Publication is Only the Tip of the Iceberg
by Tari Faris, @FarisTari
Last Monday, I signed my first publishing contract. It is a three-book contract with Revell and to say that I am thrilled would be the understatement of the year. So, of course, I had to take “the signing photo”—you know the one: pen poised, smile in place, enough of the contract showing but not enough to read.
The shot wasn’t as simple as you might think. I wanted the bookshelf behind me but there was not a table in front of the bookshelf but rather a couch...so let’s move some furniture. Then I had to rearrange the books so the ones I wanted were displayed. Was there a shadow on my face? I will have my daughter hold a reflector. Then my husband must have taken about 50 shots because my face wasn’t right or my shoulder looked weird, I didn’t even know what was up with my nose in a few.
So here is the result and a photo of what it actually looked like. (And in case you think that is a camera bag on my husband's shoulder, it is his work bag. I literally stopped him as he was
Why am I sharing this? Because as I reflected on it later, it made me laugh and reminded me of the phrase the tip of the iceberg. There was so much more to the photo than people saw. Just like there is so much that goes into our books than people see.
When I started writing, I thought I was signing up for the top part of the iceberg, a nice shinny book with my name on the cover and my story inside. I had no idea what I was getting into or how long the journey would take. I had no idea of how much work I needed to do on my craft, all the new skills I would have to learn along the way, and did I mention I had no idea how long it would take?
I started writing fourteen years ago but didn’t start pursuing publication until seven years ago. Seven years of requests for full manuscripts only to get rejected over and over. So how did I finally make the jump from aspiring author to signed author? In those seven years, I did two things that made all the difference.
1.) I never stopped learning. I have been a member of My Book Therapy for those seven years as well and I have taken class after class at Novel.Academy as well as invested in retreats and conferences, always striving to up my writing game. I never assumed I knew enough or "had arrived." And honestly, I plan to never assume that. Learning and growing is one of the greatest gifts an author can give their readers. Even with contract in hand, I will keep taking classes and learning because I want every book to be better, stronger.
2.) I persisted. I believed God called me to this and I was determined to press on I was published or until He told me to quit. Even when I wanted to quit, I held to the belief that I was being faithful to the calling He gave me.
So, if you are on that journey and wondering when or if you will get to take that signing photo… remember two things: keep learning and never give up.