* * *
Hello, I read your article on self-published young authors, posted march 31st, today, and found myself, well... A little envious. I myself am a teenage author, and although I am sure you have gotten a few other emails from other young authors like me, I hope that you can read mine, and see my story as something different from those others that have contacted you, and those you sponsored in your recent article. I hope to give you something to think about.
To get to the point, as I'm sure you don't want to read my life story, I DID self-publish, but I payed the prices, at 200 dollars, myself, earning the required money after selling my own books! My parents were always there for support and editing, but did not pay a penny in my publication. This helped teach me valuable lessons, like money management, and hard work. Perhaps unlike Ben Heckmann, those 200$, compared to his 250$ got me in print, and eBook format in over 8 of the largest eBook retailers in the world. I have sold around 300 copies of my book so far, and has been out since last August, less than a year! My book has earned me the title of being one of the Top 50 Authors in my entire state! (Idaho). I was also chosen this year as my state's Student of the Year by the PTA.
As for the question you posed in your article "Paying to Get Your Child's Book Published", as to whether or not self publishing children's books is a good idea or not, my personal belief is YES! ...for the most part. I believe the book should show some merit, and definitely be able to compete with books written by adults, as my book, along with others, has. I found the comment about an Obligitory trophy at the end of a soccer game both true and stinging. However, you have to ask yourself, how many kids play sports?
The answer...well, a lot. :) most children, I would say, have played a sport. Then, how many kids end up writing a book that could potentially compete with books written by adults? Not many. In fact, rarely does a kid do this! I believe that, yes, DEFINITELY a child should be rewarded for doing such a feat! Again, only IF the book can compete with the adult world. If not, I don't believe it should be published. Self-publishing should be used carefully. This goes for adults, too. If the literary quality of any book isn't any good, it has no right being in the market, I'd say. To those kids that definitely have good quality writing, I believe they have just as much of a right to be in the industry as Suzanne Collins and James Patterson! Not all books will meet the standard set by these authors books, as is apparent with Adult-written books and teen-written books Alike.
All the same, I do not believe parents should pay for their children to get published, just because they want their little darling to feel good about themselves. I have found that if you value something, you can save up and get it. Using money earned from selling my book, I have been able to purchase the new iPad. If the young writers in question truly want to get published, and have the merit to succeed, I also believe they should pay for their own publication. It would give the author a better image than to tell people, my mommy and daddy payed to publish my book.
I love the fact that I can tell people I wrote and published my book on my own. The only part my parents payed in the entire writing and publication process was editing, which is, of course, necessary.
Again, I really hope that I gave you something to think about and consider. I found parts of your articles assuming kids were all published by their parents, somewhat stinging. I believe that I am a definite exception to this stereotype.