Hopefully you are already aware of the book my wife and I wrote last year, Look At My Eyes. IF not…then you need to check it out. We penned the book to discuss not only our story of dealing with navigating the autism spectrum, but to share helpful in-home exercises, words of encouragement, ways to deal with insurance issues, good Websites and I wrote portions from a father’s perspective–because there is so little out there for dads when dealing with a child with autism.
The book has been out for about 15 months and we’ve had a blast telling and selling. We have been blessed to have caught the attention of many in the media, conference organizers and parents who are desperate to have a good resource that is a quick read and is meant to bring a message of hope and encouragement.
At our first speaking engagement an elderly lady came up to me and told me about her grandson that she was taking care of and thanked me for writing the book and spending our own time and our own money to publish the book. She did not speak English very well…she spoke Spanish.
While she could read our book and understand what we were saying at our talk, she was more confident in her native language. That makes sense…we see that a lot these days. You only have to turn on the local sports station to see athletes from all over the world playing in the United States doing interviews in their tongue they are most comfortable using. Heck, there are players who have lived/played in the U.S.A. for years and you know they speak English very well but they just want to be more confident speaking their favored language.
Autism has no language. Autism doesn’t affect English-speaking children more than Spanish-speaking children. Autism doesn’t care where you are from, what kind of car you drive or whether you vote red or blue.
And so it hit me…we need to have our book translated into Spanish.
I immediately started thinking how I could make that possible. The first printing cost us a good bit of money and I doubt we’ll ever “break even” (would be nice but that’s not our goal) and we didn’t have the funds for a second book like we did for the first one.
It was high on my prayer list. I would pray that it would be possible because there is so little in the Latino community in terms of outreach and resources for families dealing with autism.
It was really cool how it all came about.
As it turns out…my brother-in-law’s brother (follow with me here) is a licensed translator and would be living in the U.S. for a few years…he and his wife spend a lot of time in Central America and we don’t see them that often. But he would be living only 2 hours from us for a few years and would be willing to help translate the book for a very affordable price…step one.
Step two was finding a publisher that would allow us to keep the rights, not cost quite as much as our first publisher and yet would help us distribute the book and make it available online.
A family friend of ours also has been writing a book. He used a publisher that met all that criteria. They were a fraction of the original publisher, they didn’t take so much money up-front (that was huge bc we didn’t have the funds) and they arm of the largest Christian publishing house, Thomas Nelson Publishing, in the world…so they have a great reputation and know how to get things done.
I was so happy to learn about these two options! When discussing marketing and outreach with our new publisher my answer was, “well, we didn’t spend any money on outside resources with Look At My Eyes and we have been able to generate a good amount of buzz.”
But that wasn’t going to be the case with Mirame los Ojos…not only do I have not have the time to do much for the first book anymore, I certainly don’t have the time or energy to promote the second book…it’s exhausting (oh and I also run the sales and marketing division of a new home building company so yeah, I’m pretty busy)
The icing on the cake with our publisher was that–since we didn’t come out of pocket as much as I had thought/planned for Mirame los Ojos we would be able to spend a few dollars utilizing their marketing and PR arm of their operations.
And thus…Mirame los Ojos came about.
It’s been a few months since the book was officially released. I have no idea how it’s selling…hopefully well. We recently spoke at the Autism Society National Convention and met with a number of families, presenters, professionals and they were extremely excited to know about the Spanish version of the book.
Our PR firm started last Monday. We had enough money to pay for about 3 months of outreach. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us and for both books with their knowledge, savvy and muscle behind our efforts.
We have already presented to a group of Latino families (we spoke English and it was translated) and the response was amazing! We sold more books than we ever have for a small presentation. You could just see how thirsty the parents and care takers were to get helpful information in their more comfortable tongue.
For Christmas this year I have asked for $$$ so I can purchase Spanish lesson software. I speak a little French (worthless in Texas) but am dying to learn to speak Spanish.
My goal is to not to need a Spanish translator when I meet a father or speak to a group of parents…how cool would that be!
We live in Fort Worth, Texas…if you know ANY organization or group, church, whatever that would benefit from us sharing our story and message of hope in English or Spanish…please feel free to contact us for an engagement…we would love to help in any way we can.
To read more blogs from Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”. Or find them on YouTube. To contact TheFowler4 Group email: firstname.lastname@example.org…oh and they just released their book inSPANISH as well…buy it now!