For months I have checked that email account and it has been the same story- no new emails. Every now and then I would receive a notification about something or other, but no emails from the one company that I desperately wanted to receive an email from.
Then today it happened. With hands shaking, I said a silent prayer that I would have a calm presence of mind no matter what the email said, although in my heart of hearts, I knew it was going to say, "Thanks, but no thanks."
Sometimes I don't like it when my heart is right.
I will not have the opportunity to publish my book with Cedar Fort Publishing and although I am not surprised at this outcome, it did shatter my heart, just a bit.
However, all hope is not lost.
They were very kind and gave me some words or encouragement.
"Please be aware that we offer to publish less than 10% of the manuscripts we review, and although we did not offer to publish your manuscript, we encourage you in your endeavors to get it published..."
"We enjoyed reading your work...You have a beautifully clean manuscript that does a wonderful job explaining your journey and the perspective it gave you. We still feel like it is a wonderful resource to those who are struggling with breast cancer. Unfortunately, our cancer memoirs haven't done as well as we would like..."
The good news? They liked what they read, it's just not a great fit for their particular company. I was not surprised to hear that their cancer memoirs have not done as well as they would like them to. The unfortunate fact is that there are a lot of people who have had, still have, and who will still have cancer and a lot of those people have written books. Maybe the market is a bit saturated? It's definitely a possibility, but that is only a speculation on my part.
Now for the bad news and the part that, in all honesty, has weighed heavily on my mind since reading the following words...
"One huge contributor to our decision making is social media presence. Marketing has changed drastically in the last several years for publishing companies. Authors with a high number of social media exposure will be significantly more successful. I would recommend doing what you can to extend your social media reach and share your story..."
There it is again. The wonderful pain that is social media has reached out and slapped me in the face. It has been on my mind for months now and I have researched ways to extend my social media reach and tried different tactics, but sadly, none of those tactics have made a noticeable difference. This is where the adversary steps in and says, "That's because your writing isn't as good as you may think it is."
Does my writing reach people? Yes. I know it does. I have had a handful of people tell me that it has reached them.
I suppose that is problem number one. A handful of people is not appealing to publishing companies. They need to see several thousand handfuls of people. This is where I have hit a wall. I am completely clueless as to what more I can do to get myself out there. I can share my posts and website as much as I want, but if no one is interested in sharing it with their friends who then share it with their friends, then it does not matter how many times I share it. This takes me back to the adversary as he says, "If people aren't interested in sharing your posts, then they will not be interested in reading a book that you have written."
To be completely fair here, I do have at least 50 people who would like to read my book. Thank you to all of those who have taken the time to fill out my little survey. I thank you all again for your love and support on this endeavor and I promise that you will get to read it, even if I have to just email you the manuscript.
Now, I have to pick up the pieces of my slightly shattered heart and try to figure out where to go from here. At the moment, all I can seem to do is stare at those lovely little heart pieces and feel the world bustle along around me. It takes me right back to how I felt in that moment that I heard those words, "You have cancer."
From the very start of my cancer journey it has been hard. Brutally hard. Now, it continues to be hard as I try and figure out where my place is in the literary world. All along, the one thing that I have kept clinging to is the fact that I just want this book to reach those who need it. Maybe that's just the 50 people in my little world.
But, I won't lie.
If that is truly the case then that leaves me a little sad. I was hopeful (and still am hopeful) that these words that I have been inspired to write are meant for more than 50 people. So once again, I am having to turn my will over to the Lord. I have to have faith and hope in His timing, not mine, while trying to do all that I can and need to do to have it reach its full potential.
It may seem strange to some that I have made this a part of my #100happydays posts. But I am happy. I am happy that I am not in limbo anymore, watching my email like a hawk, waiting to get some closure. I am happy that they took the time to read my manuscript and say kind things about it. I am still happy that I took the time to write it, even though it was and continues to be really hard.
And I am also happy to know that I can still do hard things and that Heavenly Father is mindful of me on hard days like today. He has helped me to not have a major freak out session, just a minor one. (I shed a few tears, but only used a single tissue, not a whole box, so that's a bonus.) He also sent love in the form of freshly baked bread and a jar full of jam from someone who, without a doubt in my mind, followed the Spirit as it directed her to send these goodies my way today. Thank you kind friend for your gift and note. It brightened my day and allowed me to place a few heart pieces back where they belong.