After several publishing houses and agents sent their complimentary "Thanks but no thanks" letter of regret, I decided to self publish. Since it was designed to be a picture book, I searched for companies who could help me create a paper book and an ebook. That's when I discovered Halo Publishing through fellow author and friend, Beth Consugar. Halo published her beautiful picture book Swanee Day.
I chose Halo after reviewing several of their books and talking with the publisher, Lisa Michelle Umina. Next came the money. Yes, there are companies--wonderful companies--like Smashwords who will publish your ebook for free, but I still needed to hire an illustrator and follow the yellow brick path, so to speak, through the world of self-publishing. And for that, I was willing to pay, but how was another matter.
Since I want a portion of all proceeds to help feed kids, I campaigned to raise the money through Fundly. The campaign raised enough to hire the illustrator, and my family put up the rest. So far, so good. The illustrations are almost complete, and I am learning much more than I expected. So much more as a matter of fact that I will be self-publishing a historical novel through Smashwords later this fall.
While I will still write books that I hope are accepted by trade publishers, I will also continue to join the thousands of authors who have made the decision to self-publish. Either way, it is one of the most rewarding experiences a writer/author can have.