Liza Fenech is part of a small group of indie authors who have won Gittle List awards for multiple books. She is the only one to land on The Gittle List for two books in the same series in the same year! (Read Aviva’s reviews.)
How did it feel to win a spot on The Gittle List? What was your first thought after hearing the news? It was so exciting to learn that I won not just once, but twice! I was quite a shock!
What is your favorite children’s book? This is always changing but at the moment it is You Nest Here With Me by by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple.
Why did you decide to self-publish? I have been traditionally published as well as self published. Creating the content for self published books is a little harder. I am always curious about different ways to tell visual stories and self publishing definitely lends itself to that exploration. Learning to wear all the different hats needed (editing, marketing, printing, distribution, etc) has been a big challenge and one I am still working on. I see a great deal of promise however in both self publishing and working with small independent publishers.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? My mother gave me the best advice I have ever received when I was a cranky 12 year old fussing about ‘working so hard’ studying. She took a deep breath and with all the love in the world said, “I love you Liza, but you have never worked hard day in your life.” I think of it almost everyday and it motivates me to be self aware about how hard I really am (or aren’t) working.
The path for a commercially successful book and a book that is just as you envisioned it are not the same.
What do you do to market your books? I use the paid promotion tools on KDP, Facebook, and Pinterest. I have worked with social media influencers and bloggers to promote books. I post about them on social media. Entering The Gittle List Book Competition is a new one to add to the list as well.
Any advice for writers thinking about self-publishing a children’s picture book? Know what your goals are. The path for a commercially successful book and a book that is just as you envisioned it are not the same. There is a lot of continuous honesty and self awareness needed.
Liza Fenech is an illustrator, graphic designer, and product designer (BFA in Illustration from Rochester Institute of Technology; AA in graphic design). She spent three years in fashion design before turning to illustration full time. Liza uses digital tools and hand drawing to create illustrations with a soft, humorous sensibility. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, three year old daughter, and Great Dane.
Learn more about Liza: