I’ve now seen Julie & Julia twice and bawled like a baby through it both times. For some, the movie is about cooking and what Julia Child did for the American “servantless” cook (and no, spell check does not recognize servantless as a word, Julia), for some it’s about fantastic relationships (seriously, how refreshing is it to see men who love their wives and support their dreams? I am fortunate to live it, but you don’t see it on the silver screen too much). The main reason Julie & Julia spoke to me was our common dream of getting published. The first time I saw the movie, we were working on our contract (in top secret confidence; only my husband, our agent and the publisher knew about the deal); the second time I saw the movie, we had signed a publishing deal for the 7-book series with Rising Star Education.
And so now, dear reader, I have a confession.
THAT WAS HARD.
It is simple in theory, and in plan:
- Write and illustrated the fairy (sorry) best books I can muster,
- edit (ad infinitum),
- get feedback from professionals and from our target market AND target audience (market is who would be buying the book, and audience who it’s being read to),
- copyright and trademark our ideas (we found an awesome lawyer, but you can do it yourself)
- start our own company to print, market and sell my books.
- Hire the editors, graphic designer to help get the book ready for print (now I know how to do it and did it myself for my second book and subsequent books),
- use words like “subsequent,”
- find an excellent printer to print and ship the books to us.
- Then find a warehouse to rent to store the books (we printed 3,000) and do “fulfillment” for internet orders (oh, did I mention get a website? Yeah. Put that in the plan. Very simple).
- Then, market, promote and sell the books to and then go to publishers as an author/illustrator who already has an audience.
- Somewhere along the way, find an agent who believes in me and our property…
- find an publisher who believes in me and our property…
- “Get” published!
(And now we’re just at the beginning.)
Well, there was a lot of fun along the way…but, it has taken years, and whatever internet marketers (or any marketers) tell you about a process with big returns being easy, it is NOT EASY. Anything worth doing requires persistence, patience and passion. For the moments you don’t feel like being persistent, the passion will get you through it. For the moments you aren’t feeling the passion, the persistence will get you through that; and for the times when you feel neither, you’ll need patience. And in the mean time, life is happening. It is full and rich and fun and delicious and challenging!
So, now we know that Julia Child wasn’t always Julia Child. And when I’m tempted to complain about how “easy” it is for celebrities like Madonna to get a book deal, I remember that Madonna wasn’t always Madonna.