Author Next Steps

There are those people who make resolutions when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.

 Then there are those of us who do not.

As I think over past improvements and accomplishments in my life, I realize that none of them were the result of one moment in time or one list of resolutions. In recent years, I have become ADD. My mind is in constant free flight accompanied by sudden thoughts of things I absolutely must do!

I have also learned within those moments that I need to sit with a thought for a long time to sort out which of these random ideas include some tidbit of an activity I might actually want to pursue. Or whether it is worth pursuing.

This is how my book came about. I thought of the idea of interviewing families of children with autism. I considered how that might come about, and I talked to some women who might be contributors to get their opinion on the idea. Nine months later, recorder in hand, I began what I called “my project that might become a book.”

Two and a half years after that, in August of 2019, Conversations About Autism was published.

Now, as 2020 begins, I want to consider the next direction for myself as an author. I might adopt the motto “pursue possibilities” when it comes to the future of the book.

The authorly possibilities that have been flying randomly around my mind for several months include:

  • Discover where my audience is found and get my book there. (sensory gyms, hospital gift stores, the web??)
  • Find opportunities to talk about autism awareness and use stories to help those who might not be empathetic to understand more. A parent suggested that senior citizen groups might be a good place to start as grandparents often do not understand and sometimes blame parents for bad parenting.
  • Gather small parent panels to speak to groups.
  • Get a copy of my book in doctor waiting rooms, both pediatricians and internists.
  • Consider social workers and psychologists.
  • Contact staff at various developmental centers to see if they are interested in the book or if I can do – what ??? (Here I strike a blank.)
  • Find autism organizations or blogs to review or mention my book.
  • Start organizing the stories I already have about education, adult programs, medical issues, and the road to diagnosis. These are stories that are not in my current book but could be the start of second book if I want to begin the journey again.

Then there’s this: turn my introverted self into an outgoing marketing machine so that the book ends up in the hands of people who might benefit from it.

I have already made slight progress on this list.

I was excited in October by my first book review, presented by fellow blogger Robyn, at Autism in our Nest.

I already have a short speaking engagement lined up in April for a church ministry which offers support to adults, some of whom may have children with special needs.

My own internist has parents who talk to him about their struggles and he feels that his own understanding of autism is limited. He now has flyers in his office and a copy of the book in his waiting room.

These are not resolutions but they are some of the possibilities I can ponder and pursue.

I would greatly appreciate more suggestions about my next steps.

How can I reach people who might benefit from reading the stories that are shared in Conversations About Autism?

4 thoughts on “Author Next Steps

  1. So, I haven’t read your book (yet), but I think I understand the format. I think one barrier is that people don’t know that they want to read a book like this until they start to read it. I think the general public has limited experience learning about a topic by reading first person narratives about it. One place that comes to mind is the center where my son was diagnosed. I was there for three hours while they did test after test. I came with something to do (I actually brought my laptop and wrote) but I’m sure most people just come with their phone. Probably they would get drawn into your book.


  2. I agree with Jeff – maybe having the book in locations like he was. If I were in the process of having my child evaluated for autism I may want to read the book, or if my child was recently diagnosed. I don’t think I would go the senior citizen route. From my experience, people that don’t believe in autism still won’t no matter how much you try to explain. The panel may be a neat way to go because when I read your book I related to the stories inside. If I were at a panel discussion and heard someone’s story I might raise my hand and want to tell how I related to what they said. Then I would be like, oh wow, I wonder if this book has a lot more stories like that because I totally get what that parent or person is saying. So, I like the waiting rooms idea – for behavioral health and doctors/pediatricians – and the panel discussion. I think your book is great for the newly diagnosed and for those like me – the ones that can relate to the stories inside. Honestly, in your book one parent started talking about how much their (I think teenage) child ate compulsively and they had to lock their fridge. Total ME TOO! moment. So I wrote that piece about it. Not many could relate but a couple of people did and may have never thought others could. Also, I think the road to diagnosis is a good topic as well. There’s a lot there. Good luck!


  3. Thanks, Robyn. I just found this comment in my spam. Not sure why. My target audience was families of children with autism, especially those fairly newly diagnosed. For me, it is so easy to keep sidetracking to try to reach the world! Ha ha. Thanks again for reading and reviewing the book. I realized I never shared it or reblogged your review. I am not sure of the protocol/etiquette for that. Is it okay with you for me to reblog, which then shares to my FB author page??


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