I've been asked several times why I wrote a children's book and have even heard "but you don't have kids!" Well, from the moment I met my husband I knew I wanted to have his babies! We have now been married a year, but have been unsuccessful in conceiving yet. I tend to stress about every. single. thing, but I decided to channel this energy into creating something that our future kids will love!
I have ALWAYS loved country music. I can remember making my own line dances in my living room to 90s country (yes, I'm old). I would turn on CMT or GAC and watch the music videos for HOURS on end. I knew every word to "Boot Scootin' Boogie" and knew every song on Shania Twain's "Come on Over" CD. I listen to all music, but country has my heart.
My love for country music grew when I lived in Nashville. The live music was so amazing and you just never knew who you might see in any given day. I ran into Wynonna Judd and Faith Hill in Target! I mean I only followed them around for a few minutes, not the whole time!
I've had a few people asking "to pick my brain" about writing a children's book because they didn't know where to start, so I thought I'd share my process. The whole process took about 8 months! That's it!
- Write it down! Whether it's a general idea or a few words, write it all down. Since I'm "old school", I wrote every detail on a big spiral notebook! (And currently freaking out a bit since I can't find it!)
- Do your research. Make sure whatever your idea is, something like it isn't already out there. Your uniqueness is what will pique interest! I checked out Amazon, Google, bookstores, etc. to make sure there wasn't a book out there like ours. With that being said, I looked at books on the market to see what kind of style I liked and what I didn't like.
- Check things off your to-do list daily. Every day after work, I'd make a goal to check one thing off my to-do list. Whether that was to try to finish a page or look up illustrators and/or publishers.
- Speaking of illustrators, we started looking for an illustrator about midway through the writing of the book. I wanted to make sure this was actually going happen (because they ain't cheap!). My husband volunteered to find someone since I was already stressing out (big surprise there) and feeling overwhelmed. He found our illustrator, Penny Weber, on the Thumbtack app and she's amazing! We spoke to several people through the app and they drew an illustration for free to make sure we liked their work.
- Once the text of the book was written, we continued to work with the illustrator, but finding a publisher was the most difficult part. There are several ways to go about publishing: submitting to a big publishing house, publishing on Amazon, or self-publishing. We chose the self-publishing route for several reasons, but the main reason being that I wanted to have a say in how the book would look and the quality of it.
- Google is your friend. Now days, you can find just about anything online. We found our publishing company through another author we found on Kickstarter. We looked through reviews and testimonials to make sure it was a good fit, and so far so good!
- Since we self-published the book, we needed to raise enough money to cover bulk production costs. We started a Kickstarter fund and miraculously raised enough money!
- BE PATIENT. There were many times I wanted to give up because I wanted it to be on my timeline, but really a big portion of the process was out of my control and it forced me to be patient!
It's definitely a learning process! If y'all have any questions, shoot us a message!