Udder Confusion

Udder Confusion

Udder Confusion

Posted on 12/30/2022 Evan Swensen
Udder Confusion

I was reading an old blog I posted more than a decade ago and was reminded of the first book we published.

Back then, more than 40 years ago, we were engaged in Alaska outdoors businesses: two fishing lodges, an air taxi, host of a radio talk show, producer of a TV show, Alaska Outdoors magazine publisher, Alaska outdoors adventure booking company, and creating outdoor brochures and videos.

Occasionally I’d tell people, “When you’re out there having fun, just remember, I’m out there working.”

Then, in 1990, my wife brought my attention to a dear friend, Elverda Lincoln, who had written a book, a memoir of her homesteading years in the Mat-Su Valley near Anchorage.

Elverda had worked hard on writing her book and was ready to publish it. She’d worked equally hard to make money to self-publish by making quilts, selling her custom painting, and babysitting.

My wife enlisted me to make her manuscript ready for publishing. I had never published a book but agreed to help Elverda. The book I designed and made printer ready was okay, but not even close to what we do today.

With enthusiasm, Elverda presented her book to a local printer for printing.

The printer was willing to print her book, but the cost far exceeded Elverda’s budget and prohibited ever making any money for her efforts.

My wife said, “Can’t you help Elverda print her book? Maybe your magazine printer can help.”

Sure enough, the printer could print Elverda’s book within her budget, and Elverda became a published author.

I cannot put into words the joy Elverda reflected as I handed her the first copy of Udder Confusion: An Alaska Homesteader’s True-Life Adventures.

And for me, experiencing the moment with Elverda was worth all my effort—and more.

Elverda and Udder Confusion was my first taste of book publishing—and it tasted good!

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