That I do NOT have.
It’s never been one of my strong points! Actually, is it anyone’s strong point? If you are patient, I bow down to you! (For real, I’m bowing down to you right now).
So I maybe should tell you just how much I struggle with patience. When I was in 4th grade, I knew my mom bought me roller-blades for my birthday, and I wanted them SO BADLY and I did NOT want to wait for my birthday. So, one day when my mom was not home, I went into my mom’s closet, unwrapped the box, took a spin on my new blades, and then put them back in the box and re-wrapped it.
Oh, yes I did. And on my birthday when I opened the box, the wheels were all scratched and covered with dust and little pebbles and my mom was NOT happy with me. Not.happy.at.all (Sorry again, mom!)
For the past 17 months, I have been writing a book (gee, have I mentioned this? LOL). It’s all I can really think about. I’m obsessed. I’ve been working so hard, and I’m so proud of it. So, a few weeks ago, I went to a big, weekend-long writer’s institute in my state, and while I was there I pitched my book idea.
Here’s the scoop:
There are basically 3 “ways” of publishing your book:
- Traditional Publishing- A big publisher from NY. You get this by getting lucky, or having a reality show. I think. No, it’s not just luck. But you do need an agent. You can’t just contact the publisher yourself. And getting an agent so far sounds really hard. Like winning American Idol, I think.
- Hybrid Publishing- You pay for your own book to be published. This can be anywhere from like 3,000 to upwards of 15,000 bucks.
- Self Publishing- There are sites where you can do this completely for free. You can publish anything this way. Anything. Like, you can publish “Your Complete Guide to Becoming the Best Bitch Eva,” a 3 page long book with pictures of your ex-friend. There are definitely, definitely some beautiful, amazing self-published books out there. And there are definitely some that are really terrible.
So, I pitched my book to a hybrid-publisher. Except, I’m not actually sure. So, the deal is there are publishers who truly want to help authors get a high-quality book out there. They only take certain manuscripts/authors and they provide all the services you need-marketing, publishing, editing, cover design, etc.
The owner of the company loved my book. She asked me, “What do you want your book to do in the world?” and I had no trouble coming up with my answer, which was, “I want grieving mamas to know they are never alone, and that there is always hope. I want my story to show them that grief is work, but they can make it through this.”
We had a meeting after she read my manuscript (it was SO terrifying to send that to her) and she told me that she loved it. That my writing was beautiful, and that she loved my detail and my use of dialogue and that she could really feel my emotions. She told me that she wanted to help me get my book out in to the world. That our first step would be a big marketing meeting and….
I got SO FREAKING EXCITED. I felt like I had won the lottery. My dream! My whole life’s dream of getting a book published was coming true!!!
And then (duh duh duhhhhhhhh).
And then she sent me the “Proposal.”
For $7,665. That’s SEVEN THOUSAND.
And that didn’t even include the books themselves!
I immediately said “Nope. I can’t do this.” I told her so.
She replied, “It’s ok, we’ll use crowd-funding, and you can raise the money!”
I talked to my husband. You guys. You won’t EVER meet a more supportive person than him. I could tell him, “Yo, I need $75,000 so I can buy special kangaroos to send to kids in Alaska, it’s my dream.” And he would say, “Well, that sounds absolutely freaking nuts, but if it’s your dream, let’s talk about it and figure it out.”
So he starts crunching numbers and we talk about using the money we’ve been saving to take our kids to Disney World, about we could both teach summer school (we’d have to figure out daycare) and how I could have the money he’ll get for his National Boards, and we won’t do any work around the house, and…..
Yeah. Basically, we do not have this money. And he’s going to find it for me because he is so proud of me and he wants this for me as much as I want it for myself.
And all my friends? They’re all, “Yo, Christy, you’ve got this, do it! I’ll donate! You can raise the money!” This is because I have the best friends on the planet and they want this as much for me as I want it for myself.
My finger hovered over the “accept” button SO many times. At the beginning of the day, I would decide, “I’m doing this! I’m gonna have a book by January!” and by the end of the day, I would have decided, “There is NO WAY I can risk this money, because what if I get nothing from it. What if there are hidden fees. What if I don’t like what they want to do. What if…”
One night, I google my *best friend Colleen Hoover’s sister who helps Indie authors publish books. On her services list, a cover design cost $225. My proposal? $2,500. Editing? Around $900. My proposal? $2,500. You see where I’m going here?
So, with a lot of research, talking to my Aunt from Italy, talking to my husband, I finally hit the decline button.
And I am SAD. Like, so sad. I know I did the right thing. I know I need to S-L-O-W down. I need to actually TRY to send my query letters to literary agents. I need to remember that this is MY dream, and that I owe it to myself (and my family) to take my time with this.
It felt SO good for someone in the publishing business to tell me my book is worth it. She hugged me and cried with me. I like her a lot. I wish I could afford her and not have to put it on my family and friends to donate to get it. But, I know this is where I should be.
But, um, yeah. Patient? Not so much.
*Colleen Hoover may or may not be aware that she is my best friend*