No book after all.
I got an email from my publisher on Wednesday. Turns out they no longer want to publish my book. Definitely not the news you want to hear after you've invested hours and hours and hours of work into something. The crazy thing is, this book wasn't my idea, it was theirs! At least it was one of their acquisitions editors that approached me last February, after I presented at RootsTech. Since I had just recently sold bigpictureclasses.com, I was reluctant to jump into a huge project with deadlines, but she assured me hat 1) I could take the summer off and 2) I would have LOTS of support in a collaborative environment as I worked. They were absolutely true to the first promise, and truth be told, I'm not super bummed, primarily because promise #2 didn't happen. As it turns out, my first editor left the company and I was assigned a new one who picked up my project in September. She was delightful, so that's not the problem, but I do think there was something that the first editor experienced at RootsTech (she was probably excited and inspired) that moved her to "sign me up" so to speak. After she left, I never talked to anyone. I never had a chance to share or discuss my vision, my project ideas or my intended audience with anyone. I worked in isolation for months.
Now, I've worked on the publishing side of things before, so I know a little about the risks that are involved with publishing and I also know that even if a project is nearly complete, there is no guarantee it will be printed, until the sales and marketing group buys in. I don't have all the details, but I do know that this group didn't feel like all of my ideas were fresh and super unique and they are right, but what's interesting is that is actually one of my strengths and one of the strengths of my manuscript. I'm not a trend setter. I tend to stand back and observe. I watch things happen and then I generally take ideas or concepts and I tweak them, or approach them from a different angle. I think (a lot) about what I see being done and shared on blogs and Pinterest, etc.. and then I try to think about those ideas in a new way. Anyway, I'm writing this all out to let you know that I'm 100% ok. I absolutely threw myself a little pity party and had a good cry—that emotional release thing—but then I started to feel really happy. I now have a TON of good content and pretty photos to share, anywhere I want. In fact, I might make a little eBook or some videos or who knows?
I am kind of hanging out in a weird space right now—between scrapbooking and home decor and family history and I'm not sure people really get it yet. The the other feedback I received, is that scrapbooking and family history are on a downward trend. And, that may be true in traditional publishing, but I hardly think that preserving memories, telling family stories and exploring your roots are going away. I think this space has potential, and that is it ripe for some reinvention and until other people figure that out, I'm quite content to just be here and do some low-key sharing and see how it goes. Stay tuned!
I have been around the block a few times and one thing I've learned is that these bumps in the road are almost always blessings in disguise. It's the whole, "when God closes a door, He opens a window" thing and I believe it.
But, good things to come.
I'm certain of that.