Do It Yourself! A look at author and publisher Joan Payzant.by Charmagne de Veer
There's a lot of people out there who dream about writing a book someday; there's some people who actually do it; there's a few who even get published ... and then there's Joan Payzant!
Payzant, who has been reviewing materials for CM since 1971, wrote Who's a Scaredy-Cat! - A Story of the Halifax Explosion in 1985. Then she spent seven years sending it out to numerous publishers, only to meet rejection.
"But I knew from having been a school librarian that it would be popular at the annual anniversary of the terrible Halifax disaster of 1917," says Payzant. "Finally, when the 75th anniversary was about to be celebrated, I decided, like the little red hen, that I would publish it myself, even though I am still of the opinion that this is a very conceited way to go."
Understanding that people do judge a book by its cover (and how it looks overall), she hired an illustrator and a designer to put the book together. Then, with $5000 she borrowed, she managed to print 1500 copies.
Who's a Scaredy-Cat! was published in July 1992 by Payzant's own company, Windmill Press. That first run was sold in five months. The book is now in its fourth printing and is on the Nova Scotia Department of Education School Book Bureau list.
"I'm selling several hundred copies each year. Hard to explain the publishing industry!," says Payzant.
To order copies of Who's a Scaredy Cat! - A Story of the Halifax Explosion, contact:
37 Summit Street
Dartmouth, N.S.B2Y 2Z9.
Copyright © 1997 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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