I have been an avid writer since I was thirteen-years-old. I’d like to say that I loved reading when I was younger, but that wasn’t the case. It wasn’t until I was in junior high school that I found a passion for reading. And wouldn’t you know it, that lead to wanting to write.
Well, to be honest, writing though it came naturally, was actually a secondary thought. I wanted to be an actress. Of course, I wanted someone to find me on the street and say, “Kid, you have what it takes.” That just doesn’t happen in the suburbs of Denver. I was moved, however, about the story that Sylvester Stallone wrote Rocky with just that in mine. His movie and he was the lead. Well, that seemed like the perfect answer for me too.
At the time I had also fallen in love with the mini-series. The Thorn Birds and If Tomorrow Comes will forever be two of my most beloved movies and favorite books. They are probably two of the only books I have read multiple times. So, it hit me. Write a book and get a movie deal. What a brilliant idea!
And so it began…
At the tender age of thirteen, I began to write the great, epic, tragic novel. But, I was only thirteen and I didn’t know anything about the walls beyond my junior high. So, as you might imagine, the story grew with me.
My father had given me an old electric typewriter, and I began to fill pages with story. I wrote in notebooks and then transcribed them onto more paper. When I didn’t like the story any more, I started all over. I would go on to write that same story over and over again for the next twenty-two years.
In 2007, I was finally a married mother of five and desperate for some alone time. The YMCA offered that, and I found I’d rather read than watch TV on a treadmill. So, while at the grocery store, I picked up a Nora Robert’s book. I didn’t really know who she was, but I’d heard about her. That year I began to suck down books, reading two or three a week. It was a glorious thing, and it sparked my need to write again.
That year I penned THE END to that book I’d written for twenty-two years and I put it away. That same year I wrote twelve more manuscripts.
I went to my first writing conferences and met like minded people. At the time, independent publishing was still a dirty thing to talk about, so it wasn’t a thought that even crossed my mind, but getting published was. One of the classes I took was about promoting yourself, and many of the tips were to do so before you were even published. I took this to heart.
Soon, the wonders that be had driven a publisher to me. OMG I was going to be published. Let’s make this part of my story really short. Signed and within the year, deal gone really bad! So I thought, I could do this myself.
I was tired of someone promising and not delivering–or paying. I could do what she was attempting to do, and luckily she’d connected me with an editor that made me a great writer.
Onward, in 2011 I opened 5 Prince Publishing with the clear intent to only publish my books under a real business name. See, back then, independent publishing (the more advanced version of self-publishing) was becoming a thing. It would take over and revolutionize the publishing world in the next few years. I had just walked through the door when it opened, lucky me.
So off I went, with my following, because I’d worked my butt off to get one before publishing, and I began to publish my books. Crazy enough, and early enough for massive success, I was bestseller material and I rode the wave. I put out five or six books a year, or more. And then people wanted to be part of it. Chance brought people to me, and I published them. Oh, those first few I ruined because I knew nothing, except to be gracious and give them their books back after I’d learned a few things.
In the past seven years, I have learned and grown with the industry. I didn’t have a degree or a million dollars worth of investors. I started my company just as I did with every company I’ve ever owned, with $1000 and a drive to learn everything I could while being submerged into it.
We’ve published over 160 titles from over 60 different authors in that time. I prefer to work on romances, but even my kid writes fantasy, so we work with what comes in. Many of my authors jump start here and move on to independently publish. Others are very comfortable in the small house environment that I offer.
When I say I’m a little fish in the big ocean, I’m met with, Oh, no you’re not. I guess I’m not making million dollar deals, but yeah, I’m not really small potatoes anymore either.
The lesson I did learn through all of this is that every author has a voice, and it is unique and different. Even though I work hard to be the best author there is, there is room for everyone. What an awesome opportunity I have to give a fresh voice a chance to shine. If they can go off on their own later, well, maybe I gave them that confidence to do so because I gave them that platform. If people stay with me and keep coming my way, well maybe I’m doing something right.
What dream have you fulfilled that you didn’t even know was a dream until you stumbled into it?
Visit my publishing house at www.5PrinceBooks.com
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