At the start, my writing partner and I self-published our books. Not knowing anything, I designed the entire thing in Microsoft Word and used print-on-demand through Amazon.
The experience was stressful, and it took us a few weeks to realize we were losing money because we priced too low and didn't account for shipping costs.
We searched for cheaper ways to print and easier ways to publish.
This was how we met our partner publisher, Heather. She helped edit and design the books and connected us with a Canadian printer.
The investment paid off. The book was nominated for awards and won a few of them.
Fast forward to today. We remain with Heather, but we are looking at print-on-demand again. The printing costs are down and help us get our books to international readers.
It feels weird to be returning to old ideas that failed us, but not the same. This time we've got Heather on our side, who continues to make our books look good and advises us through each step. We couldn't have met her without taking the path we did.
The other point is that when you begin, experiment with all ideas. Try all possibilities—even if they are ones you rejected in the past—especially when the current approach isn't working