I found a folder with 50 or more emails from 1999 to 2000. I was not equipped to respond favorably to all of the submission and query letters. As I read through the emails again, I wondered if they ever found a publisher to take on their project. I even searched on Google for one.
Her name was Maria. No last name, just Maria. She was from Russia. She enclosed the title and identified 23 chapters. She was also seeking asylum. There were a number of books with similar sub-titles but not by an author named Maria.
I received an email from a poet in his seventies. I wondered if he lived a long and healthy life and if he was still waiting for his book of 100 poems to be published.
The following is an excerpt from that article. If you have read it before, just skip past it to the # # #.
Writer Gets Creative About Publishing
(Excerpted from a Philadelphia Inquirer column by Ewart Rouse, “In Business,” 12/21/99.)
After too many rejections of her manuscripts by mainstream publishers, aspiring writer Deborah Karper of Voorhees, NJ was toying with the idea of self-publishing her fiction when she met Gary La Forest.
LaForest, a Philadelphia resident . . . had been managing the speaking tours of Dave Goerlitz, who was RJ Reynolds’ leading Winston Man between 1980 and 1986 and is now an anti-tobacco activist. He had been trying without success to get publishers interested in a book on Goerlitz, the “golden boy” in those ubiquitous billboard ads.
Karper found Goerlitz’ story so compelling that she promptly launched Gladstone Publishing. . . “My intention was to go off and write and publish my own stories, but it was an opportunity to help Gary and Dave get their book out,” Karper said.
Karper has not stopped there. . . . She was back at the printer, going over proofs of a second manuscript, NO NONSENSE, NATHAN!, a children’s book by a business associate, Paula Nolte. Like LaForest, Nolte had shopped around her book to publishers, but received no takers. Karper liked the story and the illustrations, and a first run of 2,000 copies is set. . .
. . .”I want to do about 10 books a year, all children’s books,” Karper said. “Where would I find my writers? In supermarkets, daycare centers, on the bus, the Web . . . I’ve gotten 5 manuscripts from people who have seen our website. . .”
. . . Future books will be edited by LaForest, who has helped a number of public figures, including the Winston Man, write and sell their stories, and Karper will hire other professional editors.
. . . She has the full backing of her husband Donald, who is an engineer. In fact, it was Donald who landed her next writer — Iris Calaci, formerly of Voorhees, now of Florida.
The book, MATTHEW MOUSE, is one of the 10 books she plans to publish next year. It is a “diversity story” about a church mouse who learns to get along with Christian, the cat. A sequel, in which Matthew and Christian take off for the big city, is planned.
Karper, who is African American, said she also hoped to team up with LaForest to nurture and publish young African American writers in this region. The market for books about African Americans is estimated at $320 million annually in retail sales.
This, LaForest said, is something he is looking forward to. “I know there is poetry out there,” he said, referring to the quality, not the type of writing. “They are trying to get stuff done, and they don’t have many outlets.”
Karper works full time at both Gladstone and Direct Konnections (her computer consulting firm she founded 15 years ago.) She said she hoped to get Gladstone to a point, conceivably in 2 years, where she would not need the income from Direct Konnections to support it.
At that time, Karper hopes, she will be able to go back to her postponed dream of becoming a published author.
# # #
I was surprised at the speed in which Gladstone Publishing Services became a public name. I won’t say household name, but for the individuals who sought my services, Gladstone was a beacon in the storm.
Some of what is not in this excerpt is the quote from a seasoned book reviewer. He called me a “California Dreamer”. He said I was the type of person who thought they could make something work just because they dreamed it. Well all I have to say is, fifteen years later, I am still dreaming and working to help others achieve their dream.
From this article, I met Dr. Donald Morse, a dentist and his associate Dr. Marvin Herring, a medical doctor who submitted a query for “It’s a Zoo Out There”. We ended up publishing “Animal Talk: An Illustrated Workbook of Animal Sayings”. It was Dr. Morse’s vision to bring this workbook to ESL teaching programs and Senior Living Facilities. The illustrations were deemed unprofessional by a reviewer; nevertheless the book is a jewel.
My time with Dr. Morse was life changing. I learned more about editing illustrated books from his project than any other project that came across my desk. I also learned about being youthful regardless of my chronological age. Here is a link to an article from Life Extension Magazine. He was a body building champion at the age of 74. Just another influence in who I am today. Not a body builder, but someone who is not on any prescription medicine and young in my mental and emotional outlook on life. I am so thankful for the people God has placed in my life along this journey.