And now for the news.
Highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing:
Now here is some news both adorable and useful! Mother of two Tara Travieso self-published a book explaining the need for social distancing as a response to COVID-19 after refining a metaphor she had already been using (and seeing some success in communicating) with her own children: bubbles! (We all can appreciate bubbles.) Katie Kindelan of ABC News covers the mother’s story, writing that
When she saw how quickly her own daughters took to the idea, and got positive feedback from other parents with whom she shared the idea, Travieso got to work writing a children’s book.
Just six weeks later, Travieso self-published her first book, Billie and the Brilliant Bubble: Social Distancing for Children.
Kindelan goes on to summarize the many challenges Travieso faced while finishing her first children’s book, from acquiring an ISBN to locating an illustrator to finding the time to write while also working full time and splitting household responsibilities with her husband. The book “tells the story of a young girl named Billie who has an imaginary bubble to keep her safe, according to Travieso. It follows Billie as she goes to a park and meets new friends, who learn about her imaginary bubble and then want one themselves.” And while popping another person’s bubble is not at present a thing Billie wants to do, out of care and respect for others, the book does end on a hopeful note––with Billie expressing excitement over the future day when it will be a thing of joy to pop one’s own bubble and emerge into a safer, bubble-reduced world.
It’s such a marvel to be living in the day and age we are––a day and age with plenty of difficulties, it’s true, but one which is also full of opportunities we wouldn’t have dreamed of even two or three generations ago. Enter stage left 92-year-old Mary Alice Baluck, who currently resides in a senior living community. As Raymond Smith of the Tribune Today notes, the seed that would flower into Baluck’s first self-published novel, Heaven’s Doorway, were planted around forty years ago––proving that there’s no putting a time limit on the creative work of a writer’s imagination. (As more than one writing professor has stated, “Nothing is ever wasted.”) Baluck is already working on finishing her second novel, and has plans for a children’s book as well. Smith quotes Baluck:
“My husband passed away in 1999, and although I had always written short stories and poetry as a pastime, I had never seriously thought of writing and publishing anything until he died,” she said.
And we’re so very glad she did, because her novel sounds fascinating! An intergenerational saga set near Lake Eerie, Heaven’s Gate was self-published only months before Baluck’s 93rd birthday.
Remember this: It’s never too late to get started!