Years that Answer Questions

Years that Answer Questions

by Beth Kozan

Zora Neale Hurston

2015, for me, was a year of answers. The question was: Would I ever get that book published? YES!

For at least 15 years, I told people I knew that I was writing a book about adoption. All along, I asked people permission to tell their stories. I never had anyone refuse, or ask that someone else’s story be written. I did hear: “Have you written your book yet?”

In those 15 years, the book publishing industry changed a lot. I was intimidated by my first (and only) attendance at a local writers’ group (2005?) where I heard: “Don’t self-publish! If you do, a ‘real publishing house’ will have nothing to do with you!” Thankfully, that is no longer the mantra.

I attended ASU’s Desert Nights / Rising Stars Writers Conferences in 2006 and 2007. I learned a little more about the book publishing industry and met other aspiring authors. It was still the era of publishing houses and agents. Ebooks were just coming into their own. I had a PDA (remember Personal Digital Assistants which were soon made obsolete by smart phones?). I downloaded a few ebooks to read on flights to conferences.

In 2000, Stephen King serialized an ebook and charged $2.50 to download each chapter: he made a reported $1,250,000 for the second chapter! But he IS Stephen King – with possibly the biggest and most loyal fan base in the U.S. Author Scott Turow headed the Authors Guild and led the fight for independent authors who are paid very little by Amazon for their paper books and even less for ebooks.

In early 2014 (a year of questions, for me) I began attending the Meetup Group that Laura Orsini leads: Phoenix Publishing and Book Promotion. There were three members plus Laura at the first meeting at The Refuge. Robert Scanlan had just finished writing his personal testimony, Tigers Under My Bed, about surviving three organ transplants; he came to learn how to self-promote his book, and he’s done quite well with it. Tyger Gilbert, a Coloradan by birth, had an idea to publish a tourism magazine highlighting his photography and his adopted state: Arizona. And I had my manuscript written, but still unpublished.

After soaking up advice from Laura and guest speakers like the sponge I am, and attending a few events at Dog-Eared Pages Bookstore, I gathered enough courage to ask for help from Eduardo Cervino and Lesley Sudders (whom I met at the Meetup), who patiently walked me through getting the book printed by CreateSpace in time for the Tucson Festival of Books on the second weekend in March 2015. It was a thrill to be one of 20+ authors from Phoenix hawking our books at this very large book fair!

Now I have enough information to assemble my second book, Helping the Birth Mother You Know, and I intend to publish it in 2016. I think this one has a potential for a greater market, and I will approach a couple of publishing houses for assistance.

May 2016 be a year that asks, and answers, its questions!

Beth Kozan is the author of the book
Adoption: More Than by Chance and the forthcoming Beth KozanHelping the Birth Mother You Know. Beth worked in adoption for 35 years and retired to write. She has many more books than these titles to write and will emphasize and explore the concept of community in her additional books. “Growing up in a close agriculture-based, rural community in Texas, I felt the comfort and bonds of caring for others which is often missing in our busy lives today. Exploring and building communities for today is my writer’s goal.” Follow Beth on Facebook or visit her website, where she reviews books and films featuring adoption.

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1 Response to Years that Answer Questions

  1. bchatzkel says:

    Great chronology. Looking forward to the second book!


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