Today will be the last installment of “Q&A” for a while.
If you’re tired of these, and looking forward to a “real” post again, you won’t be waiting very long, promise. : -)
Thank you to all who participated, even if that means you just read others’ questions and my responses and weren’t brave enough to ask your own questions. You all would have been surprised just how open and honest I would have been willing to be, if only you would have asked!
For instance, I was working-out the other day at my local gym, and someone who reads my blog (who shall remain anonymous) asked me my thoughts on sex, now that I’m married and partaking of this glorious mystery.
As I told her, I wish she would have asked this question on the blog.
Her response, “I’m not going to ask you that on there!”
I respect her decision, of course, but it’s just another example of well-intentioned Christians wanting to shy away from the subject. As I went on to tell her, and everyone else present at the gym at the time, I find Christians being willing and open to talk about sex, and how much we enjoy it, as we should, extremely important. Everyone else outside of the church talks about it, albeit not from a Biblical mindset, so why don’t we as the Body of Christ?
…..I could go on, but I’ll leave you with that small diatribe for now.
While some of you are still processing what I just said, I must leave you with your thoughts and answer Cindy’s questions regarding the world of publishing.
Please note: These answers are by no means exhaustive, as that could take up a lot of space and time. Cindy, or anyone else, if you’d like me to expound on them, I’d be happy to do so! Please just send me a message or email me!
- What advice to you have for an inexperienced author?
The first thing that comes to mind is the phrase “Be willing to kill your babies”…No, I’m not talking about aborting a human, don’t worry. “Killing your babies” is the process of you, or better yet letting a professional, go through and really weed out the “fluff’ of your writing, what is not needed, what doesn’t flow, etc. Bottom line: Don’t think you’re the next Max Lucado and certainly not in need of any help or guidance. We all need a second opinion, no matter how long we’ve been writing.
My husband would like to interject with the following quote from Sandra Day O’Connor (not necessarily his favorite jurist): “There’s no such thing as good writing — only good re-writing.”
- How does one get involved with a publishing company in the first place?
I need to be realistic with you. An author may think their manuscript is the best thing since the invention of the telephone, Al Gore’s Internet (haha), Chipotle burritos, etc….well, it turns out, that thousands of others think the same thing. On the other hand, publishing houses only publish so many books a year and most get their proposal rejected. Bummer. On top of that, most do not, and I repeat do not take unsolicited manuscripts, meaning you can’t just print off your masterpiece, copy it off at Kinkos, send it in and expect to have a contract waiting for you to sign in a month or two. It just simply doesn’t work that way. To make matters worse, most publishing houses want to spend their $$ on already-established authors who can easily provide a return (think Karen Kingsbury, Max Lucado, John Eldredge, John Maxwell) and don’t leave a lot of $$ in their budget for the “newbies”, i.e. the rest of us. All that being said, I’m not saying that one can’t find themselves as a Zondervan, Tyndale, Crossway, Moody, or secular publishing house author. I’m just saying don’t count on it, at least not at first.
If you’re still hard-set on trying to go mainstream right away, you won’t get there at all without an agent and a good editor. You need to know that up front. They are the ones who can pitch your manuscript to the publishing houses. Just be prepared for rejection; most authors, even the well-known ones, have experience their fair-share.
- What steps would she (a friend who is finishing a book) need to take to get it published?
After my last answer, you probably think all hope is lost. Rest-assured. It is not! There is an alternative to waiting for X publisher to “discover” and sign you — self publishing. As I write that, I can hear the moans of the people. I understand. It doesn’t sound as appealing as having your name next to some “big name” author….but we all have to pay our dues, remember?
Most of you know that I self-published Breathtaking through Pleasant Word, a division of WinePress Group. I am thankful to have a published product on the market, one that has done extremely well for self-publishing standards . Yes, it cost money. Yes, it was hard work. Yes, at times I thought I was going to throw my manuscript into the local reservoir, but in the end, God worked it all out and I am so thankful I was obedient and finished that part of my race, as Paul calls it, well.
I am also thankful, as is my publisher, that John and I are re-visiting the book and making it ours, instead of just mine, so that we have a foundation upon which we can build our corporate ministry. It’s an exciting time!
Now, what most of you don’t know is that I’ve been working from home as a publicity and marketing assistant for said company since right after I got married.
I could spend the next 3 weeks on the blog trying to explain the process one would go through if publishing through WinePress, the #1 Christian subsidy (self-publishing) publisher. I won’t, don’t worry. If you have questions, though, I’d be more than happy to answer them! : -)
Now that I’ve wet your appetite, I’ll leave you with the opportunity to ask more publishing-related questions, if you’d like, as well as a link to my company’s blog and an agent’s in the business (not associated with WinePress). Chip’s blog, in particular, is really good about answering novice writers’ questions!