Personal letters found following her father's death led Joanie Schirm to start writing her award-winning debut book, Adventurers Against Their Will, a narrative nonfiction about her family's experiences during World War II. The book took Schirm four years to research and write, followed by time spent working with a professional editor to fine tune the stories. Schirm wanted to release the book quickly once finished so she found designers for the interior and cover and pursued a self-publishing path. A key element in the process that was helpful for Schirm was receiving her book galley, or advance review copy, that she was able to use to solicit testimonials and sponsors. She planned her book launch event at her city hall during an important festival that aligned with her book's message and platform. Schirm has been able to take everything that she learned from self-publishing her first book and is now pursuing a traditional path for her second book.
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