Thursday, April 17, 2008

No Thou, NoTears, No Publishing Contract

Today I met a wonderful woman, kind and peaceful. She approached me about publishing her book. I get approached all the time since Here You Are became popular, and the "slush pile" in my office of all the book submissions we get at BoathouseBooks is full of "almost great" stories. We pass the stories around and summarize the feedback in a letter back to the potential authors. In addition to the comments about the writing, I then also take some time to make recommendations as to how the story could be stronger from a spiritual perspective. This takes time, but I consider it a worthwhile effort and people are very grateful. Because of our submission guidelines, the stories all have a strong spiritual element to begin with, so when I mention an area that could be improved it is recognized instantly, with very few exceptions.

The story I was handed today, which I read while we were sitting in the sun sipping our tea, was a spiritual gem and does not need any improvement. It moved me to tears the way people are moved when they read Here You Are. That is the criteria here at BoathouseBooks - no tears - no publishing contract! Those tears are tears of joy, gratitude and recognition, and of humility and loss - the loss that is required to gain spiritual wholeness. Many mothers have it. Unfortunately, not many start writing, but when they start writing children's books - often with their own children as editors - it is a great gift to future generations. Is there a market for those books? You bet! From what we have seen, parents are craving books for the souls of their children. That is why they are writing them themselves, too. Children's spiritual well being is endangered early, and persistently, in our culture. Often religions and churches are not an option for many families for a variety of complicated reasons. If we can reduce spiritual guidance to the fundamental and universal spiritual truths at the root of all the world's religions, and bring it to children and parents in the form of children's books, we feel that we are able to honor the "thou" in children, parents, and in BoathouseBooks. Children are little Buddhas that look to their parents, grandparents and teachers, to confirm to them what they know inside, so it doesn't get lost. If the only regular "spiritual practice" in our busy lives is reading a true book to our child - it will be enough. This tiny seed will grow.

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