Self-publishing road to success for kids authors

<p>Children&#39;s authors are increasingly turning to self-publishing in order to break into the market as it becomes harder to find an agent.</p><p>A number of authors have turned to self-publishing sites or other opportunities to showcase their work such as the Arts Council-funded site YouWriteOn.com. Victoria Bennion&#39;s <em>The Legend of the Golden Carp </em>was published by YouWriteOn.com in a project supported by Legend Press. Bennion said she found it very difficult to find a publisher for her book despite it being &quot;quite an old-fashioned story&quot;.&nbsp; She is now planning to use a self-publishing approach to attract a mainstream publisher or agent. </p><p>Amherst Publishing has its own self-publishing division. Director Roger Wickham confirmed the trend that as finding an agent has become more difficult, authors are &quot;more willing&quot; to publish their books themselves.</p><p>Agent Caroline Sheldon has said it is possible for authors to attract agents through self-publishing and has taken on a couple of self-published authors herself, including G P Taylor (<em>Shadowmancer</em>). She said: &quot;I now look for authors and illustrators who I can sense have a career ahead of them in children&#39;s publishing, which may also include film and TV work. It is hard for newcomers to demonstrate that.&quot;</p><p>But she added: &quot;While many are very enterprising, it is unbelievably tough to get a self-published novel into bookstores.&quot;</p><p>This was backed up by Frank Hinks, who writes and illustrates the Ramion series (Perronet Press). He said: &quot;In today&#39;s climate, retailers prefer well-known names and are less willing to risk a small, independent publisher.&quot; He is now using digital resources to help sell his books online at www.ramion-books.com. </p>