Another episode of Book Journeys radio hosted by Angela Lauria brought in new insights into book writing and publishing as she interviewed Marriage Coach, Jason Coleman, co-author of the book, Discovering Your Amazing Marriage. Jason Coleman co-wrote the book with his wife Debby, whom he has been married to for almost 23 years, and together they have mentored married couples after more or less figuring out what keeps a marriage going, having gone through a lot of difficulty themselves in their earlier years as a married couple. It was through their mentoring that they were led to write a book and put their ideas down while they shared this with others. Aside from the fact that a book would enable them to help people beyond their physical reach, they also saw that it would give them credibility and an expert voice as they continue to pursue their speaking engagements in marriage workshops and conferences, which they also plan to expand in the future. The book helped them to give a consistent message to their clients and go to the core of the problem while at the same time reinforce their message as their clients would take home the book after one-on-one sessions with them.
Jason sees it as an advantage that they are not licensed clinical therapists but just normal, everyday husband and wife who’ve gone through a lot but have answers to common problems. This makes the book unique and also makes it easier for them to connect with other “normal” persons as compared to other similarly-themed books that may offer theory. The book was three years in the making, and they had the luxury of taking their time because they had no business goals to begin with. It was not meant to be a source of income for them but really as a mentoring tool that will help people who are struggling, and so they went along on their own pace to make sure that they came out with a quality product.
Jason emphasizes that patience is important if one wants to get their book done their way, and not how other people want it. He talks of how they insisted on using a particular photo of him and Debby in their book cover despite the objections of their cover designer, which delayed the book by a couple of weeks, but eventually got the picture to work. An even bigger issue came up with the presentation of the book which their editor didn’t agree with. While they had a strong faith-based theme for their book, they also wanted it to appeal to anyone who didn’t have the faith and be able to read it without being offended. Yet since they were strongly grounded in their faith, they put in what they call biblical perspectives at the end of each chapter. Their editor told them this would never work and that they had to target their audience so that it’s either a secular or a Christian book. But they decided to do it their way and have found this to work. They’ve had more success in reaching the secular world through radio interviews on secular shows and also found their book to be more in the secular rather than the Christian bookstores.
In publishing their book, the Coleman’s worked with Mill City Press which, for them, wasn’t a traditional self-publisher and produced books that didn’t have the stigma of a self-published book. While author-funded, the publishing process was unlike traditional self-publishing where the author does everything; rather, they were able to rely on the expertise and designers of the publisher.
Jason’s advice to would-be authors is to stay the course, be self-disciplined, and have the goal to get it done. He encourages them to get away periodically where they can be alone with their thoughts and their pen or laptop. For Jason and his wife Debby, they weren’t too concerned with how long it took to get it done, but they stayed the course.