These are the words of Vivianne Flintoff, Balboa Press author of “Kiwi on the Camino A Walk that Changed My Life”. If you’d like to learn more about Vivianne, you can visit her author website and Facebook. Download the Balboa Press free publishing guide to receive more information.
Fulfilling My Publishing Dream
My dream and hope of becoming a published author is now a reality with the publication of Kiwi on the Camino: A Walk that Changed My Life. Turning hope into reality required self-belief, persistence, commitment, and discipline. Having people who are important in my life and who believe in my abilities helped me to keep going when I considered giving up. I thought of writing as my ‘work’ and regularly set thinking and writing time aside. To achieve my dream, I needed to take care of my self. I made sure I exercised regularly, ate well, and had sufficient sleep so that my brain and body were well placed to help me achieve my dream and hope of becoming a published author. Four questions guided my writing: first, was I being courageous? Travel writing is necessarily a mini autobiography and requires vulnerability of the author. Second, was my writing honest? Third, was the text threaded through with humor and finally, was I being authentic in my portrayal of myself?
“I will draw strength from remembering and resolve to hold onto faith and hope in the journey” (Kiwi on the Camino, pg 288).
Considering the Options
While drafting Kiwi on the Camino, I agonized over my publishing options. I realized that a traditional publishing house would not sign me up as my previous publishing had no commercial value. I have previously published in professional journals as part of my work as a narrative therapist and counselor-educator, The question became, “should I find an agent to secure a traditional contract for me or should I self-publish? I was persuaded in favor of self-publishing after watching a video on the Balboa Press website. The knowledge that I would retain rights to my book, maintain control of the content of my book, that the use of paper would be minimal in the publishing process, and that the speed of publishing would be faster compared with a traditional publishing contract, was convincing. In the end, ˆKiwi on the Camino” was in print two months before I anticipated. The publishing journey has not always been straightforward. In any relationship, issues can arise, but Balboa Press staff have heard my concerns, and have been flexible in their response to my issues. For this I am grateful.
The Next Step
I am now in the marketing phase of my publishing journey and this stage is far greater than I anticipated. It is hard to bring one’s book to the attention of potential readers. I have learned that in marketing, it is important to have a solid social platform. Balboa Press has videos, which talks about this topic. I have learned that it will be helpful to obtain quality reviews before my next manuscript (Living a Slower Life) is turned into a book. Reviews are crucial it seems in the marketing phase.
I am very pleased with the final look of Kiwi on the Camino. I have received many comments about how well the book is laid out. First impressions are important and Balboa Press has printed a professionally finished book.
In the spirit of intentionally living with the principles of pilgrimage in my everyday life, I wish you all, Buen Camino, which literally means –good way – or as a paraphrase – go well on your journey and may you be blessed.
Balboa Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or the submission form on the Guidelines page. We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. Balboa Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.