I self-publish (DBA ‘doing business as‘) Scéalta Sinsear (Ancestors’ Stories in Irish) and plan to make books available in eBook, paperback, and hardcover formats. Progress in writing has been overshadowed by the joy I experience caring for my grandsons, as it has been possible for me to conduct research and design book covers with a baby on my shoulder. Actual writing has been more demanding however and to ‘get in the Zone,’ I often wake up at 3 AM to write. Needless to say, progress has been slow.
My decision to self-publish stems from advice I received after winning the 2017 Writers League of Texas Manuscript Contest for Nonfiction. The prize was free admission to WLT’s Agents & Editors Conference and a one-on-one session with the renowned West Coast literary agent who had judged the contest. In my one-on-one session, I was told that although my work was excellent, finding a publisher is next to impossible because 17th-century history doesn’t sell, and academic publishers focus on already published scholars.
As a result, I “craft books” since I have had to learn the following skills to become competent enough to self-publish: book design, eBook design, book cover design, interior front matter, body & back matter design, indexing, graphics design, typography, typesetting, page numbering, print flourishes, copywriting, purchasing ISBNs, registering with the Library of Congress, pricing, ePublishing, book distribution and making books available print-on-demand. Bottom line: “I have to do it all.”
I am working on a book titled THE BOSTON MEN AND THE MASSACHUSETTS BAY COMPANY. From the sailing of the Mayflower in 1620 to the 1640 advent of the English Civil Wars, twenty-thousand individuals migrated from England to America in what is known as The Great Migration. Though less than one percent of these immigrants were from Boston, Lincolnshire, ten Boston men helped found the Massachusetts Bay Company, while four of their number led the company as Governor or Deputy Governor for fifty-one of the fifty-five years it existed. This book tells their story and is planned for release in 2024.
Concurrently, I am working on a biography of my 7th great-grandfather, the Rev. John Cotton, titled JOHN COTTON: An Intimate Investigation of His Life and Times, which is targeted for release in 2025.
Click on any book for Slide Show
Click on any book for Slide Show
At present, I have over twelve works-in-progress…outlined…researched…with book covers developed…
Oh! Had I but world enough and time, at the very least, I might finish nine!
Creating THE COTTON CHRONICLES, I have become aware of the extent that I am a visual learner I am. I guess I always have been visually oriented. I recall in 6th grade being turned on to science by Bell Lab movies like Hemo the Magnificent and The Strange Case of the Cosmic Rays.
As my family attests, I often go on and on about my ancestors’ stories. I have earned the right to tell these stories. I own them because I have painstakingly researched them.
The weight of all the material I dug up on my 7th great-grandfather eventually forced me into writing. I was weighed down like the ghost of Scrooge’s dead partner, Jacob Marley, who in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol was “captive, bound and double-ironed” with chains “long, and wound about him like a tail.” But my chains were folders of research on the life of Rev. John Cotton, who lived from 1584 to 1652. To free myself from the chains I created, I had to begin writing.
You may have noticed all the videos I have posted in COTTON CHRONICLES. A picture is worth a thousand words, so how many words are ‘moving pictures’ worth? Perhaps I should be making films?