This blog post is written to address the second most common question I get from friends about Called To Stand: how did you find a publisher?
After my book was written, I sat on it for a year, unsure what to do next.
I wrote most of it while my husband was in prison – an interesting example of turning lemons into lemonade! Henry David Thoreau said, “If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in nearly every disappointment.” Writing our story was compensation for my loneliness and frustration, and for the censorship of our speech.
Knowing little about the book business, I then visited a major bookstore and bought a few books about how to get published. I read about query letters – how to write a good query letter, how to send out query letters, who to send them to (another book purchased) – and the more I read, the more the task became daunting. Get an agent, take a writing workshop to meet agents . . . the process was going to turn into time and money I didn’t want to spend.
I then saw an ad in Whistleblower Magazine for a free consultation with World Ahead Press (WAP), about turning a manuscript into a “marketable book.” (Our subscription to the magazine was a birthday gift to my husband from me, and like most things written, as he says, I “stole it!”) WAP is the publishing house of World Net Daily, an online journal that had in the past published two articles about us, Daniel Chapter One, and the unconstitutional attack on us by the government. They were “our people,” outside the mainstream media, and publish things others don’t dare touch due to controversial subject matter.
My manuscript was accepted by WAP, and I decided to pay them to publish and promote my book, to save time. It was ready and waiting for publication now, I didn’t consider that I had the two more years it typically takes to find a publisher. Even if one finds a publisher at no cost, usually after hiring an agent, the agent and the publisher get a percentage of all book sales – so it's half a dozen of one, six of the other, I figured. I just wanted to get my story out, especially to our community of followers from whom we suddenly disappeared due to the government action against us.
In my case, it felt good to return the publishing guide books I’d purchased.
The bottom line, for all those who wonder how they, too, can get published, is that there are different approaches, options, and writers can choose what is best for them. Ask, do I have time to wait? Can I attend writing workshops in the hopes of meeting the right agent? Can I afford a publishing project upfront, or is that not an option? Beware, and research your options: self-publishing, vanity/subsidy publishing, hybrid publishing, or traditional publishing. There are pros and cons to each. I chose WAP because they are reputable, I trusted them, and their audience has been our audience.
Book publishing has become extremely competitive in this day and age, as is book marketing. Which is my next adventure, all new and more stressful than exciting. As I’ve read, and now know it’s true: the hard part begins after writing your book. On the positive side, anyone can be a writer, and there are choices as to how to get published!
And thank God, in America we have the freedom to speak and write anything we choose.