A Maryland Farm Girl Makes Good

November 2002
by Diane Leatherman

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“Yes, we want to publish your book!” the publisher told me. I had written it because I would like today’s children to know that children’s experiences were not always what theirs have been. Now I knew that someone besides me believed in the book enough to publish it. I felt so lucky.

I simply couldn’t sit on the news. I called my mother-in-law long distance to tell her that Rebecca, A Maryland Farm Girl–the chapter book that I had based on her Depression-era childhood–was going to be published.

I was told that I would get a contract in early January 2001, just a couple of months away. It was another month or so before a “work for hire” contract came. I e-mailed a list of “concerns” and was advised that I had been sent the wrong contract. A year later–shortly after I was told that we were on track for publication in the spring–it was all off.

I collapsed. Then, after a restorative visit with my children and grandchildren, I attended a workshop on e-marketing and began to envision marketing to teachers across the state. By the end of that hour, I had decided to self-publish.

This would be my second self-publishing venture. I had resolved with the first book (a slightly fictionalized memoir) that what I wanted to do was sell enough books to inspire myself to write a second. And that had happened. But now I was no longer working full-time and couldn’t afford to be a dilettant…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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