MyAmericanFuture

MyAmericanFuture
MyAmericanFuture

Friday, June 28, 2013

June 28, 2013: Book Release Reflections, Part Five

[My newest book, The Chinese Exclusion Act: What It Can Teach Us About America, was released last Friday (check out that low low Kindle price!). So for this week’s series, I’ll be thinking about some different aspects of the book’s process, goals, and meanings. Would love to hear your thoughts—and if you’re interested in the book but can’t buy it, email me and I’ll send you a copy!]
On three life lessons I’ve learned along the way.
1)      Be Open: When my editor at Palgrave wrote to ask me if I had any proposals that might fit the new Pivot series, my instinct was to say no; I was already working on a book that’s too long for the series, and, as always, had too many other balls in the air as well. But luckily I took a step back and realized how fortunate I was to be asked, and thought about ideas that might work for Pivot books. The rest is, well, present.
2)      Be Realistic: My original hope was to finish the manuscript in time for submission for the first run of Pivot books. But as that deadline approached, I just wasn’t happy with the draft I had. I suppose I could have tried to produce some sort of finished version and send it along, but a) it almost certainly would have been rejected; and b) even if it had slipped through, I wouldn’t be happy with it now. So I missed that deadline, made another one, and here we are.
3)      Be Friendly: When I got my readers’ reports back, one of them was pretty challenging, and I genuinely had no idea how to respond. Fortunately, my best friend Steve was visiting that weekend, and on a long car trip back from a festival with the boys, I talked to him about the book, the reader’s report, my uncertainties, etc. And in so doing, I quite literally came up with the resolution, the way to frame my Intro and project for multiple audiences that I discussed in the History Society post. Thanks, Steve!
Lifelong learning, y’know? June Recap this weekend,
Ben
PS. What lessons have you learned recently?

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