One year ago today, my first children’s picture book was published! Putting a book on the market is no small task. It takes a lot of research, dedication, hard work, passion, and, of course, financial resources to self-publish, but I had a dream in my heart and a desire to help children, and I wasn’t about to let anything stop me. You see, there were times in the years leading up to my book’s publication that I felt like “something” was trying to stop me, not with Angels, Angels, Everywhere, but with another book.
In 2010, I had written my first manuscript, a beautiful story to help children with grief. I felt a sense of urgency and wanted to get it into the marketplace as soon as possible. Unfortunately, that sense of urgency would be its demise because chasing my dream with impatience, worries, and fear was putting negative energy into the project, and I was receiving negative energy in return. As the law of attraction dictates, that negative energy was literally pushing the book away from manifestation. I hit “roadblocks” at every turn in the process, so I ultimately had to give up on that book for the time being, but I didn’t give up on my dream of self-publishing.
You may have heard the saying, “When one door closes, another one opens.” Well, that’s exactly what happened. During the time that I was struggling with those “roadblocks,” the angels were providing me with three different manuscripts of lovely poetry about angels.
In January of 2014, I had reached my wit's end and knew that I needed to move in a different direction. Since I was a big fan of Hay House, I decided (or was guided) to contact their self-publishing division, Balboa Press, to look into doing a book with them. I chose to publish the first of my “angel manuscripts.” Although it was going to be expensive, I knew I had to do it. You may have also heard the saying, “You have to spend money to make money.” I knew this was an investment in my future, and I felt great about it. I had a new lease on life … something to be hopeful about again … knowing I would have a book in my hands later in the year.
I was definitely following Divine guidance because everything started to fall into place with pure synchronicity after I made the decision to go with Balboa Press. I had complete creative control throughout the entire process, they selected the perfect illustrator, and I had my book in my hands in only nine months! It was like having a baby without morning sickness or labor pains! LOL I was overjoyed to see my book for sale on the Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Balboa Press bookstore websites. I was officially an author, and I was so proud of how my book turned out.
To market a book, you should have a social media presence, a website, and a blog, so I set up an Amazon author page and accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Writing a blog is something I never thought I’d do, but I actually love it. And only a couple of years ago, I thought social media was a complete waste of time. Now, I love that too! I’m addicted to posting inspirational and motivational words, and I even learned how to create my own “quote boxes” or memes.
I was guided to an awesome website designer who works almost exclusively with authors. Her name is Maddee James, and her website is xuni.com. Her work is unlike anything I've seen, and I was blown away by what she created for me. I’m so grateful to have found her.
Just a year after I had contacted Balboa Press, I found myself doing my first appearance at a local author event at the new library in my community. I read to children, sold books, and was part of a panel discussion. It was a great first experience with the public. That appearance led to another opportunity to read my book at a local children’s play center.
Next, I started submitting my book for awards. I was thrilled when I was notified that I was a finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards and even more thrilled when I won first place for poetry in the Purple Dragonfly Book Awards and received honorable mention in several categories including illustrations.
I was planning to send out a press release, but I was guided to Pump Up Your Book, an award-winning online book publicity company. I signed up for a three-month, 45-stop virtual book tour and had a blast! This summer, I did interviews, guest blog posts, had a Twitter party, and received many wonderful reviews. The owner, Dorothy Thompson, is amazing! She referred me to a book trailer producer who made me a fantastic marketing video. I had creative control over everything, and he was a joy to work with. I was having so much fun! That was the way it was supposed to be … fun!
Along with the fun, there was a bit of sadness. This year, I had to relinquish the company name and logo I had created for my original self-publishing venture. I had hoped I would still have time to produce two books under my company name during the year, but with the marketing of Angels, Angels, Everywhere, I didn’t have a lot of time to devote to the creation of two other books. With only a few months left to try to produce the books, I came to the realization that it wasn’t going to happen. I had this epiphany in the very place that the majority of my “light bulb moments” occurred – on the freeway in traffic. At the very moment that I decided I was okay with letting go of the company name and logo, I saw a truck that read “Michael’s.” I just knew it was Archangel Michael validating that I had made the right decision. I felt good about it. I no longer had any attachment to the name or logo. I had moved on.
One of the benefits of being a Balboa Press author is the opportunity to be a guest on the Hay House Radio show, “Bright New Voices: The Balboa Press Hour.” Hay House Publishing is the largest self-help publisher in the world, and they have millions of subscribers. When I received an email stating that everyone who did a radio spot would be eligible for a chance to be a part of the Hay House World Summit in 2016, I didn’t hesitate. On Friday, October 23, my interview aired for the first time. It will be replayed one more time and then will be archived for on demand listening.
This brings me to the present moment. What will I do next? I’m not quite sure yet. You’ll just have to stay tuned to find out.
With love, light, and angel blessings,