Thursday, March 24, 2011

Now what?


At this time last week, I had nothing new to share about my manuscript.  All that changed on Friday.

For those new to the blog, I finished a manuscript for a book two summers ago entitled, unsettled… life beyond the yellow ragged couch.   It took me about a year to find a publisher willing to print the book.  I sent the manuscript off to the publisher in September of 2010 eager to begin the process.  This past January that same publisher wrote me back and said that the book was now on the back burner.  Blah, blah, blah, “…economy…” Blah, blah, blah, “organizational re-structuring…”  “Mr. Van Waarde, you probably need to find another publisher.”

That was not the news I wanted to hear, but whatya gonna do?  I threw myself a pity party (literally).  After I had enough fun feeling sufficiently sorry for myself, I started looking elsewhere.  Along the way, a good friend told me she had connections with a prominent Christian publisher (Zondervan) and that she was willing to share the manuscript with her connection.  I think this may be happening this week.

Additionally, I have been re-exploring self-publishing.  With Kindle, iPad, and all the other electronic reading platforms available, self-publishing has some attractive opportunities that weren’t available even three years ago.  However, that would mean a lot of self-promotion – which I hate.  But, if that’s what has to be done, I think there are enough smart people around me to help me figure it out.

Soooo… 

While I have been pondering all these things, I get an e-mail out of the blue from my original publisher which says, “Hey, Piet.  We love your manuscript.  Send us your latest edits.  We’re ready to get started.”  What?!  Wait a minute!  I thought this wasn’t going to happen?  I e-mailed them back to make sure they had the right guy.  They did.  And, they again reiterated that they really are anxious to get going.

Whoa!

Today I feel in quite the quandary.  Now what?  It would seem I have three legitimate and reasonable options:

  1. Go with my original publisher and move forward with a group of people that seem anxious to publish my manuscript.  I have a good contract, and it is conceivable that the book might be released before the end of the year.  This is a deal “in hand”.  Additionally, it isn’t like there are others banging the door down to do this.

  1. Wait and see what happens with the mainstream publisher.  There are no guarantees.  But, if I can get on with these folks, there is a lot more support.  Given Willow Creek’s and NACR’s connections to Zondervan, there seem to be a lot of valued-added possibilities.  But, again, they may not like it or take it and while I am waiting, my present publisher could decide to move on to someone else.  Then, I’d be stuck with nothing.

  1. I could self-publish.  BUT….  Self-publishing requires a pretty substantial capital investment up front because I would have to do all the printing myself.  In addition, this would require engaging an editor, investors and PR folk.  I’d also have to do a lot of “pushing” myself to get the message out there.  I’m not unwilling to try, but I did the self-publishing route the last time, and I have several cases of books in my basement to show for it.

So, I thought I’d throw the options out there and see if my very smart friends have some counsel to share on the subject.  No such thing as bad advice on this one.  I’m just curious what you think.  And, if nothing specific comes to mind, would you consider joining me in prayer?  Thank-you!

And, I’ll keep you up to date!

Piet

4 comments:

DVD said...

I sent you a DM, but I wanted to reiterate here my congratulations on being given another chance. Regardless of your path now, I am delighted for another affirmation you have something valuable to say and the skill to make it interesting.

Ken said...

I'll certainly be praying that God shows you the path he wants you to take!

Kelly said...

Praying for clarity and peace about these options. Any idea how long Zondervan may take in letting you know if they are interested, especially if they know a competitor is anxious to get moving with it?

-Mel. said...

Well... I wouldn't self-publish while you have an offer. The fact that the initial publisher came back with an offer when the economy got better means they were probably being honest in the first place. That, and the fact that they picked it up first makes me lean towards them. Zondervan is a big respected name, but it is also a big 'if'. I'd be happy to say more in an email.

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