Two years ago, I clicked the “publish” button on my first book, Be the Gateway. It can be scary to click that button. To not just put your voice in the world, but to be heard.
For me, publishing the book was an important milestone, but not the end goal.
For the past two years, I have heard directly from hundreds and hundreds of readers who have been effected by the book. Emails from people sharing how it helped them create a path forward with their writing career, moved them through a challenge, or inspired them when they needed it most.
That is the greatest hope that I had for the book. That it would truly connect with another human being and change their lives in a tiny positive way. That it could lead them someplace new, and perhaps even add a bit of joy to their day.
Working day in and day out with authors, I am reminded of what a gift it is to be a writer, and how harrowing that process can be.
A few months back I shared a blog post about my work with author Pamela Toler (“What To Do 8 Months Before Book Launch“), and this week, her book Women Warriors: An Unexpected History was published. I woke up one morning this week to this lovely email from her:
Yesterday all my on-line channels went crazy. Lots of people from my past and present weighed in about the book. I feel lucky, and I know I worked hard to make that luck.”
I think a lot of what happened came because over the years I’ve been listening to some things you’ve said and integrated them into the way I work (which in all fairness dovetail nicely with my dad’s management philosophies). It was all summed up for me in this comment on Facebook from a woman who has become a true fan over the last two years:
“My copy should be waiting for me when I get home tonight! I can’t wait. What a delight it’s been to watch this amazing project come to life. I so appreciate Pam letting us tag along on her journey and her transparency on the challenge of taking an idea and give it life through the written word. Thank you, Pam.”
And here is a photo that Pamela shared when she received her own copies of the book:
That moment — not just of being published — but of being read is where the magic happens. When the intention of the author meets the worldview of the reader. When those two things meet, art happens.
This past week, I was able to cheer the news from author KJ Dell’Antonia that she sold her novel to a publisher. She and I worked together when she was a part of my Creative Shift Mastermind, and it has been inspiring to see all that she is accomplishing. She is a well-known nonfiction author who had always dreamed of also being a novelist. And now that dream is a reality.
You are likely on your own journey with the publication of your writing. I simply want to encourage you to enjoy that journey. Even the parts that feel overwhelming and confusing, or when you feel like you may have hit a dead end. That is all a part of the creative process.
In Be the Gateway, I shared the story of Seale Ballenger, and how he has this wonderful way to connect with those around him. Well, today I’m excited to share a truly inspiring interview I did with him. It turned into a masterclass on human-centered book publicity.
You see, Seale is the Publicity Director at Disney Publishing Worldwide. He has worked with legendary writers (Maya Angelou, Neil Gaiman, and many others) and shares his experience of what publicity looks like within the publishing industry. He has worked within Random House, Simon and Schuster, HarperCollins and many other publishers. What Seale shares isn’t just useful, but truly inspiring. You can listen to our interview here.
Thank you for supporting me, the book, and my work. My mission is to help writers connect with readers. How else can I help you do that? Click reply and let me know.