So…. Things slowed down in the writing department. I did write a second novel, and have been trying to shop it to agents. There has been strong interest, but still no bite. I haven't given up, but I'm taking a break. The constant rejections are tough to take.
Quite a few years ago, I wrote a children's book about the winter solstice. I really liked the book - it also had some strong interest when I shopped it to agents, but again, no bite. It's in prose, which is a little bit of a hard sell right now. One publisher I applied to directly loved it, but they were worried that since it took place in Central Asia, they weren't going to be able to find an illustrator who would make accurate depictions of the people and environment. I so went into Internetland and found one. And ever since then, I cannot imagine this story without envisioning her artwork.
But it costs a lot of money to pay an illustrator.
But I couldn't stop thinking about it.
When I ran the idea past Levent, my sounding board and best advisor, he suggested that I run a Kickstarter campaign to fund self publication and illustrations. Best. Idea. Ever. A Kickstarter campaign will both help me gather some financial support and help me publicize the book. Kickstarter takes 8-10% of the money you gather, but in return you get great publicity and help in small amounts from friends, family, and also strangers. Above a certain donation amount, funders will also receive a copy of the book (or two, or three, depending on how much they donate).
After this brilliant idea was planted in my head, I had to ask the illustrator if she'd be interested in working with me on this. She had a baby a couple of months ago, so I anticipated rejection and also put up a job offer in Elance to see what other illustrators were out there and what they would charge. There are some awesome - and awful - illustrators out there. BUT my first choice illustrator (I won't mention her name yet) accepted the project, so it's a go!!!
I'm working on final revisions of the text, and we're working together to design the cover so that we can begin the campaign.
I plan to get the book reviewed and also promoted by Kirkus this time around, and really do a promotion blitz. I'll also apply for prizes and awards. There are so many out there, and I have to believe that this book will stand a chance. Believe it or not, lots of awards go unawarded because they don't get applications.
This book is not going to make me rich. Rich authors are few and far between (much to Levent's chagrin). But I really do believe that my story combined with the amazing illustrations (they will be amazing, trust me) will be read to children at bedtime in the winter, when the days are dark and short, and the nights are darker and long. I'll keep you all posted on the progress!