Indie Publishing

by AynCates on September 19, 2017

in Spiritual Inspiration

PLEASE PUBLISH MY BOOKS…

When my daughter called from college to ask me if I would publish the children’s books I had written for her as a child, I was intrigued. I wondered why college students would want the stories I had written for my children?

“My friends are depressed and they need the messages you shared with me,” my daughter said. Kathryn was very clear. Obviously she just wanted me to get on with the project. One thing I really like about home schooled and Waldorf students, is that they are very sure about what they feel needs to happen. They have “sparkle.”

I had published titles with a few British publishers and had worked as an editor for Kingfisher Books, as well as some literary magazines, so I was familiar with the publishing industry. Since I was living in California, I contacted both American and British sources. I was told there was not a market for metaphysical children’s books.

“They are really stories for children of all ages,” I said. I was told that category did not exist. “They are out of the box fables for unusual people,” I added. And in that moment, I knew my books had defined themselves. They are out of the box stories for cultural creatives and their kids.

I had to smile as I realized in my own small and independent way, I am continuing in the lineage of the rambling houses of Ireland, the folklorists, and mystic poets that keep wisdom traditions alive.

There must always be an alternative to mainstream media. Grassroots cultural creatives need a voice. Even though we are in the digital age, I am not giving up on art and literature. It feeds my sustenance, my inner life!

I decided to start a small publishing company. I contacted my attorney and drew up an outline for Infinite Light Publishing LLC. That was a start, but I needed help.

Honoring Ellen Reid Bookshep

ellen-reidAs if in answer to my prayers, I met Indie Expert Ellen Reid and worked with her from 2014 until her death early this year. Ellen was a wonderful woman, I learned so much from her and miss her.

Ellen loved Independent Publishing and was very knowledgeable about it. Instead of turning my books over to a publishing company, I was now involved not only in editing, but also design. Illustrator Belle Crow duCray spent hours hand drawing all the the illustrations in the Sparkle series. We learned about lay out and design. Then there is the world of printing: paper options, dust jackets, digital and off-set printing options.

Thrilled that our books were finally being printed, we then had to face the distribution issue. Getting into the commercial bookstores like Barnes & Nobles is difficult for Indie authors. One reason people go to a mainstream publisher is because they get larger distribution. But that is changing now. Just about all books sell through Amazon, and that market is open to anyone. I was able to make a relationship with distributors that link to other markets, but so far Amazon is really where our books sell.

We contacted local mom and pop bookstores, and also New Age shops. Some of these, such as Rainbow Bridge in Ojai, or Paradise Found in Santa Barbara, Watkins in London, Gothic Image in Glastonbury, England, do sell our books for us regularly. New Leaf Distribution has also been very helping getting our titles out for us, as has BCH. We carry our books in the back of our cars and tell people about them.

To sell books you do need to know your market. Since we have sold over 250,000 books, we have discovered that there is a need for metaphysical books. It is a niche market. So many people, young and old, need to be reminded that although we are in times of change we can turn this planet around. We can make a difference and one effective way is through literature. If we can imagine a healed humanity we can create our dream. Stories of young men and women who believe in the Earth, remind us that we can collectively clean up the mess and evolve in the process. This is the time for the cultural creatives to dream in the New Earth!

Ellen Reid also was a big fan of literary awards. I really think literary awards help authors. Every time you win an award, or even receive an honorable mention, your title is seen. The author is able to mingle with other authors at award ceremonies and exchange ideas. My favorite book awards ceremony was a private dinner in Paris for the Paris Book Festival. It was very intimate and I made several new friends. I also really enjoyed Nautilus at the Book Expo America. They have an excellent selection of books. Readers Favorite and Literary Classics also have award ceremonies, and offer really helpful reviews.

I will miss Ellen Reid’s Indie Excellence Awards. Since she cheered on so many people, I hope Ellen is awarded a wonderful place in the Otherworlds.

Belle Crow duCray, Illustrator

Our surprise book was a story that I had given to my kids as a holiday gift. I had originally printed it on the computer and stapled it together. The kids had drawn their versions of the illustrations. Belle Crow duCray, who was helping me with some interior design, saw the book and started reading it. When I came back in the room she was sitting on the bed in floods of tears.

“I want to illustrate this story!” said Belle between sniffles.

It is my belief that if you want to do something, you might as well have a go. Belle put her body, heart and soul into imagining the story. It is about an apple tree who goes through all sorts of challenges, such as being eaten by deer and recovering, being struck by lightning and transforming, being studied and misunderstood. These are themes anyone who has experienced illness, divorce or bereavement would understand. The message is that we can go through all of this and come back stronger and wiser than ever before.

