Book Title: Freddy, Hoppie and the Eyeglasses
Genre: Early Reader
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published. Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Michelle: I've wanted to be an author ever since I was in elementary school. But, life sometimes takes you on a more winding path than expected. For that reason, I did not start getting really serious about writing and publishing until about six years ago.
This particular book stemmed from my daughter's experience with having to get glasses. This is not at all her story, but her experience inspired me to write it for other children who may be having troubles or an experience that could be difficult to talk about.
Is this your first book?
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Michelle: I chose traditional publishing. I was already busy enough writing and being a mother of two young children. I did not have the means, nor the desire, to wear all the hats necessary to self-publish.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey? The pros and cons?
Michelle: My publishing journey for this particular book was quite straight-forward. One of my critique partners had read a couple revisions of this story and commented that it was the type of manuscript her editor appreciated. So, I sent it to Guardian Angel Publishing. The editor, Lynda Burch, requested a revision (tightening, change of POV). Once she re-read the manuscript with the changes, she offered me a contract. I suppose a pro with going with a small press is that I have very freindly and frequent correspondence with my editor. I can send her an email about an idea and she always gets back to me in a timely manner.
For my other manuscripts, I have queried many (MANY) agents. I am very pleased to have recently signed with Essie White at Storm Literary Agency. I feel that a huge pro with having an agent is the confidence that comes from someone championing my work to others and looking out for my best interest in the publishing world. Essie, in particular, is an all-around great person to know who cares deeply about children's literacy and getting great books in little hands.
In either case, I can't think of any cons. Publishing is a subjective business and everyone's journey is unique to them.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Michelle: I've learned patience. From signed contract to actual book takes years!
I've learned that I must believe in myself. As everyone knows how subjective a business publishing is, it can be very depressing when rejection letters and “near-misses” (I loved it but...) arrive in one's inbox. If I hadn't believed in my craft and the stories I felt needed told, I would have given up years ago.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Michelle: I think every author must choose the path that fits them best. I was happy to first publish with a small press, to see what publishing entails (the marketing, the publicity, the networking, etc.)
I certainly would not discourage any one from publishing with a small press.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Michelle: If you feel deep down in your gut that you must write, as much as you must breath and eat, do not let any circumstances stop you. There are good days and bad, as with life in general. But the good days do make up for the bad days along the way. The biggest reward is never giving up, never having to say, “I wish I had...”