Upon finishing his work, Poulin began searching publishers through the typical agent-search format but was met with the standard rejection slips over and over again.
“We live in very different times in the publishing world,” he said. “With the demise of Borders, shelf space (on the nation’s bookstores) has been cut literally in half. Publishers are going with the people they already have stock in. They’re rarely taking on new authors.
“I really started to look around at what I could do with self-publishing. It’s not only a viable way to go, but as far as business goes, it makes sense to self-publish.”
But Poulin did not want to move forward with what might be an inferior product and decided to seek additional help in the form of an editor to check his writing and an artist to work on his cover.
“I wanted this to be professionally done,” he said. “I wanted to do everything I could to make this as professional as possible.”
Being legally blind, Poulin was first able to receive small-business grant money for people with disabilities to start up a new business. It was a grueling process, he recalled, but he was successful in taking that step to help procure financial support for editing and artwork.
“I decided that I wanted to make this as local a process as possible,” he said, opting to hire people from the area rather than use professional services available online.
He knew a young artist, Hannah Carr, whom he shared his manuscript with in an effort to convince her to take on the job of cover design.
“When I started to read the book, I knew that it needed an editor,” Carr said of Poulin’s rough draft.
She then introduced Poulin to Jaimee Finnegan, who had recently graduated from college with a degree in English literature.