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Room to Grow

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Recently we were given a real treat when we sat down at a breakfast event called “Celebrating Inspirational Women and Mothers” at the Four Seasons Boston. The gathering, which raised money for the charity Room to Grow, featured a panel of women from Bill Brett and Kerry Brett’s book Boston, Inspirational Women. As the publishers of this new release, we felt we knew these women well. After all, we spent months poring over their images and bios, fact checking on their websites, and eventually meeting many of them face to face at social gatherings to highlight the book. As the book’s descriptions tout, their philanthropic and business accomplishments are impressive; These women truly are inspiring.

But at the breakfast, we got to see the true essence of these women and learn about them on a more personal level, beyond their titles and achievements. Trish Karter, founder of Dancing Deer Baking Co., showed her quick wit and eloquence while remaining down to earth and humble. Mary L. Reed, who leads the Bessie Tartt Wilson Initiative for Children, demonstrated her calm demeanor and talked about how she gathered her strength from her mother. Harriet Lewis, owner of Grand Circle Corporation, revealed her soft side, showing true tenderness when talking about her kids and her fears. Wendy Semonian Eppich, publisher of The Improper Bostonian, displayed her vulnerability and also her sense of humor. And Joanne Jaxtimer, of BNY Mellon/New England, gave credit where credit is due to her husband, but it was clear from listening to her what a strong mom and woman she is. Carol Beggy and Linda Holliday acted as co-chairs of the event, and Mary Richardson was the moderator moderator.

As busy women trying to juggle the challenges and blisses of running a business and managing homes, marriages and children, we appreciated the honesty and humility that these powerful women brought to the panel discussion. It was their openness and humor that made us want, more than ever, to aspire to be inspirational ourselves. We thank them for sharing their insights.

www.roomtogrow.org

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Our Clients are Making it Happen!

Author Kathleen Flaherty and illustrator Jen Donehey are raising funds on kickstarter.com in the hopes of printing their wonderful new children’s book “An Octopus Named Mom” in the USA. Check out their story, see Jen at work on a watercolor in her studio and get caught up in their enthusiasm. We know we are! And, if you feel so compelled, you can make a donation (even a buck is okay), pre-order a signed copy or get a framed illustration to help get them closer to their goal.

5 Self-Publishing Myths Debunked

It’s an exciting time to be an author. The emergence of e-books, print-on-demand technology and the prevalence of self-publishing are radically changing the face of the publishing industry, and bringing new opportunities to writers. Though there’s no denying the success of J.K. Rowling types who have hit pay dirt going the traditional route, this is no longer the only way to roll. Given the new trends in the industry, we say it’s time to let go of the “old” way of thinking, and good-bye to some of self-publishing’s biggest misconceptions.

#1. Only writers without talent self-publish. First and foremost, traditional publishing is a business. If a given manuscript is considered risky, or the marketability of a given text is unclear—particularly by a first-time author—chances are a contract isn’t offered. It may sound jaded, but salability trumps content. Because contracts with traditional publishing houses are getting harder and harder to come by, many very talented authors aren’t waiting for a contract that may never come. The following authors have self-published at one point in their careers: Margaret Atwood, Deepak Chopra, Stephen King, James Joyce (Ulysses), Beatrix Potter (The Adventures of Peter Rabbit), Marcel Proust, Irma Rombauer (The Joy of Cooking), Mark Twain (Huckleberry Finn) and Walt Whitman. Darn good company, right?

#2. If I self-publish, I can kiss a contract from a traditional publishing house good-bye. Not true. Given the current climate, many literary agents are scouring self-publishing markets for bankable reads by authors who are generating book sales and making a name for themselves. Self-published authors can, in effect, test the waters and provide valuable market research for the New York firms, who can then swoop in and ink a deal.

#3. Booksellers won’t stock my book if a big-name publishing house doesn’t print it. Good reads can absolutely find a place on the shelves of booksellers and a presence on Internet storefronts, but, as with any worthwhile project, you have to be committed. If people are looking to buy a given book, stores will stock it. To do this, authors need to get the word out, create a buzz and then a demand for their book. They need to network, give readings and press interviews, contact retailers, and foster relationships with those who have contacts in the marketplace. If an author isn’t up for those challenges, they need to hire someone who is.

#4. Self-publishing is vain. We think self-publishing has gotten a bum rap. Writing and illustrating, like other art forms, are means of creative expression. Using a proper canvas or finding a complementary frame for a painting isn’t considered arrogant. Why is “framing” a story or packaging it in a way that it can best be enjoyed any different? We think sharing a good story is generous; it spreads joy. And what of the author who has a tale to tell that can help others? A current client of ours has a medical memoir meant to enlighten, if not inspire, others in a similar predicament. Conceited? More like honorable, we’d say.

#5. If I self-publish, I don’t have to be as concerned with quality. This is lunacy. If your book is meant for public consumption, it simply must be well edited and well designed. These days, you can slap a cover on anything, but PLEASE resist the urge to do so. Remember the company your book will keep. Shoddy looking, typo-riddled tomes don’t stand a chance next to impeccably honed narratives with deliberate designs. If you want your book to sell, it’s paramount to do this as well as the next guy, which is why at Three Bean Press all of our publishing packages include proofreading, editing, creative input and design.