If you’re a writer, you already know writing is hard, and usually slow. And although it’s deeply satisfying when your article or poem or book appears in print, publishing your writing is even harder and even slower than most writers expect. Even when you think the last “i” is dotted and the last “t” is crossed in the final draft of your manuscript, your journey is just beginning. Then the submission and editing process begins!

Some authors feel their writing doesn’t need to be edited, so they move forward rapidly, only to end up publishing a poorly edited book they wind up regretting. To those writers, I say: Never underestimate the power of a good editor to transform your writing! Working with a skilled editor means letting go. If you don’t already know Microsoft Word’s tracking feature—the editing software most editors use to track corrections and revisions in a manuscript—it means learning this new technology. It means waiting weeks—or, depending on the length of a manuscript, sometimes months—for an editor to do their job of reviewing, reading, and then reading your manuscript again and offering their initial comments. Proof after proof then follows to polish the manuscript just right.

This is the waiting part of the publishing process. Many authors wonder: during those weeks or months between proofs from the editor, designer, or project manager, how do I spend my time? If you are indeed a devoted writer, you start working on the next book!

And then there’s the fear part of the publishing process—fear of submitting your manuscript in the first place, fear of letting go of the manuscript to a stranger, fear of losing that paragraph or sentence the editor thinks is needless, fear of sending your innermost thoughts out into the world, or even fear of success—if you should be so lucky.

These fears can be daunting—especially if you’re self-publishing and navigating these frustrations alone. However, traveling this long road with a publisher who knows the unexpected curves, pitfalls, and cliffs on the way to publication can make the ride smoother. At Brandylane, we know how to provide this kind of writing and publishing therapy when it’s needed, and are happy to do so for the many authors who have published with us.

written by Robert Pruett, publisher