One of my frequent assignments at DiabetesMine is to review books about diabetes. These days, it seems like everyone and their brother is writing a book about diabetes. In fact, with the advent of self-publishing, it sometimes feels like everyone and their brother is writing a book period! Every so often someone will ask me if I plan to write a book, and believe me, I’ve certainly thought about it. But none of my ideas really seemed unique, and none of my ideas seemed like something that people might actually read.
But last summer, I had an idea. It came around the same time that I decided to go back to school to become a Certified Diabetes Educator. I had attended the American Diabetes Association where I saw several poster presentations about how difficult it is for young adults (emerging adults, they’re called) to manage their diabetes. As a fellow emerging adult, I can sympathize, but I was also surprised at the statistics. I sometimes feel like I lead a very charmed life, with a supportive husband, family, friends, large support network of fellow PWDs, an amazing doctor, and diabetes resources up the wazoo. Although my diabetes management isn’t perfect, I’ve always had insurance (or COBRA), I’ve always felt like my medical team listens to me, and the only time I’ve been hospitalized was when I was diagnosed 19 years ago.
The idea: write a book for these emerging adults, focusing on the issues that arise when you suddenly don’t have Mom and Dad around to help with life. We have these kinds of books for young adults post-college, dealing with the same kinds of issues related to work, friends, dating, staying fit and healthy. But doing all these things with diabetes is a whole ‘nother ball of wax. The book will focus on all the transitional issues that we emerging adults deal with, but with a diabetes twist.
Over the summer, I went through the process of writing up a book proposal, which I had reviewed by a legit-published author friend of mine. Everything looked good and I sent it off to a publisher known for their diabetes books. And I was turned down, saying that they just didn’t believe that audience was large enough to warrant a book.
So I tried again. Sent it to a different publisher, also known for their diabetes books. And once again, I was turned down. For the exact same reason: great idea, no audience.
Well, personally I think that’s a bunch of bullcrap. I know the audience is tiny, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve support and resources!
My plan is to write a full-length book and self-publish. I plan to offer it at least as an e-book, but I’m also hoping to connect with my sources and get paperback versions published for those inclined to highlight and scribble notes.
I have no idea when the book will be published. I’ve never done this before, so I don’t have much experience developing a timeline. I would love for the book to be available to high school and college graduates in Spring 2014.
Not having a publisher-backed book is certainly disappointing, and I wasn’t even sure I wanted to write a book that didn’t have a publisher. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the only reason I wanted a publisher was for my ego. I firmly believe that more resources for young adults need to be available. The audience might be small, but there still is one and they will only be hurt by the lack of information. I’m even hoping this book will help parents, spouses and friends understand what their loved ones are going through.
I’m obviously very nervous but also very excited. I’ve gone a long time without creating my own diabetes project, and now I’ll have two: Blue Cupcake and this book! I’ve never stopped participating in the diabetes community, but I haven’t really owned any projects since I stopped working on Diabetes Teen Talk, way back in 2007. It’s so fun to be leading and working on my own projects again. Yay!
If you’re a type 1 or type 2 young adult, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you’d like from a book! Leave a comment or send me an email at amnimlos [@] gmail.com.