differences between the subsidiaries, vanity and Print-on-Demand
is not for everyone, but for me, it was the beginning of a wonderful
introduction into the writing world. My story is probably not that much
different from other aspiring writers, yet in some ways it is unique to
After seventeen years of
marriage to a minister that ended in divorce, I was devastated and
angry. I began writing God a letter, every day, telling Him of my
disappointment and feelings of hopelessness and bitterness toward Him
for my failed marriage. After two years of writing these letters, I
heard a voice within say, “Read the letters you have already written.”
I turned to the first letter, and after reading them all, I said to
myself, “Gee, this would make a good book.” Then I heard the voice say
to me, “Write it.”
I knew I had a gift. In college,
my English professors always told me how much they enjoyed reading my
papers, but I never gave it much thought. However, now the voice was
relentless about writing my story. I enrolled at a local university and
took creative writing classes, thus my novel was born.
While studying the craft of
writing, I sought counseling to work through my anger and bitterness.
Thank God, I can truly say that He is a deliverer. I am no longer stuck
in unforgiveness, anger, and bitterness. Now I take my message of
unconditional love, forgiveness, and hope to the Los Angeles women’s
correction facilities, churches, and schools. Bitter Roots
was painful to write, yet it is rewarding to see how God has used this
book to help others.
Once I had completed my
manuscript, I felt a strong responsibility not to allow it’s
authenticity to be compromised. I wasn’t concerned about it becoming a
best seller, or if my novel was commercial enough. I believed the
success of my book would depend on the providential care of God.
Although it is a work of fiction, the story was sent to me by God. The
characters spoke, and I listened. I did my part, so now those who are
to be ministered to by my book is God’s responsibility. Not only has Bitter
Roots been received publicly, but also it has won the 2007
Silver Angel award for excellence in print. Write the story that God
has given you. Don’t try to manipulate the characters. They will come
to you and tell their story.
Many roads lead to
self-publishing; however, it is important to do your homework. First,
take your time and research the publishing companies; understand the
differences between the subsidiaries, vanity and Print-on-Demand (POD).
Regardless of how the publisher spins it, if you have to pay a fee of
any kind, you are dealing with a subsidiary publisher. You can research
publishing houses by going to www.preditorsandeditors.com. I looked at
about six self-assist publishers before deciding on iUniverse.
I chose iUniverse for several
reasons: first, I had an opportunity to see the contract before I
purchased their services, and second, unlike other publishing
companies, the iUniverse contract is for only three years. And I still
own the copyright to my book. After the contract expires, I can simply
walk away. If I wish to terminate the contract earlier than the three
years, I can do so for a small fee. If I wish to keep the cover design,
I can purchase it for a small fee.
Some publishing companies have a
seven-year contract, and they make it very difficult to get out of it,
typically charging an extraordinarily high fee, that is, if they let
you out of it at all. Be aware that some publishers own the copyright
to your book once you sign with them; therefore, if you want to go to
another publisher, the previous publisher will still own the copyright.
At iUniverse, you retain the copyright to your book.
One complaint I hear most about
self-published books is that they are poorly written. But your book can
be and as professional as traditional-published authors. iUniverse
offers an evaluation service in which an editor assesses your
manuscript, gives a comprehensive overview, and recommends the type of
editorial service needed., if any.
cannot emphasis enough how important it is to get your manuscript
edited. Professional editing focuses on grammar, spelling, punctuation,
capitalization, structure, logic, consistency, and continuity.
iUniverse offers all of these services, which includes copyediting,
line editing, and content editing. I chose content editing because it
was the most thorough editing service. A content editor performs the
functions of a line editor and ensures accuracy and consistency of
sentence structure. In addition, an editor will check for continuity of
scenes, details in the plot, settings, and character development. At
iUniverse, a service advisor will work with you throughout the entire
process. Mine answered all of my questions within twenty-four hours. I
didn’t like the first cover design they did, so together we worked on
one until I was pleased with it. All in all, I was very happy with the
outcome of my book, and I highly recommend iUniverse as a self-assist
The Web site for iUniverse is
www.iuniverse.com. If you chose them as your publisher, please give
them my name, e-mail address, and telephone number as a referral.
Finally, you have a story to
tell, and only you can tell it. Jeremiah 30:2 says, “Thus speaketh the
Lord God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken
unto thee in a book.”
Beverly Hills, Ca 90211
Marionmcnair [at] gmail [dot] com