I’ve waited a long time, longer than most authors, searching for options on what to do with a book that’s sold-out, the publisher unresponsive to any inquiries.
I can’t tell you how many times I’d pushed the book aside, like a woman not knowing how to comfort herself about the loss of her wedding ring.
The original chapbook (short collection of poetry) was never put on Amazon because the publisher wanted the book sold via the author and/or company. I sold out of the book, but getting more copies seemed hopeless.
What’s a poet/author to do?
Me—I just kept writing.
When you birth a book, you think it’s going to be there whenever you want it. A part of me kept saying to myself: Be patient, don’t kick up a fuss. If the book dies out, you will go on. All you can do is ask, and you’ve done that.
So I thought I’d let go of it—but then I kept having haunting thoughts.
A month ago I wrote another letter and googled the publisher. Oh my! My editor had died five years ago!
No wonder she didn’t respond. I let that sink in.
Two days later, I checked Google for board members who might give me permission to revise and republish the chapbook elsewhere. I want to be ethical and legal.
And there they were on the Internet, plus phone numbers!
I picked up the phone and started punching numbers. I left a message on the third option listed. (The first two numbers were no longer working.)
Five minutes later, a board member from Ohio returned my call. Her voice seemed kind. I told her my situation and how long I’d waited for a response from the editor/publisher.
“Oh, I’m sorry, she’s been dead a long time…. Let me make a call to another board member. I don’t remember anyone ever asking for permission to do more with their book.”
Within 30 minutes, I had permission and their blessing to revise or do whatever I wished with my book.
I called the editor of my other books. I had to tell my joy!
It was like being a pregnant woman, the child-book lightly moving within me. Warmth and confirmation finally come after long months of waiting.
A second edition of my first chapbook is possible!
I need to finish up old business. You may know how it feels when things are hanging and unfinished.
The photo here will be the cover of my old-but-new chapbook, reworked in numerous ways. It’s like showing a school photo of your child. Such joy.
The photo on the cover—happenstance or God incident?
Grandsons and I were looking for the right blind curve, the right angle. Once we found them, along came a friend in his wonderful, old, refurbished Chevy truck. He paused to ask, “What’s up?”
I told him our plan-of-action.
“What if you take a photo of my truck going toward the blind curve?”
Voila! The blind curve, the old truck, the new book cover!
Grateful for God’s timing, a grandson with a good eye, a friend with a handsome truck, a pretty day. A small part of a far bigger plan I could never orchestrate.
I count it all joy.
Again, thanks for your generosity in reading, commenting, and sharing my blog posts on Facebook. You’re the best.
Photo of an old truck heading for a blind curve in Baxter County, Arkansas. Photographed by Zach Jimerson in August 2019.