In the writing world, much of our time is spent waiting. Waiting on inspiration, waiting on clarity, waiting on edits, waiting on submission responses. When I took my first adult education writing course called Writing from your life, I was thrilled to be writing and getting feedback. So, what did I do right after that? Waited almost two years to take my second class - the AllWriters' Wednesday Night Workshop. Sometimes waiting is put on us, other times we put it on ourselves.
These past couple of months I was waiting to find out if my latest article submission on muskie fishing was accepted to MidWest Outdoors Magazine. They don't really reply if you are accepted or not, a check just shows up in your mailbox one day. When my article wasn't in the December issue, I assumed if I waited another month, it would be in January issue. Of course, it wasn't, so now I wait again to see if it will be placed in February or maybe even later in the year, where it fits the open water fishing season perhaps a little better.
I've been waiting on an even bigger prospect since about September. I started marketing my Boundary Waters book Dirty Shirt: A BWCA Memoir to various publishers and agents in September. I sent it to about twenty publishers and as many New York City agents, and I waited.
Well, the wait is over.
I received an email last Monday from eLectio Publishing saying they were interested in talking with me about my manuscript. We set up a phone call for Friday afternoon. As you might imagine, I was elated! Many authors end up waiting many, many months or even years before their work is accepted. This was about four months into it for me. I wasn't getting impatient or discouraged, because I was told many times by many people that it is a long, hard road. I had developed that "thick skin" that people told me would develop, so took my lumps in stride.
Along with that though, I had my writing peers and my family alongside me all along, cheering me on, encouraging me and telling me to stay the course and good things will happen eventually. They kept telling me my writing was really good and it was only a matter of time, but there's always this fear that they're just saying those things because they're my friends and family. Welcome to the head of a writer. We slay dragons like these daily.
When they called we talked for over an hour on the ins-and-outs of the publishing house. We also got to know each other a bit, which is important when dealing with a small press. They tend to view their authors as part of their "family," so establishing a rapport is key. This gentleman, the COO of the house, said that he only read about 30 pages of my manuscript, but loved it and couldn't get enough of it. He said he's not an outdoors guy, but that didn't matter when he read it. He then told me the manuscript was passed on to him by one of the review editors who said "You've gotta look at this." Evidently my fears about what my friends had said were unfounded.
He said they deal in both e-book and paperback and that they push heavily using social media. Luckily, a few weeks ago I set up a Twitter account (@jimlandwehr61) and was able to follow eLectioPubs and some of their authors. Their book distributor is Untreed Reads who will make the book available on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble (web only) and other outlets. We discussed royalty percentages and the importance of author and house commitment to making the book a success.
And so, the process is underway and, within six to nine months, I'll have a book. I am an author and I can hardly believe it.
Life is good!