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Back in April of this year I announced that I was offered a book publishing deal with Coventry Publishing House. I signed their contract in October 2015 and had six months to write my book, tentatively titled, Journey to Freelance: An Unconventional Guide to Being the Boss.
I turned in the final manuscript at the end of April 2016. Since then, a lot has happened. Read on to find out my plans for the book and why I may not be publishing the book as soon as I thought.
My publisher broke up with me
At the beginning of the second season of the Budgets and Cents podcast (that I co-host with my biz partner, Cait) I announced that my publisher and I had some creative differences and we parted ways.
Basically, I wasn’t willing to compromise on the name of my book or the look/design of the cover. We went back and forth for about two weeks trying to find “just the right image” and layout for the book title + cover.
Finally, we narrowed it down to three final images.
I chose the white cover and then the blue one as an okay second option. I still didn’t think any of them were super-awesome-totally-what-I-was-looking-for, but I was willing to compromise since we’d gone back and forth so much.
I mean, just to get to this point I spent hours researching book covers on Amazon and even went local book stores to see what book covers stood out the most. When you scan a book shelf, the covers that pop out most (at least to me) are the white ones, so that’s what I chose. Plus, it needed to be clean and easy-to-read on a very small-sized thumbnail when it’s being sold online, or on mobile devices.
HA! All the details you don’t realize that go into a book’s cover.
Anyways, after emailing the CPH team and letting them my decision to choose the white cover, we all agreed and were moving forward to the next step. Then two days later I received an email saying they no longer liked the white cover and that I HAD to choose one of the other two options.
I was sad and a bit annoyed, obviously, because we had already agreed on this. But okay, let’s go with the blue one and tweak it so it could be better. NOPE. They emailed back and said I was being too difficult and they no longer had the time to invest in my account, so they were cancelling the contract.
Naturally I was a bit shocked by these words.
I even asked Ryan and a few colleagues to read over my emails to make sure I didn’t sound rude or that I wasn’t willing to work with them. Everyone was shocked too and had no idea why I got that response.
After a few hours, I emailed to thank them for working with me thus far as I learned a lot about the book publishing process. Then I moved on.
(It turns out that another author, who also signed a book deal with Coventry Publishing House, encountered even more issues with them. So I guess I’m the lucky one.)
I’m working with a new publisher
I reached out to a few blogger friends, and other published authors, asking if they knew any good publishers that I should reach out to. My podcast co-host, and fellow author, Cait suggested several and introduced me to a couple different publishing houses.
I sent over my manuscript, and after reviewing it, multiple people from different departments were interested (one handles the career books and other handles the entrepreneurship books).
Woohoo! So now I’m working with a new publisher.
I still have to finish up the proposal, which includes my plans to market the book, who my target audience is, what books are my competitors and things like that. But it’s nice to know that my book idea is validated by another publisher and that they’re willing to work with me in the future.
Obviously, nothing is set in stone as we haven’t signed a contract and I haven’t completed their proposal form, but there’s hope. Basically, that’s where I’m at currently so you’re up-to-date on the goings on of my book publishing story.
But there are a few more questions I’d like to answer.
Traditional publishing vs self-publishing
After my first publisher dropped me, I took about a week to consider whether or not I should pursue traditional publishing deal or go the self-publishing route. Both directions are actually very viable and have their pros and cons.
So I picked up the phone and called an expert on the matter: my dad.
My dad is a minister and missionary (yes I’m a preacher’s kid!) who’s published multiple books through traditional publishers as well as self-published. So he was the perfect person to talk to about everything.
To make a long story short (going back and forth about the pros and cons of publishing routes) I decided to stick with the traditional publishing plan and find a new publisher that would jive better with my goals.
I’m not looking to make a bunch of money off this book as I’m more interested in spreading my message and actually helping other freelancers change their lives. I truly believe that freelancing saved my career, and ultimately my life, and I want to show other go-getters how to be their own bosses so they can regain control too.
Having a publisher will help get my book into bookstores and into multiple online retailers, so this is a plus for spreading my message. I’ll continue pursuing that idea until doors slam in my face, or I decide to self publish.
What’s next for my book?
Right now, my book plans are on hold.
I’ve been “trying” to finish the proposal for the past six weeks and it’s just not happening. When I want to make something a priority, I do it, so when it’s not coming together I know it’s because my heart’s not in it.
I’m not giving up on my book, because I do want to publish it. But I’m just going to wait a few months, maybe until the end of this year, before I start reaching out to publishers again.
I’d love to secure a deal where I’m paid an advance and have time to do everything the right way. I want the cover and title to be amazing. I want to produce a book that I can proudly stand behind — not something that I’m rushing through to check off the list.
Down the road the title may change and the message may evolve, but I’m not giving up. I’m just waiting for the right time to release it into the world!