COLUMNISTS

Susan's 30-year literary opus ready for roll out

Susan Manzke
Susan holds two excerpts from her long-awaited picture book, All the Queen's Crowns.

Someone asked me what I was doing this summer.

My summer started out sad with the passing of my dog, Sunny. Now I have a rambunctious puppy, named Stella, that takes up much of my time.

But that’s not all. About ten weeks ago, I began an online class with the outcome being the independent publication of my picture book, All the Queen’s Crowns.

The class is named The Ultimate Self-Publishing Course for Aspiring Authors by April Cox (https://www.selfpubmadesimple.com). The class has a cost, but April shares a lot of her knowledge for free on YouTube.

The story I wanted to independently publish was one I had worked on for many years. Looking back, I think I started writing All the Queen’s Crowns 30 years ago—that is not an exaggeration. My early manuscript had 1400 words. It won the Wisconsin Writer’s Jade ring and a Highlights Foundation scholarship to their workshop in New York state.

All the Queen’s Crowns has gone through many rewrites over the past three decades. Its final word count is 582. Sometimes editing and cutting were painful, but each time I reworked it, my story got better.

Even though this work had many good reviews by editors, no traditional publisher would give me a contract. This summer, as I reached age 72, I decided I would invest in myself and publish it. Of course, this cost me time and money.

Besides taking the course, I had to hire an illustrator and a book designer. But I was dedicated to the book and I was ready to invest in it—since I’m in control of the production, I decided to add a dog to the illustrations. If you look closely, you’ll find an image of Sunny on a few of the pages. He’s the king’s dog.

One of two almost finished excerpts from Susan’s upcoming picture book.

As you read these words at the beginning of September, my book is getting its last tweaks before setting it up for publication on Amazon. It will be published in softcover, hardcover, and digital.

Sending my picture book out into the world is like watching my children as they each went off to their first day of kindergarten. I can’t help but worry about the book and how it is received. Still, it deserves readers.

I’m here today to offer you a free digital copy. Yes, I said free.

You can be my helper by downloading a free copy of All the Queen’s Crowns. There are no strings attached. You will not be charged. To help me, I’d like you to leave a review on Amazon.

It only takes one sentence to make a review. Numbers count in the book publishing business. Having several reviews for my book will help me get noticed.

If you’d like to do this, send me an email (sunnybook@aol.com) and I’ll let you know the exact date when the book will be free. (It should be free on Sept. 11 and 12 on Amazon.)

The paperback and hardback versions will be for sale on Sept. 22, just in case you like the book so well you want to buy a copy as a gift for a special child for Christmas.

One of two almost finished excerpts from Susan’s upcoming picture book.

I know many people aren’t connected to the internet, but if you want to read my book after it is published, ask your librarian to get a copy.

So there you have it. This book will not make me rich, but I do hope its sense of humor entertains many readers in the years to come.

Fingers crossed.

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165; sunnybook@aol.com; susanmanzke@gmail.com; www.susanmanzke.net/blog.