Steps 1 & 2 in my publishing journey…Blog #118

Keep walking through those doors!

January 2020, a couple of weeks post knee surgery and I was really bored! There’s only so much Netflix you can watch in between knee physio, hooking up to my handy Aircast Knee Cryo/cuff to reduce the swelling, and waddling  down the condo hallway with my rented walker. My brain already felt like it was turning to mush, and a good dose of lethargy was settling in like an Irish fog. I blame it  partly on my anaesthetic brain (yup, it’s a thing), too much TV, and way too much inactivity due to a post surgical appendage that didn’t feel (or look) like it belonged to me!

Being a woman of action, I decided to engage my creative juices by signing up for an on-line memoir writing course. My friend, Karen Barnstable was the teacher, so I knew it would be both engaging and challenging; however I had no idea how much I would love it. Thus starting my writing journey.

It’s funny, in my mind I really didn’t connect writing with publishing…that’s for really interesting people who have lived extraordinary lives. Not me. 

Writing is a private thing, so choosing what to put to paper (figuratively), can be a hard thing to determine. I remember the fear, the naked feeling I experienced when I hit ‘post’ on my first blog. What had I done! I still feel that exposure every time I post.

Yet here I go, head first into the most vulnerable undertaking of my adult life! 

Following the advice of my writing mentor, Karen, I took the first step…researching publishers. There are quite a few to choose from, but all are not created equal. I soon learned about the many publishing options, but basically whittled it down to three options.

  1. DIY (Nope, I didn’t want that much responsibility!)
  2. Self-publishing (New concept for me)
  3. The traditional approach of handing everything over to a publisher who drives the publishing bus, and the author is along for the ride. (Nope, didn’t want to give up that much control)

Option 2 was the clear choice for me. I now had to figure out which publisher would give options for either publishing packages or provide a la carte options–there were many to choose from. My second step was to reach out to several of them, see who got back to me, arrange to speak with a representative, and weigh out my options. After conversing with three different publishing companies, the decision was quite clear. 

My desire was to work with a publisher who would listen to my wishes, my passion for writing, and what I wanted the reader to take away from what they read. I didn’t want the conversation to initially be based on the ‘business’ of publishing a book…that would come later. I needed to know that my choice would be a partner in publishing, be values based, and have a good reputation in the industry. Some conversations were doomed within the first three minutes, others got crossed off the list as soon as I received the initial overview or ‘sales pitch’.

My final decision was to go with FriesenPress. Why? I liked the answers to questions I asked, the questions they asked, learning about their history, and the fact that they were employee owned. I liked that they honoured their employees and adapted a remote work approach following the pandemic, and I liked that they were Canadian. To be honest, there really wasn’t a great difference in pricing among the publishers I narrowed my choice to, but a big difference in what they stated were their values, and what my research revealed to be their actual values. I already appreciate how I’m being guided through the process and kept informed both by email, and on their authors portal.

So, my manuscript has been uploaded, pictures submitted for inputting, and my official production start date is scheduled for February 5th.

Deep breath…this is happening! Stay tuned!

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” Dr. Seuss

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