It’s finally happening! I’m in the homestretch to completing this work. I can’t say it’s been a long time coming but it’s been in the making for over two years. Of course, the manuscript sat for quite some time until the Holy Spirit tapped me on the shoulder and was like, “hey, you going to finish this book or not?”
So I prayed about it and asked Mary for intercession on what I should do. Should I finish this book or just let it collect dust to be lost on my computer hard-drive forever? Shortly after, I received all the energy and time to finish the manuscript. I then had to make the hard decision, self-publish or look for a publisher. I prayed again, many times and felt I should submit to a publisher.
Doing so is a long and daunting process but it has brought me to my knees in prayer and humility. It’s just me. I don’t have a literary agent. I have some talent but not enough to get me published by a publishing house so I was scared to even submit the manuscript. I’d like to tell you that I was accepted after getting rejection letters from many publishers but I wasn’t.
When I tell people that the manuscript was rejected many times, they always ask why. I don’t know. They never tell you. Some ask you to submit the entire manuscript (if it’s complete) and others want snippets or one or two chapters. Some just want your idea and to submit a query or a proposal. All of this takes an immense amount of time and without paying for a literary agent, I am stuck with my own wit. Apparently, it wasn’t good enough to get noticed.
I could have taken all the rejections as a sign that the work shouldn’t be published but then I see so many women suffering through miscarriage and wondering how to handle it. I see stories of women who went to their priests who didn’t know how to help them or gave them wrong information and it breaks my heart. Every baby has dignity and deserves to be treated as if they were the most important and beloved person of a royal line. Because if you truly understood who you are, you would know you are royalty, destined for the Kingdom of God to be with Him for all of eternity. Our babies are no different, even if they died in the womb.
In March of 2022, I sent my completed manuscript to be professionally edited. My editor finished the process in April so I then sent the manuscript to people I have met along the way whom I felt might be able to help with an endorsement of my book. I also sent the book to my pastor and a few other priests that I have friendships with. I felt I needed a priestly review of the book.
It’s interesting how busy priests are because only a few were able to briefly skim the book. Most cited that I was not a parishioner so they couldn’t dedicate much time to reading it. The book is so small, I found that confusing but I understood. Those that did read it, loved the brevity and felt the information was extremely important and would help parishioners and other priests.
Because my book contains theology, I felt it needed a look over from a theologian, so I began looking for someone to read it. Any time I needed someone to read it/review it/check my content, I prayed about it and every time I received help or an answer. This was very comforting. I also sent the book to the Archdiocese of Denver. I was seeking a nihil obstat. I had seen that some books have that and not a full Imprimatur and I felt that was all I needed to ensure what I had written was theologically sound.
I received a message that the book likely didn’t need to be reviewed by a censor so I left it up to the two theologians I solicited to review the content. By July, all the reviews were completed. I made all the changes necessary but I was still waiting on publishing houses to send me notice. It takes weeks and/or months to receive a letter. Most publishers won’t allow you to submit to multiple publishers at the same time so it was a long wait to hear back and then submit again to someone else who has a completely different set or requirements for submissions.
Again, rejection after rejection came in. It was hard to see the “we’re unable to accept your work at this time,” but that’s about all you get in terms of feedback. I had to remember that this was not a rejection of my work on a personal level. At least, that’s what I had to tell myself since they don’t give you anything substantial.
My motivation reignited when I received a letter from the censor from the Archdiocese of Denver. I was in shock. The book I thought had gone nowhere was receiving an Imprimatur! Just before Thanksgiving, the Imprimatur arrived in the mail. Praise be to God!
The biggest reason I wanted the book published by a publisher wasn’t so it would sit on a book shelf, it was because I wanted the book to be easily ordered in bulk by a parish. This will now be my focus; getting the book on the shelves of parishes. I have a plan and will execute it but I have to publish this work first.
I just received my final rejection notice so my goal this week is to finish the cover art and layout of the interior of the book. The book will then be officially published on Ash Wednesday, February 22, 2023! My first book, All That is Seen and Unseen; A Journey Through a First Trimester Miscarriage, was also published on February 22nd.
Interestingly enough, the date my Imprimatur was written, was on the Feast Day of the Dedication of SS. Peter and Paul and the feast day for the publishing day is the Chair of St. Peter! St. Peter, Pray for Us!