Anyone can be a writer. Hell, at this point, anyone can be an author. Woohoo, amazon self-publishing has given us the gift of a great place to find raw obscure voices that we’ve longed for, but also opened the flood gates for impatient amateurs. Both are good teachers for budding authors.
My writing career has been a crazy ride of “what just happened?” mixed with “how did I get here?” and “should I keep doing this?”
It’s crazy and fun and terrifying. But eventually an author has to get more professional backing. Playing the indie market is what made sense to me when I ended up with a children’s story that I knew had to find it’s place on bookshelves. Marketing is way more difficult, and finding an agent is probably the better route if you’re lucky enough to snag one, but the indie route offers more creative freedom and a broader path to reach your audience.
I get to travel where I want and meet my readers big and small face-to-face in a smaller setting where they open up to me. It’s the height of what I do.
Agented, indie, or self-published, there are more options to help spread the word without spending a huge amount on promos and annoying people with ads. There is a mecca of societies and organizations for writers (especially published ones). Some are more selective than others, and most charge an annual fee, but the benefits gain you more than what you spend.
I finally joined the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and I couldn’t be more pleased. I have a slight tendency to genre hop (slight like a dinosaur’s stride), but children are the best audiences. This is something I have been wanting to do for some time.
I don’t know what was stopping me. I want to say the money, but I think it goes deeper. I have been a part of the St. Louis Writer’s Guild and that is not genre specific, this is and attaching myself to a genre seems a bit…scary. I have no idea why the hell not. I am not afraid of pain, suffering, death; there has been plenty of that in my life, so why should something as silly as joining a children’s book author society freak me out?
Because it’s setting a course. Everything in my life has led me to a direct destination. I’m a lucky lady and I’m grateful for it, but I’m still an overgrown child at times. (Most of the time-why do you think I write children’s stories)
My second children’s book has found a home and I’m preparing to go all in for this one. We’re going to do everything to pull out all the stops and really reach as many of you awesome people as possible. (That’s really what’s so frightening)
I’ve been called fearless and strong and a lot of other things, but I never feel like I am. I’m just as sensitive about my work as anyone else. Writing is all about placing your soul at everyone’s feet and waiting for them to trample it or offer a hug.
So here I am, once again. Soon I’ll be kneeling before you with a new piece of me. My books are the physical representation of my heart. They’re not going to be loved by everyone, but like most writers, I wish they would be. heehee
The SCBWI has a great many resources for me to reach out to other authors, illustrators, publishers, AND find more opportunities. Doors are always opening, you just have to find them. Societies like these offer a wealth of aid to artists of all kinds. Time for me to see what I can do in this one.