Guest Post by Patricia Norki Nater, author of Dance of the Antelope
Finding Acute By Design was a godsend. Literally. Sometime last year as I was surfing the Craigslist website looking for part-time teaching and tutoring work and scrolling through various links, it just so happened that I clicked on the link posted by AcuteByDesign.
I recalled that, after reading the post requesting manuscript submissions and/or a brief summary of one’s story, I kind of rolled my eyes and muttered about Craigslist doing a better job of screening postings. However, for some reason, instead of disregarding or discarding the post, I forwarded it to my email as is my wont when I find promising, prospective jobs.
For several days after that I re-read and mulled over the post while praying about what to do. The reason for my hesitance and mistrust stemmed from my past experience with the writing and publishing industry. So eager was my initial foray into publishing my work some years ago; a compilation of cute animal photos coupled with quotes/sayings, that the request to pay a fee before entering the writing competition did not trigger any alarm bells.
After being politely told that my work was “extremely creative…but unfortunately did not win” but then found that my credit card had been charged twice – once for the pictures and the second for the text, most assuredly the seeds of distrust took root.
My second bad experience was at a writing conference in Maryland where writers were assured that the very best book reviewers would be available to read respective stories and give “valuable advice” on how to get one’s work published…for a fee of course, of nearly $300.
Unfortunately, I once again took the bait and was astounded when the “expert” reviewer I had the misfortune of being advised by told me that Cinderella was a European ONLY story…obviously he had not heard of the approximately 1500 variations of the story from around the world.
After publication, if I find that he is still around, I plan to send him a copy of my book published by AcuteByDesign!
At one point I even applied for a grant awarded to artists. I made it to the final round and, at the meeting, which artists could attend but not identify themselves, I sat and listened as the grant award people waxed lyrical about my story but bemoaned the fact that awards were only for those about to embark on their projects, and not for those with the finished product.
After all these mishaps, I decided to self-publish because I believed that there was a market and need for such stories. I researched various self-publishing companies, decided on one I liked and heard rave reviews about, and promised myself that once I had the funds I would proceed with the publishing process.
Then I found AcuteByDesign, or maybe they found me…because after researching online and visiting the website, I finally, cautiously decided to submit a blurb of my story. Mind you a blurb, not the whole manuscript. I went back on Craigslist to forward the blurb, but lo and behold there no longer was a link.
By this time I had determined to take a leap of faith with the blurb. If I submitted that and things were not legitimate I would still not have given up too much information. After submitting the story summary on the website I did not hear anything for approximately a month, then I received an email. Not a generic email, but one with a name and contact number. After contacting and having a wonderful conversation with a girl who confirmed that they were indeed a legitimate company, and that indeed something had gone wrong with the Craigslist ad but yet my work had somehow found its way to them and that my work was loved and appreciated, I knew I was at the right place.
Then I spoke to Michel, the publisher, and then Laurel, the editor, and as the cliché goes…the rest is history. My dream of a published book is close to becoming a real reality, and I have the awesome people at Acute By Design to thank for making a way where there seemed to be no way.
To all who have a dream and a passion to fulfil it: Do. Not. Give. Up. Be prepared for when opportunity knocks; write you book, illustrate your pictures, for success is when preparation meets opportunity (another cliché, but profoundly true).
Find out more about Dance of the Antelope, Patrica Norki Nater’s Ghanaian Cinderella Story, and pre-order your copy of this magical tale here.