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My Journey…Writer’s Conferences

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to attend a local SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Conference. At that time, I had a manuscript but not much else. There were a lot of informative sessions to help a writer make their children’s book successful. But, sometimes, it was pick and choose which session to attend. I really wanted to attend a session given by a popular children’s book author whose book I had in my library, but I was leaning towards maybe self-publishing at the time, so I decided to go to the less popular self-publishing session (the only one offered at the conference). This was given by a self-published children’s book author of many books who provided us with plenty of resources and information on self-publishing. The most inspiring thing I heard from her was when she said she wanted to self-publish her books, not to necessarily make money, but to get her books “in the hands of readers”. This session started me on my own self-publishing journey.

Recently, I attended another SCBWI Conference. The “Marvelous Midwest Conference” was a larger one in Illinois and, this time, I was attending as a self-published children’s book author. I handed over 10 copies of “The Triplet Ballerinas” to the conference bookstore for consignment and headed to sessions on everything about children’s books. At this conference, there were a few more self-publishing sessions to attend. I attended sessions on “Visiting (and Virtually Visiting) Schools”, “Choosing Your Self-Publishing Style”, “Reaching Readers: How to Promote Your Self-Published Book Like A Pro” and even a “Social Media Masterclass for Authors” to help with promotion especially of a self-published book. Again, I received plenty of resources and information on helping with the self-publishing and marketing of my book. At this conference, the most inspiring thing I took from one of the sessions on self-publishing was: in traditional publishing, the shelf life for a children’s book is only three months, but in self-publishing, it is however long you want it to be. That is AMAZING!

I only sold two books in the conference bookstore, but I am fine with that because two more readers now have my book in their hands. Beverly

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