Seven Stories, But Infinite Lessons!

by Lora Ann De La Cruz
(Boulder, CO USA)

Seven Stories to Live By

Seven Stories to Live By

I may have written a book called, "Seven Stories," but I've learned that there are infinite experiences to learn from as a writer and self-publisher. Most of them are rewarding and continue to inspire me to do and be more.

As a teacher and mother of young children, I was inspired by a book that made me want to do more. After reading Deepak Chopra's book, Seven Spiritual Laws for Parents, I wanted to share that message with the children in my life.

I looked in bookstores and libraries for a book to share that message, but there was none. So I wrote it myself! I wrote Seven Stories to Live By so that the seven laws of living our best life could be shared with children.

I found an illustrator and was gung-ho to find the right publisher. Several major publishing houses turned me down - some praising the book but saying that they just could not jam seven stories into one book for children.

Since I did not want the stories separated, I chose to go a different route and maintain creative control.

A friend and I decided to start our own independent publishing house - LikeMinds Press, Inc. It was an amazing and challenging adventure to get it off the ground and running, but we did it.

As a graphic artist, my friend helped put my book into its final and most perfect form. We found others who were willing to edit, a printer in China and were on our way. A few years after I wrote my original manuscript, I received word from the International FedEx folks that my 3000 books would be arriving from Hong Kong! (I chose to store them in my garage.)

I did all the self-publishing marketing techniques out there. The most successful ones were getting coverage for my book in local papers and getting the book into as many hands as possible.

I'm fortunate that the Chopra Center for Well Being in California continually stocks and sells my book. It's also on Amazon, Barnes and Noble online, and a local bookstore. I have donated books to children's hospitals, learning centers and the like, and I have noticed that the more I just keep the book circulating, the more it gets ordered.

If I had it to do over again, I might order about 1000 less books for the first run. I would also put a much shorter "about the author" in the book, and a better photo of myself and my kids!

Other than that, it has been a fantastic experience. It has given me the opportunity to check off a very important "to-do" on my life list. I'm also inspired to write more and hope to publish one more children's book (and a book for adults) in the next year or two. Getting one experience like this under one's belt paves the way for more great life experiences and success. Go for it!

Check out Lora Ann's Seven Stories website.

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Dec 19, 2007
A book that allows parents to share their belief system
by: Steve B.

Lora Ann,

You knew what you wanted to do, you spoke with enough traditional publishers to register their take on your book, and then you took matters into your own hands. Kudos!

Of particular note to me is that you had a built-in target market in those who had thought highly of Chopra's book and that you found a good way - maybe the best way - to reach that market. I think there's an excellent lesson in that. I'm reminded of another self-publisher in these pages who set his children's book in Kalamazoo...

...and then sold the heck out of the book in - you guessed it - Kalamazoo. Perhaps there's a lesson here for others!

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