Recently, I received a copy of Kate Reilly’s book, Walt Disney World Resort: Extreme Vacation Guide for Kids. I thought this was a great book idea when Kate first thought it up a while back. Holding the book in my hands, I am glad to say that Kate managed to turn a great book idea into a great book. (This is not as easy as it sounds.)
I sat down and read it start to finish. Of course, partly this is because I love Disney World (I know, who would have ever guessed that?), but mostly it’s because Kate is such an engaging writer and knows how to make a book interesting for everyone–kids and their parents.
Extreme Vacation Guide includes more than 30 projects that kids can do while they happily await a Disney vacation, and it also gives plenty of tips on touring the parks. If you have kids and are thinking about doing Disney any time soon, consider buying this book first. You can get it on Amazon.com at this link (can be combined for free shipping) or you can get it from Kate’s delightful website, www.polkadotsuitcase.com. It also makes a great gift!
One thing I especially enjoyed about seeing this book come in the mail is that I know the story behind it. I know how hard Kate worked to polish the proposal for the book. I know how hard we worked to sell it (I represented the book when I was still a literary agent). We came very close, but because we were trying to sell in the middle of a recession that devastated publishing, editors ended up being too skittish to take the book on. We knocked on a lot of doors, and we heard a lot of, “This is a great idea!” followed by, “But we can’t publish it!”
It was extremely discouraging for me. Because darn it, a great book should be published! Although Kate never said anything and was always perfectly gracious and appreciative of my efforts, I know she must have been deeply disappointed, too. For a lot of people, that would have been the end of it.
But Kate really believed in her book, as do I. She ended up deciding to publish it herself. I can only imagine what a huge amount of work this was. She kept me posted at various points along the way, and when I opened up the package she sent and held the finished book in my hands, I was so proud of her. I always admire good work, and this is good work.
I hope Kate sells a gazillion copies of this book, and I hope her story helps people remember that there’s more than one way to make a dream come true.