Every now and again, I contemplate self-publishing a book. It would have to be just the right project for me to step off into the deep end of independently producing a book. But if I decide to go that route, SCBWI (the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) has made it easier.
I’m not sure why but SCBWI has long had the reputation for being anti-self-publishing. I wouldn’t say that but I would say is that they are going to insist on professionalism. And, let’s face it, a lot of self-published books look slapdash.
Fortunately, SCBWI has a variety of member benefits that will enable members to create slick, polished self-published books. These benefits include:
- A database of self-publishing service providers that has been vetted by The Alliance of Independent Authors of which SCBWI is an organizational member. Go through this list to find info on publishers, editors, book designers and more. Self-publishing is NOT a short cut and this list will help you find the professionals you need to create a quality book.
- The Independently Published Book Launch Marketing Grant. There will be two $2,500 grants annually – one that is open to anyone and one for a member of an underepresented community.
- The Indepdently Published Pre-publication Grant. This grant is also $2,500 and will help a member offset the costs of producing and publishing their book.
- The annual Spark Award. The winner receives $1000 and stickers to add to their book cover and free tuition to an SCBWI conference.
- The tri-annual The India Author Magazine, a publication produced by the Alliance of Independent Authors.
As if all of this wasn’t enough, there are also webinars about self-publishing, lists of illustrators willing to work on independent projects and more. I have not self-published a book, but this is something I definitely want to learn more about. If nothing else, 2020 has taught me to never EVER say never.