|My agent, me, & my editor|
So often we hear about the rejections, the hard edits, the long waits, the lack of marketing, the low advances, and an abundance of other negative things related to publication. And it can get discouraging.
But what I’ve learned this past year, is that the publishing industry is NOT a big scary monster that sits high on a cliff pushing authors off and then laughing maniacally as we try to navigate the waters of published author life.
No, I’ve learned that the publishing industry is made up of real, caring people. While I realize there are always exceptions, I thought I’d share a few of the behind-the-scenes positives that I’ve experienced this past year.
My Publishing House—Bethany House Publishers:
• They’re interested in helping my career succeed, not just one book. They gave me a three book contract because they want to work with me long term, want to help me develop a brand and a readership, and want me to do well.
• My editors push me to work hard on my books, but it’s only because they care so much about making each story as excellent as possible. Every time I need to hash out an idea or talk more in depth about something, I’ve been able to schedule phone calls (including very long, 3 hour calls!). And they’re always available via email and respond to all my questions right away.
• The marketing department is behind me all the way. They’ve been receptive to my ideas, always accessible and encouraging, and have worked hard to promote my book. Most recently they’ve worked to set up a blog tour, a twitter giveaway, an interview with a book distributor, and are promoting my book to book clubs.
My Agent—Rachelle Gardner, WordServe Literary:
• She’s interested in helping my writing career succeed too. Just like my publisher, my agent has an investment in my writing career and not just one book.
• My agent is there beside me for each step of the journey. Most recently she’s been helping me think through the direction I need to go with my third book. She spent some time discussing it with my editors, working with them, trying to make sure the direction I take with Book 3 is best for my writing career.
• She cares about me as a person, not just as a writer. After I got my rewrites back on Book 2, Rachelle called me to see how I was doing. She’d just gotten back from vacation, was swamped and behind with her work. But she took the time to call, to listen to my frustration, to commiserate, but then also to encourage and inspire me to keep going.
Others within the writing industry:
• My Web Designer: My website is my home online. And PulsePoint, my web design team, is like the manager of my home. Since they work primarily with authors, they’re on top of the industry, watching out for my needs, and cheering me on. A couple of weeks ago, they surprised me by adding “share buttons” to the excerpt of The Preacher’s Bride that’s available on my Book Page.
• My Critique Partner: My critique partner has gone above and beyond the call of duty in helping me. She most recently finished critiquing my rewrites—meaning this is the second time she’s critiqued my entire book. Not only that, she’s always there to listen and encourage me whenever I’m having a rough day.
• Writer friends: And then, last but not least, I’ve found the online writing community to be a source of incredible encouragement and friendship. Other writers that I've met through blogging and twitter have supported me in countless ways. THANK YOU! If you’re a writer and not connected to a community of writers, I highly suggest getting plugged in.
There you have it! There are many more positives, too many to list. But for all of the negatives that we experience, I think every once in a while it helps to stop and count our blessings. What are the blessings you’ve experienced this past year in your writing life?