First, I want to thank everyone who has asked about Marriage God’s Way, or more significantly, prayed for me through this process! Hard to believe how much I’ve learned about literary agents, proposals, publishers, editing, etc. since this began in October. And that isn’t a boast so much as it’s an admission of my ignorance when I started. Lots of evenings have been spent up late in the office after my family went to bed working on proposals and query letters, and many early mornings before my family woke up reading blogs and articles to help me in this journey.1 And I would definitely say it’s been a journey!
One change worth mentioning is I originally planned to have response activities at the end of each section. The book consists of forty-nine fairly short chapters divided over thirteen sections, making a nice resource for small groups or Sunday Schools following a quarterly system (often thirteen weeks in length). My associate pastor, Doug Connell, offered to develop the response activities, but in the process of doing so he came up with enough material for a workbook. Therefore, Marriage God’s Way no longer contains response activities at the end of the sections since they’ll be contained in the workbook. The book and workbook together will still work well – or even better now – for Sunday School teachers or small group leaders using these types of resources.
I started looking for a publisher exactly one month ago when the manuscript was finally edited. I received two offers for contracts from traditional publishers. This alone has been an encouragement, because I’ve heard testimonies from people who waited months for contracts or weren’t able to receive contracts at all. I would say both contracts were similar regarding the royalties, marketing, contributions from the publisher, and expectations of the author. I contacted about fifty authors from both publishers to find out what their experience was like, would they work with the publisher again, would they recommend the publisher, what were the strengths, weaknesses, etc. As a side note, one thing I’ve really appreciated about the writing industry is the helpfulness of authors who have made themselves available to me.4
After weighing all the options, evaluating all the information, considering all the recommendations, and praying a number of times per day, I’ve decided to forego the contracts and take the self-publishing route. The number of reasons for doing so would make this post very long, but I’ll summarize as follows:
- I’d like to maintain the rights. I heard horror stories from individuals who said traditional publishers ruined their book.
- I trust God to speak to me through my wife (something I discuss in the book!) and Katie has been terribly opposed to a traditional publisher from the beginning.
- Publishers offer editing and other services, but I had Marriage God’s Way professionally edited, and I believe I can have the other services accomplished without a publisher.
- While I know I could wait longer to see if more publishers and/or literary agents express interest, I don’t think the offers will be better than what I’ve already received.
- Finally, going through traditional publishers takes up to two years to be printed. Marriage God’s Way is dedicated to my dad, and I want to get a copy in his hands sooner than later.5 I practically dream about giving him the first copy before the congregation at WCC.
The self-publisher I chose is CreateSpace.6 Their design team is working on the cover and interior of the book, and my understanding is this will take about two weeks. Then I’ll offer feedback on their work and receive proofs of the book. I have some people in mind that I would like to invite to read a proof for me. If that’s attractive to you, please let me know and I’ll be sure to involve you: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for reading this! Thank you for your prayers! Please pray the final details of Marriage God’s Way go smoothly so my prayer can be answered that this book will accomplish the two goals I’ve had from the beginning: strengthen marriages and exalt Christ.
1 The reason for the odd work hours in the morning or evening is I’m not able to work on the book as part of my job as a pastor. Understandably, WCC didn’t hire me as an author, so book-work took place when pastor-work was done.
2 Doug already started using the manuscript and workbook in counseling.
3 CrossLink and Ambassador International.
4 I’ve been told I ask a lot of questions – and I believe I do! – and I found most authors to be very gracious answering all the questions I had.
5 One of the publishers who offered me a contract said, “The dedication is one of the most beautiful which I have read.”
6 Another decision that involved a lot of research!
Author: Scott LaPierre