Blog to support the book "Creatively Self-Employed: How Writers and Artists Deal with Career Ups and Downs" by Kristen Fischer

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Is it possible to find meaning in our day-to-day existence? Can wisdom be attained while we run errands, do the dishes and pay our bills? Ordinary Sparkling Moments, a joyful combination of the writing, collage and photography of Christine Mason Miller, explores these questions and more, celebrating the deeper truths that await our discovery in some of life's most mundane moments.

And I got to interview her! Read on to learn more about her latest creation!

Tell us about the new book. What's it about? Who is it geared to?
The book is about finding wisdom in everyday life. It is about realizing that we all have the answers to our deepest questions within the fabric of our own lives, within the tiny mundane details we experience each day. It was written for anyone interested in creating a passionate life, a life that reflects one's most important values and priorities.

That's awesome...I can feel the passion in your book already. So give us the lowdown on publishing. How did you start the process?
This has been an interesting journey, and, believe it or not, the most important aspect of the entire process of bringing this book to life. I was approached by a publisher last year who wanted me to submit a proposal. I created a proposal for Ordinary Sparkling Moments and the response was wonderful. The editor I had been working with was very complimentary and loved what I presented, but explained that her editorial board believed the market for books this "personal" had gone down in the last few years, so they were passing.

I was not devastated when this happened, as I decided before I sent the proposal that my goal was to create a proposal I was proud of, and beyond that it was out of my control. Even though I had a good attitude about this, after this initial rejection I was a bit paralyzed as to my next steps. I had solid leads on other editors, publishers and literary agents through friends who were also published authors, but I just couldn't bring myself to re-submit my proposal to anyone. Not because I feared rejection, but because I was still considering the idea of self-publishing.

After many months of being stuck trying to decide what to do, I finally made the decision to self-publish, and ever since then everything has clicked into place perfectly, astoundingly so. The fact that I am self-publishing is becoming one of the key elements of the book people are fascinated and inspired by. I have been writing about it on my blog and the response has been amazing. Not only are people interested in the process, but they are also eager to help me in any way they can with my promotions & publicity.

The story of this self-publishing process is actually becoming the epilogue of my book, the piece of this puzzle that has given it that extra special dose of depth and meaning.

I hear you on self-publishing. So now that you were on your own, how'd you pick the right resources?
I chose to work with the printer I used for all of my Swirly printing. I have had a relationship with them for over a decade and they do extraordinary work. Over the years I have worked with other printers for different projects and I have always regretted it.

The best advice someone would give in this situation would be to shop around and get a few different price quotes. I would still say this to anyone, but I will be honest and say I did not even bother for this project. My printer is not the cheapest and I know this. I could have found a less expensive printer or even gone overseas where it would have been a fraction of even the lowest cost in the states. But this project is so important to me and I know my printer will do everything they can to create a perfect book.

When I was struggling with feeling like I should shop around, it finally dawned on me that my priority was not just to make as much money as humanly possible. My priority was to create a beautiful book. Once I took the focus away from what I felt like I should do to my real priorities, it was an easy decision.

How long did it take you to create the book?
I have worked on the book on and off for a little over a year, but this is hardly working on it full time. During this time I've moved, traveled, created work for other art shows, etc. so it has been a work in process in the midst of a lot of other projects during this time.

Are you doing your own marketing--what resources have helped you with that?
My number one resource is my creative community. This tribe of incredible, creative women-- including YOU!!--is not only full of valuable insights, information and access to a wider audience, but they make me feel like I can pull off this crazy idea successfully. Without them this book would never happen.

What advice do you have for other creatives who want to publish a book?
DO IT. There are so many resources available to self-publish in so many ways. The world needs more stories like these--stories of making a dream real on our own terms.

What are you hoping people will get out of the book?
As far as the content of the book is concerned, I hope readers will learn that their own lives are full of all the wisdom they need to create a passionate life. I do not want to show readers that I have any special answers, I want to show them that they have the power, inspiration and wisdom within themselves.

As far as the book itself is concerned, I hope readers will learn that they don't always have to jump through the hoops they think they have to jump through to make a dream real. This was the key reason I decided to self-publish; to send this message.

I hear you! What's on the horizon for you as an artist--and now as an author?
Finish the book in the next three weeks and then get ready for the book release this fall!!

Thanks for sharing your wisdom, Christine! xoxo

link | posted by Kristen at 3:49 PM |

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