APRIL COX MAKES IT SIMPLE TO SELF-PUBLISH CHILDREN’S BOOKS
If there is one person in this world who can really help you self-publish children’s books, this is April Cox. A children’s books author herself, she is also an author coach and founder of Self-Publishing Made Simple. Let’s welcome April as our new featured expert.
What do you love most about helping other authors self-publish their books?
I really enjoy seeing people’s dreams come true. Many of them have manuscripts that have been sitting for years or even decades and they just were not sure how to get it published. I get to help bring that dream to life and watch while they click “Publish” for the first time.
What’s the story of Self-Publishing Made Simple?
That’s so nice of you to ask and to let me tell MY story. I had a career of more than 35 years in Information Technology, managing complex multi-million-dollar projects for corporate America. The job that I loved for so long lost its shine, I suppose. I no longer jumped out of bed in the morning excited about starting my day and loving my work, so I knew I needed to make a change. I needed a passion project!
My focus shifted to spending quality time with my grandkids who really were the light of my. Reading and telling stories became an important part of that. I became an author to put these stories down so that they would have them for the future (sort of a legacy project) and that is how my own self-publishing journey began.
When I started publishing my own books, I immersed myself into the self-publishing world as I had done all my career as a consultant. I love learning new things. What surprised me is how much conflicting information was out there. I learned a lot and as a bit of a geek. I can’t see a process that is “broken and convoluted” without wanting to fix it. I did create my own roadmap and system as a result of working through my own journey.
I was a part of a number of author groups and saw so many struggling and wanting to give up, so I offered to run a group for new authors and to help them navigate the often confusing and stressful process of self-publishing. That was the beginning of Self-Publishing Made Simple, which has now grown to assist more than 800 authors with courses, coaching/mentoring and done for you services. It has also resulted in an amazing community of authors that I get to work with every day. I am truly blessed!
Why is it important for you to help other authors?
It aligns with my purpose of supporting the storytellers of the future. Yes, I have my own books and am an author myself, but my superpower is really in how I am able to simplify really complex things and help people through that process. There is so much information out there about self-publishing and too many people are giving up. I feel my purpose is to help bring those amazing stories into the world and I feel honored to play a small role in making that happen.
What makes you the most proud about Self-Publishing Made Simple?
It is the amazing community that has resulted from the work we are doing here. The authors go through 12 weeks together through my course and then move into my Self-Publishing Mastermind to stay connected and continue to grow their knowledge and support one another.
Self-publishing can be lonely and by working together and connecting in this way they are completely supported, get great ideas and people that are there to cheer them on and sympathize when things don’t go as well as they had hoped. It has become so much more than I had expected and has grown exponentially, especially in light of the pandemic and the isolation that so many authors have felt.
What are the top three things you do for authors that makes their life easier?
I help authors save money. It is so easy to waste time and money on self-publishing. There are many unscrupulous businesses taking advantage of aspiring authors. I have had students who have wasted tens of thousands of dollars and had months (or even years) of delays when trying to publish their book. My goal is to save them more money than it will cost them for my services.
I provide for authors a clear roadmap and support to realize their dreams – I help authors navigate through the confusing process of self-publishing with a clear and easy to follow roadmap. This includes a wide variety of self-publishing resources – free and paid like a Facebook group (Learn to Self-Publish with April Cox), a YouTube channel (Self-Publishing Made Simple), online resources (courses, resource library) and a Self-Publishing Mastermind (membership-based).
I also bring to the table inspiration, feedback, and encouragement. It’s important for authors to have someone they can talk with who is able to provide feedback throughout the author journey. I am here to provide just that. I will be honest with them, but I will always be kind. Self-Publishing can be very lonely and so having a mentor and a community helps with keeping them on track and inspired to continue.
What are the top three things an author should do to make the self-publishing process easier?
- Find a mentor or coach – someone who has been there / done that who can guide you through it.
- Join a self-publishing community. Align yourself with other like-minded individuals who can support you and understand what you’re going through.
- Get professional help. Hire proven resources and don’t try to do it all yourself. You want to have a professional editor, illustrations that are beautiful (in the case of a children’s book) and a professional layout. Don’t skimp on those important things and be willing to pay for the right resource who can bring your vision to life.
You specialize in children’s books. Why this particular niche?
My grandchildren are the reason. They were my inspiration and so I started this journey because I wanted to create books for them that would be here long after I was gone. I do love children’s books and the role they play in family bonding, growing and shaping young minds.
You make self-publishing simple for authors who….
I make self-publishing simple for those who have completed their manuscript and want to create a high-quality book but have no idea where to begin or how to navigate the confusing and often stressful process of self-publishing.