Although it is becoming more common, self-publishing a picture book seems daunting! How did you come to this decision?
The decision to self publish was determined after my husband and I did much homework on the pros and cons. As a freelance artist for over 25 years, who had published my own prints and a line of greeting cards, I was already familiar with the task of self-publishing. Through the years, I had built up a clientele for my art and knew I had an outlet to sell my books. I didn't like the odds of waiting for a mainstream publisher to give me the heads up on my books, I preferred to do it my own way. That meant I was free to choose my books size, paper,binding, embossing, etc, etc.
Naturally, publishing a book is much more involved than publishing a greeting card, but we learned a lot with that first book, ten years ago. Printing becomes easier with each new book and although I have finished only 3 books thus far, we have printed 15 times, with 55,000 books out there in the world.
You started self publishing ten years ago. How has the process changed?
A lot more people are self-publishing these days, and I think there are more options for new authors who want to test the waters.
You are an writer/illustrator. Do you have any advice for picture book writers who are not illustrators, but would like to self publish?
I am often approached by authors who want me to illustrate for them, but I don't do that. It takes me 2 years to complete the art for one of my books and since mine is a series, I cannot take the time to illustrate for anyone else. My suggestion to them is to find the best artist you can afford,( a good artist will be expensive, but you must have good art in your book!) Look online at artist portfolios, or go to your local community college for an enthusiastic young artist who may be thrilled about illustrating for you.Be fair in your payment to the artist, and realize that it is the art, that sells your book. No one knows how good your story is at first glance, they only have your book cover to go by.
Hopalong Jack and the Blue Bunnies is your first book. Of the three that are written, which is your favorite?
I am often asked which is my favorite book and my answer is, ALL OF THEM!, but for different reasons; one has my favorite illustrations, another, The Journey of Bushky Bushybottom, is the most fun to read out loud, and the latest, Mamsey Bear and Mopkin,
features my best writing,
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on two books at a time, one is an illustrated garden book and another is a pocket size picture book. The small book is a novelty for me, since all my storybooks thus far have been very large books, 36 pages and 12" square.
To learn more about Jeri Landers and her books, go to