Publishing through the Eyes of an Author
By Susannah Baker
Writing is no small or easy task. It requires time, mental focus, emotional energy, and blood, sweat, and tears. OK, maybe not blood, but some days, it certainly does feel like it.
And while writing and producing a completed work you feel semi-comfortable sharing with an audience is hard enough, taking the plunge to actually publish your work is even harder. At least, it was for me.
I wrote my first Bible study when my oldest daughter, who is now eleven, was one. I wrote during her morning and afternoon naps and for as long as a handful of cheerios on her high chair tray would last.
Then I taught the Bible study when my daughter was eighteen months old, and I edited the study and taught it again when my second daughter was eighteen months old. Over the next seven years, I edited and taught, edited and taught, edited and taught the study seven more times. Seven.
Women would tell me, “You need to publish this study,” and I would just smile and nod on the outside while on the inside thinking, “But how? And with what publisher?” I talked to my friends, my husband, and other people I knew who had published books or studies, but underneath the conversations were two basic fears.
First, I believed in order to publish my work, it had to be perfect. I mean perfect. I had to edit and teach and edit and teach until the work in my hands was without flaw and without changes.
Second, I believed in order to publish my work, a publisher had to come knock on my door and find me instead of the other way around. Real writers had publishers knocking their doors down instead of doing the legwork themselves.
But one day, I sat across a breakfast table from a friend of mine who is not only a published writer but a woman of wisdom. As we talked over my writing and my Bible study, she addressed both of my fears. “Susannah, no work is ever perfect. At some point, you have to let it go and trust that if God is the one who gave it to you to write, He will be faithful to cause it to grow in His time and in His way, in all of its glory and imperfections.”
The second thing she told me is that “real writers have to do the legwork themselves. The point isn’t to wait until you have a platform large enough to justify publication. The point is to find a publisher you trust who will put the work God has given you into the hands of those who need it.” Then she gave me Lucid Books’ name and contact information.
After nine years of writing, editing, and teaching, fearing imperfection, and fearing all that I didn’t have as opposed to all that I did, I released my work into Lucid’s hands.
And those hands couldn’t have been kinder. Sammantha Lengl, my contact at Lucid, was willing to answer every question and address every fear. Every email was responded to with promptness, and deadlines were met with excellence. Many times, she stayed on the phone long after work hours were over to make sure my voice was heard and my edits were taken care of so that the books were ready when I needed them to be.
Lucid’s team also helped to overhaul my website and provide audio and video teaching sessions to go along with my studies. If there was a need or desire in my heart to go along with the study, their answer was, “Yes, let’s figure out the best way to make that happen.”
Overall, the end product was beautiful. The cover and layout reflected the hopes I had going into the process.
Was it a perfect process without its share of time, emotional energy, blood, sweat, and tears? No. But the only regret I have from start to finish is that I did not publish my study with Lucid Books sooner. It took nine long years for me to work up the courage to entrust my work into someone else’s hands and let God grow it in His time and in His way.
In the front of the binder I keep that stores all of my current writing projects and ideas, I have a quote from my friend Leigh. It simply says, “Just start. Something is better than nothing.”
And two years into the publishing process with Lucid Books, I still need to hear those words, and my guess is you do, too.
Just start and make an initial phone call. Just start and put words down on a screen. Just start and sketch out your hopes and desires for a book that Lucid Books can help you put into other people’s hands.
Just like Leigh said, “Something is better than nothing.” Lucid has an amazing way of taking “something” and making it a beautiful work in other’s hearts and hands.
To read more of Susannah’s writings, check out her blog about finding God’s purpose and goodness in the midst of everyday life at susannahbaker.com. You can also read about her Bible study resources, which include “Waiting on the Lord,” an eight-week study that leads readers in all different stages in life on a journey of seeing the goodness of God in each and every wait and unfulfilled longing. Her newest releases, “Secure: The Prayer Guide” and “Secure: The Prayer Journal,” are designed to help both men and women learn to slow down and securely follow God through the life-changing habit of prayer.
Are you ready to get started with Lucid Books? We’re here to guide you and support you every step of the way. Learn more about our process here. Get a FREE copy of our Partnership Publishing Guide to learn more about whether partnership publishing is right for you.