Posted by: nancyisanders | January 8, 2013

Welcome to My World


I wanted to share with you a little bit of the story behind the story of getting my newest book published, Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Beginning Readers and Chapter Books.

Each book has its own journey, so I thought you’d be interested to hear a little bit more about the journey this book has taken.

I originally started writing this book per request of a publisher.

However, somewhere along that journey, through circumstances nobody could have foreseen at first, I decided I wanted to self-publish this book.

Here are some of the reasons I made this decision:

#1 The Economy
The economy played a large role in this decision. It’s harder and harder to keep a book in print in today’s economy, and I decided I didn’t want this book to just be in print for 2 or 3 years and then die. I wanted to keep this book in print as long as I want it to be in print, not get “killed off” because of a publisher’s decision. That was one reason I decided to self-publish this book.

And when I researched several writing books by big famous authors published by big famous publishing houses, I found these books had all gone out of print!

#2 My Own Personal Writing Journey
I’ve had over 85 books published by publishers both big and small. And every time you get a book published with a publisher, there are a zillion tiny little decisions that you simply have no say in whatsoever. That’s okay. It’s just a normal part of this industry.

For this particular book, however, I wanted complete control over every decision. That’s another reason I decided to self-publish this book.

For example, I know my cover idea may not be the best in the industry, but I just wanted a picture of my homemade quilt on the front along with a photo of my cute cat, Pitterpat. And I know some of my tips or techniques might not be the strongest, but these are real strategies that I use and real stuff I do that have worked to bring me success as a children’s author. I wanted to share all this with you and not have some editor cut it because they didn’t think it was important enough to keep in the book. I feel strongly that everything I’ve included in this books IS important. That’s why I put it in.

#3 My Current Publishing Commitments
Another reason I decided to publish this myself is because I’m already under contract with publishers big and small to write more and more books and magazine articles for more and more deadlines.

I didn’t need another book project with a tight deadline and stress-filled contract commitments. I wanted a project I could write for my own personal fulfillment. (See my sections about the Triple Crown of Success and writing for personal fulfillment in my first how-to-write book, Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Children’s Books, Get Them Published, and Build a Successful Writing Career.)

At some point in this book’s journey, I decided this was the project I wanted to do right now for personal fulfillment.

#4 I wanted to try a new experiment in publishing

I’m always trying out new things in publishing! As leader of writers groups for nearly 20 years, I like to experiment and test the waters and report back to the writers I mentor. Plus I like to share with you and other readers who follow my blog. We’re here for each other and I want to share as many helpful tips and strategies with you as I can. I want you to experience success and fulfillment as a writer, too!

So somebody told me last summer about CreateSpace, a place owned by Amazon that lets you self-publish your book for FREE!

So I decided I wanted to check this opportunity out and see what I thought about it. And the book I decided to use as one of my first guinea pigs was this book.

And wow! I’m so glad I used CreateSpace. It is simply the best self-publisher I’ve ever used. (I’ve self-published half a dozen other books in years past.)

If you’d like to hear about WHY I love it and plan to use it to publish a bunch of other manuscripts, let me know and I’ll share some insight!

So there you have it…some of the main reasons I decided to self-publish my new book.

This book has been out now for a month, and I’m excited for the journey to continue! Thanks for joining in the adventure, too!


  1. Thanks for sharing why you self-published. That all makes sense! I’ve already started reading my copy.

    • You’re welcome, Tina! And thanks for all your help during the first draft. I truly appreciate your input on this book!

  2. Thank you for sharing this, Nancy. Two of the things I really respect about you is your willingness to try new things and your willingness to share your experiences with others of us. Yes, I’d love to hear about your experiences with CreateSpace. Do they also do picture books?

    • You’re welcome, Ev! And regarding working with CreateSpace, I still can’t believe that they offer a self-publishing program for free. Each step of the way, they also offer a reasonably priced option for help. It was a little bit tricky learning the technical steps, but I did 2 things that helped me through that. 1) I’d search the Internet for questions that came up and usually somebody posted helpful advice that I’d find. 2) I invited a writer friend over to my house for a couple of days who is more techie than I am. She self-published a book with CreateSpace at the same time and we helped each other with some of the more difficult steps.

      Regarding if they do picture books or not, I think they do. I haven’t looked into this yet. It might be free if you embed the illustrations into your word document/pdf file. But there might be a price tag per picture if you use a different format where you upload each illustration separately. And they might only do paperback.

      But one of the best things I liked about CreateSpace is they let you choose your own price to sell the book. When I’ve worked with other self-publishers, THEY set the price of the book and they seem to jack up the price so it costs double that of other similar books. CreateSpace has a little calculator where you can see the minimum your book has to cost in order to cover the paper/printing costs they put out. Then you can set your book price from there. At that point I just googled the standard price for a book like this one and made mine match. No extra. This means a lot to me to be able to provide an affordable book to my readers.

  3. Nancy,

    This is so encouraging to so many. It really encourages me because at this stage in the game I know I will never be able to accomplish the volume of writing that publishers look for in establishing cred. I don’t have the where-with-all, in middle age, while helping my husband run our business, to try to start delving into all kinds of different writing genre’s and immerse myself in writer’s groups, conferences, classes, etc. I’ve tried it and I can see that it’s not going to work for me. So this is a platform that is truly feasible for me to publish what I really want to get to get out there outside of the parameters of the traditional publishing game. Everything you share about publishing and writing is truly golden to me and I’m sure to so many others. Thank you for all you do to share your wealth of knowledge and experience instead of hoarding it all to yourself. I consider you a missionary to all writers. 🙂

    • Val, thanks so much for sharing your heart. And my oh my, what an encourager you are! I treasure your words. May God bless you along your writing journey. Big hugs, Nancy

  4. Thanks for sharing the insight on how your book on writing middle grade novels and beginning readers got published. Very interesting! Maybe I can do that someday after I get enough experience under my belt and have made a name for myself but not yet. I need to get out there more. I echo what Val said. Thanks for being a missionary to all writers! I think I’m going to ask for your new book for my birthday in February!

    • Happy upcoming birthday, Rachael! And thanks for your warm words of encouragement as well.

  5. Thank you for all you do to help us writers!

  6. My friend that used CreateSpace said they charged about $200 or more. Maybe she wasn’t telling the truth. That was part of her plea to buy her book.

    • Your friend may have chosen one of the paid options. A couple of my friends and I used the completely free path, so we didn’t have to pay anything if we didn’t want to. It was great! But they do offer people to help with nearly every step along the way, and of course they charge for those options, so perhaps your friend used one of their services.

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