Publishing Day

The day my book releases is an odd day for me. Inside, I am screaming, “My book is out! Everybody, my book is out! Are you going to untitledread it, or what?!” I walk into the bookstore and pretend to only casually check that it’s on the front table. If it’s not, I pretend not to be bothered. I decrease my expectations. I walk towards the women’s section and just hope to see it on the shelf. If it’s not, I pretend to understand, but inside, I don’t understand at all.

Because it’s my heart on the page.

I went through this with my first book, Girl Perfect, and I just went through it again with Beautiful Lies. In the days of the release, something in me wants people to stop and take notice, and that part of me wrestles with the part that knows the act of creating is worth it, whether anyone notices or not.

I hope the late nights, the honest tears, and the sweet victories of finding just the right words to speak my soul’s hunger will result in profundity for the reader. I want my efforts to matter. In fact, I’m tempted to tell you how I crawled through the thickest mud of my adult life to bear this book. But Annie Dillard, in The Writing Life, scolded me about this, warning me never to tell anyone how much a book cost me personally – for it is impolite to do so.

So with the release of a book, three tragic flaws in the self must die. First, the part of us that hungers for recognition has to die to the Spirit in us that is compelled to speak honestly and truthfully into a world that needs our voices.  Second, the humanity in us that wants millions to hear the book’s message must die to the Spirit in us that rejoices if one life is purely changed by our words.

Finally, we have to let go of “perfect” and embrace gratitude instead. The perfectionistic questions that circle on publishing day – “Is it enough?” “Did I say everything I wanted to?” “Will the reader understand my heart’s lineage?”  and “Is this as beautiful an offering as I dreamed?” – all of these questions must yield to gratitude.

untitledSo here is mine: Thank you, God, that I had the opportunity to bleed truth on these pages. Thank you for the healing it brought to me. Thank you that you love me so much as to give my heart’s desire wings, and I commit these books to you, trusting your winds will carry their words wherever they need to flutter. Beautiful Lies is my offering. My alabaster jar. And when I poured its oil, it was all for you.

What about you? What do you have to embrace and let go of on publishing day? What are the needs for recognition or perfection that you battle? What does your gratitude sound like?

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WordServe News: August 2013

Exciting things have been happening at WordServe Literary!

On the final post of each month you’ll find a list of Water Cooler contributors’ books releasing in the upcoming month along with a recap of WordServe client news from the current month.

New Releases

First HiredAnita Agers-Brooks has her debut book coming out, First Hired, Last Fired: How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market (Leafwood).

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MountainsJulie Cantrell released the sequel to Into the Free, called When Mountains Move (David C. Cook).

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GreatDatesPeter and Heather Larson and Dave and Claudia Arp release 10 Great Dates: Connecting Faith, Love and Marriage (Bethany House Publishers)

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VanishingCalvin Miller’s last book, The Vanishing Evangelical: Saving the Church from its Own Success by Restoring What Really Matters (Baker Books).

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InventionOlivia Newport, The Invention of Sarah Cummings (Revell)

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SecretServiceJerry and Carolyn Parr, In the Secret Service (Tyndale House Publishers)

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stillloloLauren Scruggs (with Marcus Brotherton) has her book Still Lolo coming out in trade paper (Tyndale)

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GentleGiantHelen Shores Lee and Barbara Shores (with Denise George) have their memoir of their Civil Rights champion father, The Gentle Giant of Dynamite Hill come out in trade paper (Zondervan Publishing Houses)

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beautifulliesJennifer Strickland is releasing Beautiful Lies, book and separate Study Guide (Harvest House Publishers)

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TenaciousJeremy and Jennifer Williams released their moving memoir, Tenacious: How God Used a Terminal Diagnosis to Turn a Family and a Football Team into Champions (Thomas Nelson)

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FootballMike Yorkey has another book coming out in the Playing with Purpose series, this time on the lives of NFL football players (Barbour Publishers)

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New Contracts

Daniel Allan signed with IVP for a book called Deeper, a call for young men to look for ways to grow their roots as they transition from youth to adulthood.

Wintley Phipps signed with Tyndale for a book titled Living the Great Life (co-written by James Lund), in which he shares the secrets to living a fulfilled life by developing eight vital characteristics.

Jan Drexler with Love Inspired for her second novel. Congrats, Jan!

What We’re Celebrating!!

Becky Johnson and Rachel Randolph had a NICE article in the recent issue of Guideposts Magazine surrounding the release of their mother/daughter cookbook We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook, as well as a 4-part article in the huge website/blog postings, Beliefnet.

What can we help you celebrate?