By Rebecca Benston
I have always been a writer, but I didn’t publish my first book until I was 34 years old. In 2006, the first Rona Shively Story was published by what I later found out was a less than reputable publisher. It wasn’t a vanity press, but it may as well have been. I don’t regret starting out with them as it gave me the confidence to keep writing. One day, a better publisher stumbled upon my work and reached out to me to ask if I would be willing to submit my next book to him. I did, and from there, we published books three through seven of the series.
I learned a great deal about publishing and writing from my time with Stonegarden and when the owner decided that it was time to close his company, I was ready to set out on the next logical leg of my journey as a writer. I opened my own publishing company and re-released all ten of my books through Books from Higher Ground. Within a few short years, I began publishing the works of other talented authors and my business evolved into Higher Ground Books & Media (HGBM). Today, Higher Ground Books & Media has over thirty titles available. Thirteen authors currently contract with HGBM and we’re reviewing submissions daily to add new materials to our catalog.
I wouldn’t trade one part of this experience. I learned from publishing through independent publishers and I’ve learned from being a publisher. These days, I write inspirational works as well as some science fiction and mystery. My focus lately has been more on publishing inspirational, educational, and motivational works, but I am still working on a few projects of my own. By the end of 2018, we hope to add more authors and titles to our HGBM family. Until then, we are focused on creating events and opportunities for our writers to share their work with the rest of the world.