ABOUT FOLDS IN THE MAP: STORIES OF LIFE’S UNLIKELY INTERSECTIONS
Folds in the Map is a collection of essays and stories by emerging author Jeff Bauer. In these pages, he embarks on an earnest, touching journey to discover the places where we feel most connected as human beings – to each other, to nature, and to the world around us. From the bottom of a bomb crater in Laos, to a refugee camp on the Sudanese border, to the side of a Panamanian volcano, and back home again to the frozen January streets of Minnesota, Folds in the Map is a moving, intensely personal exploration of shared experience and unlikely intersection.
Welcome to Beyond the Books Jeff Bauer! Can you start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?
This is the first time I’ve been published.
When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published, or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?
I chose to take a hybrid approach to publishing my first book, Folds in the Map. Along with a small group of artisans with various talents (graphic design, copyediting, photography), I created a small indie publishing imprint to launch my book. Our plan for Inciteful Press, with Folds in the Map as a vehicle to build our foundation, is to eventually publish other emerging and independent authors.
How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?
I haven’t had a lot of time to celebrate, as I’ve been learning, firsthand, that writing a book is only one step in a much larger process. Promotion and marketing are constant responsibilities. I’m also, in the midst of launching Folds in the Map, very conscious of maintaining a consistent writing schedule for the next project. That being said, Folds in the Map was over six years in the making. Finally having the chance to release it to the world has felt absolutely amazing.
What was the first thing you did as far as promotion when you were published for the first time?
In addition to connecting with a host of local reviewers, book clubs, and independent bookstores, I’m currently gearing up for a virtual book tour with the help of Pump Up Your Book! This will be a new experience for me and I’m looking forward to it.
Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?
I think I’ve become more disciplined about the practice of writing. In the past, I would only write when I was feeling particularly inspired or overjoyed or sometimes distraught. At times, months would go by between writing sessions. Now, I try to consistently block out writing windows even if I have no idea what I’m going to be writing about. These unscripted sessions have yielded some of the best material.
What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?
It’s amazing how self-publishing has really democratized the entire industry. So many great authors who never would have had a shot with one of the big publishing houses now have the chance to get their work in front of millions of potential readers. I think it’s a really beautiful thing.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?
For me, the act of writing is really a search for points of profound connection with other people. When someone takes the time to tell me that they genuinely connected with something I wrote, I know that it was worth the effort. Most of us will never get rich as writers. Love is our reward.
Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?
In the pursuit of the goal of “being a published author” it can be tempting to follow trend lines and tap into whatever the current big thing happens to be. In my humble opinion, the world doesn’t need more people speaking in the same voices about the same things. It needs more people who are willing to show us their true hearts – to make us feel what they feel through their own unique and powerful words. If you’ve got something important to say, go out there and say it as only you can. Even if you feel all alone, someone, somewhere will be moved by what you have to say.
ABOUT JEFF BAUER
Jeff Bauer is a community organizer, public policy advocate, and writer based in Saint Paul, MN. His blog, onlybiggerthinking.com, has been read by nearly 10,000 people from over 50 countries. Folds in the Map is his first book. In addition to his work as a writer, Jeff recently lead a successful advocacy effort, in his role as Director of Public Policy at The Family Partnership, to pass a nation-leading Safe Harbor law in Minnesota to protect children from sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. He lives in a tiny house on St. Paul’s West Side with his wife, Diane.
His latest book is the inspirational/essay book, Folds in the Map: Stories of Lifes Unlikely Intersections.
Visit his website at www.incitefulpress.com.com.
Visit his blog at www.onlybiggerthinking.com