Welcome to another exciting edition of Tuesday Debut, Everyone!
Now that everybody’s favorite groundhog (not that anyone around here is biased… 🙂 )
has announced to the world that we can expect an early spring, what better Tuesday Debut could we share today than one about a flower-loving dragon? So spring-y! 🙂 Please join me in welcoming Tuesday Debut-ess, Lindsey Hobson, as she shares her publishing journey!
Written by Lindsey Hobson
Illustrated by Katarina Stevanovic
Published January 2020
Fiction, ages: 3-8
Blossom is a flower-loving dragon living in a town full of people, who gives her flowers away in hopes of making a friend. When she catches a cold, her world is turned upside down.
SUSANNA: Welcome, Lindsey! Thank you so much for joining us today to share your journey to publication! Where did the idea for this book come from?
LINDSEY: My daughter went through a phase where she required an original story before bed. This is a version of her favorite story that I would tell her. I’m so glad that I will have a physical copy of this story to share with her, and her children one day.
SUSANNA: How long did it take you to write this book?
LINDSEY: Writing the story didn’t take me very long, as I already had it in my head. I just sat down and typed it all out in one evening.
SUSANNA: Did you go through many revisions?
LINDSEY: I revised it several times based on critiques I received from a critique group, then hired an editor for developmental editing. I realized that, by listening and revising from several different critiques, I had strayed too far from my original story. I scrapped the draft I was on, went back to the original, and started over with the same editor. She loved the original story better than the revision we had been working on and had some great ideas to get it to where it is today.
SUSANNA: When did you know your manuscript was ready for publication?
LINDSEY: After working with the editor on the development and line editing, I asked for some more critiques from an online group and was happy with the responses I received. I felt like it was ready.
SUSANNA: At what point did you decide to self-publish rather than submit to traditional publishers? Did you try traditional first? Or did you have specific reasons for wanting to self-publish?
LINDSEY: I decided to self-publish this book because it is so near to my heart. I wanted to have control over the content of the story, and how the illustrations looked. This is for my daughter, and I wanted to keep it that way. I did not try to submit this one to traditional publishers for that reason.
SUSANNA: How did you find an illustrator?
LINDSEY: I am a member of several Facebook groups, and I spoke to several illustrators that I found in those groups. I also joined Instagram to look for illustrators, and perused freelance websites. I ultimately found someone on Fiverr, and although I have heard negative things about that website, I really think you can find quality people that are looking to build their portfolios.
SUSANNA: Did you and the illustrator have a contract of any kind?
LINDSEY: We did not have a contract, just the specifics set forth in the gig (or package) that I purchased as far as having commercial rights, etc.
SUSANNA: Are you able to give a ballpark figure of any kind (or a specific one if you’re so inclined) about the cost of the illustrator?
LINDSEY: I had a budget, and I searched until I found someone that could work within that budget. I was able to keep it under $1000 for illustration and design.
SUSANNA: What was the illustration process like since you were directing it? Any particular challenges? Anything you particularly enjoyed?
LINDSEY: In working with my budget, we planned out where full page illustrations would be vs. spot illustrations. She wrote down an idea for each page before we started. Once she started, she sketched the page out then sent it to me, I would approve it or ask for slight revisions, then she would paint (she works in watercolor). Because of the time difference between where we live, I would often wake up with a new message from her in the morning. It was like Christmas every day!
SUSANNA: How did you format your book for publication?
LINDSEY: After the illustrator was finished, I asked her if she knew anyone who could do the formatting. She recommended someone who I hired to format the book and added the text. She also did the cover. It worked out well because if we hit a snag, she could talk directly to the illustrator.
SUSANNA: How did you select a printing service?
LINDSEY: I researched what others were doing in the Facebook groups I am in and ultimately decided to use Kindle Direct Publishing on Amazon because of the ease of getting my book online and their print-on-demand service.
SUSANNA: Did you do a print run so you’d have inventory, or is your book print-on-demand? (And where is your book available – online bookstores? brick and mortar bookstores?)
LINDSEY: I did not have it in my budget to do a print run, so I decided to use print-on-demand. I am also talking to a local bookstore about stocking my book in their children’s section.
SUSANNA: How long was the process from writing through publication of your book?
LINDSEY: Four months from start to finish.
SUSANNA: Describe any marketing/promotion you did for this book.
LINDSEY: I have made an author page on Facebook, and joined Twitter and Instagram to connect with the KidLit community. I have posted updates throughout the illustrating and design phases to get people interested in my project. Because my book is about a dragon that grows flowers, I have contacted local greenhouses to see if they would like to do a meet-the-author event.
SUSANNA: Anything else you’d like to share about your book’s journey from inspiration to publication?
LINDSEY: There are so many helpful people in the KidLit community. I would highly recommend joining groups on Facebook, subscribing to other writers’ blogs, and reading articles. I have also found it extremely helpful to ask questions of the people who have been doing this for a while, and rewarding to be able to help answer questions for people just starting out as well.
SUSANNA: Lindsey, thank you again for joining us today and for sharing all your helpful insights into the world of writing and self publishing. I can only imagine how many writers you are helping! We all wish you the very best of success with this and future books!
Readers, if you have questions for Lindsey, please post them in the comments below and if she has time I’m sure she’ll respond!
You may purchase Lindsey’s book at:
(all links below are book-specific)
We can help our debut authors successfully launch their careers by:
– purchasing their books
– recommending their books to friends and family
– recommending their books to our children’s teachers and librarians
– recommending their books to our local libraries and bookstores
– suggesting them as visiting authors at our children’s schools and our local libraries
– sharing their books on social media
– reviewing their books on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and other sites where people go to learn about books.
Thank you all for stopping by to read today! Have a lovely, inspiration-filled Tuesday! Maybe today is the day you’ll write your debut picture book 🙂
Missed any previous Tuesday Debuts? Check them out!
Karen Kiefer – Drawing God (religious market)
Theresa Kiser – A Little Catholic’s Book Of Liturgical Colors (religious market)