First Book Angst

Please welcome back our regular guest blogger Kathy Weyer.  We’re thrilled to have her here today because she’s sharing some big news…

Kathy HeadshotWell, I did it.

After much angst and heavy thinking, as though this were a life or death decision, I have signed a contract with a publisher for my first book. Hooray for me. The publishing industry is in such flux, you can’t get a straight answer from anybody about which way is better – self publish, publish on demand, or wait for an agent to fall in love with you and your book and go the traditional route? Ach, the turmoil.

I had several agents nibble around it and indicate they loved it, and I received many really nice rejections: “Loved your writing, but it’s too much like a book I’m representing right now.” “Great story, good premise, excellent writing, but not for me.” “Today’s my last day as an agent, but if I were to continue representing people I’d totally work with you,” (a direct quote).

I am not a natural marketer. I’m a writer. I sit and write. To get out and mingle and push sales is not my thing, and I am of the age that social media is intimidating. But life is about taking risks and learning, so on we go. I signed the contract and discovered it comes complete with a team behind me to get the book sold, which I sort of knew, but it was never really discussed. I made some assumptions I am happy to say were incorrect. So now we start the editing process. The manuscript has been sent over and they are starting the slash and burn process to get it the best it can be. Back and forth we go, with me making the final decisions as to either take their suggestions or not. Very accommodating. In the meantime I am going to have to learn this social media thing.

“So how do you feel?” My friends have been asking. I’m sort of ambivalent at this point. Too early to get excited, I guess, because the editing just started and it may be as much as a year before it hits the shelves. “But you wrote a book,” they say, incredulous, I suspect, that I had the wherewithal to actually do it. I admit, I surprised myself on that one. “And you got someone to take it seriously. Enough to want to publish it. Are you CRAZY?” They have a point there. Maybe I am.

I worked really hard to get this far. I sweat over word choices, character development, and plot changes. I cried when I had to write a death scene and didn’t sleep when one of my characters was in a fix. I worked on this every single day for over two years. And I’m not excited yet. Maybe I wanted more fanfare. Maybe I wanted trumpets to announce my great accomplishment and the fact that someone liked it. Maybe I didn’t want to let it go. It was my life for a very long time. Maybe, and this is just a guess here, maybe it’s like your child applying to, and being rejected by, various colleges and then being accepted and going off to a good college to be polished and buffed into a fully-functioning, income-earning adult.

Aha! Now I get it.

This work of art, this child, goes away to be formed and molded into the best it can be before it gets let out into the world. It comes home for breaks for me to polish it up with my own brand of polish, then kicked back to campus for the diploma and commencement ceremony, at which I will be the loudest supporter. So the work continues. The fanfare doesn’t start until graduation.

See you at the book launch!

 Kathy Weyer is a reformed Human Resource executive and Marriage and Family Therapist. She has worked in several hospices as a grief and bereavement counselor. She has published several articles in national magazines and just finished her first novel set in San Diego, where she lives with her husband, two dogs, a bird and five turtles. See her author website at www.kathyweyer.com for more about her and to read a sample chapter of her novel Stitches.

Author: Kathy Weyer

Kathy Weyer is a reformed Human Resource executive and Marriage and Family Therapist. She has worked in several hospices as a grief and bereavement counselor.

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