As the founder and VP of a legitimate publishing company, very rarely do I open up about the challenges associated with running a business, particularly a publishing company. So, here are the facts, as I see them. So, maybe I should say here are my experiences.
When I first started, I was on my own. I wasn't married yet, and barely had enough energy to get out of bed, but I felt commissioned to help publish material that matters, that changes lives. I had on rose-colored glasses for sure. I had no idea just how hard it can be when your cash flow is slow, when everyone wants their books done NOW, when printers mess up, when designers mess up, when editors mess up, when I mess up. All of these things happen, I don't care how you build your company.
One of the biggest challenges for me is rejecting material that isn't well written, that has no substance, and that has been done to death. It's hard to inject my opinion when I'm dealing with someone else's dream. Too often, authors are so close to the project that they cannot see the reality of their manuscripts, that it is very imperfect and not very marketable.
Today, I wrestled all day long with sickness. In my wrestling, I remembered why I began Living Waters
. I had to look at myself and wonder when I lost my vision for the business, when I let it become what every other publisher is. I never cared about how marketable a book was before. I cared only that it was well-written and life changing for those who would read it. Then, as we grew, I started adjusting and becoming a standard publisher, losing what the point of Living Waters
was in the first place.
After marriage, I gladly turned the publishing over to my husband who has a keen eye for what sells, what matters, and for business in general. I watched as we both became what we said we'd never be - a publisher that is in business to make a profit, even if that means turning away a book that the Christian population and the world in general may need to read. Tonight, I decided, along with my husband, that we'll not do that again, no matter who does and does not like it. We are Christian publishers that were built to publish the books that inspire. We'll always be that, and we apologize for those who have been turned away because your work is not necessarily mainstream. It doesn't need to be to make a difference.
We have a book, My First 24 Hours in Hell
by V.K. Sansone, that breaks past mainstream and deals with the issues all Christians need to face. Just how God gave us courage to publish that book, we believe He will continue to give us courage to publish books that are powerful, rather mainstream or not. It's the least I can do for God, for His children, and for those who need unadulterated Gospel.