Friday, February 28, 2014

Storyteller's Journey

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!

If you've followed my blog for any amount of time, you've no doubt heard me mention the possibility of independently publishing my picture book. Although I've shared very little about my decision-making process in regards to that option, I assure you that my writer's brain has thought of little else.

The old adage "When a door closes, a window opens" is the best way to describe how I finally made my decision...even if that is an idiom! After sending out query letters for over two years - and receiving only rejection letters in return - I have finally decided to accept the challenge and attempt to independently publish The Scandinavian Santa. The reason I say attempt, is because with the picture book being in a landscape format and the illustrations being full-page paintings (courtesy of my hubby!), finding an appropriate press to publish my book is only made that much more challenging.

I should mention that my story has been rewritten numerous times, edited a few times, and received favorable reviews from agents and publishers alike. However (don't you hate that word? I think all of my rejection letters contain the word - however!), they all agree: The word count is WAY too high. I was well aware of the recommended word count for picture books when I wrote the story. The yuletide tale was inspired by one of my great-grandfathers and was a creative collaboration with my husband...and is really in the format of picture books from a bygone era. (Examples: The Velveteen Rabbit or Curious George.) It was never intended to fit into one of the publishing industry's "pigeonholes." But (here comes another idiom), "You can't have your cake and eat it too." I was not willing to slice my story apart, so I shouldn't be surprised that no one wanted to push or publish it.

A couple of weeks ago I received my latest rejection letter from a small regional press. That press represented my best chance at getting traditionally published since they like Scandinavian themes, among others. The strange thing was that my response to the rejection was truly not disappointment, but delight. The reason I was delighted was due to the fact I had already decided that if they rejected my story I would independently publish. It felt like a weight had fallen from my shoulders and I was free to follow a, now clear, publishing path.

I'll keep you posted as I deal with all the details involved with independently publishing. I'm hoping for a release date this fall!


  1. How interesting! Yes, I've seen picture books with higher word counts, more like picture storybooks (I think they used to call them), but it doesn't seem like publishers are publishing those very often these days. I think Michael's paintings will be wonderful for your story! Best wishes as you self-pub this!!!

  2. Thanks, Carol. It seems my "storyteller's journey" is taking a new fork in the road. Have a great weekend!

  3. All the best of luck with your book.

    1. Thanks, Debbie. I'm sure the process will be an over-the-top learning experience. Have a great week!