GRATEFUL FOR THE JOURNEY
As the pages of 2023 turn, I find myself immensely grateful for the many books that have woven their way into the fabric of my professional journey as a publishing consultant. This year has been a literary journey, navigating through the diverse landscapes of genres that span from the ethereal realms of fantasy to the grounded and poignant prose of memoir and poetry. Each book I’ve had the privilege to produce bears the unique fingerprints of its author, and together, they form a kaleidoscopic collection that mirrors the vast spectrum of human experience. As I reflect on 2023, I am reminded that, in the world of books, every page turned is a portal to a new adventure, a gateway to understanding, and an invitation to explore the infinite landscapes of the human imagination.
where imagination takes flight: a year of children’s books
My journey as a publishing consultant has been particularly enriched by a dedicated collaboration with the highly talented Creative Director, Shelly Wilhelm. Together, we have ventured into the magical world of children’s books, producing stories that ignite the spark of imagination and leave an indelible mark on young minds.
From captivating picture books that paint a rainbow of emotions for the youngest readers to engaging middle-grade adventures that transport children to far-off lands, our collaboration has been a testament to the power of teamwork in bringing forth stories that resonate with the pure joy of discovery. As we’ve navigated the ever-evolving landscape of children’s literature in 2023, our shared commitment to nurturing a love for reading among the next generation has been at the forefront of each project we’ve undertaken.
NAVIGATING THE LANDSCAPE OF
LITERARY FICTION CREATIONS
“Amanda Miller was my genie in a bottle. My wish to get my novel into print was her command. Her professionalism brought knowledge and experience to the process. Ever supportive and super responsive, she was a pleasure to work with. My novel simply would not have seen print without her. Kudos, Amanda, and buckets of thanks.”
REAL STORIES, REAL IMPACT: NONFICTION NARRATIVES
This year, my journey as a publishing consultant took an inspiring turn. I had the privilege of meeting extraordinary memoir and self-help writers who crafted narratives destined to spark transformative change. Among the remarkable stories that crossed my path, Of Dirt and Wildflowers by Kylee Marshall stands out as a testament to the power of overcoming life’s obstacles and embracing the wild journey of growth. In this poignant memoir and self-help fusion, Kylee delicately weaves a narrative that encourages readers to unearth the beauty in their own struggles while summoning the courage to grow wildly. Of Dirt and Wildflowers becomes a guide, urging us to revisit the stories of our past, embrace the present season of our lives, and aspire towards a future painted with the vivid hues of our dreams. Kylee’s wisdom extends a heartfelt invitation to shed the burdens of perfectionism, allowing joy to blossom in the fertile soil of truly living. The stories shared by Kylee and other writers I encountered this year echo a collective call for introspection, growth, and the profound impact that storytelling can have on shaping a brighter, more empathetic, and compassionate world.
PAGES OF POETRY
This year brought an enriching collaboration with two poets, a community I hold close to my heart as a poet. One standout partnership was with the talented wordsmith A.H. Morris, an author from my hometown. Our journey began with meetings at the local library, where ideas flowed like verses and creativity filled the air. From the editing stage to the meticulous production process and the visionary approach of cover design, I had the privilege of working alongside A.H. Morris, witnessing the evolution of his poetic vision into a tangible work of art, Gratitude: Two Hundred Short Poems.
“Morris provides valuable insight into the human condition with succinctly worded verses that linger long in your mind even after you’ve closed the book…Gratitude is an inspirational collection of short poems that even readers unfamiliar with poetry can enjoy—highly recommended.”—Readers’ Favorite Review
I am filled with accomplishment and wonder as I look back at the authors I have served. Naturally, we form friendships through the intimate process of publishing a book. It has been a blessing to work with collaborative, kind, and compassionate people with the same passion for the written word. The best part of my job is in the connections I make. My authors have shared their books with me and their lives, fears, hopes, and dreams. For some, I have been lucky enough to see them thrive and pursue their plans to the fullest extent. They continue to inspire and fuel my journey as a writer and creative. The conversations I have shared with my authors and seeing the change they will bring into the world have inspired me to reflect on what I envision.
In October of this year I attended my first-ever writing retreat hosted by publisher, editor, and writing coach Donna Mazzitelli. Donna hosts writing retreats up to twice a year in the most beautiful and magical setting of Evergreen, Colorado. I didn’t know what to expect when I set out on the plane from New York to travel miles out west, but what I discovered and came back with was invaluable to what I would decide to work on next.
And what have I chosen to work on next? Well, a book of my very own, of course!
I could not have come to this conclusion if not for Donna’s support and the wonderful authors who have inspired me throughout the process.
WHAT’S YET TO COME
As 2023 unfolded, it revealed and reminded me of my creative interests. One of which took the shape of book cover design. What once started as an innocent play on a simple design tool has surfaced into a new love for designing covers, choosing fonts, and just the right mixture of stock images. Towards the latter half of 2023, I invested in the proper cover design software and was trained by a professional designer. I will continue to learn the tricks of the trade in 2024 as I deep-dive into Photoshop and studying covers across all genres.
Moreover, as I continue to listen to my client’s needs and desires, I have started a new author book marketing group called the Ink and Influence Club. This monthly membership group is for authors looking to sell more books and increase their influence. Authors come together for a 2-hour power-packed monthly meeting where we problem-solve, celebrate, set goals, and get work done. As the pilot program showed, this offering will be beneficial for authors in staying accountable in their marketing. I can’t wait to continue to bring this opportunity to my authors and see them bloom.
Lastly, I am so proud of my business growth in 2024. I have served over 61 authors and seen 70 books go to print. I revamped my website earlier in the year and now host a blog with the support of Melissa McQueen! I have also enrolled myself in a monthly business group. I am working directly with a business coach, Mary Gaul, who has been invaluable in helping me grow and supporting me through new endeavors.
In reflection, as I bid farewell to the transformative chapters of 2023, I carry forward the invaluable lessons and experiences gained. The tapestry of self-discovery, discomfort, and resilience woven throughout the year has set the stage for a promising future. As the clock ticks towards 2024, I eagerly anticipate a year of creative exploration, dedicated writing sessions for my book, and the ongoing evolution of my business. Here’s to embracing the unknown, cultivating creativity, and forging ahead on this beautiful journey called life. Until we meet again in the new year – see you in 2024!