I once asked a fellow publisher when can one call themself a publisher? The definition was simple: as soon as you publish a book, you are a publisher. So in addition to being a DTP specialist, I am now also a publisher, author and illustrator. When I showed my first children’s book to my parents, I saw them both smiling with pride. Maybe even more than me.
“So you illustrated all of that yourself?”
I proudly confirm ‘Hmm mm’ again. My parents are quiet for a moment. When I had to choose my career a long time ago, I wanted to go to the art academy. My father thought a decent job was a better idea, so I started working in a printing house and worked my way up from desktoppublisher to graphic designer and web designer. But the love for writing and illustrating kept simmering somewhere deep within me.
My company, which I started when my children were only one and four years old, grew with it. My children grew, my company became more stable and suddenly there was room for a story. A story that suddenly arose in Australia. I started working with it. Write, rewrite, put away, write again. Sketch, draw, try, sketch, throw away and start over. I attended courses and workshops, I read everything there was to read about publishing. Bit by bit, all the pieces of the puzzle fell together.
Before the final step of publication, I asked a fellow author’s opinion. Was this publishable? With pain in my stomach I waited for her judgment. I hovered between hope and fear, until she gave me the two big thumbs up.
And then my publication adventure began. I decided to publish both at Bol.com and at Amazon. Both websites gave the explanation as if it were a piece of cake. Deathly simple. Create account and upload. It was very disappointing to learn it wasnt as simple as they tell you. In my work I had designed countless books and sent them to the printer. Never a problem but this was a bit different.
Amazon had other book sizes than Bol. The set up was different. Take into account folding lines and ISBN numbers. I uploaded and checked many versions before I was really satisfied.
Then I also wanted the Kindle version online. The Kindle version is an epub. But of course not the way I’m used to, so I worked with the Kindle Creator to create the right e-book.
Not much later my ‘author-copies’ fell on the doormat with a thud. I can’t suppress a smile. After three years of blood, sweat and tears, giving up and continuing again, my first children’s book is there. I am proud! But my head is already with the next book.
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