This month I’m delighted to chat to independent author Anne Parsons who’s just published her second chapter book featuring charming Archie, the family dog with jumping skills and lots more. I worked with Anne as an editor and mentor so I feel I know Archie very well! Thank you for sharing your insights into self-publishing, Anne.
What inspired your project?
I started writing for children when I became a governor at a local primary school, about five years ago. I volunteered to help children with their reading, and this inspired me to write my first book. I am enthusiastic about children learning to read independently as young as possible – the ability to read provides so many benefits for them.
The story is based on the adventures of my dog, an Airedale Terrier, who sadly passed away. I have many fond memories of him, so I decided to see if I could write about his adventures, using dog agility as the theme.
What was your biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge was expressing these memories in a meaningful way for children aged 6-9 years, showing them how to overcome life’s little challenges.
What’s your favourite aspect of the book?
I have two favourite aspects. The first is Archie’s determination to overcome the challenges he faces to continue his quest as a jumping champion. The second is the encounter with Betty and George and overcoming the challenge of homelessness through the friendship of Archie and his family.
What have you learned along the way?
I have learned more about self- publishing. With this second book I have spent more time on presentation and production. The final product needs to please a variety of audiences. Paramount is your readership, but it needs to appeal to both independent and online bookshops to sell well.
Top tips for debut writers?
Self- publishing is not easy, but I do get a buzz from self-promotion, via lovely visits to schools and libraries, storytelling and running workshops. Don’t be afraid to start writing, at any age. You may surprise yourself!