When I signed up to go to SheSpeaks I was given the opportunity to meet with publishers. I checked the box not realizing all the work that would be involved as I prepared for those intimidating publisher appointments. Satan began to have a ball as he tried to plant doubts in my mind. What was I thinking, meeting with four of the biggest Christian publishers?
I spent about a month working on my book proposal and One Sheet. There is so much detail involved in a book proposal! Two of the editors from my newspaper days looked over the proposal and gave me feedback. It helped that one of them had published a book. I was so grateful for their help, because I seriously stink when it comes to commas! Twenty-eight pages later, my proposal was finished, my bags were packed and I was on a plane to North Carolina.
During one of the first sessions I attended at SheSpeaks, blogger/author Emily Freeman said,
"A writer trusts her instincts. She writes what makes her come alive, not what she thinks will sell. Trust what you want! Not what people say will work. Write it anyway!"
All four of my publisher appointments were on Saturday. I was nervous but I prayed that God would speak through me and that He would be glorified through our story. Here's a breakdown of how things went:
1st Appointment: The editor was a bit intimidating, but God gave me peace and I shared our story with passion. She listened but didn't seem completely impressed. She wanted to know why someone would care to know the details of my story (after all, I am nobody famous) and suggested I write my book not as a memoir, but as a How To type book. I just smiled and thanked her for the feedback. She did tell me that my writing was strong and solid. Folks, that compliment was just as good as a book deal for this girl! Anyway...she asked to keep my proposal in case anything were to come across their publishing office that I might be able to help with. Not really sure what that means, but I will take it as kind of a good thing! Oh, yea...she also said I needed a bigger platform!
As I left that first appointment, I could have felt very defeated! But I remembered what Emily had said in the session about trusting my instincts and writing what makes me come alive. I know in my heart that God is asking me to write our story (even though I'm not famous!). He's asking me to be transparent and real and raw - all to bring hope and encouragement to others facing the challenges of infertility and adoption. That's what He was asking me to do and He would make a way for it to happen.
2nd Appointment: I wasn't nervous at all. I went in and shared my story and the editor did seem to like the idea but didn't think the title was going to work. She said people would have a hard time searching Bringing Home the Missing Linck since our name is spelled the way it is. She complimented me on my writing and asked if I had considered getting a literary agent. She asked to keep my proposal and that was pretty much that.....
Oh, yea...she also said I needed a bigger platform! (see a trend yet??)
3rd Appointment: This is the one I was the most nervous about! I was meeting with a LARGE publisher who produces books for very famous people. No pressure or anything! It's funny that I was the most nervous about this appointment and it seemed to be one of my best meetings. From the moment I began to share our story, I could tell the editor was intrigued. She immediately told me that she thinks there is a need for a book like mine and she asked a lot of questions. Just one little problem...I need a bigger platform!
She said had my platform been bigger, she would have agreed to publish my book! She said I had great writing and a great story. She asked me to work on building my platform and when I have one to email her. She did keep my proposal!
4th Appointment: This was a last minute, extra appointment that I found out about a few days before the conference and I am so glad I agreed to meet with them. The editor asked a lot of questions and really seemed interested in my story. She also asked how quickly I could have the book complete. The one thing she didn't ask about...my platform! She told me to keep doing what I am doing but didn't seem as concerned about my lack of platform as the other publishers. She asked me to email her my proposal and said I would be hearing something from them within about six months.
So there you have it! The appointments went better than I could have expected and I learned a lot in the process. Now it's a sit around and wait to see if I hear back from any of them. Oh, yea, and build my platform!
****I had so many amazing people praying for me as I worked on my proposal and met with these publishers! Thank YOU! Your prayers were felt!!