“I self-published these several years ago,” i told her, the industry professional sitting across a small table from me, my personal industry professional consultant for half an hour. I gestured to my “lovely deluxe gift box” containing the Sunday by Sunday series. She nodded, but her eyes did not so much as flicker towards the books.
For a nanosecond, chagrin/disappointment ran through me, but she moved on so quickly to relevant and exciting information that there was no time for such as that! This person understood why i was there and got my passion for wanting my book out in the world. With each comment and response to my questions, she blew fresh wind into my sails with practical, professional, respectful, and affirming advice. As she focused on my current project, Beyond the Gate, the coming of age novel i’ve been working on since 2012, i focused there too, seeking the nuts and bolts i need for publishing–and i got them!
Here are some of the moments i jotted in my journal throughout last Saturday at the writing conference:
Session 1 — I sit on the edge of things, half-listening after my 5:30am drive, focusing ahead to my time at the end of this day with the director of a small and robust publishing house who will give me her undivided attention for 30 minutes. She’s read the first three chapters of Beyond the Gate. While eager to get her feedback on the writing, i intend mostly to pump her for info re. self-publishing, because after years of labor, research, $pending, developing social media, and both discouraging and positive feedback, i am ready, VERY ready to publish… myself…
so tired~being here a last gasp~short of breath, even~my head transitioning to self-publishing~no interest in networking~no desire to promote my books~just here~dull~sleepy~coughing my allergy bark~leaning against the wall, as close to a corner as i can get (“Merciful heavens,” Rose would say.)…
The presenter of this workshop, What Writers Should Know About Book Design, is skilled and experienced as a publisher and is a great presenter. But–i am overwhelmed thinking about applying/implementing re. self-pub. Yikes. Yawn. Whatever…
Everything changed during the one-on-one, primarily because this young woman with objective and experienced critical eyes has read hundreds of manuscripts and published many and liked mine. “Strong writing,” she commented. No gushing, which was fine; i’ve had enough of that from hired editors who didn’t know their stuff so well, i think. This one noted many positives and also suggested significant changes. I found her suggestions so cogent and right on the mark, in fact, that i’ve already implemented them and think the book is better.
Best of all, she gave me the nuts and bolts i need at this point: which companies to consider for 1) book design and 2) the printing of the book. Plus 3) how many to print, given my situation, and 4) ball park figures of cost. Those kinds of things.
And so, dear reader, i continue these writing enterprises energized and eager. I will make the final revisions and decisions confident in her pronouncement that my writing is strong. I will search out websites and contact/contract people with next goals clearly in sight. And, over the next several months, i will add another book to the world’s library!
How many copies of Beyond the Gate would you like to order? Don’t worry; i’ll be asking again when you have more information–and when i have books! Thanks for accompanying me on this road, faithful followers.