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Patience in Publishing

First draft, second draft, third draft . . . Check. Editing back and forth. Check. Book layout and cover design. Check. Marketing materials including sell sheet, bookmark, and updated business card. Check.

Patience. Patience. Patience. The process of book publishing and all of its necessary steps can be agonizingly slow. Often, there are hitches all along the way.

We begin to write a book focusing on one thing, or thinking that it will look one way, only to find the story leading in a different direction or appearing in a way that isn’t quite what we envisioned. I believe it is best to go with the flow–to allow creativity to direct me rather than hold firm onto my initial vision. I also trust my publisher, which means I must be open to completely scrapping my work and investing much more time in the project.

Have you ever walked a labyrinth and felt that you were nearing the center only to realize you still have a long way to go? That’s how the publishing process feels to me. We move forward, and then take steps back with a new revelation, rewrite, or reformat. As writers pass on the manuscript to an editor, that editor passes it on to another editor, the designer begins formatting the manuscript, and the publisher oversees the entire project, new ideas and revelations, inconsistencies, and grammatical and punctuation errors become obvious. And once again, the work must be carefully read through and corrected.

My upcoming book, Tranquility. Transformation. Transcendence, was reformatted several times over the last three years. Each revision took me backwards by several months. My editor and publisher, Greg Pierce, has decades of experience and wisdom, and what he asked me to do with this book has brought it from a good to an excellent book. For example, I originally had poems and photos from numerous areas. Greg had me narrow the focus to three public gardens for a more cohesive flow.

He’s also great at identifying areas in my writing or formatting that aren’t consistent, such as with capitalization in photo descriptions. That’s when we go back and search for changes that need to be made.

At this point, the sell sheet, bookmark, and updated business card are completed. Tranquility. Transformation. Transcendence is at the printer. So, the wait is on seeing web designers upload the book info to Amazon, ACTA Publications, and my website and the books to be delivered to my door. The closer it all comes to fruition, the more anxious I become to hold that new book in my hands—and then show it to you!

***If you’ve read any of my books, please write a short review on Amazon. I’d greatly appreciate it.

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