When the publisher told me that it was about a 4-6 month process I didn’t believe him. I thought to myself, Why on earth would it take that long? The words are there, the illustrations are there, what’s the hold up?! Little did I know…
Just before we went off the grid for a month at the end of July, I FINALLY submitted my manuscript sign-off. You see, even though I had read the words over many times, I had never read them from the perspective of someone who didn’t know Ella, had never met Ella nor had I read them from the perspective of a child who cannot walk, or as a child who is less fortunate and can’t afford a bicycle. I became acutely aware of the fact that my objective for this book is to promote inclusion and yet, some of the sentences were not at all inclusive. They made assumptions about my audience. I was also reminded of the power of positive language. For example, instead of using words like, “Ella can’t…”, using words such as “Ella has to practice…”
Then there was the stuff only a seasoned editor and grammatical genius could bring to my attention, especially in my “About Down Syndrome” section as well as my “Acknowledgements” and “About the Author” sections, (which is actually harder to write than the book itself).
After the manuscript is finished, the book goes to the design team. My publishing coordinator quoted me 4-6 weeks for this process however, since Celia, my illustrator already determined the book design I am hoping this will go a little quicker. That being said, they do have to re-create it from the individual files for the purpose of different delivery formats (e-book, look inside feature, etc.)
Once I have a better idea of when the book will be out (keeping in mind that I noted the delivery date on Kickstarter as November 2017) I will approach bookstores, school boards and other organizations about promoting and selling it. I hope to have book release parties in both Edmonton and Vancouver so keep your eye out! I also hope to put together a presentation for individual schools and school districts that will educate educators on inclusion from a parent’s perspective. I have heard so many horror stories in which children with special needs are in “inclusive” environments but are relegated to emptying garbages. Because there is an assumed trust in the Administration and teachers because of their supposed expertise, parents timidly keep their reservations to themselves. I myself experienced this when last year, the principal told me she was going to keep Ella in the grade one class (she was supposed to be going into grade two) with a teacher who admittedly didn’t know how to teach Ella and had stopped trying. She led me to believe that if I put Ella in the grade two class there would be no support. I hesitantly said, “oh, okay…” When I got off the phone however, I knew it wasn’t the right place for Ella for multiple reasons. I loaded up all three kids and biked to the school the day before school started at 4:30pm and told the principal that when Ella came to school the next day, she would walk into the grade two class and I didn’t care if she didn’t have support. Her peers would be her support. As it would turn out, Ella’s class had a full-time EA, the teachers were AMAZING and it was a fabulous year for everyone.
SO, if you know of a bookstore that would be interested in carrying the book, please share the Kickstarter page with them, or if you work in a school district that would be interested in a seminar on A Parent’s Perspective on Inclusion, please let me know!
As mentioned before, I am sorry to say that I am not taking pre-orders but once the book is available on Amazon or Indigo, I will let you know.
Thank you again, for all of your support. I am so grateful. I hope you have a lovely summer!