With shaking fingers I emailed him back, told him I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with BHP and made arrangements for a time we could talk.
On the afternoon of our pre-scheduled phone call, I made sure the house was quiet. I positioned myself near the phone and when it rang promptly at 2:00, I took a deep breath then picked it up. Since we're old-fashioned and don't have caller ID, my jittery "hello" was answered by the voice of one of my friends.
I don't remember the conversation with my friend, only that my nerves were dancing a jig as I rushed to finish our call and free up the phone. I started sweating at the thought of my editor getting a busy signal and ripping my contract to shreds in frustration!
Finally, I hung up and a few minutes later the phone rang again. This time I found myself speaking to the senior acquisitions editor of Bethany House Publishers.
He immediately put me at ease with his kind and gracious manner. Within seconds I could tell how amazing he was at his job. His knowledge of the publishing world, his talent at communicating with writers, his ability to direct a writer's career--all of that came shining through our conversation.
Long after our phone meeting was finished, I kept thinking back over the things we'd talked about and feeling grateful. I have an editor who cares not just about selling my books. But he cares about helping me develop a successful writing career.
Of course I have to work incredibly hard to keep growing and learning in my craft. I need to put my heart into editing and taking in all of their suggestions. And I have to write my second and third books so that they're better than the first.
But if I put forth the effort, it's comforting to know I have an editor who will work equally as hard! Actually, Bethany House has assigned me two editors. The acquisition editor will help oversee my books and be involved in all aspects of the publishing process. Another editor will work with me on the specific details of the edits.
Just yesterday I spoke with my acquisition editor again. We had arranged another phone meeting to discuss the options for Books 2 & 3. The editorial team picked two ideas they liked the best. So he and I discussed in more detail the pros and cons of those stories. It was fascinating to learn what kinds of issues I need to steer away from and which ones I should make strong in my next two books.
So, what are your thoughts? Do you it's enough just to find a publisher who's willing to sell your books? Or do you think there's value in having a publisher who's also interested in developing your long term writing career?