Janine Werchinski-Yates of Baldwinsville appreciates exercising the creative side of her brain. “I’ve always liked writing,” she says. “I think it’s a nice release to get your ideas out there and use your imagination.”
The Upstate University Hospital laboratory technologist recently published a children’s book called “The Secret Sock Club.” Here’s what it took:
* The idea emerged from time spent in Laundromats. “I saw this little sock peeking out from under a clothes dryer, and I said ‘oh, that’s where they go,’ ” Yates says. Then her imagination conjured the Secret Sock Club.
* The time investment was about six years, start to finish. “It’s a learning curve to try to figure out how to get this together and make it happen.”
* The illustrator, Michael Conway was the elementary school art teacher for Yates’ children. She had not seen him in a few years and then, at a time when she was frustrated by her search for an illustrator, she ran into him four times in one week.
At the Baldwinsville Public Library, she asked him, “Why do we keep seeing each other?”
“I don’t know,” he responded. “Do you have an art project or something?”
“Actually, I do,” she said. It turned out, Conway had always wanted to illustrate a book.
Yates was looking for an illustration with an old fashioned, comic feel, and Conway’s sketches were right on. “He’s really, really good at getting the emotions out of these socks,” she says.
* The cost of self publishing goes beyond the price of printing. There is also the cost of copyediting and layout, cover design and page illustrations, marketing and distribution, along with the fees to obtain the copyright, barcode and Internationl Standard Book Number. Depending on the number of copies and quality of materials, you may spend as little as $500 or more than $20,000.
* The assistance Yates needed, she got mostly from family members. Her oldest daughter, Francesca fine-tuned Yates’ language and helped edit the copy. Her youngest daughter, Ellie made suggestions about the story. Her son, Harrison set up her website at http://www.secretsockclub.com. Her sister, Rose put her in touch with someone who designed the book.
“I’ve had a lot of help, really, and a lot of good luck – which is sort of the theme of the book.”