The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
My Life As A Woman is about to go to jail for the best reasons. So becoming a published author is amazing. This website is officially a sponsor. My company, NoteToServices, is now also technically a publishing company. From collecting the stories, networking, organizing, processing, and finally pushing out the message that a new book was for sale, it all seems like a piece of cake. To be honest, I’m not sure if i could do it again. It was a lot of work and it was all worth it, but just thinking about it makes me tired. The efforts of an author hardly seem fruitful, but when does an author really expect to become the next Stephen King?
From the time it took to write the book to distribute the book, promote it, and try to sell it is a lot of work. Not everyone can do it. Not everyone does it.. Authors don’t receive very much from the sales of their books and those that do have to sell an overwhelming amount of copies to make up any lost wages. However, as I keep emphasizing: every aspect of this book was worth everything. And as I proceed on to the final part of telling the story of yet another journey for this book, I am still so fascinated by everything I was able to accomplish. I really am not sure how to explain how I pulled this off, though I am so very grateful to the 34 men and 9 women who stepped up and were part of a great network to help me collect the stories.
Coming up with ideas for how to market a book is a daunting task which requires hours upon hours of research and brainstorming. I’ve asked other blogs and book websites to review my book and post it on their websites. I’ve paid influencers on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to share a link to the book with their followers. I have even given interviews on other author blogs that specialize in the manner. I have even written about the book on this very blog. The trick is probably to never actually stop talking about your book.
My Life As A Woman: World Edition is a book about women, for women, to women, by women, but for everyone to read. It is a book that covers women from all walks of life, in every country, who are bear witness to the treatment of women by their own governments. Women around the world provide insight into what their lives are like, what it has been like growing up, and share a glimpse into their daily lives and routines. There is something for everyone in this book. It was an adventure for me, it was an adventure for these women and everyone involved, and I assure you, you can’t help but be taken in by the journey, as it becomes yours as well.
So when deciding on my next marketing move, I had a thought: where are some of the most vulnerable women in the world? This is not to say they didn’t do something to end up there because of their actions. This also does not mean that every one of them is violent. What it does mean, however, is that these women are confined within gates, as they are serving sentences for their crimes. I am talking about sending My Life As A Woman to prison.
My Life As A Woman is a 744-page book filled with adventure, wonder, mystery, suffering, pain, and everything in between. This is a book that you can get lost in for hours. And what better way to pass the time, serving a sentence, then to get lost in a book? For those who feel anti-, imagine yourself being locked up, with the comfort of only four walls within a small room. While I would say that no one deserves this, it is unfortunate that we do have to have a system like this to accommodate criminals of all types. Now is it a fair punishment to leave someone in a room by themselves for 23 hours a day? According to our justice system, it is. It has been this way for millenia and it will remain this way.
Own Your Copy Today!
The point, however, is that giving someone a very positive and motivational book, with the thoughts and stories of over 500 very well-intended women and one man can only mean that only good can come from allowing a woman the basic human rights of a book that will help her, no matter her crime, no matter her sentence, and no matter what she is going through. She is still a woman. She still bleeds once a month. She still has thoughts and feelings and is wrecked with emotions. Thus, as I seek to expand my marketing efforts, I can only know that bestowing this book upon the women in the prison system, can only help, not harm, any woman whose eyes come across it.
NoteToServices, which is the official publishing company, is donating several boxes of My Life As A Woman paperback books to several prisons around the United States. We are still seeking partnership with many other prisons that house women. While we may have been too late to save or protect some women, we can still show them that there is hope in the world. And whether they are to remain behind bars for life or not, they still have a great purpose in this world. Locked away in prison does not mean that life is over, but rather that you must seek out what your new life now means, even if it means this is your life for the remainder of your lifetime.
We greatly appreciate the Appalachian Prison Book Project for being the first nonprofit prison book project to reply with a very warm welcome and acceptance of this book for their own project. Lydia Welker writes:
Thank you so much for thinking of APBP! What a wonderful project. My Life as a Woman sounds like a fantastic fit for our needs. We would be happy (and grateful!) to accept a donation.
We extend our gratitude to APBP for initiating such an amazing project like this and helping to ensure that prisons systems are in accordance with still providing their inmates with basic human rights, including the right to a book. We are very happy to donate several boxes of the My Life As A Woman book which will then be redistributed to multiple prisons. As stated on their website:
APBP sends free books to people imprisoned in six Appalachian states (West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Maryland), hosts book clubs inside prisons in our region, and is leading an effort to bring for-credit college courses into prison.
The impact of APBP:
Since 2004, we have mailed over 50,000 books.
100 imprisoned people (75 women, 25 men) and 27 volunteers have participated in our book clubs.
30 incarcerated students have earned WVU college credit.
We’ve hosted 25+ wrapping parties for community volunteer groups.
But don’t just take it from us. Hear what our friends on the inside have to say about our work.
We are very happy to contribute and donate to the great cause of APBP!
[Update: 11/23/2020] As of this writing, another email just came in with interest in a partnership, from the LGBT community who sends books to the LGBT prison population.
And while I must say, even though My Life As A Woman is headed to prison… it does not mean the book has to lose class. After all…