Having initiated this with my original letter to you, I must take this opportunity to bring my intention to the discussion once again. The exasperation I have felt just trying to get the book read by unbiased reviewers was the springboard. Over the four months since releasing the book (old news already, eh?) I have been entering competitions (I'm out of luck with your "golden ticket" timeline, and was 2 weeks too late for entering this/next year's HB awards), not qualifying for reviews within exclusionary submission guidelines; writing letters to the likes of you, urging readers to review on amazon, blogging and tweeting and twiddling and facebooking, and spending so much of my creative energy on these things, I'm jaded and weary—but I still believe in my book.
That said, I can see how those in the industry see a single-handed writer/illustrator/publisher/publicist as way too close to the work to be objective, but we are not all like that. As you said, self-publishing authors are now employing editors and collaborating with others to get those much-needed objective eyes to move the work into the best form possible. I am lucky to have such sharp-eyed friends and the willingness to utilize criticism.
Based on the input of readers, I believe in my work now more than ever. I’ve sold a few hundred, and have had nothing but positive feedback. It is being considered for a few One Book One School programs, a professor of science education has made it required reading for his science ed majors, and no matter how long it takes, it will find its way into schools, because yes, it’s that important, timeless, and good. But I am only one person, now engaging as many people as possible to read Nelson Telson – The Story of a True Blue Blood.
During our initial exchanges, since your parameters excluded my book from any possibility of review, I offered to send you a copy, no strings, just for your enjoyment. You ask, "How can we make them part of the family?” My offer still stands.
Sheesh, I feel like such a kid.