In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Kathleen Beining, author of “Mrs. Bumbleberry’s Garden.” To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today!
I’ve always had a vivid imagination. As a child, I spent a lot of time making up stories and pretending I was the main character. When I grew older, my time spent playing make-believe dwindled. Although I never lost my love for making up stories, I never did anything with it.
Then in 2014, I was recuperating from surgery. I didn’t feel that bad, I just wasn’t allowed to do anything. I was bored sitting still and began thinking how hard it was to be inside all the time. As I had these thoughts, it occurred to me that being stuck inside would be very difficult for a child. That’s when the character “Katy” was born.
I began writing my first story. I started to think about Katy: how could she meet another character and who might it be? Her neighbor, Mrs. Bumbleberry, began to take shape. I thought about what a small girl and an older woman could have in common. What would be the value in their friendship? I realized, in this scenario, that there was an opportunity. The scenario is a perfect chance to showcase how Christian beliefs are practiced in daily life. Soon my story was finished. I kept thinking about what Katy could do next, and soon the second story was completed. Within a week I had several other stories written for the series.
I decided to try and publish my stories. My web search led me to a “Christian” publisher who assured me they would love to publish my story. They promised it would be out within only six months. After nine months of unanswered phone calls and repeated mistakes, I had unacceptable illustrations that did not match page to page with the text. I brought this to their attention twice. When I received my first digital copy the mistakes were not corrected. At this point, I hired a lawyer to get the rights to my story back. I decided that was the end of my publishing career – God had other ideas.
Somewhere along the line, I visited the website for Westbow Press. Later, I received a call from one of WestBow’s publishing consultants. I explained my experience with the previous publisher and my hesitancy to move forward. He said he understood and asked if I would be interested in having more information mailed to me. I agreed. I read the information packet and was impressed with the fact that there were several publishing packages from which I could choose. The first publisher only had one. I decided to take another chance and started working with Westbow Press.
Publishing with Westbow Press was wonderful. They walked me through the process and always responded when I had questions. I am not the most computer savvy person, but everyone there was patient and friendly. Three months later I received the first copy of my story, Mrs. Bumbleberry’s Garden. The book arrived on my birthday which I took as a good omen.
It has now been two years since I signed with Westbow Press. I have six children’s books published and just submitted the seventh one. Though I’ve never personally met any of the people from Westbow Press, whenever I speak with them it feels like talking to old friends. I thank God every day for sending me to Westbow Press.
People ask me where I get my stories. I just smile and say “They are a gift from God.” I truly believe the stories are His messages and I just have the honor of delivering them.
– WBP –
WestBow 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 sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length.