Inspired by Her Grandchildren, Carol Novis Publishes Her First Book
Winnipeg-born Carol Novis always knew she wanted to write and publish a book of fiction.
She just didn’t know it would be a fairy tale.
Or that she would be retirement age when her first book was published.
Novis graduated from the University of Manitoba and moved to London to work for the Canadian government in the swinging ‘60s.
For the past 30 years, she’s lived in Israel, in a suburb of Tel Aviv and, for many of those years, worked as a writer and editor for the Jerusalem Post.
Fiction, though tantalizing, was something she postponed.
But after leaving journalism “because it wasn’t fun anymore,” she says, “I felt like I was losing my identity.
“I thought, ‘How could I have done this? How can I just be nothing?’ “
She did enjoy “not going into work” and discovering “a whole world out there.” She took on volunteer writing and editing jobs. And she committed a lot of time to helping her three daughters with the seven grandchildren.
But she still felt a sense of no longer accomplishing anything significant, of not testing herself and of being identified only as an aging, retired grandmother.
Then she investigated the options for self-publishing.
“What a world out there!” she exclaims. “There are so many shady operators.” One, based in Singapore, she says, wanted to charge outrageous not just for selling the book to you but for editing, for the cover, even for the ISPN number. They also kept calling and pestering her.
Instead of signing up with one of the dubious operators, Novis signed up for a course for people who want to publish their own books.
In the end, she self-published through CreateSpace, a subsidiary of Amazon.
“It was quite an easy process,” she says.
Novis opted to engage a children’s editor to copy edit her book even before submitting it to publishers, and that cost about $200. She also paid for formatting the book which some people do themselves. And she paid her niece for the illustrations.