The Making of a Book, part 2

The date for the release of my book, “I Will Walk With You,” is just weeks away now, and I confess to a childlike excitement. Though it is finally about to be reality, and will lead the way to more in the future, this day has been long in the making.

I’d always heard that the publishing of a book was a long, arduous task. Perhaps my own inexperience has made this an unduly long process as well. But, zero day for the release of my book has been over four years in the making. 

For me, this has been more than a result of the idea that I should write, or wanted to write. It was more like a life imperative. I had a unique opportunity and ability to share an important story and line of teaching, and I simply could do nothing other than to write. It was therapeutic, and it was as natural as taking a breath.

I had to learn to keep my focus, and to just write. The first stage of the project involved writing, and then adding more. Next, I combed through it repeatedly to eliminate the garbage and to bring better focus to the worthwhile content. Then, just when I thought I’d told the story and taught the lesson well, I sent the book off for the editing process. I had no concept how humbling that would be.

Receiving a thoroughly and professionally edited text back can be a real assault to one’s pride. Not that I was at all prideful. If I had been, the endless red marks and frank comments might have offended my senses. Fortunately, I was strong and coachable. You believe that, don’t you?!

OK, admittedly, on first view I found myself very defensive. I was sure that I had sent off a near perfect document. But, the more I abandoned myself to the process, the more I appreciated the wisdom of the editor. In retrospect, as I review the changes now, the book is infinitely better than it was.

The next part of the trail the long journey to finding a publisher and deciding what was the best way to distribute the book. Again, this part of the journey likely took a lot longer than it needed to thanks to my inexperience. In fact, there were periods of time where I simply gave up. Amazingly, once it all came together, it began to flow smoothly.

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But then I had to deal with the publisher’s policies. One day I received an email telling me my book was going to be held until I removed the “profanity.” Let’s just say I didn’t have the best of responses to that demand; as a pastor, how could anyone insinuate that anything in my book was profane?

It turns out that this publisher has a grouchy, old-school guy that demands that anything that could vaguely be reinterpreted into a profanity had to be removed. After a period of calming down, I changed the words despite my firm belief that no one would have interpreted them in a foul manner. It was another case of being willing to be teachable so that the final product can be as well-received as possible. 

Reviewing the book proofs was quite nerve-wracking in that I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss a single error. I found myself reading the book, in its entirety, once again, hunting any errors that had crept into the text by the scribes. Fortunately, in this digital era, it’s much harder for man-made errors to eek into the text.

I hope this behind-the-scenes view of just a little of this process has been interesting. I also hope to produce far more interesting posts in the future. 

Blessings to you, and I look forward to hearing your responses to the book in the days ahead.

Greg FishComment