Episode 102: Letting Go of The Final Draft (Book Update #3)
Have you ever struggled with pushing ‘send’ on a piece for publication? In this episode I’m giving you an update on my book process, including timeline, cover reveals, and how hard it is to let go of that final draft.
It’s time for installment three on my book writing process!
In episode 60 I shared part 1, a dive into the publishing world, deciding on academic vs. traditional publishing houses, figuring out what I wanted to say, and the fear that I wouldn’t have enough words to put on the page (spoiler: I did).
In episode 79 I shared part 2, all about figuring out my own writing process, getting mindset and development help from book coach Jane Jones, and how I got the writing done.
In this episode, I want to continue to be open about what scares me, give you an overview of all the professionals I’ve worked with to help bring this book to life, and share an update on the book timeline. I’ve learned so much along the way, and I hope you have picked up some tips and tidbits from these book update episodes.
Letting Go of The Final Draft
In the first two book updates, I tried to be candid about the fears I was having: that I might not have enough to say, that I wouldn’t find the right publishing house, that I wouldn’t be able to move at the speed I wanted to.
As I’ve put those fears behind me and now have a final, edited draft ready for me to give my final ok and send to the publisher, I’m having some new fears. It’s hard to let it go and call it finished! Here are some of the things holding me back. See if you can relate:
- Once it’s out there, it’s out there forever. What if I wish I’d said something differently or end up hurting someone with my words? What if someone misunderstands my meaning? There’s no take-backs on a book.
- In the first part of the book I write about the patriarchy and how academic culture is set up to restrict your choices. In the rest of the book I write about how to push forward and make those choices anyway. I am writing what I firmly and passionately believe, but I worry about how it will be received.
- I’m not confident on the chapter titles. At some point, I just have to call it done and send it, but I keep going back and forth.
Have you ever struggled to let your “final” piece go out into the world? It feels like there can always be something more tweaked, but at some point it just has to get out the door!
“Just in case you thought you were the only person who struggles to submit things, I am also struggling to submit this thing.” -Cathy Mazak
The Pros Who Helped Me
I have learned so much through this whole process, and I’ve had help and support from some amazing professionals. Getting a book out into the world takes a village, and I want to share with you what kind of help I’ve had.
- A book coach. This coach came in at the beginning to help me get clear on what the book was actually about. She showed me that what I originally thought the content would be for this book was actually 3 books. She helped me narrow the scope, write the book proposal and send it to a list of academic and independent publishers to get a contract.
- Book writing coaching program. After I got my contract, I joined Jane Jone’s program for academic book writers (she let me in even though my book is not strictly “academic”). She helped a lot with mindset issues, helped me continue to hone in on what the book is about, and gave some great tools for setting up a writing process that worked for me.
- Developmental editor. As part of Jane’s program I worked with a wonderful developmental editor. She helped me shape the outline, content, and flow of the book through gentle, thoughtful feedback on things like what areas needed more fleshing out, when the logic didn’t flow in a section, and the structure of the writing.
- Line and copy editor. After the whole thing was drafted, I had another editor who went through it line by line looking for grammar, punctuation and spelling errors. She also made sure it was formatted correctly for my publisher, and worked with me to lay out needed sections like acknowledgements and author bio.
- A variety of other book and publishing professionals. I’ve worked with branding and marketing teams at the publisher, cover designers, and other publishing professionals at Morgan James Publishing. And my own amazing team has helped steer me on this journey.
“It’s definitely been a team effort.” -Cathy Mazak
There’s so much that’s involved in creating a book. We’ve had meetings with the publisher that covered everything from cover, design and size of the book to placement and distribution.
Here’s a feel for what is coming next in the process.
After I turn in the final draft, they’ll send me proofs. Then, I should have books in my hands in January! They won’t be on the shelves yet, but I’ll be able to use them for events and increasing keynote speaking, which is one of my goals for next year.
We have two cover design choices and I want to hear your feedback! Which of these cover designs do you like best?
The ebook will come out in May. This means we can get our book launch team reading, and people buying and reviewing the ebook in preparation for the physical book launch.
August 2022: the physical book launches! I can’t wait for you to read it. If you’re interested in being on my book launch team, stay tuned for more info.
Do you have a writing project languishing, mired in the messy middle, or stuck on revise and resubmit? Grab my Writing Sprint Blueprint, a powerful productivity tool to help stalled out publications get out of your pipeline and into the world. As a bonus, you’ll also gain access to my private podcast feed “Stick to the Plan”, a 10 episode series of short, inspirational messages to keep you going. Click here to get the Writing Sprint Blueprint and “Stick to the Plan” podcast series for just $27!
Connect with me:
Follow me on Clubhouse: @cathymazak