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I can think of a dozen books, easily, that have been a big part of my life, from beautiful literature to guilty pleasures. Barbara Kingsolver’s The Bean Trees, John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, Douglas Adams Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. But I spent some time looking through my bookshelf this weekend and narrowed it down to two to highlight today. And they couldn’t be more different. They are my starting points.
FullSizeRender-1The book on the left was given to me by one of my oldest friends as I began to learn web design and development. The copyright on the book is 1997 and it was pretty new when it was handed to me. Shortly after receiving that book I was in my car moving from Dallas, Texas to Silicon Valley where I’d spend a year with a start-up company. After that I headed east to Washington DC, where I’ve been ever since. That little HTML book is my left ‘bookend’ because it began my professional career, one that has lasted nearly 20 years. There’s a lot of scribbles and writing in it where I took notes to learn something that is now taught in public schools in some areas.
The book on the right is my first novel, The South Coast, released in 2013. It marks the beginning of my writing journey that has become such a huge part of my world. I’m not a full time writer (yet). I still rely on design work to pay the bills. But The South Coast was my first baby step into this new world.
It has changed my working world, too. I learned so much about writing and publishing that my business has morphed into something totally new. What was once strictly a web design company is now a book design and publishing business, Over the last few years I have been so lucky to get to work with dozens (and dozens) of authors to design their covers, layout the interiors of their books, and create Kindle versions. And late last year I added my biggest service: publishing. I learned from many of my clients that just receiving the cover and interior files wasn’t enough. They wanted more. They didn’t want to sit and try to figure out everything I had to get my first book out. So I became a publisher. I refer to it as ‘codependent publishing’ rather than independent publishing. I work closely with my clients to get their books ready for release then I act as their publisher and take care of all the technical aspects of releasing a book.
This new role is something I take very seriously. My books aren’t a joke for me (though my new novel does release on April Fool’s Day). And I don’t treat anybody else’s book any less.
I don’t know when a third book will be added to this image, if ever. I love where I am right now, writing, reading, working with authors. I can’t imagine what would take that third spot.
Except maybe a movie poster.