2012 will be remembered around the McLane house as, the year of the book.
If those two projects were bookend, starting a publishing line for The Youth Cartel was sandwiched in the middle.
From the very beginning, Marko and I talked about doing some stuff in publishing. But we didn’t necessarily see that as starting our own line of digital and physical products. We were more thinking we’d work with other publishers, helping shape a Cartel voice into a wide variety of publishing efforts. (Actually, something we do quite a bit of.) It wasn’t until last Winter that we decided to include publishing our own products as part of our publishing plan. I’ll be the first to admit that when we decided to go forward with publishing some of our own stuff I had no idea what I’d agreed to.
Less than a year after embarking on this idea, we have four titles in publication:
- Good News in the Neighborhood (May 2012)
- The Youth Cartel’s Unauthorized Dictionary of Youth Ministry (October 2012)
- Leading Up (November 2012)
- Masterpiece (November 2012)
In 2012 it feels like I’ve earned two masters degrees.
First, I got a masters in book layout & design. I bought InDesign and a copy of InDesign for Dummies and have just kind of failed forward in teaching myself how to turn a manuscript into a book a printer would accept. (Then converting that into a book you can buy on the Kindle & iBookstore.) I had no idea how to do any of that a year ago.
Second, I got a masters degree in book production & working with retailers. Thanks to Google I’ve been able to find great printers to work with, set-up an in-house fulfillment system, and begun to build relationships with an array of online retailers. Let me tell ya, none of that was covered in college.
Presented with the challenge of this opportunity, we have just figured out how to make it happen. We’ve built a great team for our publishing line, contracted with amazing authors, and we’ve made it happen. It’s really cool and I’m really proud of the work we’ve done. (We are aiming at adding +/- 10 titles in 2013.)
When my book arrived from Simply yesterday, it was a big deal. It was emotional. It felt really good to open that box and see my name on the cover of the book. It was and is a major personal accomplishment.
I was also proud of that moment because I have a fuller appreciation of all the hands that touched the book and helped make it a book.
The book arrived at my house because Marko dreamed up the concept and co-authored it. Because Nadim and the contract folks at Group worked on it. Marko helped shape the content of a seminar into the shape of a book. Ryan McRae and Kristen pushed me to develop and deliver a better manuscript. Rob and a group of editors refined it, making it appeal to a wider audience. Veronica made it look great. (I love the cover and interior layout!) The printer and warehouse folks at Group did the nameless, faceless tasks of printing, cutting, binding, boxing, and shipping.
Thank you to all who have helped along the way. Your hard work means a ton to me.
And here’s to 2012, the year of the book. What a year.