Monday, March 7, 2016

Writing and Self Publishing a Book ~

I do not know why anyone writes except me, I write because I have a story to tell. The book has many voices and can be confusing. Natalie, the child who was abandoned by her mother; Ellen, the maternal grandmother raising Natalie; Pearl, the mother who left her daughter one hot summer night, and Robert Jr., the uncle who was always there to support his family. I knew this story had to be told.

While the snow fell, I was finishing my book. A process of 16 years to write and then came the editing. I never really understood how important editing was until I began this process. I realized I could not edit my own writing. After many friends had read the book and offered suggestions, I came to the conclusion the book was going to never become a reality until a decision was made to find a professional publishing company.

This took a few years to come to a decision. It was more about the finances.  I realized, just invest in your dream and do it.  In our family, we have a discussion before a  financial  decision is made.

 I emailed Amazon's publishing company Create Space. Within 24 hours, I was starting the path to self publishing.  I chose the full design team for my book. I had access to help 24 hours a day seven days a week. If I had a problem, I would call on the phone. They were there to help and help, they did.

I took the photograph of my grandchild, Maggie walking down our mountain road to meet a friend at the end of the road. My husband, the photographer, edited the photo for me and sent it to Create Space. Create Space sent the final version of the cover. The edited version came back. I spent a good six weeks editing the editing. Then the final book was emailed.  At this point, I was close to tears. Mama Left Me was really going to be published!

I received an author's proof in the mail. I held onto the book. It was real. Once the book arrived, I looked at it and then went to my author's page to push the publish button. Within 24 - 48 hours the book would be available in paper back. Kindle format came later.

Mama Left Me is available on Amazon. In Big Stone Gap, you can purchase a copy at the Tales of the Lonesome Pine, The Post, or The Southwest Virginia Museum. I carry copies with me wherever I go.

I will be in:
 Richmond, Virginia on March 30 - 31 for the Family Based Treatment-Va. Chapter Kinship and Foster Care Summit
April 9 Early Childhood Conference University of Virginia at Wise
April 17 Book Signing Southwest Virginia Museum

You just never know where your path will lead.

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