and…Three Questions for Melissa Gijsbers
Teachers and parents are always looking for an effective tool to fight bullying. Enter the chapter book called “Swallow Me, Now”.
The book is about grade 5 student Samantha, who has relocated to Australia after spending three years in Nepal. Unfortunately, she is bullied, first by exclusion and then by teasing.
There are several things I love about this book:
1. What bullying is and is not is thoroughly explained.
2. What to do when you are bullied is explored in an effective manner.
3. The parents play a bigger role than in many of today’s books. Although Sam does solve her own problem, her parents do give her advice and guidance.
The author, Melissa Gijsbers, is a member of the chapter book challenge, a challenge I have participated in for the last two years. When she announced that she was going to crowdfund her book , so that she could self publish it, I admired her for her determination.
It used to be self publishing was looked down upon. The quality of the books wasn’t very high. But that is no longer the case. These days self publishing is very good at getting books that don’t necessarily fit into the norm. Books that are not being published not because they are not good, but because they don’t fit a publisher’s specifications. A lot of much needed books are being published that way.
Since you can go to Melissa’s website to read answers to questions about various aspects of the book (like this one), I decided to ask her three questions about self publishing.
1. What are the pros/cons of self publishing?
“There are many pros and cons. For me, the pros include publishing at a timeline that suited me and creative control over the book to get the look and feel I wanted. Cons include financing the production, including editing, but if you are creative, it can be done (I ran a crowdfunding campaign).”
2. Why did you decide to self publish?
“There are two main reasons, the first is that I had teachers telling me there needed to be more bullying books available now. The second is a bit silly in that I thought it would be cool to celebrate my birthday this year with a book launch! While the official launch was a few weeks after my birthday, the book went live on Amazon on the day.”
3. Do you recommend self publishing?
“It’s not for everyone, and it is a lot of work. Before you decide to self publish, do your research and weigh up all the pros and cons to see if it’s right for you, and get a great team around you to produce the best book you possibly can.”
Thank you so much for answering my questions, Melissa. I wish you continued success with your writing.
For more information on how you can buy a signed copy of “Swallow Me Now” from Melissa’s website, click here. You may also click on the picture above to order an unsigned copy directly from Amazon.
If you are interested in reading about another author’s self publishing experience, click here.