Open Publishing Empowers 15 Year-Old Girl to Share Autistic Brother's Story Open-publisher, Lulu, makes creating a children's book easier for creators than ever.
Open Publishing Empowers 15 Year-Old Girl to Share Autistic Brother's Story
Open-publisher, Lulu, makes creating a children's book easier for creators than ever.
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – (August 18, 2011) – Anyone can publish a children’s book – just ask 15-year-old Samantha McLeod. At such a young age she is not only a published book author, but also an award-winning one. After being inspired by her mother and autistic brother at age nine, she set out to write a book that aims to help people to better understand autism, but wanted to tell her story her way, through her experiences living it. After being rejected time and again by traditional means, McLeod was pleasantly surprised by the level of control and freedom over her work she found through Lulu’s open publishing platform.
“Lulu...makes it very easy to publish your work on your terms and...keep your work in its original state as it was meant to be,” explains McLeod. “I am glad and thankful to have been given this opportunity to keep my book all Samantha.”
McLeod has three books. “Normal?” and “My Brother Is Not Special (Or Is He?),” were both published through Lulu before McLeod was 10 years old, and she has just published her third book “Good Day, Bad Day.” McLeod has donated some of the revenue from her books to autism awareness groups and she loves receiving thank you letters from the parents of special-needs children that have read her work.
“Normal?” has gone on to win the Progressive Academic Learning System’s Autism Choice Award and her books can also be found in a number of Wake County school libraries. While it is nice to receive recognition for her work, McLeod says “if it helps one family deal with the daily struggles of autism or educates people, then I have succeeded...oh, and a little Oprah wouldn’t hurt either!”
With companies like Lulu making it so simple to publish a book, many people are turning their own family lessons and experiences into special stories to share with the world. According to the 2011 “Library and Book Trade Almanac,” over 20,000 children’s titles were traditionally published last year, accounting for over 1.2 billion dollars of totally industry revenue. Lulu has published over 20,000 children’s books to their catalogue alone. The books may focus on a particular childhood issue, something a parent’s own child is specifically going through, or could just be a funny family story. It gives parents the opportunity to bring their real life experiences and relationships with their families into the story and customize it as they see fit.
In addition to parents being able to write and publish, children can also play a role in helping to create the book with their parent. Artists and graphic designers can also create their own children books, focusing on the design and illustrations, and either write the story themselves or work with a writer.
Of the thousands of children’s titles available on Lulu, topics hit on everything from coping with the loss of a loved one, to animal friends, to family issues and beyond. Some buzz-worthy books include:
· “Bud the Bunny” by Kirean Lloyd-Quinn
· “The Road to the Bananas” by Dustin Desany and Peter Searle
· “Through Tiger’s Eyes” by Bill Weber, Judy Kamilhor, and Edward B. Snyder
· “Where Are You?” by Laura Olivieri (to help children cope with loss)
Important differentiators when it comes to open publishing include who retains the rights and who absorbs the costs involved in getting a book published. Lulu’s service is provided free, and authors retain all rights and keep 80% of all profits from sales. To learn more about using Lulu’s publishing tools, log onto www.lulu.com.
Lulu (www.lulu.com) has created a new model in publishing – open publishing – that empowers authors, publishers, educators, and businesses alike to profit and bring their knowledge and expertise to customers more easily than ever before. Since 2002, Lulu has helped 1.1 million creators publish and sell their works electronically or in print and adds 20,000 new titles each month. Customers set their own price for their content and keep 80% of the revenue whevenever their works sell. Through a global print network, growing network of retail partners, and Open Publshing APIs, Lulu provides anyone with the ability to publish and sell books, eBooks, photo books, calendars, and cookbooks to readers anywhere, anytime.