This book was marketed as a fable for children of all ages It won 18 literary awards, was a best seller on Amazon all of 2016 and is still in the top 100 kindle books in New Age Self-Help. My children’s book did not fit it’s category, but it found it’s own: New Age Self-Help and Short Story Classic.

the-miracle-tree“The Miracle Tree”

“If you ever find yourself at the base of the miracle tree say, ‘Thank you’ aloud, for she likes those words. Then give gratitude to the sun, the moon, the water, the soil, all the stars, and to the wind. If you lay down under her branches, a dream might visit you with otherworldly faces. And if you are very lucky, a golden apple might roll off the highest branches that have been kissed every morning by the sun and the chorus of birds.” – from A Story of Becoming

In Support of Indie Publishing

support-indie-pubWhen a young child comes up to me and wants to know if they can be a writer too, I love to say, “Yes!”

Of course, there is a lot of work involved in writing a book. No one knows how much time it will take until they undertake the project.Often it takes a year, or two, or even longer to take a book to print. Then there is the marketing, which the Indie Author is responsible for. Actually, all authors- indie and traditional- must sell their books. And no matter how much a book sells, or does not sell (most Indie books sell 200 copies) just writing a book is an amazing educational experience and well worth it.

I am an avid supporter of Independent Publishing. I also believe there is a place for the traditional publisher. It really depends on the subject matter and market. The question you must ask yourself is – do you want to be in the driver’s seat and take your book from idea, through three rounds (at least) of editing, through design, printing, marketing and distribution, while keeping your copyright? Or do you want to hand your book over to a traditional publisher, let go of the reins and hope for the best? Both ways can work well. In our hearts we know which way to go.

So, close your eyes, take a deep breath. What is your literary path?

Honoring Louise Hay

louise-hayIf there is one quote by Louise Hay that has stayed with me throughout my life it is this one: “Every experience I have is perfect for my growth.” That really means that EVERYTHING that has come my way (including: divorce, rejection, betrayal, fires, illness – as well as love, marriage, children, health, abundance, etc) has been perfect for my growth.

I first began reading Louise Hay’s books in England and had the privilege of meeting her. I liked the fact that she started her own publishing company because she wanted her message to go out into the world in her own way. She did not want to edit her book the way a traditional publishing house generally demands. After selling 40 million books or so, I’d say she really did create a wonderful reality for herself. Obviously there was a lot of work involved, but it seemed to come effortlessly to her.

Of course, it is a constant practice to remember the benefits of positive thinking. I often have to stop myself in the middle of a negative thought and reframe it. It’s a valuable practice! It is why I have created my Positive News site.

Louise Hay left a great contribution to humanity. May her journey Home be blessed and filled with grace and Light. The angels are probably celebrating her return as I write these words. Thank you Louise Hay for being authentically and positively YOU.

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How To Find Peace In A Chaotic World

by AynCates on February 7, 2017

in Uncategorized

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Staying Centered During Times of Change

Times of great change are upon us. We have been told by sages that we would need to prepare for a shift. Are we ready? Changes always surprise us. The wise ones respond to uncertainty by closing their eyes and going into deep meditation. If you feel too agitated, you can just slow down. Look at the sky. Breathe. Remember that life is a blessing. Refuse to get caught in drama. What we need right now is wisdom. We can only access wisdom when we are at peace with our body, mind and soul.

Inside each one of us is a steady flame that will never go out. This diamond fire that lives within our hearts knows that political situations come and go, and are not perturbed by the human dramas that have gone on and will go on until the end of time. That doesn’t mean that we don’t need to respond to the events of our time. Of course we do, but the wise ones respond with wisdom and loving kindness. What does not serve our conscious evolution is to become divided against ourselves and each other. We need to practice love, peace and unity.

It is very easy to go into negative future fantasy. Too often we project our shadows onto leaders, without really coming to peace with our own illusions and distortions. As we come to peace inside, we can hold a positive world view and support the forces that help us all live and thrive.

Practice: Sunrise/Sunset Meditation

There is an ancient practice that has been done by wise beings for at least 25,000 years. When we engage in the Sunrise/Sunset meditation, we connect to a long lineage who have helped to sustain what is good and true on our planet.

Each day at Sunrise and/or Sunset, turn to face the sun with your eyes closed. Pull in the life affirming rays of the Sun into your body and feel how the warmth feeds the Light that lives within your own heart and soul. Give anything that upsets your balance into the fire for renewal, and breathe in wisdom and joy. Be as still as an ancient tree and feel the support of the Earth that you stand upon. Feel how the Sun warms and inspires you, and the Earth nurtures and holds you. Practice basic trust, and allow yourself to feel that everything is a blessing, serving our highest evolution, even if we don’t understand it. Allow the mind to quiet. Feel the flame within your own heart growing stronger. Know that when you are established in peace, you become a living and breathing blessings for the world.

