Ms. Baccellia’s writing credits include numerous poems published in a variety of magazines, ranging from Beginnings magazine and Latino Stuff Review to Coil magazine. Her poem, My Father , appears in the Mind Mutations Anthology published by The Sun Rising Poetry Press. Her essay on the adoption of her son, Finally, Our Turn , appeared in both Adoptive Families magazine and the Adoptive Families 2003-2004 Adoption Guide . She is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators ( SCBWI).
Earrings of Ixtumea is a finalist in the 2006 Dream Realm Awards and was a finalist in the Smartwriters 2006 WIN contest.
Welcome to Beyond the Books, Kim Baccellia! Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?
Earrings of Ixtumea is my first novel. I’ve had numerous poems and essays published in a number of publications.
What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?
Earrings of Ixtumea
For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?
I had 58 rejections! I ended up going to a small press, who first published it as an e-serial, then an ebook, and finally in print.
How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?
Wow, that’s a loaded question! At first the rejections got me down, but I put them aside and tried again. One way I had of overcoming a rejection is to send out three more queries.
When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?
Virtual Tales is my publisher. I liked the look of their product and how they thought outside of the box. The whole e-serial concept intrigued me. I thought Earrings would be perfect for this format. Also I went with them so I could get my toe into the publishing world. I’ve learned a lot this past year!
How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
I was very excited! Yes, I’d had poems and essays published but not a book! I even had a poem published in an anthology but nothing that was just my work. It was very exciting! We went out to dinner to celebrate. I told the people next to us I was going to be a published author and they saluted me.
What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?
I signed up for a PR class with Louise Ahern who teaches through AuthorMBA. She has a number of classes available but the one that really helped me was her boot camp for writers. I also had a contest.
If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?
No. I don’t regret signing with Virtual Tales. The whole team has worked very hard to help make my book be a success.
Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?
Not yet but I’m working on it! Yes, I’ve grown a lot this past year. I’ve learned that writing the book is only a small part of the whole publishing thing. PR and marketing is a whole job by itself. I’d highly recommend first time published authors to have a blog, website, and to have a virtual book tour.
Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up? What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?
Not send out my manuscript until I’d done a few revisions. I got very impatient the first time around. I’d recommend others to put their manuscript aside for a few weeks then go back to it. Don’t be impatient! You don’t want to burn any bridges.
What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?
Earrings was a Dream Realm 2006 award finalist. I completed a month long virtual book tour.
If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?
Too funny! I was an elementary school teacher for fifteen years. I’d like to go back to school later and finish my post graduate work and maybe even get my PhD. I’d also like to do research into autism and sensory impairment issues. I’m surprised at how little the schools help these children.
Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?
Right now I enjoy being an author. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. It’s also great that I have the opportunity to help my son at his school. I used to tell my parents how important it was to help out but I felt like such a hypocrite as I couldn’t. Now I help the teacher. Let’s just say they are excited to know that I’m a credentialed teacher too. Plus I’m able to help in the library and see what books the students like.
How do you see yourself in ten years?
Wow, let’s see…I see myself speaking at conferences. I’ll also have a few more books under my belt.
Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
If you want to be published, you need to write! There’s no secret potion to being published. Believe me, if I knew it, I would have taken it!
Be persistent. Don’t give up. Take advantage of any opportunities that come your way.