Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Getting Published

I got an email from my publisher yesterday, he wanted an author's blurb for the back page of my book. How exciting! I can't believe it is all finally happening!

This posting is for all you writers who have always dreamed of writing a book. The first, most important, thing to realize is that not everybody has that dream. It's only people that are meant to be author's that think "I should write a book about that" every time they hear about something interesting. Or who think "I could write better than that" when they read a book or article. That is a calling, so recognize and acknowledge it.

Then start writing. Even if you're not really sure what type of book you want to write, start writing and life will take you in the "write" direction. Write letters to the editor, blogs, articles, short stories or books and send them out to the universe and then listen to the feedback.

Motherhood was my catalyst. After 6 wonderful years of staying home and raising my kids, I started to search for what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was living on a Klondike gold mine where my husband was working and my son was reading the Magic Tree House series = an early chapter book about 2 kids who travel back in time. I loved the series too, so I decided to start a similar one set in Canada. Thus "Passing through the Yukon" was born. Shortly, thereafter, we moved to Australia where I continued to pursue my passion. I started my own children's writer' group, took writing courses and kept writing. Then, one weekend, at a cub scout camp where I was volunteering, I wrote "Harry the Hug Monster" = my first picture book. Wow, I had written 2 books...time to get published!

I got on the web and started looking for publishers and writing contests to send them to in Australia and Canada. I was tickled pink when Harry got short listed in a Canadian Writer's Union Children's book contest! After numerous rejection letters, I finally got a nibble. A small Canadian publisher wrote to say they loved Harry the Hug Monster! And they'd love to publish it...IF I lived in Canada so I could help promote it. Talk about good news/bad news. But, I took it all in stride and decided it was a sign that I should focus on Aussie publishers.

So I started a new series of children's chapter books based on Australian history and called it "Jinx Jinx Down Under". I started with a book about Ned Kelly and before I knew it had 3 books written in the series. But no bites from publishers. One day, while sub teaching a kindergarten class, I had another idea...a series of big books for each letter of the alphabet. I wrote 10 of them and sent them out. No bites. The excuse the publishers kept using was that my books didn't fit their plans for the year.

Then I found Blake Education Publishing. On their author's guidelines page they acutally specified exactly what they were looking for! They were looking for books for a new set of home readers they wanted to put out. I immediately went to the library, took out some of their old series, and rewrote Harry the Hug Monster and another short story I had to suit their style. Then I wrote one more for good luck. And I got them submitted a good week before their deadline.

A full year later, I was back in Canada visiting my folks when I got an email from Blake Education. They wanted to publish Harry the Hug Monster! I screamed in delight. It had taken 10 years, but I had never given up and my dream had finaly come true.

But it's just the beginning. I won't get rich from one book. At 7 percent royalties I'll be lucky to make 70 cents a book. But every school in Australia will probably buy at least one copy of the series, so I'm not complaining. The nicest part is knowing what I want to be and that I'm accomplishing it.

My life is a dream come true!

1 comment:

  1. You worked for it, you hung in there and you persevered. This is a great post for us to remember if we have a dream to keep trying, and if need be, make some changes and still keep trying.