Sunday, December 2, 2007

A great week to be an author

I had a really hectic week last week so this is going to be short.
I went and visited my publisher on Friday.
It was so nice, such a really lovely experience. I learned so much about what goes into editing, printing, shipping, selling and publicizing a book. I have an even deeper respect for the fact that it really takes a team to get a book from the author’s computer screen onto the shelves in a book store.
And for all of us, as authors, that begins a long time before we get a contract. All the writing, rewriting, critiquing, contesting, and connecting we do to try and get a book published is so heavy on our shoulders. But once we get a publisher to come onboard with us…well, I just really got a great sense of how much they’re rooting for us. How much they want the book to succeed.

I mean, of course the want it. Duh.

But sometimes, because it is so hard to get past that stubborn door to publication, we begin to feel that the author/publisher relationship is adversarial.

Well, it’s not.

Once they’ve signed you up they are putting everything they’ve got into making your book the best it can be. They’re trying to get your book in front of the eyes of bookstore buyers, review sites, influencers of all kinds.

I guess I’m just trying to tell you, don’t think of it as getting a book published. Think of it as getting a partner. Someone to come into your corner and be on your side. Someone to back you and root for your success.

I’m running on fumes and it’s back to work tomorrow so forgive this very short, sweet blog post.

I’m just so grateful to God that I survived all the contests and made it here. I pray it comes for each and every one of you. And by entering contests and polishing your work, attending conferences and getting connected you’re doing all the right things.

Throw in a whole boatload of prayer and you're unstoppable.


  1. I'm also guest blogging today at
    And I went on so long on that site that Jennifer broke it up and I'm on for three days.

  2. Mary how exciting to visit the publisher. I did that too and what an eye opener. Yes, you hit the nail on the head when you say you're partners. Most of the editors I had made my books so much better. I loved their ideas

    We do get different feelings when we get rejected, but they really do love us writers. Their jobs depend on us. LOL

    Thanks for sharing your insights Mary. What a thrill for you and for us.

  3. What valuable insight you gained into this business, Mary. One day I hope to visit Steeple Hill and experience the same first hand.

  4. Way cool, Mary. What a wonderful experience it must have been. Your post is so sweet and mellow. It must have changed you. :-)
    Kidding. A little.
    Yes, you're author lady extraordinaire now. But remember. I liked you before you ever got a contract.

  5. Mary, thanks for sharing your experience and the touching view on an author's partnership with their publisher. It sounds like a wonderful viewpoint that I'm going to start putting into practice now, before publication!

  6. Thanks for the glimpse into the other side of the publishing door.



  7. congratulations! I went through this process with Eerdmans in 2003/04. I'll be interested to see your take on the entire event when the book is done.

  8. I've been running all morning it seems like and haven't checked in.
    You think I sound mellow, Melanie? Hmmmmm.........
    I need to get over THAT fast. :)

  9. Mary, it sounds like Barbour is treating you right--like the royalty you are! I'm just in awe of your prolific-ness (or something like that).

  10. I checked, Myra. Not only is prolificness NOT a word, but a hand actually came out of my computer monitor and slapped my face.
    I live to be a warning to others.

  11. Let's try prolificity in place of prolificness...

    See if you get slapped for that, Mary. I didn't, but then I raised four boys who loved to play indoor sports. I mean like living room 'indoor'...

    Remind me to explain 'butter box' baseball to you guys some snowy afternoon.

    Mary, what a great and wonderful look into how well-oiled the publishing industry is, and I love your reference to them as a partner.

    Amen, Sistah!

    Totally awesome, Dude.

    And I'm tickled pink that they've nestled you under their very productive wing and let you fly with abandon.

    Obviously they don't know the full extent of their actions!


    Proud of you.


  12. Well of course Ruthy would come up with the CORRECT word. I knew there was one out there. Although . . . Here's what it says in Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary:

    Main Entry:
    French prolifique, from Middle French, from Latin proles + Middle French -figue -fic

    1: producing young or fruit especially freely : fruitful; 2 archaic : causing abundant growth, generation, or reproduction3: marked by abundant inventiveness or productivity (a prolific composer)
    synonyms see fertile
    — pro·lif·i·ca·cy -ˈli-fi-kə-sē noun
    — pro·lif·i·cal·ly -fi-k(ə-)lē adverb
    — pro·lif·ic·ness -fik-nəs noun

  13. Ack, done in my Merriam Webster. But honestly, Myra, are you going to trust a guy named Merriam or ME!!!
    I just went and recorded something called GabFest. I have no idea what I did, but I stayed out of arms length of the computer. I phoned this place and answered a bunch of questions, then played it back and mostly heard myself saying, "Ummmm...uh, I uh....well, I, uh......."
    For about five minutes.
    So no doubt it will bring readers in in droves. :)
    Did I mention I got the day off??? The heater died in my building, so I'm at home.
    You know how desperate I get for an occasional rare break in the harsh reality of my job.

  14. The book is done and out, Real Live Preacher. I've got another one coming in August though and I'm learning more about publicity and marketing...are those the same thing?...maybe I'm not learning that much at all.
    No, I don't believe I'll consider that possibility. I'm out of Excedrin Migraine and I don't dare risk thinking too hard today.

  15. Well, this is kinda fun.
    I have an online interview. It's called Gabfest. A new feature (or maybe it's not new and I just found out about it!!!) on the Barbour website.
    Or go to my blog
    and the newest post will take you there.
    I say "Uh..." a lot. :)

  16. Mary said: "I checked, Myra. Not only is prolificness NOT a word, but a hand actually came out of my computer monitor and slapped my face."

    LOL! Thanks, Mary, I needed that laugh. Been buried all day doing massive edits for my "partner."

  17. Speaking of that Merriam-Webster online dictionary, I'm so addicted to that thing. I write historicals, and I try to use the oldest word I can that still makes sense, so I will sometimes check a word and either get excited that it came about early enough that I can use it, or get disappointed I can't use it. Then I click the Thesaurus and have fun choosing the very perfect-est word for the sentence, then check the dictionary again, etc. etc. It's loads of fun, I promise. Or maybe I'm just weird.

  18. You're not weird, Melanie. You're a writing. And those are two different things no matter WHAT others say.

  19. Melanie, I'm with you. Checking the age of words is fun! And important for us historical writers.

  20. Hey, I'm a day late and ALWAYS a dollar short, but Mary's trip to Barbour sounded like a a blast.

    I dreamed I went to Barbour once. Does that count?

  21. ROFL Mary!!!!

    I keep telling people you are THE funniest woman on the planet...and I'm sticking to it.

    Cheryl W