Jeanie: Sally, people today, myself included, are more interested in self-publishing than ever. How did you become involved with CreateSpace? Sally: We have a group of writers here in Kansas City who announced they wanted to take the plunge and invited us to a meeting. In that first gathering one of the computer whiz-kids showed us how to take a template and turn it into a book cover. I was hooked. I had tried to self-publish in the early 2000s with a local publisher. It was such a long, involved, expensive process I gave up trying to ever do that again—until I discovered CreateSpace.
Jeanie: Can you give us some tidbits about your workshop?
Courtesy gualberto @freedigitalphotos.net
Sally: We’ll walk through step-by-step how to turn your .doc file of the interior, and a .jpg file of the cover, to turn your work into a finished paperback book and then on to an e-book, if you so desire. If you’re like me, you figure you’ll blow the whole thing up, but it’s just a matter of taking each step at a time. Within a week or two, you have books to sell on Amazon.com. If there is wi-fi in the place we meet, you can bring your laptop and do the process while we hold the class.
Jeanie: What advice would you give writers who worry, “Is this too complex for me?”
Sally: If it was complicated, this writer wouldn’t be speaking to you. I’m serious. The hardest decision you’ll have to make is if you want a shiny or matt finish on the cover and if you want white or cream paper on the interior. Got that figured out? Then you’re set!
Jeanie: What do you see as the greatest takeaway from your workshop?
Sally: The hardest part of any project is getting your feet wet. Once you see how easy it is, then the rest is a cakewalk. I’ll have a sheet of do’s and don’t’s for the formatting. Little things like “Leave off page numbers and headers.” CreateSpace does all the formatting of the pages for you so don’t get your tail in a knot trying to figure out page sizes, ditches, and margins. The greatest takeaway is having a book you birthed in your mind, typed into your computer, morf into a black and white real live book in your hands. I liken that day to the day you held your first-born.
Will you share a bit about it? Sally: The Late Sooner’s Daughter was birthed from so many people asking to hear the rest of the Deering’s story after they left Oklahoma. It follows little Nora Deering (Sanford’s daughter) through her growing up years into adulthood. The story is based on fact, although I’ve thrown in a little fiction so I call this work, “faction.” She faces fears and eventually finds the love of her life in a rather unusual way.
Jeanie: How many books have you written (& co-written)?
Sally: Alone, I’ve written one poetry book, Sonflower Seeds which took Best Book of Poetry 2002 at the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation, Inc. conference. That’s the one I self-published with a local printer.
After I found the one-line-a-day diary of my great-grandfather, I researched the 1889 Land Run into Oklahoma Territory as I lay his diary next to historical facts and wrote The Late Soonerin 2006.
For over forty years I carried accounts of miracles in my heart. One day I looked around and realized if I didn’t write them, no one else was going to. That produced three books of twenty-seven stories each entitled God’s Little Miracle Book (I, II, & III).
I have seven granddaughters, some are quickly approaching young adulthood. I wanted to pass on my best recipes collected over fifty-two years of marriage to them. I gathered them into a book and added stories about some of the recipes. That self-published work became Family Favorites from the Heartland.
While my friend and I attended a writers conference, one of the attendees asked the speaker, “What about writing a devotional book?” She replied, “Oh, you could do that, but I doubt anyone here would be capable of writing a 365 day devotional.” With steam coming out my ears, I found my friend and said, “Ardy, we’re going to write a 365 day devotional.” She agreed and a year later we held DailyWalk with Jesus in our hands.
I enjoyed writing that book so much, I wrote a 366 day devotional entitled, Looking Deeper. I researched the original Hebrew and Greek words of each of the scriptures and brought out the rich meaning of the words we often miss when reading the Bible at ninety miles an hour.
my original publisher, because he had published the first in that series.
I’ve helped many people publish through CreateSpace to see their dreams realized. It’s such a joy to see the look of accomplishment on their faces.
courtesy of Stuart Miles @freedigitalphotos.net
Jeanie: Many authors feel their books are akin to children–birthed, raised, and sent out into the world. Which book is your favorite “child”?
Sally: That’s like asking me which of my children is my favorite one. I see it as a little like building a house. One day you go to the lot and there is a poured concrete basement. You marvel over it. It’s lovely, but it isn’t finished. Then the lumber is delivered and you see these sticks go up. Someday they will be walls. Later, you walk through the empty shell and imagine carpet colors and wall coverings. Then you lay awake nights planning where to put the furniture. Finally you move in. Each book is like another stage of building. Each one loved for what it is, another step along the way. Jeanie: What’s the main thing you hope to convey to your readers?
Sally: If you have a dream in your heart, let it out. You can do this.
Jeanie: Before we go, how can we pray for you?
Sally: That I would be true to God’s calling, every day, each step of the way.
Jeanie: Thank you Sally.
Sally: Thank you for allowing me to speak to your group. I look forward to meeting each and every one of you.