The Price of Storytelling

When Tanji Dewberry learned a loved one was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) she did something more powerful than panicking; she plotted. After a bit of research, a lot of doctors appointments and a oversized dosage of faith, Dewberry was able to gain a better understanding of the condition and how to support her family. Additionally, she realized she wasn’t the only person struggling to learn more about the diagnosis and how it impacts behavior. So the New Jersey-based entrepreneur cobbled all of her talents together and created a life skills picture book, Oh Fiddlesticks!, that focuses on teaching youngsters and adults healthy ways to deal with emotions and anger. Like many writers today, she also elected to self-publish and promote the book. JET asked this mighty mother to give tips on what self publishers should have in place financially and strategically when electing to tell their stories.

Dewberry Lists the Four Expenses Every Self Publisher Should Expect:

1. Business Set-Up – After you determine the name and structure of your business you must become a legal entity by registering with the government. (Budget: Approximately $500)

2. Creating the Product- Once you’ve compiled all of the text and illustrations for your book you need to partner with a company that will create the finished product. There are many manufacturers who work with self publishers (ex. Before you approach a company determine what services you need, and don’t need, to avoid paying extra for specialty products. (Budget: Approximately $10,000)

3. Distributing Your Book – Partnering with a great distributor, the company that will get your book to retailers such as, is key. Your distributor may also warehouse your book for shipping. Your fees will depend on the level of service you select. (Budget: Approximately $300)

4. Promoting and Marketing Your Book – It doesn’t matter how great your book is if no one knows about it. As a self publisher you are responsible for getting the word out about your product. That typically entails hiring a publicist, creating promotional materials and participating in events. (Budget: Approximately $6,000)

Buy a copy of Dewberry’s book at

Writer Tanji Dewberry

Writer Tanji Dewberry