Constant Gratification

Image by Nero Monga, Flickr

Forget instant: constant gratification’s where it’s at. I’ve noticed that many of the authors I work with tend to delay their excitement about a project, especially when it’s a book. Why? They usually tell me it’s not “real” until there’s a book in their hands. Ugh.

This means people are choosing to overlook exciting, gratifying, and totally rad moments like:

  • getting a book contract
  • getting great reviews
  • turning in a final draft
  • putting the book on their CV
  • approving their book’s cover
  • getting a release date
  • receiving galleys
  • receiving bound copies
  • publication in paperback

Any one of these things would make me feel like I won a freakin’ medal! In fact, because I have so many clients at different stages of publication at all times, I get to enjoy a sort of enthusiasm-by-osmosis: X’s book is in print! Y’s galleys came in! Z’s book is out and my little name, all 9 letters of it, is included in the acknowledgements?!?

Sure, I may sound like a rube, but the point stands: celebrate each milestone. They’re all important and exciting, and what do you have to lose for enjoying them all unreservedly? If nothing else, you’ll get the fuel to keep you working on the other projects you’re surely juggling, and that’s worth a lot. Happy writing!

About Letta Page

I am a disarmingly earnest editor, translator of academia, nonfiction revisionary, and domesticated roustabout. More professionally, I might say: I am the senior managing editor of Contexts, founding associate editor and producer of The Society Pages, and a sociology editor, jargon-slayer, and “book doula” for hire. My specialty is in helping authors identify and hone their arguments in ways their target audiences can both understand and use. In this way, I’m a translator, consultant, writing coach, and editor all in one. The senior managing editor of Contexts magazine (the public outreach journal of the American Sociological Association), I have more than two decades’ experience in academic editing across a range of disciplines. I’ve edited and written copy for publications from Oxford University Press, Routledge, Taylor & Francis, W.W. Norton, the University of Chicago Press, Cambridge University Press, Stanford University Press, and many others, including dozens of journals. Today, I specialize in sociology and, as a sort of fun “palate cleanser” (trust me, when you’re editing books on neoliberalism and genocide, it’s always good to have a fallback), I write copy for organizations like Stand Up! Records. I also have a background in the visual arts and was a founder of First Amendment Arts (now Co-Exhibitions) in Minneapolis, MN. I hold degrees in history and classical studies from Boston University and an art degree from the University of Minnesota, and I enjoy most of the things you can imagine Rose from The Golden Girls counts among her hobbies. I received the University of Minnesota’s Public Sociology Award, for outstanding contributions to the discipline and public conversation, in 2019. My truly lovely husband, Josh Page, is a professor of sociology and law at the University of Minnesota, as well as a food writer and founder of Meal magazine. He’s a great writer, and I’m so happy to work alongside him in print and in life.