Not For the Faint of Heart

The process

of moving from being an individual with an idea for a book to an author ready for publication is a trip.

One option is to hire an agent, send out query letters, and try to get signed by a major publisher.

My version of that was to Google Scholastic Books Publishing. My idea for my book format is slim, 6 by 9 inch, colorful paperbacks. Right up their alley!

Now, I do not agree with the monopoly they have on the educational distribution market. But I do appreciate the wide distribution market and often super low prices. After all, my goal is to get my books into the hands of struggling readers and special education teachers, right? Good plan.

Prison wall in cloudy day.Scholastic Publishing is apparently a locked vault inaccessible via my poor, lowly, Google. And that was as far as I was willing to go to put myself out there. No pavement pounding for me. I’m never going to be a person to ask others for approval. Rejection sucks!

INSTEAD of finding Scholastic Publishing

a page popped up for a self-publishing company. I hit the “I’m interested” button and made contact. Sometime that weekend, I spoke to someone called a “Publishing Consultant.” I pitched my idea of doing a bookset of, say, 5 books on a theme. Her reaction was the opposite of rejection, and her enthusiasm was what I was hoping for. Part of that is her job to get people to sign up, but it also felt genuine and gave me the boost I needed. To get out my credit card.

Did I mention that I had also already turned in my resignation from my job? The kind of job where I get paychecks? I did! Trial and error have taught me that I cannot teach special education full time and accomplish anything else. Some nights getting dinner made is a challenge! So I’m struggling with committing to this huge (really very big) expense while not actually making any money. Ultimately, I got my husband on board and decided to do it. I’m not getting any younger! Within 5 days of indicating my interest I was signed up to publish a set of 5 books.

As you may be able to see from the picture attached to this post, I have a VERY long list of ideas for book sets that I have been adding to for a couple of years. Originally, the list was on a napkin started when I had an idea at a restaurant I needed to remember. Sadly, I don’t remember exactly what my first idea was. I do remember the story of JM Barrie was one of the first, after seeing the musical Finding Neverland. I was also fascinated by the story of Clark Gable and Lenny Bluett, who worked together on civil rights issues in Hollywood.

Eventually, my napkin filled up and also got wet. Thus the transfer to paper, which has also filled up at this point. I also have an army of post-its from ideas generated while away from my yellow legal pad.  My point is that I want to highlight under-represented moments in history, accomplishments of diverse people and obscure events not a part of our regular historical dialogue. Both because it is interesting and necessary, and because THERE IS SO MUCH CONTENT! I can write hundreds of books! And that is my goal, to create abundant content for children to read.

The problem is, most of my themes or topics quickly multiply into many, many books and my first project is for only 5 books. So somehow, I ended up going with 5 books about white men. The History of… Depression Era Outlaws will be my inaugural project. Like I said, it has been a trip. Stay tuned for more of the subsequent events in my life trying to write my first book. You’ll be glad you did. It’s hilarious – in retrospect.

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