I am a huge fan of Shark Tank and Kickstarter success stories, as it’s amazing how one idea/passion/lifelong dream motivates people to do incredible things. I too have a lifelong dream. Ever since I was a child, I have wanted to write a children’s book.
The perfect story came to me while I was pregnant with my second daughter. Even though I didn’t expect to be rich or famous overnight, I wasn’t quite prepared for the weeks of rejection either. I pitched my story to several agents, but didn’t hear anything back or would hear that they were only looking for writer/illustrator combos. Was it me?
I put my story away and thought my passion would just have to stay as a work in progress forever. Then, two things happened. I started learning more about others who successfully published their children’s books through Kindle (which I didn’t know there was a market for), and I read a children’s book by a famous TV personality. That book showed me that publishers are only interested in profiting off of big names, no matter how stupid the content is.
Dreams Take Risk and Action
After I realized I didn’t need to wait on an agent or publisher to make my book look exactly how I wanted it, I took action. I interviewed and hired an illustrator. One illustrator quoted me at $15-20,000 for the project! On the other spectrum, the cheap illustrators looked cheap and screamed “Indie Publisher!”. I ended up paying just under $3,000 for illustrations.
How Much Should You Pay to Make Your Dream Come True?
Paying $3,000 for illustrations for a self-published book is a risk. What if my book doesn’t sell? It came down to me asking myself three questions.
- How would I feel if I purchased the illustrations and didn’t make any sales?
- How would I feel if I didn’t do anything at all?
- What was the worst that could happen?
My answers boiled down to the fact that I would feel satisfied with my completed project, knowing it was the best representation of my dream. My true desire is not to make money or gain fame (though both would be nice), but to make my own dream come true. If I let the story sit in the drawer, I would just have regrets and doubt myself. The worse that would happen was that I paid $3,000 for a children’s book for my children. It would definitely make an interesting story over Christmas dinner each year.
What’s Your Dream? What’s Your Price?
Obviously, I don’t suggest you just throw money out this way in hopes your dream will come true. It is all about taking calculated risks and weighing the costs. Three thousand dollars is a lot of money, but it does not carry the same financial risk of taking out a $50K business loan or paying $40K for college.
If you have a dream or project that you just can’t shake off, stop ignoring it. I want to write several books in several genres, but the idea of a children’s book that I wrote just for my girls kept popping up into my head. It was then that I realized this idea wasn’t going away because subconsciously, it would lead to satisfaction and fulfillment.
Once you know what your dream project is, start pricing it out. How much is it going to take? Research others who were successful with similar projects and figure out how much they spent. Sometimes we need to take small financial risks and put in hard work to reap the benefits of feeling successful in our dreams.
If you would like to know more about my children’s book, How to Sell Your Sister for Fun and Profit, please visit my Kickstarter campaign.
What is the one dream or project you can’t get off your mind?