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Daily Inspiration: Meet Misty Black

Today we’d like to introduce you to Misty Black.

Hi Misty, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I’m an award-winning, international bestselling author of dozens of children’s books. My mom instilled a great love of literature in me at a very young age. She was in a book club for over 30 years. I remember gathering around her as she read to my siblings and me books like The Boxcar Children, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, and Romona Quimby. She read in such a way that I would be transported into the stories.

I’ve always loved picture books, even as an adult, and I love reading them to my kids. I’m sad that my youngest is starting to grow out of them. When my kids were young, I would write children’s stories and use pictures of them as illustrations. That’s how I did my scrapbooking for years. In 2018, I thought, “Man, some of my stories are pretty good. I should try to publish them.” And that’s what got me started on this journey of author/publisher/author coach/course creator/book designer.

I don’t think being an author was always in the back of my mind. I got my degree in business with an emphasis on finance and worked in the corporate world for many years. But that business degree has certainly come in handy for starting my own publishing company and learning to market my books.

The first book I published is When You Feel Better: A Get Well Soon Gift. It’s a story I wrote for my mom, who was sick for many years with cancer. I never gave up hope that she would get better. Hope is what gets us through the hard times. And though she passed away long before I published the book, I dedicated the story to her and desire it to bring hope to others who are sick. I also wrote Grandmas Are for Love with her in mind, as she was the greatest grandmother to my kids.

My most popular series is Punk and Friends Learn Social Skills. Social-emotional learning is so important for kids to grasp at a young age. The next book in the series, Clutz the Cat Learns to Do Hard Things, comes out in September. It’s a growth mindset book teaching kids that it’s okay to make mistakes and that trying our best is what matters most. Children are so afraid of failing that they sometimes don’t want to try. The purpose of this book is to teach kids that failure is an essential part of the journey to success. And if they’re ever scared of trying, to use Clutz’s motto:

I don’t know how to do this YET.
And though it may be tough,
I’ll try my best to do it right.
My best is good enough.

Adding YET to the end of an I can’t statement is a powerful growth mindset tool.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Getting published is not easy. When I first started, I attended as many seminars, writing conventions, workshops, and courses as possible, trying to learn everything. I initially thought getting traditionally published was what I wanted to do.

But at a seminar, the speaker, a traditionally published author, said, “It takes on average ten years to get traditionally published. That’s not ten years from the time you start writing. That’s ten years from when you have a manuscript ready, and you’re actively searching for agents and publishers. Some people may hear that and get discouraged. But to me, I thought, ‘awesome, that means in 10 years, I will be published if I stick with it.'”

When I heard that, I had already been rejected twice by a traditional publisher. So that comment didn’t discourage me; it helped me feel normal. But it did get me to think, “What can I do on my own in 10 years.” I decided then and there to start my own publishing company, Berry Patch Press, to publish my books.

That’s not to say it’s been an easy road since I made that decision. It was a steep learning curve, and I continued to learn all I could about the business of publishing. Because of that, I’m not only a writer, I’m a graphic designer, bookkeeper, marketer, speaker, salesperson, book formatter, developmental editor, project manager, and mentor. I’ve recently had to hire help to manage it all.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I have published dozens of picture books and have one traditionally published book. My books are in English, Spanish, Romanian, and soon-to-be Portuguese and German. I don’t regret for a second going the independent publishing route. It is so rewarding to have a creative outlet you love that brings in an income.

I also teach online courses on writing and publishing books, including everything I learned on my journey and what I did to become a 13-times international bestselling author, selling over 100,000 copies in under three years.

I love doing author visits at schools. Seeing the look on a child’s face when they learn you’re a “real” author is rewarding. I get hugs, high-fives, stares, and smiles. I love it all. I’m available for in-person and online author visits, so distance is not a problem.

I’d love to come to your or your child’s school. I have many books on several topics to choose from. Some even come with lesson plans for your classroom.

You can get a FREE advanced copy of my next book by joining my launch team. See the link below for details.

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
If you want to become a children’s book author, reach out. Having a mentor who can point you in the right direction is vital. I have joined many Facebook author groups. Some of my greatest friends are my author friends. We have a supportive, close community that I love being a part of.

Pricing:

  • Get It Written Workshop: $57
  • Get It Published Program: $487
  • Author coaching: $90+ an hour
  • Developmental editing: $85+
  • Picture books: $4.99+

Contact Info:

Image Credits
David Black

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