My son recently wrote his first book. The book is about chess, and not just chess in general, but on one single opening. We’ve had some people ask why he chose to write a book on one specific chess opening. I think he explains it really well in his introduction so if you want to know, just check out his introduction (available here on Amazon). Here are some lessons we learned from self-publishing a book.
First, I’m amazed at what a child can do when he is doing something he’s passionate about.
So, I encourage you parents out there to support your children to follow their dreams. They may not look exactly what we’re picturing for our children, but God gave them the strengths they have for a specific purpose. We need to be open to wherever God will lead them with the unique gifts He’s given them.
Now, I’m not saying my son is going to dedicate his life to chess. (He doesn’t even want to do that!) But I expect that wherever he ends up he will employ the same analytical mind that led him to enjoy chess, to dedicate hours to studying dozens (if not hundreds) of chess books, and that finally led him to write a whole book on a single chess opening. We’re praying that God would show us and our son how he can best use those talents in the future.
And now on to some more practical tips if you have a child that is interested in self-publishing a book.
Encourage your kids (or yourself) to start writing.
As my son said in an interview with Young Money Masters (which I’ll share below), writers should write whether they’re feeling motivated that day or not. Writing is like anything else–the more you practice, the better you get.
Research all you can about self-publishing a book.
A really good checklist for a self-publishing author is the Pre-publishing Checklist: A To-do List for Indie Authors. This is available on Amazon, but I received it free by signing up for the Curioser Editing Newsletter. (I don’t know how long this offer will last, so get it while you can.) I wish we had had this checklist from the beginning. All the information on it might seem a bit overwhelming, but at least you’ll know where you’re heading. It includes everything that you could possibly need to think of when publishing a book.
Invest in a good cover for your book.
Despite the old saying, people do judge a book by its cover. We tried to go the cheapest route possible and hired someone from Fiverr. After we had published the book, we found out that the person we had hired had used a pirated image for the cover. We only discovered this because someone pointed it out to us in a homeschool group I’m part of. (How embarrassing!) We’re very grateful that this same person, who also happened to be a graphic designer, offered to redo our cover for free. (You can check out her work here.) We ended up with a cover that we liked better than the original, but at the time it was very disappointing.
To find out more about the writing process and some of the obstacles my son had to work through, watch the interview below.
And don’t forget to check out my son’s book.
CHECK OUT Chess Strategies for the Sicilian ON AMAZON
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Thanks for the advice! Very useful post.