I have wanted for some time now to write and illustrate a children's book. How realistic is it to self publish? I have no business background in this at all, and would expect to make a loss initially. What options are available to the individual in terms of marketing & selling these books (of course, I realise it depends on quality, but that aside).
Is it advisable to approach prospective publishers, or to build a portfolio first? Is it possible to self-publish and then approach a company that markets these things, or is it at all advisable to attempt the whole thing single handed?
My first degree (many years ago now) was in sculpture, and I have a good working knowledge of the publishing process, having worked as a graphic designer for a few years (albeit limited to the publishing of pamphlets, posters and the like), so feel quite comfortable with both the hand-drawn illustration part, and the production side of things.
I know that a few authors/illustrators have done just this (Lauren Child, Tommie dePaula, etc.), but I don't know what route they took in terms of the business side of things.
Please excuse the naive nature of this question, but I was rather hoping someone could shed some light / offer advice on the matter.
Many thanks in advance.