I am going to answer them out of order as I received them but in a more logical way to provide you with the information.
"How many offers did you receive?"
I have been blessed with the response and feedback for my first book and crack at the publishing world. Before 2010 I thought all you had to do was send your book to a publisher and they either said yes or no. This is so far from the truth. In addition to the one-page query letter that determines if they will even request more information, you need to have a twenty-five to thirty page book proposal prepared. And of course this proposal needs to be set up differently for each agency and publisher you submit to. In addition, you need to have your "platform" established, an author's Facebook page, a blog, website, Tweet, and any other social media avenue you can think of to establish why you are the best person to write this book. Once you have this all done and can Google your name with it showing up in the top ten, they you are ready to start sending the perfected (or so you hope) queries and proposals out. I never knew but I learned.
I am a better writer, public speaker, and promoter because of all I have learned over the past two years. Typically an author will send out hundreds of queries and book proposals, with a similar number of rejections. God was gracious to me. I only sent my proposal to a few publishers on my own, the rest contacted me. Some after a recommendation by a wonderful friend and others because they saw my blog. My hope was to obtain an agent and publisher.
My first publishing offer was for an E-book only. I was thrilled yet there are so many people without E-readers, we prayerfully passed on this opportunity. I didn't even own one at the time.
Since then two more have offered contracts yet each wanted me to pay them a substantial amount of money for tasks I have either completed or have the skill to do on my own. We prayed about these offers yet as I asked questions, the answers didn't match the contract or our wallet. We declined both of these offers and contracts. A week or so later, one of the acquisition editors emailed and suggested I self-publish. I was already praying about this so I chalked this one for God and kept praying.
How Many Rejections?
My first rejection was also my first direct submission yet it was an encouraging response and suggested "if" my book was still available to resubmit for the 2013 year.
In the past few weeks I also heard back from one of the largest Christian publishers with a rejection. I heard from two editors and both offered words of encouragement and hope for my book. One said, "for you to find your audience and meet their needs, you may want to go the route of self-publishing...This route, rather than commercial publication which still relies heavily on retail success would be far more targeted and hopeful in terms of reaching your intended audience."
Another one for God in response to our prayers. As if two weren't enough, a couple others suggest I look into this route. After much research, remembering a presentation I attended this summer by Amy Quonce, and even more prayer. Decisions were made.
"How much money will you make?"
This question just makes me uncomfortable and I thought it was rude but then convinced myself, people are just concerned until I read a blog last week that answered this very question. I wish I could remember who wrote about it so I could give them credit because they responded better than I probably can.
This is an unfair question. I don't ask you how much you make for a living so why is it okay to ask an author their income from the sales of their books. One thing I know to be true, unless you are the select 3% - 5%, you most likely will not quit your job and write full-time.
Some authors I have met work at least one full-time job and write after the kids go to bed and on weekends, like me. Speaking engagements, book signings, and tours are done at the expense of lost days at work. I know authors who have taken a loss at tax time. BUT what you need to remember is WHY we write.
If I can break even financially, I will be happy. If the Lord chooses to bless me above and beyond like Eph. 3:20-21 tells us, Praise God! But if I take a loss in my purse but lives are changed, my book is a success.
I might not make a lot of money but this journey never was about how much money I make, it is about healing the hurt in people's hearts. To break even and possibly eliminate substantial debts (mostly accumulated due to my inability to work and deal with life after Heidi's disappearance) would be an unexpected blessing yet not one for public record. Some things should and need to remain private.
Thanks again! Great questions.
The last two will be answered tomorrow.
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323