In the last post, I described how I had almost given up on the dream of publishing my songbook, “Sing a Song of Canada.” That is where one of my friends comes in. Maggie is a very good friend, very supportive and encouraging. Right about the time I had decided to stop sending my book around, Maggie told me about a music publishing company that she knew of through a friend of a friend. This company seemed perfect for my book. They were an educational company that published music for learning. So, I decided to send my book to them. They were very encouraging but again, did not want to take the financial risk of publishing the book.
But, this whole experience, with Maggie’s encouragement, energized me to send the book to a publisher that I knew in Ontario, Canada. After just a couple of weeks, an editor contacted me and said that they were going to edit the book and publish it!!! I was so excited. Just when I had almost given up, a publisher accepted the book.
This, of course, is not the end of the story. You already know that in the end I have self-published the book. Here is a condensed version of the next chain of events.
I received the news that they would be editing and publishing my book in September of 2006. The editor asked me to make changes. I did this and the corrected version was sent to her in April of 2007. Then, in June 2007, this company was bought by another music publishing company. I called the editor in June and she told me of this event and said that she would be “presenting” my book to the new owners. I called her in September. She still hadn’t “presented” my book. I waited because, I didn’t know what else to do, and finally called her again in April of 2008. She said that the new owner was very ill and she was not able to present the book. Remember, this is now almost 2 years after the first company agreed to publish the book. I then called the editor in July of 2008 and she said that the owner was still very ill and his son, who was running the company, was not able to look at the book. She gave me permission to send the book to other companies.
Well, I was pretty annoyed. I had waited 2 years (that was dumb of me) for the editor to work on my book. In the fall of 2008, I called another company who had received my book several years before. The owner still had the book and was very interested. They were the ones that suggested I self-publish and they would set up a distributing contract with me. This means that I would take on the costs of printing, they would do the marketing and distributing. The best part of this arrangement is that I retain all rights to the work in its entirety.
I have been working with Leslie Music Supply for over one year now. They are promoting the book to retailers. So far sales have been very slow. I have been trying to get the word out and tell people about the book. This blog is one of my outlets. I would recommend self-publishing to anyone who has something that they truly believe in. I know that “Sing a Song of Canada” is a useful tool for teachers. I use it and my students really enjoy the songs and activities. And, I know that of many other teachers who are using the books successfully. So, if you believe in your work, get it out there!!!