Our self-publication journey started in 2010, when I began thinking about writing a book about reconnecting with my high school sweetheart after 50 years–and marrying him! Those initial thoughts ultimately resulted in the publication of “Reuniting: When the Past Becomes a Present” in 2013 and the creation of AV Publishing LLC. The learning curve was enormous during those first few years, with many starts and stops amid much frustration and doubt. Oh, we had so much to learn! Enter Michele De Fillipo and 1106 Design. Michele was one who schooled us on what self-publication really mans and what was involved. We also learned that the basic responsibility rests on the shoulders of the author. Without the help and guidance of 1106 Design and Michele’s team, we never would have realized our dream of publishing a memoir of which we could be very proud. We contracted with them for cover design, interior layout, and proofing.
Fast forward five years ahead and I felt compelled to get into the writing and publication game again. Our travels to Italy and our desire to return to and spend more time in the country of our ancestor, prompted the writing and publication of “From Italy and Back: Coming Full Circle.” I also wanted to celebrate my Italian heritage by relating early memories of growing up in an Italian-American family. The writing of that book became a testimonial to my grandparents and the gift that their immigration to the U.S. provided our family. This book was also published under the AV Publishing moniker, and once again, 1106 Design played a major part in getting the book to market. The Afterword of that book contained the diary log written by my husband, Alan Votta, which outlined our last two trips to Italy. After reading the book, a cousin encouraged Alan to write his own book, because he had enjoyed reading his entries so much.
And so he did! We were expecting to celebrate our 10th anniversary by taking an extended trans-Atlantic cruise, culminating in Italy in March/April 2020. The covid pandemic had other plans for us! Five days before our scheduled departure, the cruise industry shut own all sailings, and the country began the wild ride we’ve been on since–not to mention what happened in Italy. It has been such a disappointment, but the time isolated at home resulted in Alan being able to concentrate and focus on writing about his experience as a nuclear submariner. He knew he had stories to tell and this time at home gave him the opportunity to develop those storied in hid mind and finish his book, “Real Stories from a Nuclear Submariner: Once Upon a Time/This Ain’t No Bullshit.” This book came to market in August of 2021. And, once again, we used the services of 1106 Design to facilitate that publication.
Each of these books is related to the others, because they tell our story and how our lives have intersected. Alan joined the Navy when I broke off with him in 1961, which he explained in his book, and as it is, of course, described in the Reunited book, too. And Italy is woven into both our separate lives and our lives together. Each book includes many photographs of days long ago that help tell the story.
Each book has been published by our company, AV Publishing LLC and is available on Amazon, as well as in bookstores through Ingram Spark. We have used social media extensively for marketing, and have participated in book fairs, book signings, and other events to share our experiences, and, hopefully, sell books. Some of my previous blog posts describe our journey to publication in far more detail than I have done here, and my post prior to the pandemic was about our intended celebration for our 10th anniversary in Italy–which, of course, never happened!
So far it’s been a fun and rewarding journey. Are there any more books to come? Maybe! Alan is already getting lots of requests for more sub stories.