Building Voices CEO Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva at Encino Charter Elementary

The goal of every publisher is to make sales, but what happens to the desire to inspire people and better our communities? Often, this goal is lost and buried due to the ups and downs and stringent demands of running a successful business.

Broccoli Chronicles

Building Voices currently doesn’t have the box office sales that we were hoping for, but we do have 13 positive Amazon reviews, several invitations to attend school events, and tons of happy customers to prove that our community supports our efforts. The positive feedback from followers on Facebook and Twitter and also parents and children from various book signing events has been remarkable.

Our first book, Broccoli Chronicles, sold more copies than the other books we’ve published. It’s something about Myrtle’s quirky smile and her love of broccoli that draws people in. Broccoli Chronicles has been selected as a finalist in Foreword Reviews’ 2014 ‪‎INDIEFAB‬ Book of the Year Awards! This was such an accomplishment for our company as well as for me and my career.

Building Voices CEO Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva at Encino Charter Elementary

I know you’re probably wondering why we are gaining so much love and support. Well, it’s the message that we are sending to parents, teachers, librarians, and educational officials that the voice of children matter. Our goal is to educate one mind and build one voice at a time. We believe our books will entertain, inspire, and build the future voices of this world. Kids love Broccoli Chronicles

This article was published in the July 2015 issue of the IBPA’s Independent Magazine.


Reasons to self-publish

Before you begin looking for publishers you should ask yourself, is self-publishing right for you?

TAKE A LOOK AT THE 4TH QUESTION TO THIS SERIES.

4. Are you limited with marketing, publishing, and technology skills and would prefer someone to represent you?

Self-publishing demands that you wear multiple hats.  You are responsible for writing, marketing, publishing, sometimes editing, graphic design, and a list of other stuff.  As a self-publisher, you don’t have the luxury of just writing.  If you prefer to just write and never deal with the marketing or publishing side of the business, then maybe traditional publishing is a better route for you.


TheReadingRoom

Self-publishers are multi-taskers who have a diverse skill set.  It’s becoming more popular to see that the author and the illustrator are the same person. In addition, many are learning how to to design their own websites and promotional materials.  Even more so, authors are now becoming publishers who bind and print their own books.

Traditional publishing is great route to take especially if your publisher has a solid marketing plan and can guarantee to sell at least 100,000 copies, but if you prefer to be your own boss, then self-publishing might be a better option.

You owe it to yourself to really investigate the pros and cons of self-publishing and whether you have the stomach to digest everything that it entails. Don’t short change yourself!

RELATED ARTICLES:
Is Self-Publishing Right For You?
Is Self-Publishing Right For You? Question #5

About 

Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva is an authorpreneur, teacher, blogger, educational consultant, and writing coach. She wrote the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles and is the CEO of Building Voices and TCD Kids Foundation. She tweets at @taneekabdasilva.


Reasons to self-publish

Is Self-Publishing Right For You? 5 Questions You Should Answer Before You Self-Publish!

Before you decide on which route you want to take, make sure that you write down your overall goals and plans. Think about the following questions.

1. Are you only interested in the milestone of publishing your book or do you plan to sell millions of copies?

2. Do you want to become an expert in your field, grow your company, and author platform?

3. Do you want to see your book sitting on the shelves of Target, Wal-Mart, and/or Barnes and Noble?

4. Are you limited with marketing, publishing, and technology skills and would prefer someone to represent you?

5. Are you willing to pay a vanity or subsidy press a large sum of money to do the leg work for you?

There are different ways to publish your book. You can go the traditional route and seek a literary agent, if you like. If this is the right choice for you then you must finish your manuscript, draft your one page query, and a two page synopsis. Next, you should purchase A Guide to Literary Agents and look for agents that represent your specific genre. One benefit in going this route is that your book is almost guaranteed to be carried in one of the larger bookstores. One drawback is that you lose control over your book. You are able to provide input here and there, but ultimately the publisher will make most of the marketing and publishing decisions for you.

Self-publishing is another route to take to get your book published and made visible to the world. You can start your own publishing company or go with a POD service and list their company as the publisher. If you self-publish, keep in mind that you are responsible for the creative side, the marketing side, and the business side. You must have the ability to wear multiple hats.

You also have the option of going with an independent publishing company where they will fund the book for you. They will be more willing to take a chance on you versus one of the Big Five (Harper Collins, Scholastic, Random House, etc). The downside is that they don’t have the funding or connections to get you on the shelves of the top bookstores.

Vanity and subsidy presses are appealing to those that have the upfront cash and want someone else to do most of the work for them. They will design your book cover for you, provide you with an ISBN, and much more. There are tons of unhappy clients that have posted tons of articles about their publishing practices so please be careful and do your research.

Keep in mind, no one can make these decisions for you. It all goes back to your goals and plans for your book. Start here, and you should be fine!

RELATED ARTICLES:
Should You Self-Publish or Not?
Is Self-Publishing Right For You? Question #1
5 Reasons Why You Should Self-Publish

About 

Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva is an authorpreneur, teacher, blogger, educational consultant, and writing coach. She wrote the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles and is the CEO of Building Voices and TCD Kids Foundation. She tweets at @taneekabdasilva.


(Launching My Kickstarter Project: Round 2)

As a new indie publisher, I needed a way to cover start-up expenses for ISBNs, printing, corporation fees, memberships, and more. After I stumbled across Kickstarter.com, I took about two weeks to create my video, upload my files and showcase the highlights of my publishing company and my first children’s novel. On April 28, 2014, I introduced Building Voices to the world along with my first book, Little Kids, Big Voices: Broccoli Chronicles.

The day the project was launched, I sent letters and e-mails soliciting donations from friends and family members. Also, I sent a press release and posted frequently on Facebook and Twitter. I was extremely excited and I felt that I had covered all bases.

Unfortunately, what I raised was a whopping $450 instead of the $10,000 that was my goal. Sad, right?

At the end of the 30 day funding period, I realized my mistake. I had waited until the last minute to promote my project instead of beginning way in advance, giving potential donors enough time to research my organization and its merits.

Most people might have been deterred from using crowdfunding ever again. But not me. On June 16, I re-launched my Kickstarter project. I gave it a new title and uploaded some new illustrations for a little makeover.

You’re probably wondering why I didn’t wait a few months longer and develop a solid marketing campaign.

Yes, I probably should have, but I didn’t want to lose the support of the 11 backers who had donated the $450. So again, I sent letters and e-mails to friends and family and posted frequently on Facebook and Twitter.

I am glad to say that after another 30 days of intense marketing, my project was finally funded. What did I learn from this? I learned that when I fall, I need to dust myself off and get back up again.

This article was published in the October 2014 issue of the IBPA’s Independent Magazine.

RELATED ARTICLE: Launching My Kickstarter Project: Round 1


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About 

Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva is an authorpreneur, teacher, blogger, educational consultant, and writing coach. She wrote the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles and is the CEO of Building Voices and TCD Kids Foundation. She tweets at @taneekabdasilva.

Welcome to my writer blog, teacher blog, and self-publishing blog

Welcome! I’m Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva, author of the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles. This is where you find writing and educational tools to help kickstart your writing career.

Check out our resources and tools for aspiring writers, self-publishers, educators, and folks who love to read children’s books.


About 

Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva is an authorpreneur, teacher, blogger, educational consultant, and writing coach. She wrote the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles and is the CEO of Building Voices and TCD Kids Foundation. She tweets at @taneekabdasilva.

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