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.
Sometimes the business of business gets away from me. It did yesterday, which is why my regular blog is late.
This blog started as an exercise in something I should do. It's something businesses and authors all seem to agree needs to be done in order to build an audience (i.e., market) for their products and services. It's also a substitute for a journal or diary, a way to express thoughts, sometimes just a way to vent frustrations. I try to use it also as a way to teach.
Blogs may appear impersonal. They have become ubiquitous: everyone has a blog. However, people write these essays. Some write them for ulterior motives, others because they're paid to write them, and still others for more altruistic purposes. My blog--like every other blog out there--hits all three, depending upon the moon I'm in and the thoughts that strike me as I write.
My weekly blog doesn't adhere to a running theme of topics or a scheduled, much less logical, progression of ideas. Truth to tell, it's pretty haphazard. And sometimes it falls off my radar.
Like it did yesterday.
I do try to maintain a schedule: Mondays I post an article on LinkedIn. Tuesdays I write the Hen House Publishing blog, which goes live on Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning, depending on whether I remember to schedule it. Wednesdays are dedicated to book and event promotions. Thursdays I write for the MRFW 52-week Blog Challenge: those essays go live on Friday mornings. In the meantime, I also contribute a daily post on LinkedIn. And, of course, there's the work that pays the bills.
I write blogs for other companies. I manage three newsletters. I am in the midst of editing another author's manuscript. I am working on my own manuscripts. Yes, that's plural. Because I'm in business, paid work comes first in the list of things to do. Even when it's overwhelming.
So, this week's blog is late. But better late than never.
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The Barbary Lion
Tiger in the Snow