STOP EVERYTHING. That’s what writers do when the postal worker delivers their newest book, fresh off the press.
The publisher usually, but not always, sends us a copy before the book goes public.
It’s a courtesy because they know we are eager to see the product we spent months creating before we turned it over to editors and designers who spent many more months polishing it and putting it together.
“Eager” might not be the right word. “Anxious” comes closer for me.
I worry about the process. I have seen some of my books decimated by designers in a hurry or by printers doing sloppy work on cheap paper. One book by an overseas printer is so terrible I won’t give away any copies to anyone until the book comes out in braille.
Usually it’s a big relief when the book arrives. As it was yesterday.
Buddy the dog was still barking at the mailman when I tore open the cardboard box.
There it was, A Quick Guided Tour Through the Bible.
The cover looked excellent and the size was bigger than I imagined. But it needs to be big for the maps and pictures inside.
I read the cover letter from the author liaison, who said “We’re very pleased with the final product.”
I flipped through the pages hoping for good curb appeal, and getting what I wanted.
Heavy paper. Brilliant color. Masterful reproduction of the pictures and maps.
I couldn’t ask for anything more.
If the book sells well, I’ll owe a lot to the folks in charge of the looks: the designer and the anonymous printer.
I was working on another book when the mailman came. That was nearly three hours ago.
That’s the answer to the question in the title of this article.
I’ll speak for myself. When my newest book arrives, I stop whatever I’m doing and I flip and dip through the book, just like I do when I’m looking for books in a bookstore.
I flip through all the pages as I try to get an overall sense of the book. And I dip into short sections to read snippets here and there.
Then I usually write the editor, copying in his boss.
Just a short note. Like the one I sent yesterday:
I just got my copy of A Quick Guided Tour Through the Bible.
It looks wonderful. The printing quality seems excellent to me; I always worry about that, given some occasional past experiences. But this looks well done.
Thanks to both of you, along with Janelle [the designer] and the other Harvest House folks who helped pull this book out of the thin air of an idea.
For more about writing books about the Bible
- When a book flops
- Me: One writer’s to-do list
- My prayer before writing a book proposal
- Puzzled about how to spend my time
- What readers think of me and my books
Bible Gateway Blogger