Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I will be a Published Author in 2015!!!

Hello, family, friends, and Blogosphere followers!

I have been so looking forward to writing this post for the past couple of months, and I am thrilled that I can finally share this exciting news with you. I have been very blessed to be given the opportunity to have my first children's book published with Ampersand Inc. This is the same publishing company that published children's books such as Goodnight NOLA and Goodnight Tigers. While there is still a lot of work to be done, and a lot of details to iron out, I am officially in the process of working on publishing what will hopefully be my first of many books. I want to share this journey with you guys, and I figured that my blog would be the best place to land all of the thoughts and details that go along with what is happening on the way.

The book will be called Fry 'Em Up, Fry 'Em Up, Beignet Man. It originated from my changing the words to the classic Mother Goose Pat-a-Cake nursery rhyme to include a NOLA theme for Eli. The story emerged from around that little song and basically centers on the experience that is eating beignets in New Orleans, from the sights you see to the sounds you hear. It will feature shout-outs to some local businesses, including Progressive Barge Line, Inc. and (hopefully) a popular local New Orleans beignet spot. ;)

I was put in touch with Ampersand through a connection enabled by a co-worker, and I was fortunate enough to meet with the owner of the company this past Saturday to discuss the future of Beignet Man as she was in town from Chicago to visit family. She is awesome, and I am very excited about working with her and getting the benefit of her many years of expertise in the publishing world as I go through this process.

Ampersand is a private publishing company, and this is very different than going the traditional publication route or independently publishing your work. (I will try to explain this to the best of my ability, but please note that I am still very new to this world and my vocabulary and vernacular may not be spot on.) Independent publishing is exactly what it sounds like. You author the book, illustrate it or have it illustrated, have it printed on your own, and take the book around to get it into the market. In traditional publishing, you typically get an agent for your work. The agent then presents your work to publication companies on your behalf in order to sell them your work. Once picked up, your work is owned by the publication company and you take a small commission on what is made from the book once printed. Private publishing sort of works the opposite way of traditional. Your work is presented to the publisher directly, and they can choose to accept or reject it. If accepted, they work with you on editing, illustrating, printing, and putting the book into the national market (Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc.). The major difference is that the author is still the owner of his or her work and the publication company makes a commission off of what is sold. In addition, because I still am the owner of the work, it will be my responsibility to pay for the printing of the book as well as get it into local businesses and markets.

After meeting with the publisher and as I move forward with this process, I am getting more and more excited about what is happening. We have finished the final edits and pagination of the manuscript of my work; we are working with a local artist on possibly illustrating the story; and once that is done, we will finalize the costs of publishing and begin that process. As a first printing can be quite expensive due to illustrator fees, print set up, and initial orders, I am planning on running a Kickstarter campaign to help offset the cost of the first publication. You can learn more about what Kickstarter is by clicking HERE! It is a terrific way for projects and products to get the financial backing they need to come to life. A local toy company called My Town Toy Company ran a very successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the launch of their first toy, the New Orleans Food Shapes puzzle. I will be sure to let you all know when that is up and running.

Please be praying for me in the coming weeks and months as things develop. 2015 is going to be a busy, wonderful, exciting year! God is doing some amazing things in my life, and I hope to glorify Him in all things, no matter the outcomes. Baby #2 on the way and a book in the works...I am very blessed!

In Christ Alone,