July 11, 2012
The Personal Touch Still Works By Lynn I. Almer | printable version
My writing career has varied from writing environmental impact statements to science-based activities for children. In 2001, I decided to explore writing children's books. I had no formal training in this area so I hopped on my bicycle and rode to my public library. My education began by reading magazines and books about the craft of writing. After attending a one-day writer's workshop that introduced children's magazines and the variety of children's books, I knew I wanted to be a picture book author.
My road to success includes classes, numerous "not right for us" letters from traditional publishers, listening to three Colorado picture book authors at the Tattered Cover in April 2005, contracting with an illustrator in May 2005, considering but deciding not to contract with a POD (not BookLocker) in 2007, establishing my independent publishing company in 2008, and volunteering at a nearby elementary school in 2010-2011. It was not until I read my book to kindergarten and first grade children in March 2011 that I decided no more excuses - publish the book. And so I did in May 2011. But this is not the success story. That happened this year.
I exhibited at two events in 2011, including one school district's PTA fall conference, expecting to reach hundreds of parents, children, and teachers. No one attending those events bought my book or called to schedule an author visit. Not about to give up, I used the school district's email system in March to send my author visit message to more than 100 teachers. And that is what it took for me to reach more than 500 kindergarten and first grade children at seven schools, in 22 classrooms, for 23 teachers, over a six-week period during April and May. My author visits also resulted in book sales to teachers, librarians, and children and a request from several teachers to return. Now that I've tasted success, I will continue to use the personal touch to reach out to more teachers.
Lynn is the owner of Books by Lynn and the author of Because I'm A Kid! In Summer, one of two books self-published in 2011. The second book, My Special Kindergarten Friends, was written as a gift for the first class of kindergarten children who helped her find the courage to publish her first book. It includes a personal poem about each child. Lynn is writing a seasonal Because I'm A Kid! series, with autumn up next. Lynn's email is: lynn-at-booksbylynn.net
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