WHERE IT ALL STARTED
I have always enjoyed writing stories, but most of the writing I did in my earlier years was through English class assignments both in grade school as well as high school. English is my absolute favourite subject, but believe it or not, when I was a child, I had a very bad learning disability. I had tutors both at school as well as at home and both of my parents would sit with me and help me try to learn to read, but it just wasn’t sticking. I can remember during Library Time in grade school, I always chose to read the Beatrix Potter books, only I couldn’t read them; instead I made up stories by looking at the pictures.
One day, almost as if a light switch was flicked on, I was able to read and as well as spell, honestly, it was just like that. I was spelling out words I hadn’t learned yet for my particular age at the time that was considered beyond my comprehension. It certainly baffled many teachers that I was suddenly progressing further in English than the rest of my classmates.
Since then, English has been my favourite subject, as I mentioned above. So, I had this learning disability and when I was a kid, I felt as though most teachers didn’t treat me fairly and most of the teachers didn’t show support, even though my grades in English were in the high 90’s in high school, I again felt as though most of the teachers seemed to only notice that I was a student with a learning disability. I felt like I was treated like a lost cause. However, I chose not to listen or pay attention to those teachers because I knew that I was good reading and spelling and it was something that gave me great joy, especially spelling.
I NEVER FORGOT THE ENCOURAGEMENT FROM ONE TEACHER
I did have one teacher in particular, in high school whom was very supportive of my writing skills and always encouraged me to stick with it and to never my gift. Once I graduated high school though, I never wrote any more stories or pursued anything in English, but the encouraging words from that one English teacher stayed with me for years. In fact, in 2006 I took a home study course to learn how to write children’s books and the assigned story I wrote for the program became the story I used to starting seeking publishing with. The name of the manuscript was called, Amber and the
HOW I GOT MY FIRST BOOK PUBLISHED
This brings me to exactly how I got my book, my very first book published. Once I graduated from my home study program, I began looking online for a publisher. Some sites I found wanted me to mail my manuscript to them, while others wanted me to submit an online form. I received a lot of rejections. During my search I was noticing that a lot of the publishers were working through literary agencies. For thoughs unsure of that term, it’s an agent who edits manuscripts to the specifications of most publishers and then they basically send the manuscript around until a publishing firm shows interest in publishing the script. Well, I sent a few manuscripts out to literary agencies both online and via ‘snail mail’ and was rejected a lot there as well. Eventually, after a year I found a literary agent who showed interested and was willing to work with me. After working with the literary agency for approximately one year, they found a publisher interested in publishing my story.
The processes of getting my manuscript turned into a book were very lengthy; there was more editing, discussions about small changes and because my children’s book required pictures, there were a lot of discussions with the illustrators about each picture with regards to my vision and their interpretations, there were lots of approvals taking place on both sides and when it was finally all said and done, the whole procedure took approximately one year.
All together, everything from the moment I began my search to the publishing of my book took about three years (give or take). I have come across other published authors whose ventures took much less time, but for me on my first experience, it was a little longer. I don’t know if that’s average for a person’s first time.
WAHOO, MY BOOK WAS OFFICIALLY PUBLISHED!
As of September 2009, my first book, a children’s book was officially published. I was super excited, as I’m sure you can imagine.
I am Canadian and the publisher I found is American and they are a very small outfit. They don’t have a distributor, nor can I afford to pay for one myself. They released my book to the online bookstores; Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Chapters-Indigo. (I would like to make a clarification regarding Chapters-Indigo; a few people I have come across have gone to the Coles book stores to purchase my book and found out that it was not readily available on their shelves. As I understand from my publisher, not all books sold on the Chapters-Indigo online website are sold in the Coles book stores - I’m not exactly sure why it’s done this way, but there you have it). N.B. You can however, ask the Coles book stores to order my book for you).
MY BOOK IS ONLY AVAILABLE ONLINE BUT YOU CAN ORDER IT IN STORES
So, currently my book is technically only available online through my publisher’s website @ http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/AmberAndTheFallenBridge.html AND through the major online book stores mentioned above (Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Chapters-Indigo). This doesn’t mean to say though that you can’t go into ANY book store and order my book – you most certainly can. The more people order books not readily available on store shelves, the more the stores will stock their shelves because they will see there’s a need for those books and that they can profit from selling those books in their stores.
Because I don’t have a distributor, it’s up to me and only me to do the promoting/marketing for my book and I’m happy to do so, it just means more work and time, that’s all. I go to the local book stores in my community with my book and ask them if they will sell it for me and those who have so far, have sold my book on consignment. In my experience so far as a new published author, stores tend to prefer to sell a person’s book on consignment before deciding to add it to their inventory. I completely understand this because as much as I believe in my book and think it’s the bees knees, the book stores need to make sure they’re going to profit from it before deciding to commit or not. I buy copies of my book from my publisher and then I take predetermined copies to the stores that have agreed to sell them.
My hope, no, my goal is to see my children’s book and future books sold in stores nation, even worldwide as a part of the stores own inventories. Many very well known authors before me have gone through what I’m experiencing with my first book, and that is to shop my book around to stores and talk to anyone who is willing to listen until the masses catch on to it.
FANPAGES AND SOCIAL NETWORKS I’VE JOINED TO PROMOTE MY BOOK
I don’t have much money, so I’m doing things I can do to further promote my book as well as going to my local community. I have started a fan page on Facebook called, “Amber and the