You made it! Thanks to everybody who followed me over to Reading with Frugal Mom this week. If you haven’t been here before, check it out! Seriously, this place is awesome! It’s been an AMAZING experience sharing my story with you this month. In case you missed the first two posts, you can check them out here and here.
We’ve covered a LOT these past few weeks. In the first post, I talked about who I am and why I wanted to write. Last week, I shared how I came up with Burlwood Forest and what the writing process looks like. This week, we’re getting down to business. Literally. I’m going to talk about publishing and what I’ve been up to since Burlwood Forest came out.
I never wanted to self-publish. I REALLY never did. Yet, here I am, four years later, and I created my own publishing company, Pumpernickel Art! How crazy is that?
Starting Pumpernickel Art was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. Not only have I had the opportunity to connect with my fans EVERY step of the way, but I’ve also been able to develop a brand identity, something that makes Burlwood Forest instantly recognizable. You may have seen ‘the bread.’ It’s also been really scary though. When you sign a traditional publishing contract, there’s a lot you need to know- legal language you have to get through, hoops you have to jump. There’s all of that with self-publishing AND MORE. I’ve learned a ton about entertainment law, copyright law, and marketing and promotion these past few months. Probably WAY more than I wanted to know. I wouldn’t trade it for anything!
Burlwood Forest came out on Halloween last year. It’s not a scary book, but the first thing I wanted to do was make an impression by picking a day people wouldn’t forget. I think I nailed it! Since then, I’ve been going pretty much non-stop. In addition to making sure that my social media platforms stay up-to-date with fresh content, I’ve been constantly reaching out to different media organizations to help grow my brand. This has helped me land in local and national publications such as the News & Observer, Carolina Parent, 919 Magazine and alumni newsletters for both UNC-Chapel Hill and East Carolina University.
I’ve also had the opportunity to be a part of, and host, numerous events including a release party at Jubala Village Coffee, a book drive at Zest Cafe & Home Art and Education Days at the Durham Bulls. One program I’m really hoping to get off the ground this summer is my school visit curriculum. I have a few visits lined up already, but starting in August, I want to travel to as many local schools as I can to promote reading. Books have made such a difference in my life, and I want to share this love with as many children as I can.
That’s all for this week. I wish I could stick around, but then I might not have anything left. We’re back over at Adventures of Frugal Mom next Monday for the fourth and FINAL post of my guest blog series. It’s hard to believe, but it’s almost June! I should probably make some summer plans. Don’t forget to join me, Monday, May 25, to see what the next step is for the series and find out about the possibility of a SECOND Burlwood Forest trilogy! Not to say too much, but I don’t think this is the last time we’ll hear from Michael Pumpernickel and his friends.
JOHN CHOQUETTE is the author of Burlwood Forest, and the owner of Pumpernickel Art, a lifestyle design and publishing company founded in 2014. His work has appeared in numerous online and print publications, and he is currently a writer for an emerging music web site. He received a B.A. in journalism from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and lives in the Triangle area with his amazing wife. To learn more about Burlwood Forest, check it out online at www.burlwoodforest.com, on Twitter @burlwoodforest, and on Facebook, at www.facebook.com/pumpernickelart. Burlwood Forest is available on Amazon.com.