Home Schooling Moms discussion

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Question for Home Schooling Moms

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message 1: by Don (new)

Don (donmilne) | 4 comments My wife and I have been home schooling our six children since 1989. I understand there are now over 2 million home schoolers in the USA. With this many potential readers, why aren't there more fiction books for and about home schoolers? Don't home schoolers want to read stories about other home schoolers? We wrote an adventure book about a home school family and although we do okay with our self published version, so far no agent we've contacted sees the sales potential for the home school market. Your thoughts? Do home schoolers what to read stories about home schoolers?

Don and Aneladee


message 2: by Karen L. (new)

Karen L. I am going to ask this question to my kids. Now my thoughts would be yes, but I think they would probably want to read about a real homeschool family with an interesting life, or dealing with a conflict of some sort. My 15 year old homeschooled son hates when homeschoolers are all "nerdy."


message 3: by Myranda (new)

Myranda (myrandalh) | 2 comments Karen, it must be a 15yo boy thing -- my own agrees wholeheartedly;-)

Don, I have your book and when our teen grousp was choosing books to read they were all quite interested in it! Our difficulty is that most our families get their stuff from the library, and cost of a new book is often prohibitive.

There are a couple of others out there. One is called _Surviving the Applewhites_ by Stephanie Tolan http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54...
about a troubled teen who moves in with a (rather quirky) homeschool family. It was mentioned on the local egroups and now has several holds at the library -- So I'd say there is definitly a market for it;-)

In my very first homeschool purchase (a deacde ago) I bought a book that simply followed the day of a homeschool girl and her younger siblings called _I am a Home Schooler_ by Julie Voetberg. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29... --Hmm, according to GoodReads I'm the only one who has it;-P I'll have to add some info and a review... My kids love it!:-)

Perhaps some advertising for _The Lost DaVincis_ http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32... as a Christmas gift is in order -- I'll spread the word in my area;-) and maybe enough of our teens will get it that we can read it this year!:-)
Tough being a pioneer -- but I think the word just needs to get out! Perhaps one of the publishers that took on these others would like to do another???


message 4: by Karen L. (new)

Karen L. I would love to discuss homeschooling as a Christian family with any homeschool moms out there who want to incorporate their faith into homeschooling. Some of my questions are is your church supportive of your decision to homeschool? Do you do any kind of family devotions, or bible reading together?


message 5: by Karen L. (new)

Karen L. Myranda,

Thanks for all the info about homeschool fiction out there. I will have to see if my library has any of these books. I agree that many homeschool families try and save on money and use public libraries.




message 6: by Karen L. (new)

Karen L. Don & Aneladee,

To sell homeschool fiction, you probably have to have some really catchy titles and cover art. Maybe market books under another topic instead of homeschooling?


message 7: by Don (new)

Don (donmilne) | 4 comments You can see a copy of the cover art at:

http://www.thelemi.com/lostdavincisbook

Our biggest challenge so far is that most literary agents have no interest in developing the home school market. It is a very liberal leaning occupation with an interest in promoting books with a left leaning agenda. Most home schoolers are conservative.

Thanks for the ideas.



message 8: by Kim (new)

Kim | 4 comments Ethan Canin's new novel America, America has a secondary character in it who is a homeschooled teenager...she is fantastic and one of the most interesting characters in the novel. I was thrilled to see her in his pages!


message 9: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen Garber (callista83) I was thinking the same thing not to long ago. Our library had one picture book about homeschooling and a few novels that casually mentioned homeschooling but the main characters weren't homeschooled. Plus the homeschooled kids were usually hippies or something.

I'm an independant book reviewer and would love to see a copy of your book if you are interested. I think its's awesome that you've published a fictional book on homeschooling.


message 10: by Don (new)

Don (donmilne) | 4 comments I'd be happy to send you a copy of my book. It is a youth novel for and about homeschoolers. You can read a little about it at http://www.thelemi.com/lostdavincisbook

Thanks,
Don Milne


message 11: by Clay (new)

Clay Clarkson (clayofco) Hi Don (two months later),

I was glad to know about your book. I was not familiar with it. We are authors and booksellers, so I have some thoughts. We started in 1988, and our children are now 24, 22, 19, and 13. Our homeschool model is book-centered.

I think books about homeschoolers can work well with younger children (6-10), when their identity is family, and parents want to reinforce the concept of being a "homeschool family." An occasional well-written story about homeschoolers can legitimize the homeschooling experience for a child. For them, if there's a book about it, it must be OK.

In the pre-teen and teen years, though, our children wanted to be known for who they are and what they were becoming, not that they were "homeschoolers." That label tended to stigmatize them with anyone outside the homeschooling enclave. Because of the unfair stereotypes that "outsiders" reflexively apply to homeschooling, our teens were still strongly family oriented, but stopped referring to themselves as being or having been "homeschooled."

In terms of a marketing strategy for your books, you might consider targeting parents with younger children (assuming the reading-listening level is OK for, say, 8-12 year-olds). You should still be able to find some traction among young teens in more conservative segments of the homeschool marketplace. However, to reach a broader market, you might consider promoting the book simply as a great family adventure without any reference to homeschooling and see what happens. It's the story that will sell the book, not the homeschooling.

I'll be looking for your book this season at the bookfairs.


message 12: by michelle+8 (new)

michelle+8 (michelleplus8) Personally, I don't make any special effort to seek out books that feature homeschoolers. To me, the only use for a book like that would be the sort of books for very young children that introduce different types of families and different ways of living, etc.

When I read a book, I want an interesting and well-written story. It would be nice if homeschooling were considered mainstream enough that homeschooled, or homeschooling, characters popped up without the story having to be "about" homeschooling.

Also, I don't think 2 million people in a country the size of the US is that big of a deal. I live in a city of 5 million people, but I don't think I've ever read a book set in Houston.


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