The Self-Published Book “Call Me a Lion” by Camila Chester: The Road to Success

Camilla has always been a writer, but she didn’t take her craft seriously until 2010. After studying for two years at the Open University, she received a certificate in creative writing and literacy and became active in the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She’s finished five books for kids, written a few short stories for adults, and is now drafting a book for both audiences. In addition, eight of her short stories may be found on Serial Mash, a website dedicated to educational resources.

When Camilla was a finalist in a writing contest hosted by the National Literacy Trust, she felt obliged to self-publish despite having no prior experience doing so. Her confidence in self-publishing was bolstered by the commissioning editor’s assurance that Bloomsbury will still publish her book, even though she did not win.

Selecting a self-publishing firm simplified the process, but promoting and distributing the book still presented challenges. Camilla’s success as a freelance children’s author may be attributed in large part to her knowledge of and enthusiasm for entrepreneurship, both of which she developed via her experiences with self-publishing.

She has featured on local radio and in the local newspaper, as well as participating in festivals and produced three books without any help from anybody else. When you believe what Camilla says, “The best part about self-publishing a children’s book is finally having something to sell and build your author platform on. You may move on with your career without first needing to be “picked” by an agency and subsequently by a publisher. It frees you from the anguish of giving up or being rejected and puts you in charge of your own life.”

Her guidance for aspiring self-published authors couldn’t be simpler.

Make sure the content you’re self-publishing is polished and professional in every way (including the writing, editing, and presentation). It shouldn’t be obvious that your book wasn’t published the regular way.


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