Me, a Publisher?
In 2017, I sensed the Lord leading me to finally sit down and write my book, “The Making of a Dragonfly, Following Christ Through the Winds of Change.” Because I’m a speaker, I had shared many of the initial stories with the public for a few years, so writing those chapters came easily. But as I got into the meat of the story, the betrayal and brokenness, I wanted to run and hide. I remember crying through many days of trying to understand how my life had ended up in such a broken state. As the Lord put the puzzle pieces together, He healed my heart, and He gave me the courage to share my story in a way that was raw and vulnerable.
As I headed into the final phase of writing, I started looking for a publisher. I learned that, unless someone has a large social media following, a publisher will not have any interest. I also learned that publishers rarely pay advances on books. And I realized there are many publishing houses around who charge very high fees to publish a book, without content editing or proofreading, and who require the author to purchase a number of books beforehand so the publisher can receive the royalties. All of these things soured my stomach.
The “l” in Public
I found someone to help me self-publish the book through Amazon. And the book was published. There was only one problem. There was one misspelled word in the first edition of the book that made my ‘holy’ book ‘unholy.’ We didn’t catch it during editing. Nobody caught it. So why was it a big deal? Because the word public without the “l” (though funny and made me laugh), pushed me to ask for a simple edit. When the answer was “no,” I decided to learn the process of publishing the book as a Second Edition so I could put the “l” back in public. The second edition of the book was published in 2019 – and the first edition was taken out of publication.
The World of Publishing
In 2019, I published my second book, “Lessons of a Dragonfly, Forty Days to a Transformed Life,” under my name. Mary Ethel Eckard Publishing. After the manuscript was birthed through my loins (it felt that way), I learned the art of publishing. In 2019, I stepped into the world of publishing. Initially I thought it would be for just my own books. The Lord had another plan.
In my first year, I have walked first time authors through the editing and publication of books, as either editor, publisher, or both. Here are a few examples:
Bringing Hope, Life-Changing Wisdom for Christ-Followers by Liz Morris and the Dallas Dream Team
Raising Wildflowers, Homeschooling at Ease in a Frantic Culture by Emily B. Riffe
God’s Presence Illuminated, Treasured Thoughts to Inspire Hope and Light by Christine M. Fisher
Beautifully Broken, Forged Through Fire, Up from Ashes by Kimberly Smith
In the Stillness, A Journal for Quiet Time Reflection by Dragonfly Ministries
The Making of a Dragonfly, Following Christ Through the Winds of Change by Mary Ethel Eckard
Lessons of a Dragonfly, Forty Days to a Transformed Life by Mary Ethel Eckard
I am a small publisher and am hands-on. Excellence is my main goal. I read every manuscript – multiple times, to ensure the story is clear, there are no gaps in timelines that would confuse the reader, and to ask questions of the author that cause them to dig deeper for meaning. This helps draw out the author to think through things differently and with deeper meaning. Because I am hands-on, I only take on a limited number of projects which are typically scheduled a few months in advance. Email or message me if you would like to discuss details further. I do content editing, line by line, and even word by word, and I do publishing. Either service can also be provided separately.
Working in partnership with the author is key. I do not promise to do the detailed proof-reading to catch every error, but I do commit to making minor changes to manuscripts, even after publication, so the “l” is always in public and so we can get the book from 98% accurate to 100% accurate. The author and I work partner to make sure the editing and proofreading are done prior to publication. However, the beauty of publishing through Amazon is the ability to upload an updated manuscript that will replace the one with misspelled words. Yep. That’s beautiful.
Maybe your question is, “how do I get started writing my story?” Contact me via email and I will send you a document to help you get started with the layout of the chapters. Absolutely free of charge! firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pricing and Timeline
Inquire for a price sheet and breakdown of services. For planning purposes, publishing packages range from $2,200 to $3,500, depending on the amount of work needed to go from manuscript to published. There are ad-on services for premium packages. The timeline from completed manuscript to Amazon bookshelf is 3-4 months. This is for a manuscript between 30-50,000 words. Larger manuscripts will have an additional cost. Pricing cannot be guaranteed until the manuscript has been completed and reviewed by MEE Publishing.
I walk the author through how to begin marketing the book to set you off on a successful book launch as we work through the editing of the manuscript. Additional services are available for distribution and marketing – I have resources to help with that portion of the journey as we move closer to publishing.
To Contact Mary:
Reach me via email at email@example.com. You can also find me on Facebook – Mary Ethel Eckard (my author page.)