Editor’s Note: This is one in an occasional series profiling NFPW authors.
Inspiration can come in the smallest packages.
For Debbie Reece, inspiration came from her son Matthew’s green pumpkin picking and his school class’s wish to have pumpkins for Christmas. She asked herself, “What would you do with a green pumpkin for Christmas?”
The story continued to evolve, and Debbie decided she would try publishing it. After researching with various vanity presses – all of which wanted at least $20,000 of her money to publish the book she was at a loss. She also feared sending off her book to traditional publishing houses, not because she feared rejection, but because she didn’t want to have to change the book.
In time she met with a local illustrator and the two signed an agreement. She started her own business and self published the book. On June 15, 2009, “The Christmas Pumpkin” finished printing – all 1,500 copies.
She spent the summer selling books by setting up book signing and author visits. She launched a website, developed a marketing plan and just “worked hard.” The book placed third in the NFPW contest this year. She’s been interviewed in numerous newspapers and appeared on Disney Radio in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area to promote the book. She’s even returned to her elementary school to read the book, of which she has sold more than 3,000 copies.
One of the best parts of having a published children’s book is reading it to classes. “I get to go to schools and read to children daily,” says Debbie. “I listen to their ideas and enjoy their expressions as they listen and interact with me during the story.”
Debbie is at work on her next two, both of which are humorous views of life with a toddler and a young child.
Another plus is that Debbie often takes her son Matthew with her. “He loves it when people ask him to sign the book,” she says.