The Story Behind the Story

When I started in children’s publishing seven years ago, I was armed with a good book idea and…well, that’s about it. I didn’t know the first thing about writing, editing, illustrating, graphic design, or printing. I knew even less about marketing, selling and distributing books.

Since that humble start, I’ve learned a few things. Believe me, I’ve made my share of mistakes. But fortunately, I’ve also made some very good decisions—some by happenstance, some by listening to my gut, some by listening to my brain.

I’m now joining the blogosphere to discuss topics related to self-publishing of children’s books. Hope you’ll learn something from me. I’m sure I’ll learn something from you.

So let’s get on with this…

I hear from would-be authors and publishers of children’s books all the time. I love hearing new book ideas. I also enjoy learning about the motivation behind each story, or the “story behind the story.” For example, I worked with sisters that co-authored a story inspired by the premature death of their father at the hands of cancer. A professional football player was interested in creating an entire series of books as a way to give back to his community while introducing children to valuable life lessons. There was a mother and her autistic son who co-authored a book to explain autism from the perspective of a child. Sure, we also hear from writers that are motivated primarily by the almighty dollar and are convinced that they have the next commercial phenomenon on their hands. These are just a few examples of what drives people to enter the world of children’s publishing.

Having a good story and a good “story behind the story” are both important, but there’s so much more to consider before diving into the fray. Everyone wants a successful title, but one thing’s clear to me—not everyone’s definition of success is the same. What are the measures of success anyway? The answers might surprise you. Well, that’ll be the topic of my next post. How’s that for a cliffhanger?

Oh, and of course, I would love to hear from you. Either post your comments right here or send me an email at naren@mascotbooks.com.

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