| Q & A |
Q: What's been your best day as an author?
On October 12, 2019 I had a full circle “pinch me” kind of a moment. Years ago, I stood in a bookstore in the center of downtown Salt Lake City and wished that one of my stories could be sitting on the shelf in the children’s department. I imagined what it would feel like, but I never dreamed in a MILLION YEARS that it would actually happen. That dusty old dream had suddenly become a reality and I couldn't understand why the universe was being so kind to me. I’m incredibly grateful for all of the people in my life who have believed in me, cheered me on, and who’ve had my back since I started dreaming this dream in the early ‘90s.
Q: How can I get my own book published? Would you recommend self-publication or the traditional route?
The short answer: It depends.
Deciding to be brave enough to pursue your dream is such a huge part of the process. It's not easy to put yourself out there and be prepared for whatever feedback and/or news comes your way.
- It's never been easier to forge your own path in the world of self-publication. That's the great news.
- There are lots of other self-publication outlets and avenues you can pursue, such as Amazon Createspace. But be careful while you shop around. Do your research. Make sure you use a legitimate company. There are a lot of options out there.
- One downside to self-publication: It can be pricey if you want it done right. Your budget will determine the outcome.
- Upwork is a great resource for finding other professionals to network with in order to get a project done. You can personally hire artists, editors, people who can prep your digital files for publication, etc.
- I recently heard someone compare self-publication vs. traditional publication to YouTube vs. Netflix. True, you can find lots of high-quality, professional content on YouTube. But as a general rule of thumb, it just doesn't compare to the products that Netflix offers. I feel like that's a really good and truthful analogy for self publication vs. traditional publication. It's obviously not a hard and fast rule, but again... something to consider.
- It's such a tough nut to crack, right?? I feel like pursuing this route is a matter of timing, luck, having connections, offering a really high-quality product (as a writer), and having a strong resume (with proof that you have a lot to offer).
- Before landing my book deal, there had been a series of steps that led me to where I needed to be (which was the right place at the right time).
- I built a resume for myself by already having a history of writing professionally, I already had an author website, and I sold the idea of why they should choose me.
- If you need to get some experience under your belt, make some good connections, and get your foot in the door of the publication world, I would highly recommend checking out the Upwork website. I offered up my services as a writer, got several paid gigs for a variety of projects, and landed a really sweet deal that was KEY in creating a great writer's resume. If it weren't for that deal that I got on Upwork, I'm convinced that my book deal would never have happened.
- Believe in yourself. You're the head of your own marketing team. Sell yourself like nobody's business. Rub shoulders with as many people in the writing world as you can. Talk to people. Get advice. Look for tips. Share your dream with anyone you feel inspired to share it with. I had shared my dream with a colleague of mine at work. It was because of him that I got my book deal. He was involved in certain circles and knew that my publisher was looking for something that I could offer them. If it weren't for him -- and the fact that he said, "Sarah, you should really submit your story to them" -- there's no way this would have happened for me.
Good luck as you move ahead. Keep dreaming, and don't give up!
I feel like if we want something bad enough and we're willing to never give up, the universe will be kind to us. If it happened for me, it can happen for anyone else who's been dreaming this same dream and is willing to work hard.
All my best...