So it turns out that waiting really is the hardest part. For those who’ve been following my journey from MFA to book publication, you know that my 85-page collection of Florida-life poetry Middle Class American Proverb will come out later this summer. In the meantime, I’ve been setting up appearances, readings, book signings, and all the other trappings that come with good networking and positive publicity. Being one’s own agent isn’t that hard, but the gestation between book acceptance and book publication is killer.
You have this beautiful thing that you can’t wait to have released into the world, and all you want is for it to be available to your friends, family, readers, and supporters. But you must wait. And then wait some more. All the while, your creation is kicking around in its publishing-house womb, building its muscles for that incredible, inimitable cry released at first appearance (maybe I’m pushing the “birth” metaphor here).
But what’s more, the book “parent” is pretty far removed from all this development. Oh sure, there’s the occasional email about edits or cover art, but for the most part, you’ve committed your creation into the hands of total strangers who you hope will treat it right. Someone more impatient would probably have gone the self-publishing route, and I’ve been down that road before also. Yes, the book comes out quicker, but it’s all too easy to let the little flaws stay in the name of expedience. There’s also not the attention given to the finer details of publishing — does the cover art complement the text itself, or was it just thrown on assembly-line style?
Having a caring publisher who’s devoting time and real interest to my book is rewarding, and the waiting, I know, will be worth it. For now, it’s time to prepare. And there is joy in making ready.