By Keith N Fisher
If it takes a village to raise a child, How many people do you need to publish a book? Many of us are enamoured with the idea of being a solitary writer. He/she spends months in seclusion, knocking out that book. Then, after the publisher takes it to market, the writer spends a couple of months doing other things, like plotting the demise of the mailman (See the movie Funny Farm).
Perhaps that reality once existed, but not today. When Hillary Clinton published her book, It Takes a Village, I Liked the concept the title implies. It does take many influences to raise a child. Publishing your book does too.
It starts with whoever provides the inspiration. What made you want to write a book? As with all artistic expression, writing is driven by passion. Something must’ve lit that fire.
Next, there are the teachers and conference presenters who help with your presentation. I know things I learn at writer’s conferences have immensely boosted me.
The cooperation and support of those you love must be listed. I used to write into the night while my wife went to bed. She never complained, but it goes deeper than that. I know many women who write while their family qtakes up the slack.
One can not leave this subject without mentioning the opposite. When a trusted and treasured friend, or family member, expresses their disdain about your choice to be a writer, it can be overwhelming. The influence of those who provide support by keeping quiet makes all the difference. If those people express support, the writer is lifted.
The help of an honest critique is invaluable. A good critique group is essential. Writers need group partners who will build, but still tell you when something stinks. I can’t begin to express how much my group has helped me become a better writer.
Next in our village, is the willing beta, or proofreaders. Another set of eyes can find typos and plot mistakes the writer just never saw. They can also tell you if the story works or not. If they don’t like what you wrote, book buyers probably won’t either. A writer needs many beta readers to get an accurate picture of what changes are needed.
We could list mail carriers, agents, editors, and slush pile readers. Then come typesetters, printers, and distributors. Bookstore owners and managers, come in there next. Not to mention, the good recommendations of bookstore employees. Suffice it to say a best seller is not born in a vacuum.
I want to thank all the people in my village. I might be somebody someday because of your support. More than that, My children (books) will go into the world and be successful.
Good luck with your writing—see you next week.