I am a published author! In 2011, I published my first book, Career Success in 12 Easy Steps: a Journal. In 2014, I published my second book, A Bisl of This, A Bisl of That: Eating Our Way. In 2017, I published my latest book, Living Well in Froggy’s World of Plenty: Sweet Talk to Read. At this rate, book four should be ready in 2020. Yikes! It’s almost time to consider a topic.
In the meantime, I’m going to write a talk that I can deliver to audiences, sharing my experiences authoring, publishing, and promoting my books. What will I say?
That depends on what audiences want to know. For now, I’ll put my imagination to work and think about one member of my audience—you.
Living Well in Froggy’s World of Plenty
You might like to know that before I started writing about Froggy and his critter friends, I could feel a book percolating. Then on Leap Year day, February 29, 2016, the bubbles surfaced. Froggy has a wart that one day is gone, gone, gone. He wasn’t sure how this happened. Froggy, Flutter By, Orchid, Sweetie B, Bobalong Bird, and their other critter friends would help me to explore and discover healing and wellness.
You might like to know that while writing about Froggy, I was ensconced in a happy place. I sat at the beautiful cherry writer’s desk that my woodworker brother built especially for me. Using a new laptop computer, I wrote in brief stints of maybe an hour or so before starting my workday. From the window at my left, I looked at the changing seasons and let the stories—30 or so slices of life—write themselves.
You might like to know that while writing about Froggy, it occurred to me that, if Mom were still alive, she would be 100 on May 28, 2017. That gave me a goal. Books would be in hand to distribute to family and friends who would gather on that day. I am happy to say, “Mission accomplished.”
A Bisl of This, A Bisl of That
You might like to know about the origins for this book—a combination cookbook, inspiration, and memoir. I called my cousin to wish her well on upcoming surgery. The worrying tone changed when I asked for one of Grandma’s famous recipes. “Let’s start a cookbook,” she suggested. “You send an email to all the cousins, with a copy to me, requesting favorite recipes,” I responded. And so it began.
You might like to know that a few recipes trickled in. Then a few more arrived. I forwarded all arriving emails so that the cousins and others could see how this project was taking shape. More recipes arrived as well as requests to include Larry’s Potato Latkes (pancakes), Aunt Jeanette’s Stuffed Cabbage, Mom’s Chocolate Sponge Cake, Grandma’s special Mile-High Lemon Meringue Pie. Stories accompanied the recipes and the requests—heartwarming remembrances of cooks and kitchens that continue to nourish and sustain.
You might like to know the requests have not stopped. “Where is the recipe for chicken soup?” “What, no challah (braided bread)?” “No half-moon cookies?” At book-signing events, I’m often asked to find a treasured recipe. “My Grandmother came from…and made the most delicious…” “My brother would be so happy if you could find our Great Aunt Sarah’s recipe for…” I do my best to find the sought-after recipe.
Career Success in 12 Easy Steps
You might like to know that I was spending too many hours in front of a computer, writing manuals for clients and managing a technical writing business. Working from a home-based office, I missed being with people. I remembered my teaching days and the exchanges that take place in classrooms and group settings. I wanted to get out more to talk and listen and created a plan to transition from here to there. Thus, a book was born.
You might like to know that I submitted my book proposal to three traditional publishers. A year later, with three rejections in hand, a chance encounter with a colleague familiar with my technical writing business said, “You don’t need a publisher. Just write your book and publish it!” And so I did.
You might like to know that one day I was at a community event, visiting the various displays. One table that caught my eye was about high school competitions for building robots. I had been wondering if Career Success might be appropriate for high schoolers, showed the robotics coach the proof copy I had with me, and asked for his opinion. He perused the book. We talked. Then he said, “I have a book budget and will buy a book for each member of my teams.” True to his word, he did just that. Selling 200 or so books in one fell swoop certainly caught my attention and helped my wallet.
Now you know some of the back story of my three books. What more do you think audiences would like to know about authors and their books?