Yvonne Capitelli is an award-winning children’s author. As a young girl growing up, surrounded by the beautiful beaches of Long Island, NY, she dreamed of becoming an author of children’s books. Her stories are fun, educational, beautifully illustrated and center around imparting important life lessons about the amazing power we have within.
I love the title of your children's book, Daria Rose and the Day She Chose. What came first, the title or the idea for the story? What inspired the story?
The idea came first. I was inspired by what my daughter was experiencing in grade school. When most of the manuscript was completed, I realized the story revolved around how we can change the outcome of various situations by the choices we make.
How long did it take you to complete the book?
It took two years to complete. I didn’t use the usual self-publishing route by uploading a manuscript to a self-publishing website. I wanted complete creative and financial freedom. I self-published from start to print. By this I mean I wrote the manuscript. I hired and collaborated with an illustrator and a graphics designer. I learned how to format and edit the manuscript to create a file for the book printer. Then I ordered a large quantity of books. It’s hard to explain the feeling when the order arrived on a huge pallet on my front lawn. It was amazing.
I love the illustrations in your book. How did you find the right illustrator and how closely did you work with them?
I searched the internet for artists with the style I was looking for. I contacted her and asked if she was interested in illustrating a children’s book. She had never illustrated a book before and was excited to work with me. We decided on a fee per illustration. I gave her a detailed description of each illustration. It was a wonderful experience.
Can you share how to go about getting ISBN numbers?
I purchase ISBN numbers directly from Bowker Identifier Services at myidendifier.com. It’s The U.S. ISBN Agency at Bowker, and the only official source of ISBNs in the United States.
Can you share why you feel self-publishing beats traditional publishing?
Someone recently asked me why I self-published. The truth is, when I finally decided the time was right to make my life long dream of writing a children’s books a reality, it never occurred to me to start searching for a traditional publisher. I literally dove in! While writing my manuscript, I searched the internet and library, reading every aspect of a successfully published children’s book. I then took one small step at a time and before long I was holding my dream in my hands. I think it’s because when I was young my parents instilled in me that I could be and do anything I put my mind to. That there is always a way to figure things out if you're determined and persevere. I apply this concept to everything I’ve ever accomplished thus far. Since my first book, I’ve experienced self-publishing and traditional publishing and I strongly encourage you to take the plunge and self-publish. It’s wonderful to have complete freedom over all aspects of your dream.
You have complete creative and financial freedom. After all, it is your baby, why not write the story you’ve always imagined, choose the illustrator, the title and cover. Word of advice, pay attention to all the many “little details”. Make sure your book and media is professional: terrific cover, expert editing, formatting, spine detail, color, website, blog, publishing logo, printer, advertising material, etc.
Some writers spend years searching for a publisher and without success. Funds permitting you can self-publish within months or take your time as funds are available. Once the file is complete, you can go to print. E-book self-publishing takes less than a week, is inexpensive, and you have world-wide distribution in a few weeks. World-wide exposure for less than what it costs to mail advertising post cards. That’s incredible.
Though you bear the complete cost to publishing, you will receive a higher percentage from sales. Instead of a possible 6% from a traditional publisher, you could receive as much as 75% and when you want copies of your own book, you won’t have to buy them from the publisher.
There is no waiting, you can publish your book today. Since you wear both hats, author and publisher, you’re in complete control over when, where, and how. You’re responsible for marketing and sales so do your homework and know your audience. Get feedback directly from your readers. If you choose, you can always look for a publisher in the future to take over the printing and sales.
Whether you self-publish or traditionally publish, your book’s success is up to you. An informative book that will help any indie author is 1001 Ways to Market Your Books by John Kremer.