On Tuesday February 7,  Ayn Cates Sullivan will be speaking on The Author Show about her award winning book A Story of Becoming, and upcoming mythological fiction series, Legends of the Grail. Ayn explains how we can see life’s challenges as a series of steps towards greater wisdom. She also offers insights to aspiring authors. The audio file will be placed in an archive for future listening:

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http://wnbnetworkwest.com/WnbAuthorsShow3.html

Growing In Love

In my practice, I notice that often people cannot see their partners clearly. Anytime you complain, feel dissatisfied, or disappointed in your partner, something else is going on. The people we find ourselves in relationships with are perfect mirrors for our growth and evolution. This moment is the perfect time to begin to observe who we are in relationship with. My husband and I practice Self-Inquiry. This is rather fun, because this practice helps us realize that our partners are evolving and growing just as we are. We are all great mysteries waiting to be discovered! The focus of this practice is on understanding and opening up to the divine within ourselves and discovering our True Nature.

DEEP LISTENING 

Step one begins with making time to simply listen to each other without comment. We set a timer and each person is given 5-10 minutes to simply share how they feel. Then we swop without commenting on another person’s process.

We might be tempted to want to fix someone, or interfere in some way. Deep listening is simply what it is, listening and being aware of our internal responses. The most powerful place to listen from is the heart.

This is a 100% personal responsibility exercise. The one rule is that we don’t get to blame another for how we feel. Not even a political leader. In this moment, we are observing our inner reality and sharing it with another. That’s all.

  • Practice deep listening to another human being without adding a personal commentary or agenda. What changes inside of you?
  • Practice deep listening without needing something.  Perhaps your needs will be met naturally from within?
  • Practice silencing your inner judge and critic, and listening with love and understanding. What happens when you are simply fully present with another human being?

Practice and see what arises…. if you trust your inner guidance it will lead you Home.

For more information visit:

http://ayncatessullivan.com/inquiry/

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Avalon, The Island of Apples

August 24, 2016 Media

The symbolism behind the golden apple is profound and can be found in all mythologies. In Greek mythology, the eleventh labor of Herakles is to find the Gardens of the Hesperides and take a golden apple from a tree protected by a dragon. In Norse mythologies the golden apples keep the gods young. Judeo-Christian mystics […]

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Legends of the Grail is off to press!

August 22, 2016 Uncategorized

What a wonderful feeling! I have just handed in 469 typed pages to my editor who will then pass the book on to the designer. Legends of the Grail is scheduled to launch in early January 2017. I first began walking the sacred sites of Britain and Ireland in 1986. That was thirty years ago, […]

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Review by Sherri Rosen

November 25, 2015 Uncategorized

Review by Sherri Rosen of “A Story Of Becoming” by Ayn Cates Sullivan I’ve read and reread this book many times. Each time I read I receive another gift. The book is for children and adults. The artist, Belle Crow Du Cray, brings each page alive with her illustrations. The messages in the book are […]

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Living Into The Feminine

July 28, 2014 Uncategorized

Hi Imagine that you are in a great forest. It is a magical and safe place in which you immediately feel nourished. It seems that every breath fills you with more life. Every movement causes the branches of the trees and leaves to respond to you. Perhaps you even hear the subtle melody that issues […]

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The World Would Be Bereft Without You

June 28, 2014 Uncategorized

Once we experience what it is to melt into the absolute bliss of being, our next job is to return and share this wisdom with others. After we empty ourselves of stories that no longer serve us, it becomes crystal clear that each one of carries a unique light and that the world would be […]

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Dreaming The Impossible Dream

May 1, 2014 Uncategorized

Hi What if we decided to focus on six impossible dreams? We might select six things that we would love for ourselves or perhaps for others. Do you believe there might be a co-creative power in this? It may be that if we stay focused on our aim these dreams may find our way into […]

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The Wise Ladies Of The Lake

March 23, 2014 Uncategorized

Hi, It is Spring and time to honor and celebrate the Goddess. I am surfacing from a two month vigil with feminine archetypes, not so much because I choose to as because it was simply biologically time to turn within and listen. I have been going through menopause, which some women pass through without notice. […]

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Three Days In The Light

March 23, 2014 Uncategorized

Hi ,       When we lived in more mystical times, humankind knew to honor the feminine principle by honoring the earth and water. We went into nature and communed with wells, springs and rivers. Women knew that unless they communed with wells that the world would become a spiritual wasteland.       I […]

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