publisher of books you want to read
For almost 25 years, I have been the official reader and comment provider on short stories, novellas, partial novels and fully completed novels that my sister has written. It was amazing to see how her writing style changed and developed over that time, how she had honed her craft so well to the point that I couldn’t tell the difference between her collection of unpublished work and those of books I read from published authors. She was equally as talented as many of them.
On occasion, throughout the 25 years I would let my friends read her books. The responses were always overwhelmingly positive, yet despite the reassurance from me and my friends, my sister never felt her work was worthy enough to send to traditional literary agents, or publishers. I can remember only one occasion where she sent her work to a literary agent and although she didn’t get signed, the feedback from the agent was encouraging.
During that time, I encouraged her to self-publish her work, even buying a book on the topic. But this was before self-publishing became prevalent in the industry, and before E-books. The costs of self-publishing were in excess of $20,000 for one novel, money we didn’t have at the time, but I believed in her work enough to at least try. I reasoned that I had enough money through savings and credit cards to get one book out there. She politely declined, but the seed had been planted within me. I started to have dreams of being a publisher of her work and branching out to publish works of other authors. Dreams that remained unfulfilled and ultimately dried up like a raisin in the sun.
Reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers on a flight during the summer of 2012, I experienced a light bulb moment, thinking of my own career in the accounting field, and also for my sister. I realized that my sister had put in well more than her 10,000 hours to become an expert in the craft of writing fiction novels, yet she hadn’t had the hidden advantages, or the extraordinary opportunities that Gladwell writes about. My sister hadn’t had those moments of being in the right place at the right time that would catapult her into launching her own extraordinarily successful professional writing career.
So, when my sister decided, in the summer of 2014, that she would take an old story she had written back in 2006 and put it on Amazon.com, just so she could finally say she was a published author, I saw this is an amazing opportunity. It wasn’t her best work, but I knew that this was the start of something I hadn’t seen in her before – a drive, a conviction to be published and share her gift with the world. My current discontent with my own career, and the seed of being a publisher that was planted so long ago, was all I needed to spring into action! I knew that together, we could do so much more.
And that’s why BonzaiMoon Books was created. BonzaiMoon Books is an artisanal publishing company, as coined by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welsh in APE, Author Publisher, Entrepreneur. We publish the work of my sister and other brilliantly talented authors like her who never had the confidence to send their writings to traditional publishers and literary agents or who received so many rejection letters that their hopes and dreams were dashed. We strive to give authors who lovingly craft their books more control in publishing them.
These authors were writing the books you want to read, but never presenting them to the world. With BonzaiMoon Books, now they will.