First off, thank you to so many of you who have encouraged me with this new book coming out! You're the best.
It's been a busy week. The first case of New Wineskins arrived on Monday. I hadn't seen a hardcopy of the book, so I was nervous. But it turned out great. I am so pleased with the cover my daughter designed, and several of you have commented on it as well. It's crisp and clean and appealing, and far better than what I had in mind! There are a few minor tweaks to the inside of the book that I wish now I'd done differently, but overall I'm very, very happy with it.
When I wrote my book on the Exodus story a decade ago, the world of publishing was very different. At that time I wouldn't even consider paying to have my book published. I thought self-publishing was for people who couldn't write well enough to sell their book to a traditional publisher. Since that time, self-publishing has changed in major ways. So has the entire book publishing industry, for that matter. As I researched how best to put New Wineskins out there, it became clear very quickly that self-publishing was my best option.
A major part of this experience has been learning how to self-publish a book. It's been an education! While (as I said above) there are things I will do differently next time, the real encouragement is that I really want there to be a next time. I'm already working on an updated, expanded version of From Slavery to Freedom, my book about the Exodus. When I first wrote that book, I completed the manuscript in mid-2007. Going through a traditional publisher, it came out in print almost exactly two years later. One of the miracles of self-publishing is that I'll probably have the second edition in print by mid-January. Amazing!
I've realized that this season of my life is about finishing projects I've started. I've got so many rough drafts and book outlines stored away here and there. I'm eager to pull out those manuscripts and outlines and get some books available. There's always a little fear in that process; it's like an author I know said: Putting a book out is like walking on stage, taking off all your clothes, and saying, "What do you think?" But I've also realized that I'm eager for the conversations that come with writing a book. Sometimes those conversations are joyful and affirming. Other times people want to argue and critique. Both are absolutely important and necessary.
So... and I'm hesitant to say this out loud because then I'm accountable, right? My goal for 2020 is that by the end of the calendar year, I'll have half a dozen books in print. Deep inside, part of me is shivering at that. But the stronger part says, "It's about time!"
One of the joys of this season of life for me is finding the tools to let me pursue that goal. It's exciting!