Every speaker I meet on the circuit thinks they’d be more successful if only they published a book. People I meet at cocktail parties and networking events want to know how I got my books published because they all “have a book in them.” Even published authors only want to talk about their next book; the ones that have already been released are old news.
Everyone wants to publish a book.
Owen and Delaney Reynolds are no different than everyone else. Except that this brother and sister are published authors.
An autographed hardback copy of Owen’s most recent book, Contraptions, sits proudly on my coffee table, right next to books by two of my other favorite artists, Mark Rothko and Saul Steinberg and Joanne McPike’s Think. I don’t have Delaney’s latest, My Animal Friends of No Name Key, but I’m hoping to add a personalized copy to my library soon (hint, hint).
Both books are big and beautiful, filled with insights and observations and worth paging through again and again. Both books are beautifully printed and brimming with personality. Both books would make any of us proud to call them our own.
Here’s what’s so extra special about these authors; Owen was eight and his older sister Delaney was nine when their books were published.
Their parents, Bob and Julie, logged onto Blurb.com, helped their kids upload their artwork, picked paper stock and cover colors and published their books. The site provides everything you need to design, create, produce, publish, and even sell your books.
But this blog post is not about Blurb.com.
It’s about the democratizing of access.
Publishing a book used to require contacts, trips to New York, taking meetings and opening lots and lots of rejection letters (believe me, I know). Having something worth saying and then actually sitting down and writing the book often seemed like the easy part.
But that was before the Internet came along. Now the good news is that we all have access. Unfortunately, that’s the bad news too.
You see, access doesn’t always make things easy. When lack of access actually did stand in the way of accomplishment we had good excuses to hide behind. But with ubiquitous solutions just a click of the mouse away we have to face the real reasons why we’re not accomplishing what we’ve always wanted. Now the only thing standing between our published dreams and us are our own excuses and insecurities. Or as Pogo the Opossum said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
When I was intimidated about the amount of time it would take to write my first book a friend told me that “writing just a page a day equals a book a year.” That seemed to bring the dream just a little bit closer within my reach.
No one told that to Owen or Delaney and they still got their books published. And while they’re young enough not to know how hard it used to be or just how great their accomplishments are, their volumes are proof positive that your book is waiting out there too.
All you need to do is get started.
I’ve already cleared off a prime spot on my coffee table!