss laminate, formatting, printing companies, and at least a dozen other things that I had no idea about before deciding to self-publish Mobo Saves the Day. Hard part, done! Or so I thought. Next up was shipping. How was I going to get my self-published book into the hands of the people who ordered it? With that came even more research, which I kind of loved. I thrive on problem-solving and researching things. So, I did what I do and I figured it out. And now here we are. I am a self-published children’s book author.
I’ve been asked why I went the self-published route instead of the traditional publishing route that everyone is more familiar with. It comes down to timing, and if I’m being honest, control, and most importantly, learning. The traditional publishing route can be very long. I did not want to wait for permission to write my story and I did not want to wait on someone else’s timeline. Even doing it myself, it took about a year and a half once I started getting serious about it. On the control side, this is my first children’s book so I wanted to have a lot of say in how it would turn out. I wanted to have control over the words that made the final cut and the story that I was telling. I wanted to choose who I trusted to work with my words to create the visual world of Mobo. The biggest reason to self-publish for me was that I wanted to learn everything that goes into creating a children’s book. All the stuff that I mentioned earlier about the making of a book is all stuff that authors might not get the chance to learn if they’re not doing it themselves. Don’t get me wrong, once I got in deep, I did feel like I was in over my head, but I persevered. And now here we are. Or I guess I should say, and now Mobo Saves the Day is here. Hard parts, done! (Or so I thought. Maybe I’ll get into the marketing side of things in another blog post. 😉)
If you decide to buy a copy of Mobo Saves the Day (click here) or you already have one, I hope you will enjoy it even more having had this small peek behind the curtain of how it was made.
Pssst, one more thing. There’s a fun little surprise hidden in every image of the story. See if you and the little ones you’re sharing Mobo with can find it!
All the best,