An exciting thing happened at Monster Books Publishing Ltd yesterday – our very first block of ISBN’s came through! A truly momentous occasion – (yes, that’s as momentous as my occasions come nowadays!) – as I never thought I would be the very proud owner of ten brand new ISBN numbers, one of which has been allocated to my very first book – The Tickle Monster!

It will certainly be a nervous couple of days as I wait impatiently for The Tickle Monster book prototype to come back from the printers – especially as so many last minute changes were made to the layout, wording and illustration. I actually recalled the book three times from the printers to make changes – that is how crazy I have been about it. When I finally gave the printers the green light, it was as traumatic and exciting as sending my son off to school for the first time! But sitting here now and writing this post, I can honestly say that I am so happy with the final draft of the book and I really cannot wait for everyone to see it and share in the joy that is The Tickle Monster!

In the meantime, and in a valiant attempt to make the days zoom by until I get to see my finished book, I have been busying myself with other projects. Many of them revolve around doing research into the best ways of getting my book into the public eye and how, as a self-publisher, it is so important to make sure that the right paths are taken to increase a books popularity. I have been reading articles and blogs from other self-publishers, some of which have been massively helpful in pointing me in the right direction and even steering me away from the not so obvious pitfalls of self-publishing. Karen Inglis has written a super step-by-step guide on how to self-publish a children’s picture book and gives valuable insight into her personal experience of doing this.

I have also been writing down the names and contact details of local nurseries, toddler groups, pre-schools and children’s centres in the hope that I will be allowed to come and share with them The Tickle Monster story. I feel that this will help to increase my confidence in getting my book out there and showing it to strangers – as I feel that they really will be the most honest audience of all. As well as doing local research, I have also been setting my sights another level higher by doing some crafty Linkedin stalking of book buyers from some of the big high street chains and stockists; really just getting their details ready for when I feel the moment is right to do the ‘big pitch’.

Numbers are quite important in this game too and I have spent a lot of time researching prices, margins and quantity – which in my situation, is pretty much an unknown quantity at the moment as I am still a step or two away from being able to sell my first book. Slowly, slowly though and first, I know that I need to get everyone interested in The Tickle Monster. And so by the power of Twitter, WordPress and Facebook, I am hoping that once I get a handle on how to do it successfully – yes, I have even done research on this 😉 – I can really start making some progress in the world of social media.

And as with all other writers – I think I can just about say that I am one myself now – I am reading and writing and reading and writing. I have designed the next monster for our second monster book of the series – he is just gorgeous (in a slightly dribbly way), with the story currently going through its third edit. As well as The Monster Books, I have been writing my other blog – a more personal health and lifestyle blog which goes by the name of and I am also excited to share with you that I have started writing my first novel. Oh, and I have also entered a short script writing competition – I will let you know how that one pans out.

All in all, I’m really just enjoying having an outlet for the creativity and having something to look forward to. I am extremely proud that I have marched forward, bit the bullet and chased my dream and know that I couldn’t have done without certain people. To those that believe in this project – thank you.

Please feel free to leave any suggestions, comments and advice. Hopefully, by my next post I will be able to share a picture of me holding the very first copy of The Tickle Monster!

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