“I’ve got a great idea for a children’s book.”
I’m unsure just how many times I’ve heard a friend or acquaintance say this. Suffice it to say, I’ve heard it A LOT. And it makes sense. So many of us have ideas for children’s books, and I’d venture to guess that many of them are actually very good ideas.
Children’s books have touched us all, and many of the stories we heard as kids have stuck with us into adulthood. Perhaps it was that story about persistence that has remained with you or that tale of a person who saved their resources for a special occasion rather than wastes them frivolously that taught you an important lesson about money. Maybe it was that silly rhyme with the make-believe words that you can still remember to this day because it entertained you so thoroughly that you read it more times than you could ever imagine.
Some children’s books teach us valuable lessons. Some we remember for the words or rhymes, others for the illustrations, and still others for all the above. So it’s natural that when we come up with an idea that we just know would resonate with kids, or a story that might impart an important lesson, we think it would make a great story for children.
But far too often, those ideas will never become tangible books. In most cases, the best possible outcome is a story you develop on your own and share only with your kids. They benefit from it. They learn from it. They’re entertained by it. But will you ever know just how many other children might?
It’s this unfortunate reality that helped to inspire the creation of Ashland Wells Publishing, a company that considers itself an “independent author-friendly” publishing house. But what does that mean, you ask? Great question.
If you want to publish a children’s book, you traditionally have two paths forward. First, you can write the story and then go through the tedious and intimidating process of writing cover letters to large publishing houses and hoping one of them might choose your story from the thousands they receive, only to be left with a small portion of the sales of the book if they do choose to publish it. A second option is to self-publish. This has become a far more attractive option in today’s world, in which social media provides tremendous promotional opportunities. There are drawbacks, however. If you self-publish, it can be difficult to get your book placed in brick-and-mortar bookstores (which, while they are sadly disappearing, are still particularly beneficial for children’s books) and organizations that recognize books with awards may not recognize self-published books. Perhaps most intimidating, however, are the costs of going this route. On top of finding an illustrator (unless you do your own illustrations), you will have to pay the illustrator you select, pay an editor to review your book, and pay for the printing of the books (after you find a printer that is). Then, you also have to coordinate fulfillment logistics! Oh, and do you want a website for your book? That’s going to cost you as well! Before you’ve even sold your first book, you’re already in the hole.
The fact that neither of these paths seems particularly attractive to me is what led to the establishment of Ashland Wells Publishing. At AWP, our goal is to provide a unique path forward for authors of children’s books so that more of the wonderful stories people develop can be shared with more and more children.
We do this by offering aspiring authors a partnership model that allows AWP and the author to share the initial costs of publication as well as the resulting profits. We don’t want to take the lion’s share of the profits like some of the large, well-entrenched publishing houses, and we don’t want the start-up costs to be so extensive that they prove prohibitive. We want to find ways to bring your stories to life, not to prevent them from being shared.
We offer a variety of services that you can utilize if you choose- we’re experts in building online assets and websites, utilizing social media, and managing logistics. We have existing relationships with printers and can even help you find an illustrator to partner with. And if you have a story we have an interest in, we’ll discuss with you how we’ll share the initial costs of publication and the sales that your book will generate- in a way that works for you! Each partnership wen enter into is unique and customized to the author that comes to us with their story, and we hope this provides more people with ideas for children’s books an opportunity to share their stories than ever before.
If you have a great idea for a children’s book, drop us a note to learn more about our future plans for publishing.