35 Years and Counting: Small Publishers Rock!

Monday, March 9, 2015

     Thirty-five years ago my first book, If I Were A Road, was published by a small educational publisher. Five years later, when sales did not meet the growing publisher's new Sales Standards, the book, along with two additions to the series, If I Were A Table and The Great Bridge Lowering, were cancelled and the rights returned to me.

 Within a short period of time I found another small educational publisher who picked them up and has been selling them steadily for over twenty-eight years. Now, I have to be honest and say all those years have not been rosey. I had to suffer through twelve years with unattractive black & white covers before the publisher began to do colored covers but eventually, the original beautiful four-color covers were returned. Then, the publisher went through Chapter 11 bankruptcy and reorganization during which their reputation tanked and royalties were not paid.  By then I had seven books with the publisher and lacked the financial ability to buy back the rights. Once the new company was up and running, royalties were caught up and they continued to sell my books.

 Last week, I was notified that the first book in the series, If I Were A Road, is on the schedule to be reformatted into an iBook. I am thrilled, of course, and amazed and truly grateful.

     For this kind of longevity a book has to have more than loyalty behind it. It has to be relevant and timely, especially in the educational market. This series of open-ended story books with activities that teach creative thinking, was ahead of it's time when the Whole Language Movement became popular in schools and with homeschooling advocates, as well, in the 1980's, and continues to meet current educational standards especially those proposed in The Common Core.

     Through this experience I've learned that loyalty to these books, now spanning close to thirty years with the current publisher, would only have happened with a large publisher if my book had been dubbed a classic.

     So, when you're looking for a publisher for that manuscript you just had to write, don't discount the little guys. You too could be looking back at a thirty-five year run.

     Small publishers rock!

     What has you experience been with small publishers?

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     WIN an autographed copy of If I Were A Table! 
      The names of the first ten folks who leave a comment will be put into a hat to win a copy of  If I Were A Table. (If I Were A Road, is currently being reprinted.)

     To learn more about the If I Were...series go to http://www.arliebooks.com/educational.htm
     To learn more about books written by Sandra Warren go to      www.sandrawarren.com   or



Write for the LOVE of it!

Monday, March 2, 2015

     Every author, whether a first timer or seasoned, has dreams of earning a living as a writer, traveling the globe, paying off bills, sending kids to college or putting that addition on the house with earned royalties. It's a lofty dream but one only a small percentage of writers experience.

     Nothing I've seen explains the financial aspects of being an author more thoroughly than a recent post written by Jen Laughran, about making money as a writer, originally shared in a post from SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) and shared by author Laurie Edwards. It impressed me so much I felt I should share it on my blog.


     I often meet newly published writers who seem to have no idea of the financial responsibilities being published demands. Although the above link talks specifically about book advances, what is said about paying taxes, Income, Personal Property and Sales, is relevant whether you receive an advance or not.

     The sobering, bubble bursting, dream squashing reality expressed in the post is important to heed.

     More than ever you need to write for the love of writing. I believe when you do that, the money will follow, eventually.

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About Me

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Hi! I’m Sandra Warren, a writer with very eclectic writing tastes. I’ve been fortunate to have publications in multiple genres including children’s, gifted education, parenting, how to, poetry, journal, educational activity guides and biography as well as audio and video production. I'm a city gal recently transplanted to the mountains of NC where glorious mountain vistas inspire latest renderings.

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