Traditional or Self Published? Why I chose to form my own Publishing Company

I often get asked why I chose to form my own publishing company.

I really wanted to go with a traditional publisher honestly, but after so much time waiting on my end to write a book… then starting that whole process of researching how to find a publisher… then their whole end of waiting to hear back and even if they accept you how long it would take to get an illustrator and get the product out, I just felt like- for me- this would be one more thing that I’d end up spending time on and it could potentially dissuade me.

I had already spent too much time just waiting for me.

I worried that spending that kind of time again, and this time the timeframe would be outside all my control- just for the hope of making something happen- was just another roadblock that would hold me back. I would risk contacting publishers or agents and six months later I might still be in the same spot. Or worse, after six months of not hearing anything- just because I had not yet found the right publisher- I might have interpreted that as the rejection I most feared and maybe would not have gone on to ever have a book I could hold in my hands.

No, by the time I made my mind up, my mind was made up.  I really just wanted to move forward and make this work somehow. I did a lot of research in the other direction on self-publishing, but it did not slow down my overall goal which was to finally publish my first book in 2014.

The Make A Way Media Self-Publishing Journey

Over the years, there have been many hard lessons learned (global distribution, print-on-demand, Amazon accounts) many victories that warmed my heart (children who really love my books, social media friendships, winning my first book award) and continuing proof that I made the right decision.

Fast forward five years and I have TEN published books to my credit! You can see them all here and I love each and everybody like they are my children. With my newest book, This is the Earth, there is a level of hope, pride, and excitement that I have not experienced before.

This is the Earth

I think it’s because this book is very timely and needed.

I think it’s because this book’s message is universal.

I think my illustrator Charlene Mosley brought vibrancy to this diverse picture book for kids that continues to take my breath away.

My hope for This Is The Earth is that it will spark conversations in schools and daycares, dinner tables and bedtimes, and everywhere in between about why it has been so hard for us to just be on the same planet together. I hope children read the story and look at the pictures and are able to feel peace in their bodies and they recognize that this is how they want to live. That it feels better to be at peace and learn about each other rather than to believe anyone who is different from me can’t possibly be like me, have my same interests, or have my best interest at heart.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers.”

I hope This Is The Earth helps us learn to live together. Peacefully.


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About Deedee Cummings

As a therapist, attorney, author, and CEO of Make A Way Media, Deedee Cummings has a passion for making the world a better place. All 16 of Cummings’ diverse picture, poetry, and workbooks for kids reflect her professional knowledge and love of life. Colorful and vibrant, her children’s books are not only fun for kids and adults to read, they also work to teach coping skills, reinforce the universal message of love, encourage mindfulness, and facilitate inclusion for all. Cummings has spent more than two decades working within the family therapy and support field and much of her writing shares her experiences of working with kids in therapeutic foster care. As a result, her catalogs of published books for kids are filled with positive, hopeful messages. Using therapeutic techniques in her stories to teach coping skills, Cummings also strives to lessen the stigma that some people feel when it comes to receiving mental health assistance.
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