I’ve had a long desire to be published. And by long, I mean that it’s been a life-long dream. I remember writing when I was a new nurse practitioner and diagnosed a teen with an ovarian tumor. I tried writing about that. I remember writing my master’s thesis for Child Health – on sibling preparation for NICU visitation (note the education focus), and being in tears during the final check with my preceptor because she asked why I had written something a certain way. The answer was because she had asked me to. And now, months later she was asking me to change it back to what I had originally written. Talk about jumping through hoops! I remember, and actually relish, all the papers I wrote on the environment, environmental history, and place-based learning for my Master’s in Natural Resources. And, I cherish all the curriculum I wrote for the garden club I taught for over 15 years – elementary, standards-based, hands-on curriculum, written by yours truly. It is clear that I love to write.
But, when I started to write poetry, first with my writers’ circle students and then for my own enjoyment, I knew I wanted to send my written word into the world. I took a webinar from a local author, Amanda Zieba, on self-publishing. I took another webinar from Laura Purdie Salas on writing for hire, and I took two courses from Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell of Pomelo Books on anthologies. I took what I learned from all those sources and said, I can do this! I can independently write and publish a book (or, more)!
Along the way, over the course of two years, I’ve been honing my nature and my color poems. My color poem chapbook was submitted twice to contests. It’s just not edgy enough, I decided. But, it doesn’t mean that it should not be widely read. At the same time, I had an opportunity from the gallery in which my handcrafted jewelry has been sold for the last eight years. They were going to host a poetry reading event at the gallery in May. I jumped at the chance! Knowing I had some pressure to get my poems in a form I could share and put up for sale, I worked on a small book (chapbook) of my nature poems. I revised, I had beta readers, and I got an editor to work with me – who lives in Boston and is a full-time editor for a publishing house there. Not only did I get another set of eyes on my work, but she also let me know she liked it! Wow! What a confidence builder that was. She also offered me great edits on the poetry that was easy to incorporate. You can bet I took almost all, probably 98% of her suggestions. After all, I sent her a book of poetry and there is some latitude with conventions. I bought my ISBN numbers and a bar code. I developed a cover that seemed to speak to the poetry in an interesting way. It was work but it was work I loved doing.
I knew I wanted to sell my poetry book at the gallery reading in May. So, over the last few weeks, I’ve been working hard to make it possible. I took the plunge and sent the book I formated using Canva over to Kindle Direct Press. I edited and formatted and checked and rechecked. Last Friday, I ordered my proof copy. It arrived yesterday!
I am so very proud and happy about how it looked. With a few minor formatting changes and one last proof book to look at my changes, I will be a published author by early May!
It’s been a great learning process. And while it took perseverance and a desire to succeed in being an indie publisher and author! Let me introduce myself. I am a new poet, author of Life’s Inspiration and Reflection in a Few Words (© Carol Labuzzetta, 2022), and the proud developer of the indie publishing house, Northern Loon Press. I hope you’ll join my excitement and support this endeavor when my book because available to purchase on Amazon and through my blog.
I’m grateful to all mentioned in this blog piece as well as countless others who follow, read, and comment on my daily blog! You are appreciated! Thank you!
Addendum: Since it is Poetry Friday and I wrote this post on Wednesday, I am sharing it as my Friday post with the group. It IS poetry-related and I’ve seen some posts like this before. I can’t think of anything I’d rather share today! Our host for this week’s round-up is Jone Rush MacCulloch. Thank you for hosting, Jone!