our big secret project OR that time we started a publishing company

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


What's that thing the late, great, Mandela said?

Well, that about sums up our experience over the last few months as we built our own publishing company:  The Hunting Daddies

Let's start at the start, eh?

If you're a regular reader around here, it's no big secret that we are a hunting family.  I've written about how hunting and fishing .dictate a great deal of our lives with avid outdoorsmen surrounding me at every turn:  husband, Dad, dad-in-law, best friends, cousins, and the guy in line behind me in the check-out line at Gander Mountain last night.  We live in midwestern PA and as James Carville explained about Pennsylvania, "Philadelphia in the east, Pittsburgh in the west, and Alabama in the middle,"  we're located firmly in the 'Alabama' part.

So it really should have come as no surprise when Greyson came right out one day and asked me if I would take him, 'in the woods to sit in a tree stand to use the grunt call.'  He was barely three.  I just laughed at first and shook my head, "oh boy, here we go again - another redneck."  And then my teacher-brain started thinking about how impressive it was that he used the correct vocabulary words in the right context.  Shortly after, I got to googling- I wanted a book that was similar to our other board books that included vocabulary words with the corresponding picture for specific content.  We have one for basketball, football, and musical instruments.  Up until this point, Grey was picking up vocab based off of what he heard our family and friends say.  And I wanted a tool to have on hand that when Brandon said he needs to fix a 'fletching', we would have a picture of one handy instead of googling it.  Alas, I could not find a board book that fit my needs.

Our best friend Jon was living us during the week this summer, so he and Brandon just kept doing what they normally do; taking the kids with them to set up the trail cams, and going for walks in the woods, and teaching the kids to make turkey calls...all the while the wish for a vocabulary books kept rattling in the back of our minds.

Until, finally one night at dinner, I was all like, "Let's just make a book ourselves?"

And so then we did.

Well, it wasn't that easy, but basically that's what went down.  We wanted something that didn't exist so we took the very big, mostly scary, completely unfamiliar steps of making it happen.  

After the initial, 'Wait, are we being serious about this?' conversations, we got started on making it happen.  We all organized the vocabulary words we wanted for our first book, Jon drew the pictures, I learned Photoshop on the fly, we discovered we needed to become our own publishing company (as confirmed by this woman's post), we applied to be a small business, we spent lots of our own money, Linds and I excitedly called each other basically just to squeal, we set up a website, Lindsay navigated the world of online accounting and state taxes, we started social media profiles, we held our breath,  we waited, and waited and waited for our federal EIN, we held web-meetings, created a logo, ordered business cards, jumped through legal hoops, we messed up, we tried again, we googled, we drank beers, we laughed, and above all we learned.

And then after all that (and surely more of that to come), we arrived where we are today.  Somewhere in the middle of astonished and terrified.  The idea began as a way to get educational materials to our own kids about the stuff we already spend the day talking about (hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities), and now after nearly 6 months into this adventure- we've found it's morphed into this awesome thing all of it's own.  

Through social media, we've been so lucky to meet other families that are just like ours (#huntingfamilyfriday).  Regular hunters and fishers who spend their weekends and evenings in the woods or at the creek with their family and friends.  That's what it's always been about for us - sure our husbands love tagging a monster buck or catching a legend-worthy steelhead - but those moments are few and far between, it's more about the memories that are made while spending time with your family away from distractions. 

So, here we are today, at the next big canyon of unknown.  Our first board books have made their way half-way across the globe and we are ready to start selling.  We are busily working on our next book and already discussing ideas for future avenues that at the start of this - we never would have dreamed of.  It's exciting and I'm so happy to get to finally share the news with all of you!

Soooo, that's what we've been up to for the past few months - hah!  So glad that cat's outta the bag, friends.  

If you'd like to check out our book for sale (will be shipped no earlier than Thursday 12/19), please find My First Bowhunting Book here:  http://www.thehuntingdaddies.squarespace.com/products/myfirstbowhuntingbook

If you want to learn more about The Hunting Daddies, check us out:

Thank you so much for your patience over the last few months, I know my posts have been inconsistent so thank you for hanging around as we figure this all out.  I have no plans to leave our family blog, so stay tuned for regular updates and occasional posts on our adventures in publishing with The Hunting Daddies.


moral of this post:  Dream BIG, jump, figure it out on the way down.


  1. Congratulations!!

  2. That's great, you should do Girls like to fish to. I grew up fishing with my dad, worms don't bother me, and just loving water and love to be near water just throwing a line in, the reeling them in is fun but the real reward is just being one with nature.