R.B.Bailey Jr, is an english teacher, published writer, video producer, voice-over artist and blogger, living in Japan for 15 years, now.
Before moving to Japan, he grew up in several small towns throughout the American south…but spent the longest time in Jasper, Alabama. So, he considers it his hometown. He was a skilled woodworker for eight years there, but before that, He sold vacuum cleaners, worked in a fast food restaurant, tore tickets in theater, built bedroom furniture and mobile homes (not trailers…trailers are for horses).
In June 2001, he and his wife packed up and moved to Japan, spending an entire first year with no job, no money. During that time, he would go to the library (for free entertainment) and started reading in earnest again. He also tried his hand at writing, and wrote “Promises Kept”…a story about a small-town deputy, trying to understand why a series of series of bad events was happening. He finished the story in a few days, and right after that, got his first teaching job.
“Promises Kept” sat in his desk drawer for several years to come.
Close to the end of his first teaching job, and inspired by his students (and their parents) questions about America, He wrote “The New Neighbor”. This book is the first in a planned series of books about a young Japanese boy who moves to America with his family. This draft, without illustrations, also went to my desk drawer for a few years. He went on to write more short stories as well…all still needing editing. One story he did finish was “Sense Of Worth”, about a young man, fed up with his life, decided to go after his dreams. He liked it better than “Promises Kept”…he felt like more of a writer, with this one.
Well into the swing of my third job (we won’t discuss the second one), his writing dried up altogether. he was drinking pretty heavy at this time, and just wasn’t into it.
A few years rolled by, he had actually quit drinking (and still quit to this day) and was a brand-new father. Around this time, he was carousing around on his computer and stumbled upon “The New Neighbor”. Don’t know what it was, but he wanted it published in a bad way, now. Together with illustrator Kim Roberts, “The New Neighbor” was finally a complete book in a few months.
The next huge step was getting it published, and this is where he really and honestly acquired a very bad distaste for publishing houses.
He started mailing out 2-3 photocopies per week of “The New Neighbor” to any and all publishing companies that handled children’s books in Japan, together with a nice introductory letter in both japanese and english. No reply, no response. When he ran out of money for photocopies and postage stamps, he started sending query Emails to publishers. This, to him, seemed the most economical and fastest way to go. Still, no dice. One publisher here in Japan did reply…and actually had the nerve to send a photocopied reject letter. They had the title spelled wrong and had the audacity to send a book catalog. He was furious and decided to try something that I had only recently read about…self-publishing.
He discovered Createspace, a subsidiary of Amazon…and was delighted to finally see a printed copy of his book! The book is out there now, next is a matter of getting the word out about it…and himself. With this arrangement, he has the option of buying my own copies at cost plus shipping. This allows him to sell on his own, too.
Using social media and traffic exchange, so far he has reached countless countries and thousands of hits with his blog here on WordPress, and 2,950 “likes” for his Facebook page, R.B.Bailey Jr . He is also on About.me and Google+. He has just started a Goo page, and a Mixi page here as well. He was interviewed by journalist Dale Short for The Daily Mountain Eagle earlier in 2016, and also released the second book in the “New Neighbor” series…”The New Neighbor – Ryo’s New School (Volume Two)” in December 2016. He is also a member of several writing groups.