It was over eight years ago that Paul Mundy of Easthampton, Massachusetts, called me to ask if I would help him create a book in memory of his late wife. He had written a series of poems about her and wanted to pair them with the beautiful photos of their life together. It was to be a holiday gift for their children.
At that time, I had recently published Divine Renovations, a memoir written in tribute to my late husband, Ed Godleski. Naturally, Paul’s mission resonated deeply.
I lightly edited Paul’s poetry. I helped him choose artwork and scan in high-resolution versions. Then I used an online program called Shutterfly to design the piece. The result was a very lovely hardcover photo book that Paul was proud to wrap and give to his family and friends. It brought a tear to my eye to see the joy it gave him.
I didn’t yet know then that Paul’s project would ignite my own passion for book development.
Roughly another year passed before a second person came to me looking for help with a book. Jim Ricci of Haydenville, Massachusetts, had a much more comprehensive and technical project in mind. Jim wanted to pen a history of the reel lawn mower in the United States. I eagerly signed on to help him. And again, I will never forget the look on Jim’s face when he held the first print proof of his book, Hand, Horse, and Motor.
At a celebration he held for friends and family at the Hotel Northampton, he signed my copy of the book: “To Janice, the best book editor & friend.” Still makes me weepy to read his words.
I have since worked with several other authors, helping them bring their book ideas to the bookshelf. In the process, I have developed and refined my own skills, process, and approach. I created Janice Beetle Books LLC to highlight these services and to also showcase my own blog and work.
I am very excited to unveil JaniceBeetleBooks.com today.
I think the site by Danaë DiNicola of Turn Signal Media is attractive and easy to navigate. I think it well showcases my own creative writing to date as well as my clients’ books. (Stay tuned for a blog next week announcing the publication of my most recent client book, Flight of Integrity, which I wrote with Peter Cichon.)
What I love about this work is that there is nurture involved as well as skill and knowledge.
People come to me, and they think their idea is not worthy, or that no one will want to read their story. They have fears—that they can’t complete a book, that it won’t be good enough, that they won’t be able to get it published after doing all the work. They look to me for validation, motivation, inspiration, and resources.
And I help them.
I still love the deep sense of satisfaction I see on their faces when they hold their books in their hands for the first time. That doesn’t get old.
For many of them, bringing a book to life is a dream they’ve held for decades.
This second business is good for me too. It will inspire and motivate me to complete my own books. I have three that I nearly completed before walking away to the next project. I am no different than my clients in terms of having fears! But I am going to combat them now. I am Daring Greatly.
Please visit my new site.
Subscribe to the blog.
Read about my clients’ books.
Visit my Shop. I’ve created some fun products that are helpful tools for creative writers, and I have many more that I will offer over time.
Please feel free to share the web link on social media and to tell people you know about the work I do. I have a deep desire to do more.
I believe in the passion every person has to tell their story.