I want to thank Elizabeth Jade for contributing this post on her journey into publishing her first book to Inclusiveteach.com. Please support Elizabeth by sharing her story widely and consider buying a copy of Akea – The power of destiny.
I always knew I had a unique take on life, but I only found out two years ago, at the age of 18, that I had Aspergers Syndrome. By this time I was also struggling with mental health issues. Aside from working with animals over the years, another outlet for my anxiety and depression has been in writing stories. These stories would come pre-written in my head and fight at all hours of the night to make their way onto paper. In an attempt to boost my self-confidence, my mum decided to prove how good my stories were by finding me a publisher for my first children’s book ‘Akea – The Power of Destiny.’
Akea is a Siberian husky who was born into a family of sled dogs and a life which should have followed a predictable path, but from the day she first saw the wolf Kazakh, Akea knew her future lay beyond the safety of her home. She leaves her family and with the help of Kazakh and the wolf pack, she finds her inner wolf, but unexpectedly the pack turns on her, casting her out to fend for herself. Kazakh is well aware of the reason for the wolf packs animosity, but Akea’s destiny is clear and he must make sure she is in the right place at the right time, even if it costs him his life.
Buy Akea:The power of destiny here
Publishing looked a scary business. Major publishers only seemed interested in known authors, but there is so much to organise for self-publishing – beta readers, proof reader, editor and cover designer, to name just a few. To do it properly would require a lot of work, time and money. In the end, my mum approached some hybrid publishers. Some people view them as money grabbing con-artists because they ask for financial involvement from the author before starting on anything, but a proper proof reader and editor are going to cost something and there are a lot of books on the market that could have done with both of these. Yes, we came across some pushy money grabbers, but finally we chose a small hybrid publisher who took time to talk and explain the process when we needed it.
We couldn’t afford the publishing company’s illustrator, but the publisher was happy for us to source these ourselves. My mum posted in a number Facebook groups, asking if anyone would be interested in expanding their portfolios and offering a reduced fee in exchange. We had some wonderful sketches back, but the one provided by Anthony Wallis had something special about it and he agreed to provide ten pencil illustrations at half his usual rate.
Marketing is a challenge for any author, but for me it’s virtually impossible. I can’t handle any of the personal appearance methods; to be honest, I’m not up to any marketing and again it’s something my mum plays a big part in. Through her social media efforts we have come across some great advice and some equally great people. We have been given the opportunity to include ‘Akea’ in a new magazine for parents that’s being sent out via schools, been helped to set up a newsletter to try and build an audience ready for my second adventure for Akea, and shown how to approach newspapers in a way that is more likely to get me featured.
I recently met another Aspie Author whose mum also supports her with publishing and I am sure there are many others who, with the right support, are realising their dream of sharing their imagination with others through publishing.
Buy Akea:The power of destiny here