Monday, May 08, 2017

Teacher Tom's First Book

As many of you already know, I've been working on a book these last many months. Indeed, if it hadn't been for encouragement from readers, there's no way I'd have done it. This morning I'm happy to announce that our website has gone live and while the book itself, Teacher Tom's First Book, is still a few weeks away from being available to thumb through, we're taking pre-orders now. Here's the link if you're interested. (If you are in Australia, click here. For the time being, those of you in New Zealand can place a pre-order by emailing We expect to be able to take pre-orders from Europe and Asia by early next week, please bear with us.)

When I was a younger man, I really, really wanted to publish a book, although back then I was determined that it would be a novel. In fact, somewhere on my hard drive there are five novel length manuscripts, none of which will ever see the light of day. I hold a degree in journalism, but the novel was my gold standard.

I spent many years in business, working in communications, public relations and whatnot, but then broke free and managed to work as a freelance writer for the next dozen or so years. Always in the back of my mind was the idea of a book, but that's not what anyone apparently wanted to pay me to do. I got plenty of work as a copywriter, journalist, editor and other kinds of writing, but for me a book meant fiction and there were no buyers. I did get a couple gigs as a ghostwriter so there are a couple books out there in the world that I "wrote," but then signed over to another author.

Shortly after I began teaching, I was approached by an outfit that was publishing a series of city tour guides for parents. They wanted me to be the author of the Seattle edition. I got it done and I'm proud of it, but it wasn't really a proper "writing" project in that most of what it involved was researching various attractions and points-of-interest around the area then creating little blurbs about them. Nevertheless, the result was a book with my name on the cover: A Parent's Guide to Seattle. Last I checked, there were used copies available on Amazon for less than two dollars.

The best thing about that project was that it sort of satisfied the urge to produce a book even if it wasn't the great American novel, and so, being checked off the bucket list, it hasn't been among my top-line aspirations for some time.

When I discovered blogging back in 2009, I feel like I found my true "art form," and I've not looked back. I write here almost every day and at the risk of sounding boastful, I feel like I'm threatening to become pretty good at it. That said, for the last several years, several times a week, readers have been asking me "When is your book coming out?" At first, I simply took it as flattery, but over time I was finally persuaded that there were some people, at least, who wanted to see an actual book.

So now I've done it. I can't wait to hold a copy in my hands. In many ways this is better than that novel I dreamt of in my youth. It may or may not be a work of quality. It may or may not be a work of value. Those are things for others to judge, but I can say that whatever else it is, it is a work that is uniquely mine, a product of both who I am and who I am becoming, and of that I'm very proud.

I want to thank all of you who have urged me write this book and who read my daily blog posts. Without you it really never would have happened.

I put a lot of time and effort into this blog. If you'd like to support me please consider a small contribution to the cause. Thank you!
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Chris said...

Congratulations! I look forward to reading it. I don't have my own children, but volunteered taking care of them for many years. I always wished I'd had some training and more insight on how to make the program better. I enjoy and learn from your posts.

Suzanne said...

I'm excited to read it! I've been reading your blog the past few months and it **almost** has me interested in becoming a preschool teacher. I'm not going to be a preschool teacher because I'm an employed biologist, but it's been fun to incorporate your philosophy into my parenting and adding bits to my daughter's preschool. Thank you for the work you put in here. It really has transformed my thinking about child development.

ms.bug said...

Hooray! Can't wait to read it!

Caroline said...


Jrothh said...

WOOHOO! Some of your blog posts are part of our suggested reading list for new staff at our summer camp. I am excited to be able to hand them a full book full of gems. Thank you for writing this.

eileenlaurie said...

Fabulous! I live in Sweden and read your blog almost every day. Inspirational for my art/nature work.k. Looking forward to reading the book. Just let us know how to order it!
Very best wishes

Polyanna said...

Congratulations!!! Will you be shipping to Greece too????

Scott said...

Congratulations Teacher Tom! Quite an accomplishment. I can't wait to see it...and share it.

Debby said...

I am interested which blogs are on the reading list, would you share the links?