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Thursday, 11 September 2014

My Famous Story

By Chlele Gummer

Years ago, when I was a young teacher, I watched The Merv Griffin Show after school at home. I enjoyed his interviews of worldly and renown people, musicians, artists, philosophers, politicians and authors and many others.

Then I would imagine how I would be in an interview with Merv. How wonderful to have the world wait for my poignant answers to his probing questions. That's when I knew I wanted to be famous.

Looking back several decades I realize, of course I don't want to be famous; I'm a very private person and I prefer to remain in the background. The idea of having a spot light on me causes me to find the first cave to hide in. Though, still, I do want to be known as a writer. I want to be a writer of children's books.

During that young period, I wrote stories for young children but I never followed through with the process of becoming published. So in my later years, I wanted finish what I started.

When I received ads for self publishing I thought, Why not put out the money and have the book published?

By this time I did have a book I titled, A Family of Geese. It contained experiences I had had when I walked around our local Spring Lake where the Canada geese have a permanent residence.

I named the main character, a young gosling, Rufus. Being inspired with the story and with many years of experience in drawing, I worked daily on the illustrations for A Family of Geese.

How exciting it was to work with the publishers, the designers, the editors to get the text and the illustrations ready for publication. And then to see the book in its pristine state, fresh off the press, so to speak, in my own hands.

How professional I felt looking at the cover which I had drawn and colored and seeing my name under the title. It was a dream come true!

Of course when you self publish you must self promote and advertise and meet booksellers. You can pay the publisher for that service but I didn't have the money for that process.

I sent out the ebook gift cards which were included in my publishing package but I failed to personally promote myself in person to local booksellers. So the people buying my book were mainly friends and family. I settled for having published a book, though I wished I had promoted it.

Well. The other day I googled my first name. It's an unusual name; not too many other people have it. The results were astounding. I found more than 16 pages of listings. True, many were repeats, but even so, I had to shake my head in disbelief. I'm not sure I believe it to be true, even now. In fact, I'd like it to be investigated.

I found my birthplace, my parents names, my annual retirement income, my allegiances to various boards that I had served on and more than that, I found my book being offered for sale in online booksellers throughout the world - South Africa, India, Holland.

I couldn't believe it. And astoundingly, it is being sold on eBay by three sellers!

I don't know what to make of it. But if Google is the world, then I'm famous. Just what I dreamed of many years ago!

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Chlele...I know a bit about self publishing and it can be very expensive. I am hoping that you are receiving some compensation for the books that are being sold. (?) If not, I hope there is someway compensation could be initiated, but I suppose that would be expensive too. If you feel famous, that's what counts!!!!! Congratulations!

Congratulations! I still remember the thrill of going down the driveway at 5 a.m. to get the newspaper, opening it...and seeing my byline for the first time. It would be interesting to find out where the sellers acquired your books???

Oh, it's just fun to be published, expensive or not. Great job on publishing your book and may it sell well!

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