Self Publishing The Struggle
And The Dream
I met Yvette Fleming at the Independent Writers' book table at the Sunshine Coast Writers' Festival where her books were in the same corner of the table as mine were. I quickly picked up that with Yvette, what you see is what you get. And what I saw was a woman full of life and enthusiasm with clothes that could feature in a fashion magazine under the heading of bold individuality
Although the Yvette Fleming I met is upbeat and energetic, she has had some rough spots in her life. Those rough spots became the inspiration for her books.
In 1990, Yvette discovered that she had lupus, an autoimmune connective tissue disease. The body attacks itself and results in inflammation and tissue damage. Lupus flares up and then goes into periods of remission. It is not an easy disease to live with.
In 1992, Yvette learned that she also had cancer. As you can imagine, that was a low blow.
When I interviewed Yvette, she said, "I'm OK, and I feel pretty good." But of course she hasn't forgotten the most difficult times. They became the inspiration for the three books she had on the table at the festival: Color of Fevers
tells the story of her health issues. A-Z Kalazmazoo I Love You Too!
and the companion Coloring Book
are for children. She made one teddy bear, named him, and then decided to make twenty-five more, one for each letter of the alphabet. When they were done, she wrote poems about each one. The poems and photographic portraits of the bears are in A-Z Kalamazoo.
Yvette wrote Color of Fevers
to promote good health. She hopes others will be pro-active about their own health.
At first, like many writers, she wrote for herself as she tried to discover if she had done something to bring her disease on herself. Then she realized, "I've got this. I can help someone. It makes me feel good."
The bears were more for her own artistic expression. Once they were made, she thought the poems could bring them to life. Then publishing a book of the poems and photos seemed like a good way to encourage families to spend time with their kids.
Yvette's bears now inspire her to work towards animation.
Why Yvette Chose To Self-Publish
Yvette is clearly a creative and artistic person in many areas. She is a hands-on person. When I asked her why she self-published, she said, "I hate to give that away to someone else!"
Yvette also loves to learn, and self-publishing definitely involves a steep learning curve.
Yvette's Web site is at yvettefleming.com
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