SURPRISINGLY . . .

It’s the last week of the Author Blog Challenge, and I reviewed my ‘lineup’ today and found I am missing three posts!  So I’m filling in the blanks: Days 17, 23 and 29.. 

DAY 17 What has been the biggest surprise about writing/publishing your book? What has been the most enjoyable or most memorable aspect?

When I began my career in adoptions, I wanted to write a book about pregnancy for a woman planning an adoption. I remembered my first pregnancy, and my favorite book. I wore out the cover and thumbed the pages until they were marked in grime, especially the chapter that told about fetal development! And I gave it away, later, to someone else experiencing her first pregnancy.

I searched until I found a copy of that book (I think it was called Your Baby and You); I read it with my clients in mind. The book begins with the excitement of choosing a layette and painting the nursery – as a couple! It talked about attending childbirth classes with your husband! Yikes! That would only remind my clients of what she did not have! This would never do!

I was only a year into pregnancy counseling in 1980, when Jeanne Warren Lindsey’s book, Pregnant Too Soon came out. Jeanne was the teacher/principal of a teen pregnancy program in Los Cerritos, CA., and Pregnant Too Soon addressed the issue of teen mothers in a school-based program making an adoption plan for her baby. It was an attempt to de-vilify the few teens in the 1980s who chose adoption for their babies.

I wished I had written that book! I wrote to the author to tell her so, and Jeanne wrote back that it was her first fan letter. I even pitched my book to her publishing team, Morning Glory Press, for Jeanne was a pioneer in self-publishing. Although she encouraged me to address the issue, she wasn’t prepared to publish it.

I set aside my idea of writing a pregnancy book for someone planning adoption. Over the years there would be books written for pregnancy for single women who planned to parent. Every time I checked the index for those books, the word adoption did not appear.

I delayed publishing my book for years because I thought I had to:

  1. Convince a publisher to take a chance on me, an unknown writer.
  2. Set aside $5,000 to $20,000 to get it published, printed and distributed.

Then, in 2005 thanks to Phoenix Publishing and Book Marketing Meetup, I learned about self-publishing, and the most surprising thing is: it isn’t hard or overly expensive to self-publish and print a book!

Most people who write have the computer skills necessary to get a book ready for printing; if not, they can hire someone to bring the book to that level. The costs of self-publishing are not prohibitive. You can form your own publishing company. You can purchase your own ISBN (the barcode number that identifies your book and your book alone), or the company that publishes your book will supply it.

So, if you have a book that you want to write, go for it! You’ll have to make decisions about how many copies you will print. The more you print, the less expensive the cost. But an advantage of self-publishing is that you can rewrite the book between printings.

But if someone wants to write a book of family stories to share with children and grandchildren, it’s not hard (or expensive) to do.

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