I’m finally getting around to posting the second installment of my series on writing. In case you missed it, here’s the link to my first post! Like last time, I’m going to write this post in a Q&A style! This post will be all about my book! I get asked about once a week how I got my publishing contract, and figured I’d dive into that!
How Did I Get My Book Contract?
My forthcoming book, Longing for Motherhood – Finding Hope in the Midst of Childlessness has been on my heart for almost 7 years. However, I needed to go through a lot of processing and healing before I was in a place to even begin thinking about sharing publicly. The book is what I wish had been on the shelves of the bookstore when I was first couldn’t have biological children. At the time, I could hardly find any suitable resources – the only books I could find were either way too specific, or from a different theology perspective than mine. There was a space for a more broad book on the topic of childlessness. But again, I didn’t jump straight to sharing my trails in book form. I did a lot of hard work – I wrestled with the Lord, went to counseling, and experienced many dark seasons. I was writing throughout that whole process, but it wasn’t public writing. Those words filled the pages of journals and were for the Lord’s eyes only. Writing during that time helped me heal, but it also helped me fine tune my message. (Although, I didn’t realize I was honing my craft at the time.)
Slowly over the years I started to write for various online platforms (click here to see some of those pieces) Last summer, I felt the Lord tell me it was time to begin taking steps to share my journey with childlessness publicly. The first thing I did was put together a book proposal (it was approximately 15 pages long!)
A book proposal is how publishers make decisions about who / what they’ll publish. I spend a lot of time and energy perfecting it. Last August, I attended a Christian conference in Nashville and “randomly” met the sales director at Moody Publishing. I gave him my pitch about my book idea. Immediately, he gave me his personal card and connected me with the right people at Moody!
I submitted my proposal, and it was presented to various panels of publishing professionals at Moody. They offered me a contract in October 2016, and I was overjoyed!! I love telling this story, because God receives all the glory. My “random” meeting with the sales director wasn’t random at all, it had God’s fingerprints all over it. There’s nothing I could have done to manipulate the situation, and because of that, God gets all the credit!
Did I Use An Agent for my Book?
No I didn’t, but I would recommend getting one if you’re serious about publishing! Be selective when choosing an agent. Don’t jump at anyone who’s willing to take you on as a client. You want to ensure that they believe in your vision and in your book. Agents have connections in the publishing world that you don’t have. But you want to be sure you select someone who’s going to treat your proposal like the treasure that it is. The worst thing for you is to hire an agent who’ll mass solicit your book (no publisher will take you seriously) Hire someone who’s selective in who they pitch your book proposal to, and knows the industry well enough to know what not to do! Trust me – it’s better to wait a little longer to find the right agent, than to jump into a contract with the wrong one! Don’t let the allure of being published steer you in the wrong direction!
What Does The Editing Process Look Like?
Some writers love the editing process. I abhor it. The fun part of writing for me is sitting down at a blank screen and crafting new sentences and paragraphs. Editing feels like torture, but I do understand how important the editing process is. It sharpens your message and weeds out all the unnecessary words and thoughts. My desire for my book is for it to be the best possible book I could write. The editors at Moody and I have gone through about three rounds of intense edits. Collaborating with edits on a book is an interesting process. I’m working with professionals who have years of experience under their belts, but it’s my book, and my heart. It’s been a balancing act to know what to push back on, and what to trust their judgement on. In most cases, if I have a question about why they made a certain content edit, I’ll give them a buzz and talk it out.
There’s so much more I want to say on the topic of writing. My next post is going to be “Things I’d Tell Aspiring Writers”
Let me know if you have any additional writing questions!