How does an accountant for over 30 years decide to write a book? Sometimes change can come more suddenly than you think…
On an extended road trip in 2015, my family traveled to Glacier National Park. We love to visit the Parks, and feel fortunate living in Denver that we are within a 20-hour drive of over half the National Parks in the US! Stopping at the visitor center, I fell in love with a stuffed mountain goat – I had always been a sucker for stuffed animals. My kids were 18 and 16 at the time, so I bought him for myself and called him Jemaine. For the rest of our trip to Seattle, Vancouver, and back to Denver, Jemaine entertained us and kept us company.
A few years later and the company I was working for was sold – it was a great time to leave Accounting and try something new. I landed a job as a librarian in an elementary school, and loved reconnecting with all the old classics I voraciously read as a kid, as well as discovering new works to recommend. I realized that kids love both a good story (fiction) and learning new things (non-fiction), and that gave me an idea – why not write a children’s picture book that is a combination of both; a cute story filled with facts as well? I immediately thought of my travels with Jemaine, and realized that a book featuring a mountain goat who travels with his family would be a great way to teach kids about the National Parks, as well as to introduce them to adoption, friendship, family, love, etc.
As it turns out, many authors write about their own experiences – and our family vacation to Glacier was the spark. Now I have the concept, but I know nothing about writing or publishing a book – and I am no artist. To make a long story short, I met my illustrator somewhat by chance, who happened to also be a self-published author, had a marketing background, and had contacts in China to actually print the book and/or any other items I might think of to accompany it!
There is a big decision that an author must make when they are thinking about publishing and selling a book – do they go the conventional route, where you send a manuscript into a publisher, they may edit/revise it, they decide on the illustrator, and if they can sell your book, you get a small royalty. Or, you can decide to publish it yourself – and there are many ways to do this. But of course, you are floating all the costs of producing your book, paying for illustrations if you need them, and ultimately marketing and selling your book all on your own.
Although this is a major decision that should require patience, time, and research – I immediately decided to self-publish, and here I am today – with not one, but 2 books! The second book, Jemaine Makes a Friend, focuses on our own Rocky Mountain National Park.
Now, how about something for free? Click on the link for a park map poster, and check out the other (free) fun stuff for your kids on my website.
Never doubt how wonderful you truly are!
Jemaine had been waiting for what seemed like a lifetime for his big chance. Then one day, the Jones family walked into the gift shop at Glacier National Park and adopted Jemaine as a fur-fledged member of their family. Things would never be the same for any of them. Join Jemaine and his new family as they explore Glacier National Park, while learning fun facts about the park and its inhabitants.