Adventures In Self-Publishing

Hey all! My name is Nikkee Vincent and I wanted to share a little bit of my quest to write and publish a children’s picture book with you.

I have always loved to read and writing has always been one of my hobbies, but with marriage, kids, and life happening, my dream of writing my own children’s book was put on the back burner for a long time.

By the time I hit my 30’s and I realized that life wasn’t slowing down anytime soon, (and after a lot of push from family and friends) I decided that I wasn’t going to put it on hold any longer and I jumped into the unknown world of self-publishing.  I had no idea how I was going to get it done, I just knew that I would make it happen. 

I started researching.  I researched and researched.  I read and made phone calls. Thanks to the fancy world of social media, I was able to reach out to a few others that had walked this road before me.  I asked about a zillion questions to whoever would be willing to answer.  Then I researched some more.  I called local printers to get quotes, I went on the hunt for an illustrator, I even reached out to one of my favorite radio hosts because I knew he had written a children’s book in the past.  

It took me what felt like ages to get all of the details worked out and then one day, the stars just aligned.  I had found a company to help me do all the groundwork. Printing, editing, layout-you know, the glamorous stuff!  I had also found an amazingly talented illustrator who was willing to take on the job!

Shelly Thomas is her name, and illustrating is her game!  She was able to see the same vision and style for the book that I did, so I believe that timing was everything in our case.  We would meet up whenever we could and over a cup of coffee, she would share with me her most recent artwork for the book.  And I fell in love with every page every single time!

I was pretty naïve when I jumped into this project.  I figured we would have it all done and ready to go to print in a couple of months.  Of course there were bumps in the road, obstacles to overcome, the usual pesky things that decide to come up at the worst possible time and try to knock you off course.  I wasn’t having any of that.  The entire process took over a year to complete, but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.  

I learned so much along the way, not just about the process of self-publishing, but also about myself.  I learned that I am actually quite dedicated to making my dreams a reality.  I learned patience.  I learned that if you tell me it can’t be done, I’ll probably find a way to make it happen.  I learned that I can do things that I never thought in a million years I would be doing.  And I learned that you are never too old to chase a new dream or learn a new skill or tackle a new goal.  Ever.

The day that 1,000 printed books were delivered to my house was one of the most amazing days of my life.  It was like all of our hard work, sweat, tears, and goal-crushing was wrapped up in all of those boxes.  I just sat in my garage and bawled like a baby the first time I held one of the completed books.  It was surreal that it had finally happened.

Moral of this story:  Dream big.  Go for it.  When you fail, (because you will) try again.  Try something new, different.  It’s ok to be afraid, but don’t let it stop you.  Do it anyway.  If you don’t know how, ask questions.  Research.  Never stop learning. 

Just make it happen.