Oh, publishing. You saucy minx, you. Just when you think you’ve got a good grasp on what’s going on in this world, you find yourself taking a sharp left turn and careening off into the unknown.
It’s not news that in order to navigate the world of publishing, you have to be a bit flexible. Okay, a LOT flexible. There are so many moving parts, it’s tough to keep track of everything and everyone sometimes. Even in the early stages, figuring out how to work with critique partners, and then an agent (if you choose the traditional route), then an editor. Beyond that, the number of people with an opinion on what happens with your book only continues to grow. Sometimes you’ll agree, and sometimes you won’t. Sometimes you won’t have any idea what you think because you’re indecisive. (Just me?)
That has been the case for me in 2016 especially. Earlier this year, we made the decision that my book, THE GIRL BEFORE (releasing August 9, 2016, less than 4 months from now*), would come out directly to trade paperback. At the same time, there were rumblings of a redesign of the original cover, which I have always loved.
My reaction to big changes like this is typically FULL STOP NO. I was comfortable where I was, with how things were panning out. Everything was going so smoothly, and these proposals almost derailed me.
Here’s the thing, though. People who have been in publishing a long time? They’re smart. Like, really smart, and savvy, and they know what they’re doing. I trust my publisher implicitly, so even though I was wary, I listened, and I agreed with the direction they were taking me.
I’m actually super pumped about the format change. Going straight to trade paper will drop the price and get my book in the hands of more people. And while a beautiful hardcover is something I’ve always longed for, what I want even more is to share Clara’s story with the world. The reasons behind the decision made a lot of sense, and I’m very happy with it. It’s a fantastic opportunity.
Even better…that cover redesign? I was SO NERVOUS. But…
LOOK AT IT! Gah, I love it sooooo much! The first design was fantastic, but everyone I’ve shown this design to has had the same reaction I did. A gasp, a “WOW,” an unidentifiable animal noise. (I had all three.)
So here’s the lesson of the day. While you do need to be thoughtful about making changes at any stage of your book-making, it’s important to be open and flexible, and consider whether suggestions are coming from those that are probably a lot wiser than in you in many areas. It’s tempting to want to run and hide or stand staunchly in familiar territory, but instead of ignoring the possibilities laid before you, tuck and roll, embrace the unfamiliar, and enjoy the ride as much as you can.
*shameless self promotion