Finishing Up a Book

by Nancy Humphreys on April 26, 2011

I’ve just re-learned an old lesson again this year. There are three things in life that you just cannot hurry: love, birth of a child, and a book!

The 95 percent rule

A long time ago some kids got a job cleaning leaves off the back patio for a neighbor. The man who hired them told them he wanted them to get 95 percent of the leaves off the patio.

Surprised, they asked “Why 95 percent?”

The man explained, “The last five percent of the leaves are the hardest to sweep up. I don’t want to spend a lot of extra money on just a few leaves. So just clean off 95 percent of them. That will be fine.”

Unfortunately, I happen to be one of those people who loves a clean patio, even if it is just for the instant before the wind blows again.

So, for the past week, I’ve been tweaking my new book, Marketing Your Book to Libraries: An Insider’s Guide. Somehow each tiny change on a page still seems profoundly right. I’m just sure it’s making the book much, much better.

It’s the same as happens with an index. If the client’s schedule permits, there comes a point when you get to “step back,” see the whole picture, and make sure each detail of the index works as an organic whole with the rest of it.

And then you have to let it go

Yet I’ve done enough books and other kinds of creations to know that they look like completely different creatures when I let them go. Often, I’ll look at an old index I’ve created and for a minute or two not even recognize a word of it.

So right now, (forgive me please if you are waiting for this book!) I’m taking the guilty pleasure of savoring my work while I still feel so closely connected to it.

But, if you’re waiting for the book, rest assured. I’ll be finished very soon! I only have one more thing to change… I think…

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Marketing Your Book to Libraries Marketing Your Books to Libraries: An Insider's Guide for Authors by former librarian Nancy K. Humphreys includes: 
  • How to tell what kind of library to target
  • Types of librarians and books they order
  • Strategies to get past the "gatekeepers" who influence librarians
  • Right ways to approach librarians most likely to order your book

Learn more »

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