||Rochelle with husband Andrew and son Julian
Rochelle Manners is an author, public speaker, teacher and so much more...
Small Australian independent publisher Wombat Books has delighted children and
adults alike with its family friendly content and emphasis on traditional
values, which is not surprising seeing as it was founded by Rochelle Manners,
a wife, mother and Christian.
“It was a very interesting journey into the world of publishing,”
Rochelle says. “At first I thought I wanted to be a scientist, so I did
a maths and science degree. Then I thought I should become a teacher, so I
completed an education degree. Then I felt I should become a counsellor so I
completed a masters in educational studies with a major in guidance
counselling. And in between time I became a wife and mother!”
Even though Rochelle says she loved writing as a child it wasn’t until
she began teaching that she started to write again.
“First I wrote children’s books,” she says. “Then I
started my publishing house Wombat Books to explore my own writing. Wow did I
learn! Promoting your book yourself without any help is expensive and has huge
pitfalls and problems. Personally, I wouldn’t do I again!
“Nevertheless, I realised how much fun producing books was, so I used
what I learned to help others by publishing their books and turned Wombat
Books into an independent publishing house.”
Rochelle loves to share her writing and publishing knowledge at speaking
engagements and through personal consulting, including the following four tips
for those wanting to have their work published.
“Firstly, follow the manuscript guidelines to the letter — do not
deviate,” Rochelle says. “This only shows a lack of commitment to
the publisher if you do not follow their guidelines.
“Secondly, be involved in the marketing and share your ideas with the
publisher. This is especially relevant for smaller publishers. Thirdly,
don't be pushy; publishers are busy people, whether small or large! Be
patient, it will make them appreciate you more.
“Finally, make your introduction, synopsis and first few lines of your
manuscript pull the reader in, like they never wanted to read anything else
more. Your publisher needs to love your work!”
If you are thinking about submitting a manuscript to Rochelle, though, you
need to take into account her commitment to Jesus Christ and her
desire to glorify Him.
“When I was eight I made the decision to accept Jesus Christ
into my life as Lord and Saviour due to the fear of not knowing
where I would go when I died,” Rochelle recalls.
“From that time on I have never lost my faith, but I will admit that
after leaving school doubts did surface. I started to ponder what it would be
like to not have to follow God.”
Rochelle soon found that for her it was impossible to give
up her faith, she just “knew that God was there” but that
didn’t stop her old self from “wanting to fight it”.
“Even now I have to choose to keep on believing,” she says.
“But when I want to be free to do ‘whatever I want’ I
discover that doing ‘whatever God wants’ is a lot more fun. He has
given me a passion for children’s literature and when I follow Him I
“When I doubt or fear what brings me back to God is the realisation that
God has prepared a place for me in heaven where He will be too. If it is good
enough for Him it will be good enough for me (I mean it will be beyond awesome
right?). I am blessed to know where I am going, and glad in this
While publishing might be her passion, Rochelle considers her family the
biggest blessing God has given her. And this is demonstrated by what she
chooses to publish: only family friendly books make the grade.
“My family are true blessings that I know can only come from God,”
she says. “So many people miss the opportunities placed in front of them
when it comes to happiness in family.
“I might have completed three degrees and have a successful career, but
the blessings that exist in having a family and staying home with my young
children far outweigh a career.”
Rochelle also realises that despite her achievements and success she is still
only human and is liable to very human emotions.
“I get busy, sometimes I get stressed and often I get
overwhelmed,” she admits.
“Through it all though, I knew and know that God is there and I am
thankful He gave me such responsibility and so many privileges both in family
and in sharing Jesus or in business.”
See www.rochellemanners.com or www.wombatbooks.com.au for more information.