I was suffering with bad depression, too scared to leave the house alone; I felt my life was worthless, until one day a friend suggested I get a dog.
I know, what has this got to do with writing a book?
In my case everything. I adopted a husky/malamute cross from my local animal shelter. She was a year and a half old. Her name is Kia.
As you can imagine a young pup like Kia would need plenty of exercise, so out we would go, she is a very sociable girl and we met a lot of new people as we went for our walks. I had overcome my fears to give Kia a good life.
In the evenings I would sit and tell Kia stories about the adventures we were having, she would listen and seemed to enjoy them. My friend suggested I write these adventures down; “The Adventures of Kia, the Husky Princess” was born.
We spent the next year writing and perfecting the story, in the meantime I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.
I knew then that I would never get back into a “normal” job. I needed to do something I could work around my illness.
Google became my new best friend as I researched my options to get my book in print. Traditional publishers accept very few manuscripts, you really need an agent. Agents accept very few new clients; they want a proven author rather than take a chance on an unknown.
I had two choices; drown in despair or make it on my own. Option one did not appeal to me.
A few good friends became my editors, beta readers and harshest critics, if I was going to do this I had to do it properly. Money was tight, so vanity publishers were not an option.
My job as a writer on this project was over, a change of hats and I began to format my book, ready to send to a printer. Next, I became my promotor; I needed to let people know about my book. Again bookshops want known authors, time to think outside the box.
I decided to go back to school. I mean that literally, I contacted schools and offered my services, reading my book and explaining about being an author. I secured readings in various venues, including a fun historical centre/farm, petting zoos and family friendly pubs.
From there I branched out to host storyteller birthday parties.
My first book was a success, not only did I break even with my costs…… I made a little!
I managed to keep up with the demands on my time, and started thinking; I can’t always do what I want to because of ill health.
How many kids are missing out? I contacted local children’s hospitals and hospices to arrange visits. Kia and I went along; I felt like a best seller and millionaire all rolled into one, seeing the happy smiling faces, knowing that we had helped put the smiles there.
I would continue writing and telling stories just to see those happy wee faces.
The word was out about my book, I was stocked in shops and online. I could even google myself.
My main task now is to keep a positive social media profile. If publishers or agents are interested in your work the first place they will look at is your social media. Any press coverage, scan it and put it online.
I am my product, I have to promote and sell myself.
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