Saturday, 23 May 2015

Grateful for Gutenberg's Invention

I've been thinking a lot about Gutenberg's printing press lately. Sometimes it seems, if we're not touched deeply by something, we simply take it for granted. Even after enjoying the skills of reading and writing for many, many years, I hardly ever stop to think where printing a book all began. And how far this industry has come since Johannes Gutenberg invented the first printing press around 1439. Sadly, he died a poor man and was never even recognized for his world-changing invention.

After getting my book, Hutterite Diaries published, I came away with a new appreciation for the time, thought and effort that goes into getting a book ready for publication. I know I've picked up thousands of books without ever thinking about that. Lately, every book I read is a reminder that a long list of people helped get it into my hands. Beside the author and illustrator (if it's a picture book) there are editors, marketers, designers, printers, distributors, booksellers, and probably a few more I couldn't think of. And let's not forget the people supporting authors in any number of ways during the writing process.

This also reminds me of an old typewriter I had as a teenager. A friend had given it to my dad; he must have known it's something I would love, for it ended up on my desk. I'm not sure what all I typed back then, besides some goose hatchery records for my dad. In any case, I know I totally enjoyed the clickety-clackety sounds my hunting and pecking efforts made. I may have felt like a real live secretary, each time I parked myself  in front of this writing wonder. I'm pretty sure it helped nurture my love for stringing words together. However, back then, I know publishing a book was not in any of my dreams yet.

Back to the present, it's not even a week since Hutterite Diaries was released and already I've seen a number of positive reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I've also gotten heartwarming emails like this one:
"The book arrived early afternoon Saturday.  I sat down to read after dinner and stayed up until I had finished it.  What a wonderful book!  You have a beautiful comfortable style of writing.  Your sad and happy childhood memories were very touching.  I felt as though you were talking to me in person.  I learned much on the slavery chapter.  I learned a lot about the heritage and, of course, enjoyed reading about my great grandfather.  I cannot even imagine what he was going through when he left his family and community.  But because of that brave move, I am here to read about it and that makes a big, important difference to me."

I was pleasantly surprised when a local columnist offered to promote my book. Her weekly column appears in the Portage Herald Press and on her blog Out of my Mind.
Thank you so much, Terrie. As always. your column is beautifully written, insightful and heart-warming. I'm truly humbled by your kind words! 

This afternoon I will be at the Portage Library, who offered to do a book launch. I'm looking forward to seeing who all will show up and sharing my book with them!

1 comment:

Faith Hope Cherrytea said...

I look forward to hearing more such launch news from other W MB locales! and libraries :)