Who, Where, Book Title, Book Synopsis.
Sarah Pye is the author of Kids Welcome to Queensland guidebook which has been called a “Lonely Planet” for families. She was named Sunshine Coast Small Business Woman of the Year in 2010 and has since launched the Kids Welcome web directory (www.kidswelcome.com.au) and Kids Welcome phone applications.
What prompted you to launch your business?
I had a unique upbringing myself. My parents took me out of school at the age of 13 and we spent the next few years travelling. I learnt so much outside of a classroom that I want to encourage other families to explore the world around them together. When I became a mum myself, I found a lack of specific information about suitable activities for kids, especially on holiday so Kids Welcome was born out of a desire to take the hard work out of planning family time (on holiday or just on a day off).
What guided you towards making the decision to Self-Publish?
Once I had created the concept of Kids Welcome I approached a number of publishers. As is often the case, a few were not interested. Then I had a publisher accept my planned book. As we worked through the contract process I found we didn’t have the same focus and I eventually decided to go it alone instead. Of course, this meant a huge learning curve… finding a designer, researching paper, printers and distributors, forking out huge sums of cash and eventually promoting the published book.
What would be your top 3 tips for Authors looking to Self-Publish?
Tip 1: Don’t self edit. If you have written the material, I think it is impossible to notice the mistakes because you get caught up in the story and skip over them. Pay a professional editor to check grammar, spelling and factual value.
Tip 2: Writing your book is about a tenth of the business of self publishing. All those other aspects listed above take time, energy and persistence. If you aren’t interested in running a business, I would not suggest self publishing.
Tip 3: Getting a self-published book to market requires putting yourself out there, doing book signings, talks at libraries, discussion panels at writer’s festivals and engaging with your public on social media. This is an important part of publishing with a publisher too. Very few introverts sell books!
Has Self-Publishing a book aided your business in anyway?
It has enabled me to call all the shots and take the business in the direction I want it to go without interference. On the other hand, it has meant I spend less time writing than I would like.
What are your next steps?
Kids Welcome to Queensland is distributed nationally with Woodslane, Sydney. Although this is going well, I have just launched the android Kids Welcome phone app because I feel the future of printed books, especially guidebooks, is uncertain. The more accessible I can get my product, the more people I can reach. The iPhone app will be launched in the next few weeks. By offering smart phone apps, e books and hard copy books I think I can meet the needs of my target audience, no matter their preference.
Any last advice.
Don’t expect to make money from books. Very few people do. There has to be something else driving you…
And lastly, books don’t sell from a warehouse or garage. You need to get them out where the public can see them as soon as possible, so have your distribution channels planned before the printed book arrives.