Jami Brookes Berry is a mother of two, Salt Lake Community College student and now a self-published author.
Berry recently released her first book, titled Dear Anna, a story about the letters a mother leaves for her daughter when she passes away from cancer. The story is emotional, personal and, for Berry, a learning experience.
Dear Anna, is out now, available on Amazon for $6.99 and $2.99 for a Kindle version
“I actually had the idea for the book years ago,” said Berry. “But every time I tried to sit down and write it, I just couldn’t seem to get in the mindset of a mother leaving her child behind.”
Being a mother of two girls, Dear Anna, is a personal story for Berry. When her second daughter was born there were serious complications, and it was those complications that brought a new light to the story.
“Writing this book was almost like a form of therapy, because it let me express the pain and fear of dying and leaving others behind,” said Berry.
Dear Anna, is a short book at 88 pages
Berry said she wanted to keep Anna’s story real and natural. Not wanting to extend the book with unnecessary filler, instead she wanted to keep the focus on the mother’s letters.
“The letters to Anna are mostly the things I would want to write to my own daughters if I was dying,” said Berry. “In a way it is a reflection of my own life.”
Berry was able to publish her book through CreateSpace, an Amazon company that helps new artists self-publish and distribute.
“Self-publishing really opened my eyes to how much proofing and editing you really go through to make a work polished,” said Berry. “Independent publishing has opened doors for people who may not have a best seller, but they have a story worth reading.”
The process of self-publishing and distribution is made easier through companies like CreateSpace, which give the option of on-demand publishing. On-demand publishing means that the company only has to print the book when it is ordered and only the amount ordered, which takes the pressure off of writers to front up hundreds of dollars and risk not selling enough copies.
“It’s not about the number of copies I sell but just having people read something I wrote,” said Berry. “A story that is a part of me.”