When the idea for a children's picture book came to me, I knew I couldn't do it alone. First, I am not an artist. Nor am I a designer or professional publicist. I only knew enough about book printing, distribution and wholesale to get myself in trouble. Ever an entrepreneur, none of these personal limitations got in my way (of course). I just started to reach out.
My first partner-in-creative crime was Alice Feagan, the acclaimed illustrator whose collage style I admired. I had to convince her to take on a project like mine. I promised it would be awesome, that I would honor her traditional publishing roots, and that she would have the right to earn royalties at every phase - not something a typical self-published author would propose. In fact, this could turn in to a small press over time, I told her. I'm forever grateful that Alice decided to believe in me.
Next on my lists were longtime book buddies and my soon-to-be editors, Sandy Ferguson Fuller and Bethany Strout. More experienced in the world of words than I, both women nurtured my project and forced me to write a better manuscript. After literally 14 rounds of editing, I have them to thank. The rhyming text is at its absolute best. Yes, it took 14 rounds.
Local printshop and product designer Caro Forsat stepped in next, taking the reigns to reimagine Alice's picture book art as a playful, upbeat gift collection Then Sasha Illingworth applied her deep expertise in art direction and book design, creating a beautiful package that will eventually complete on the shelf with books from the biggest publishers in the world.
And that's just the start of the collaboration. Female entrepreneurs like Laura Leiff, Sarah Hopkins, Allie Yazel, Anna Peterson Macsalka, Amy Edelman, and Marissa DeCuir have propelled the Read Island message about books, nature and the mind-body connection into the local, regional and national spotlight.
It's absolutely amazing what a group of creative business women can accomplish. And I think that we're just getting started.
For more about the upcoming book release, check out the recent story featuring Read Island in The Vail Daily.