CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Laura Lee recognized early on there might be a problem finding a publisher for a book titled "Broke Is Beautiful."
Lee, the author of 12 books, will be signing her latest, about thriving when you don't have a lot, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Taylor Books. She said the book almost didn't happen just because of practical business principles.
"I realized I couldn't convince a publisher or an agent that a book with a target audience of broke people was going to be a big seller."
So, she put the idea for the book in the back of her mind, worked on a variety of other jobs (including a stint as a shopping-mall Easter bunny) and waited. Luckily, a few years later, the world economy tanked. Governments around the globe bailed out banks and major corporations. Many people lost their jobs.
Well, maybe not so luckily, but suddenly having a book about finding the bright side of being economically distressed seemed to make sense. At least, Running Press, Lee's publisher, thought it might be one of those right books at the right time.
"It was one of those amazing things," Lee said. "We got a call on a Monday from them. They told us their catalog was going to press on Wednesday and wanted to know if we could get the contract done by then."
"Broke Is Beautiful," she says, is not a book about saving money or pinching pennies.
Lee explained, "There are a lot of those kinds of books out there. 'Broke Is Beautiful' is about how to look at your situation and look at it positively."
Drawing on her own experiences, as well as research and interviews with experts, Lee studied wellbeing and what really makes people happy. As it turns out, money doesn't buy a lot of happiness.
"Sure, having the money to go from living in a cardboard box to a house, that makes you happy," she said. "But if you have a small TV and go to a bigger TV, that doesn't."