Brief Story: My first book, Brinley Discovers Santa, was published traditionally through “Unnamed Publishing Company, LLC”. It was thrilling to receive a contract and be finally recognized for my writing abilities! However, I quickly learned that by signing the contract, I also relinquished control of my work.
With the publisher’s contract, I was legally bound to their rules and regulations. I was unable to participate in literary events, readings, or even ask my local bookstore to carry my title(s). I couldn’t market my book or myself as a new author. I couldn’t host a website without preapproval from and payment to my publisher, I wasn’t allowed to create Facebook posts with my title. I was making $0.78/per copy sold. It was a harsh reality.
Then one day I received a letter from “Unnamed Publishing Company, LLC.” They were going out of business and were offering me the opportunity to buy back my title from them. (Yes, I had to purchase the book that I authored in order to retain rights to the work.) After purchasing the title, they sent me an email with a PDF copy of my work. I downloaded it to a thumb drive. Their bankruptcy turned out to be the best thing that could happen for me and my book!
One day, as I held that thumb drive in my hand, I thought “What am I going to do with this now?” That’s when I started looking into self-publishing. It took little effort to upload and republish that file, and within just a few days, my book was republished under my Wonder Storm Productions, LLC, FOR FREE, and it is making nearly $4.00/copy!
I have learned a lot about both traditional and self-publishing. If you are interested in learning more, contact me and I can help walk you through the process. (My services are extraordinarily reasonable @ $25/hour.) I have a team of editors, layout and design artists, and illustrators available to help with your project!
Why I Write
While hosting a book reading for an intellectual fifth-grade class, and having relatively deep conversations with my audience, my WHY for writing overcame me like a torrential flood: Conversation and connection.
Children are open and willing to talk. They are able to be vulnerable, still. They want to share. They want to be heard. They want to know that we care, that they have a place to explore their opinions and feelings.
This is the reason for my stories. To talk, to open the conversation, to be vulnerable.
About Brooke Smith
Brooke Smith was born in Santa Cruz, California, spent five years on Kaua’i and finally settled near Durango, Colorado where she lives in the mountains with a blended, curious, fun-loving, noisy family. Brooke is becoming a life coach, hosts labyrinth retreats, is involved in different community organizations, works at the local library, writes, and continues to create, ponder, and discover.
Brooke has four published books, Brinley Discovers Santa (2015), The Mango Tree (2018), The Tortoise and the Flair (2018), Inspirations (2019), which is a book compilation of writers telling their inspirational journey. She’s working toward publishing her fifth title, BUCKET. Additionally, she works with storytellers; those who tell their stories but have a hard time writing them down. Finally, she’s working on her own autobiography.
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