Wanted: One book adviser/editor for new, and very insecure, author.
Must be willing to tolerate author’s insecurities but not indulge them.
Must be well acquainted with excellent literature and understand why it is.
Must be objective.
Must understand that the spiritual aspects of the work are non-negotiable as to content.
Must be able to help mold the raw manuscripts into a well polished and finished product.
Must be willing to honestly critique said raw material.
Must be willing to make the author crazy to prove your point.
Must be willing to let the author make you crazy, to prove her point.
Must be willing to still respect and admire and be respected and admired when the points are conceded or compromised.
Must protect the author from being the blonde that she isn’t but often is.
So now that I have indulged in creating a fictional, non-existent adviser/editor, where do I go from here? The roads clearly diverge. The choices are fairly clear and I am reluctant to commit to either. I am objective enough to understand that the books are not yet finished. That it will take someone with greater experience and knowledge than I possess to guide me through the final process. That is what keeps me from plunging forward on the self-publishing road.
What about the other choice? What keeps my feet from advancing in that direction? These books are a work of faith and whose logo would I care to have on the cover? There are many Christian publishers and I have enough confidence in my work to recognize that one of them might be interested. I would not choose to have my work or name become joined with other fellowships or ministries. Where is that line and when is it crossed?
Do I care if I am not taken seriously as a self-published author? There is temptation in that argument, the temptation to put pride and vanity first. However, getting picked up by a commercial publisher does not guarantee that you are a serious author. I have read many books, published commercially, whose work should not be taken seriously. Money could be another inducement not to consider the self-publishing route. The temptation there is simple greed, to alter the work for sales. But, my husband should not have to subsidize another of my hobbies.
Here is where I stand in the yellow wood, halting between two diverging roads and unable yet to commit to either. At some point I shall be either forced to choose, or perhaps choose by not choosing. For now the woods are pretty, the diversions many, there is another book to be written and much editing to be done on the ones already written. Am I any further than I was last summer when I melted and crawled away waving the white flag of surrender? I am. While I am no closer to ‘selling’ my work, I do have goals and plans for improving it.
Once more I have felt the compulsion to ‘share,’ blab about my woes as I contemplate my choices. As I said there are diversions, the holidays are coming, the sewing beckons, this is not the whole of my life. Though I explore other paths, I will return to the crossroads and when I know which to choose, be assured, or warned, I will blab again.
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