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Book Release Aftermath

It has taken five years of writing, editing, and research to make Running in Silence happen, which means that when the book released this past Tuesday, most of what I felt was relief and exhaustion.

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And as everyone buys the book and starts to read it, I begin to feel like there’s this suspenseful silence …. I await to hear anything good or bad come my way. Then the responses trickle in little by little, and with each positive review, the excitement starts to creep in.

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My Story is Your Story

Running in Silence is not just my story.

It’s a peek into thousands of stories.

I share my journey not to highlight what happened to me specifically, but to reveal an individual perspective of fear, darkness, and chaos that either mirrors or closely reflects a community of women and men, thin and heavy bodies.

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Book Breakdown Before Publication

When I first received the PDF version of Running in Silence, I was in awe of the layout (props to Koehler Books!). But this soon turned into somewhat of a horror film as I began to make a final round of SMALL EDITS/CORRECTIONS (emphasis, my publisher).

Thoughts: It’s almost a book! So many things to fix that I hadn’t seen before! I can’t publish this right now!!!

I asked my publisher if we could get more time. I asked if we could change multiple sentences and paragraphs, and I questioned myself as an author. Deep down, I knew what was happening–I realized I was in what I now call “pre-publication freak-out,” a stage that my editor admitted she experienced as well with her book Looking for Lydia, Looking for God.

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New Publication Date and Spreading the Message

Due to small editing tasks falling behind (which is not a rare occurrence in the publishing world), the release date of Running in Silence had to be pushed back a month to November 15, 2016.

While this wasn’t the most exciting news at first, it wasn’t necessarily bad, either. There are advantages for me, since November is a less hectic month (considering my cross country coaching season will have just finished), and it gives me more time to apply everything I’ve learned about the book publishing and marketing world for the next two months. Like squeezing in more YouTube videos (now that I’m getting the hang of it), hearing my voice on the radio (after stumbling over my words the first time I ever did it), and listening to more YouTube book publishing podcasts for my own education.

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The Tour Begins: My First Speaking Engagement

–or pre-book tour, you might say.

I had my first paid speaking engagement this past Thursday–and I say “paid” not because I’m in this for the money (*all of us authors/artists laugh*), but because it feels more official.

I was asked to speak.

I arrived at the Women’s City Club two hours before my presentation to practice one last time with public speaking coach JoeAnne Peterson. JoeAnne was not only a phenomenal coach, but also a friendly, kind, encouraging, and very knowledgeable. She gave me suggestions I had never thought about before when presenting, and reminded me that I’m speaking because I love it and because I’m excited about what I have to say. If I want to speak into people, I can do it not only with my writing, but also with my voice–and especially with a whole 45 minutes reserved for me to speak. And like writing, public speaking can be enhanced by emphasizing my words, packing a punch in my phrases, and getting deep into the souls of the listeners through emotion.

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A Contract, a Date, a Plan: Publishing the Book Running in Silence

Running in Silence will be published this October.

At least, that’s the plan. A big part of it depends on how well publication tasks progress. Because even though I sighed with relief once I submitted the manuscript to Koehler Books, I knew the work was not yet done.

 

I understand that I have plenty of work ahead, and that this isn’t going to be a fantastic source of income (I’ve understood this from the beginning). But that’s never been the point. What fuels me to work so hard, to want this published so badly, is the passion I have to help anyone with an eating disorder know that they are not alone–that there are ways to work through it, and that we can have a voice. The amount of relief I felt in understanding my body more and in finding others who went through the same thing, makes me want those who struggle to feel that same relief and empowerment–and find happiness in their life like I have.

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Publishing & Editing Update

At this point in the writing process I am meeting twice a week with an editor to go over the changes she has suggested for my manuscript. We are working very closely with the text—line by line—to produce a clean manuscript (Clean, not perfect! I learned from my raw food diet that nothing can be perfect). I hope to keep working to turn my memoir into something that not only tells my story, but also offers questions and suggestions that will make it possible for readers to find their own way out of their eating disorders.

In addition, I am busy setting up some fundraising events in town (first one soon to be announced).

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