You’ve been hearing me talk about this book of mine for some time now. Some of you may have totally forgotten that I had this project in the works while others may simply think it’s a phantom we will never see.
First, the confession… yes, it took me a long time to do it. I’m one of those people they call “Quick Starts”… I have so many ideas and never enough time. And, I struggle with follow-through when the going gets rather tedious or mundane. So, while I loved collecting the surveys and talking to the teens and young adults, how I was going to put that all into a book for readers to enjoy… I took a while to figure that out. So long, that my first editor, Linda Dobson, had to go get a job and couldn’t wait any longer on me!! My family life is busy… whose isn’t? My kids are grown but we had weddings and babies and travel. My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimers and we moved her in with us (with her yappy little dog, Pepper.) And Ron had a heart attack just before Christmas and took early retirement in May. If you think that means he’s taking it easy, forget about THAT – he has projects and motorcycle trips and is requiring that I get up each morning and join him at the gym! Alyssa went back to work so we help with child care a few days each week.
So…. all those things were happening while I was trying to get this book finished. And then suddenly, my brain cleared and I had a plan. A wonderful, exciting layout for the book and I started to wrap it up. The first publisher I talked to about it told me she wouldn’t touch a book like I was writing. She called it a “Behemoth,” and said that her master’s program thesis was not as thorough as this. In fact, she asked if I wanted to save it FOR a Master’s thesis (or 2 or 3!). No. Thank you. She gave me some tips for self-publishing and I moved on.
Then I remembered someone I knew who had a publishing company with her husband. I spoke with them on the phone and they were delightful and enthusiastic. And local. I liked that.
So just before Christmas I sent it to them. I think they had no idea how much formatting would be involved, and the months dragged on. I don’t really know what happened to spring, other than that my grandson was born and I was distracted by that. I had hoped to have the book available at the Texas Unschoolers’ Conference in April. It didn’t happen.
So then we buckled down and made serious progress. The distant HSC Conference in August looked totally do-able.
And then, Mother Nature said, “Not so fast…” It began to rain. And rain. And rain. Spring in Texas had never been wetter. What does this have to do with book publishing, you may ask?
Well, my local publisher lived in a charming cabin in Wimberley, Texas. A truly picturesque setting. Big live oaks along the Blanco River.
But do you remember the news on Memorial Day Weekend? The Blanco River left it’s banks, destroying homes and lives. My publisher and his wife barely escaped that night. In fact, had they opened their back door to check on everything, they would have been swept away. Instead they went out the front and waded to safety. In the dark. While cars floated past. Scary.
Water rose in their home to 6 feet. The cabin stood against the water, but everything inside was ruined. Including the computer with my book file.
A Go Fund Me Account was set up to help them, and I’m including it here, clickable to the fundraiser. Feel free to donate – they are good people.
A week or so later, they took the computer to the repair shop and they were recovering 1% per day. Clearly, that was not going to work in time for the San Jose conference. So we went off an old email he had sent me and started over. From the beginning. But at least we had the visual plan all figured out.
I started finding awesome pictures of the survey respondents so we wouldn’t have to use all stock photos of teens. And we were back in the game!
Still the publisher had to work on my book while working on his own flood-related chores – of which there were many. And by the end of July, our overly optimistic ideas of being ready for the August conference were dashed.
What to do? I was speaking about the findings of the book and it would have been an AWESOME opportunity to sell the book. But there’s no arguing with reality. I wallowed in self-pity for a few minutes, ate a bunch of animal crackers dipped in a can of vanilla frosting, and then regrouped.
I brainstormed with a few people about what my options were. Then my brilliant son-in-law had a fabulous idea. Buy inexpensive thumb-drives and put the first 4 chapters of the book on each one. Then offer a thumb drive to people as a free thank you gift for pre-buying the book. YES!
So that’s where we are today.
The first 75 people to pre-buy my book, Homeschooled Teens will receive a free thumb drive with the Preface, Intro and 1st four chapters
as my way of thanking you for your support!
I will arrive at the HSC Conference hotel on Thursday and be there until Monday morning. You can find me 15 minutes before or after my 4 talks. If you follow me on Twitter (@Sue5), I will keep everyone updated on where I am and what I’m doing. Payment can be made in cash there or via Paypal. (I probably won’t have change, so just bring $20)
Now…. I have a bowl full of thumb drives to load…
so I’ll see you in San Jose!!
Thanks so much for being supportive.