Guest Post: Terrie Todd “Call Me Cynical”

May 28, 2011Find joy today, Write!

I’m happy to have author Terrie Todd on my site today. May her words/wrestling resonate with you.

Found this in my inbox today from a Partnership book publisher:

“Congratulations! Your manuscript has received a “CERTIFICATE OF MERIT” in our writers contest. While you did not win first place, your manuscript was narrowed to a highly selected group of finalists and we congratulate you for your fine work. You are to be applauded for such a fine achievement as a new writer. We are sending, by mail, your Certificate of Merit certificate.”

Good news, right?

Unless you speak the language. I’ve picked up just enough “Publishing-ese” to interpret the above for the unenlightened:

“Congratulations! We don’t think your book is good enough to risk any money on, but if you send us several thousand dollars, we will happily print and market it for you, provided you agree to purchase at least a thousand copies yourself which you are free to peddle around the countryside, give away to friends, or store in your basement for the rest of your days.”

If I had any money, this offer would actually be tempting. I’m glad I don’t. Here is why:

I’ve made a commitment to give this thing ten years, exhausting all other avenues, before caving in to self-publishing or, as they call it “partner” publishing. I’m not even two years in.

God knows whether the world really needs my little book, and when. If it does, He is perfectly capable of making sure it gets out there without my going into debt.

If I do this now, the book would be published before it’s ready. I know this because I just spent several hours editing the first three chapters. Things to fix were jumping out at me simply because I’ve taken a couple of writing classes since last time I looked at it. Didn’t realize how much I’d learned. Which begs the question, how much more do I have to learn and thus, edit?

If I do this now, the book would be published before the author is ready. I know this because I have been given a glimpse of the colossal amount of refining my heart still needs and it ain’t pretty. Isn’t pretty.

Yes, I will continue to send my book proposals off as God opens doors. I will add their certificate of merit to my bulletin board and to my list of awards. But I will not, can not, take short cuts on my journey. No regrets.