Only a fraction of unknown authors will be published this year. And memoirs–forget it! Unless they come from celebrities or authors with instant name recognition, a traditional publisher won’t pause before replying with a standard rejection slip. So, why is this unknown author smiling? Because I’ve done a football end-run around the big wigs, and I’d be happy to let you in on just how I did it.
Every family has stories, what about yours? Do you have treasured anecdotes that grow with every telling and can always be counted on to bring laughs or tears? I bet you do, and if you’re reading this, you must be a writer. So, what are you waiting for? Look no further, your memoir awaits!
My family had dozens of these stories. Last summer I wiped them off, shined them up and made them into a little book called Lessons Learned on Bull Run Road. Like any memoir, my book isn’t just about my family. It’s also full of the people who live in my memories of the close-knit rural community where I grew up. At the end of the book I included an excerpt of recipes from the women that sustained us all.
Being a type-A personality and headstrong to a fault, I took a detour around the traditional publishers who said it didn’t have a large enough audience and published it with Angela Hoy and Booklocker.com. While the book was being printed I opened a web site and launched a FREE weekly emag called All Things Southern, using Angela’s book, Profitable Email Publishing. I set out to bring readers a truly enjoyable emag about a subject I was already passionate about and relied on viral marketing concepts to see the list grow. My little cyberspace porch is growing daily and the last laugh now belongs to me and not to Mr. John Q. Publisher at Publishing Universe.
The first shipment of books arrived on a Tuesday. I placed them in small gift shops and pharmacies along the Mississippi River where I grew up. They were sold out by the following Friday evening. The second shipment is almost gone and I’ve just place my third order. Why? Everyone I mentioned in the book now has a circle of friends and relatives that want the book. The buzz is also affecting people who have moved into the area in the intervening years as well as the sweet readers on my emag list that just enjoy reading about all things southern!
On the 8th and 9th of December, I’ll be signing books at “Star Hill”, a gift store in St. Francisville, LA. If any of you are in the area, please stop in. I’ll be happy to meet you and answer any questions you have about turning your memories into money and having the time of your life along the way!
Shellie Rushing Tomlinson is a farmer’s wife, interior designer, girls’ basketball coach and the youngest member of the Bull Run Road Gang. She lives in Louisiana with her husband and teenagers. In addition to her humorous and inspirational memoir, “Lessons Learned on Bull Run Road”, she has recently released “‘Twas the Night before the Very First Christmas.” You can find more information on Shellie and her upcoming projects by visiting http://www.allthingssouthern.com. While there, be sure to subscribe to “All Things Southern”, Shellie’s FREE weekly emag bringing you the charm and heritage of the south.