Sunday, October 19, 2008
Got a story? Write it, publish it!
My dear friend, Peter H. Reynolds, has a great blog called The Stellar Cafe. He recently wrote a very inspiring article, Stories Wanted, on his blog encouraging, almost daring, people to take the plunge and write that story they've always been meaning to write, or wanted to write but weren't sure if they could, or weren't sure if anyone would be interested (I'm sure the excuses could be lengthy). I posted a comment in response to Peter's "Stories Wanted" article, and after I was done decided my response would be a fitting blog article for CanDoozle, so here it is:
They say that invention is born from necessity, and I think children's books are born that way sometimes as well! About 5 or 6 years ago I was working with three first grade girls who were deeply entwined a friendship triangle - two girls unable to share the third. I searched and couldn't find a children's book on the topic, so I fired up my trusty Wacom tablet and Flash program, and created (wrote and illustrated) my own story! I made a print copy with my printer, but also created an online version that my students could read at home with their parents. However, as it turns out, many educators found the online version of my story over the past five years, and many emailed me to ask if there was a print version of the book available for purchase. I started sending my manuscript around to "traditional" publishers for a couple of years, without any luck, while still receiving emails from very eager and interested educators. At some point not long ago, Peter mentioned Lulu.com to me, so I investigated, and publishing my story, Sharing Friends, via Lulu.com was my summer project this year... in other words, it's "What I did this summer." I have to say, it's was a mighty exiting moment to hold the first copy of my book in my hands! So, yes, not only should you take the plunge and write that story, but there are many ways to "publish" these days - from online versions that you can post on a Web site yourself, to self publishing via a "Print On Demand" (POD) company like Lulu.com, for one.
My advice? Go for it!
p.s. My story, Sharing Friends, is at http://www.lulu.com/sharingfriends, if anyone wants to take a peek. And/or you can check out the original online version at http://www.falmouthschools.org/k2counseling/SharingFriends.html (I did revise/polish the story a bit before publishing the printed version - fine tuned, tweaked, etc... but it's very much the same story).