NEW ORLEANS (April 13, 2017) – Megan Braden-Perry always enjoyed reading magazines. Even as a young child, she remembers spending all of her money on them.
Finally, one day, she thought, “Why don’t you go write for one?” From that moment, the New Orleans English senior has worked to create an impressive writing resume, with articles published in Jezebel magazine, The Times-Picayune and Gambit. She has now published her second book, “Crescent City Snow,” a guidebook to New Orleans snowball stands.
The book was commercially published through the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press on March 14 and is available for purchase at Maple Street Books, Bay Books, Kitchen Witch Cookbooks and MJ’s.
“It’s the first ever non-fiction book about New Orleans snowballs,” Braden-Perry said. “I went to 50 different stands, and I tried 50 different snowballs, and interviewed 50 different people, and [that] took me a while.”
She said “Crescent City Snow” has received positive reviews from readers so far.
“I have given the book to a few people, and they like it. People love to see their stands in there, and people would ask, ‘Did you put this one in there?’ ”
The inspiration for “Crescent City Snow” was easy because Braden-Perry said snowballs are so good.
“Everybody likes snowballs, and everybody wants to know where’s a really good place to go,” she said, so having a guide at your fingerprints is nice.
In relation to “Crescent City Snow,” the publishing process for Braden-Perry was easy.
“I pitched the book to them and they said do what you want,” Braden-Perry said. She then was able to write content and take pictures and send it to the publisher for printing.
However, Braden-Perry did not always traditionally publish her books. Her first book, “Allen the Alligator Counts through New Orleans,” a New Orleans-themed children’s book, was self-published in 2015. It is available for purchase at Octavia Books for $15 and on Amazon for $2.99.
The character, Allen the Alligator, is named after Braden-Perry’s best friend Allen E. Hayes, and the inspiration to write the book actually came in the middle of the night while she was pregnant.
“The night before my baby shower, I woke up and said, ‘Oh I have to write a book,’ ” Braden-Perry said. “So I sat in the dark with a pencil and I wrote it down, and the next day, before my baby shower, I typed it up.”
After writing the book, she contacted Lyn Brantley-Vicknair to draw the illustrations and started a Kickstarter campaign that raised $900. The money was used to print 700 hard copies.
Braden-Perry and Brantley-Vicknair sold books to individuals, but the task of selling was challenging.
“It is hard because you have to chase the bookstore for money,” Braden-Perry said. She also had to chase regular people for payment.
Working with a publisher was easier, she said.
“Great part of the UL Press is they can [ask retailers] where is the money for these books,” Braden-Perry said.
With graduation approaching, Braden-Perry was recently accepted into the Creative Writing Workshop (resident MFA program) at the University of New Orleans and she is planning to release more e-books.
“I might just randomly publish some other e-books and just to have a little extra money,” Braden-Perry said. She recommends aspiring authors to publish e-books to gain name recognition.