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Leaf Pattern Design

Emerging Writer Profile in Sapling

The following interview recently appeared in Sapling #753.



This week Sapling speaks with James Hall.



Sapling: Tell us about the process of getting your book published.  Did you enter contests? Open reading periods? What transpired between sending the manuscript out initially and its acceptance by your publisher?

 James Hall: I entered my manuscript Prairie Roots, in ten or more contests but had to withdraw from all of them when my manuscript submitted directly was accepted promptly by publisher Shanti Arts Publishing.

Sapling: What was your experience with the editing of the manuscript? Did you have an opportunity to make revisions either at your own suggestion or at the suggestion of your editor? How involved were you in the design aspects of the book's production (cover image, design, etc.)? 

JH: The publisher made some revisions and we went through several rounds of edits primarily things I found rereading the manuscript. There was some delay obtaining blurbs, this was well worth the wait. This was followed by reviewing proof copy with minor changes such as how close to the spine the margin was. I was allowed to chose the cover and adjust the coloring for the cover. Christine Cote, the publisher, did an amazing job with fonts, pictures, and layout. 

Sapling: Did you publish any excerpts in literary journals or other periodicals before the publication of your book? If so, did this seem like a necessary part of the process for this particular project? 

JH: Several of the poems were published in literary journals. It did not seem that this was a necessary part of the process.

Sapling: In what ways have you been involved in the publicity and promotion of your book thus far? In what ways is your publisher helping you with marketing your book? 

JH: Prairie Roots publication date is 4/30/24. Shanti Arts produced post cards, business cards, and a media sheet. They will also have a book website. Prairie Roots will be available wholesale directly through Shanti Arts and Ingram. It's available for preorder on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other bookstores online. Most of the rest of promoting the book will be up to me. I have hired Sharon Woodhouse with Conspire Creative as a coach to aid with promotion. She also created my author website, This is my first poetry collection and I am learning publicity and promotion on the go. 

Sapling: What are some things that surprised you about the process of getting your book published? Is there anything you wished you'd known beforehand about putting a book out into the world? 

JH: I was surprised by how long the process takes, so far over a year since signing the publishing contract. Despite this time I wish I had started learning about publicity and promotion of the book earlier.


James Hall’s poetry collection Prairie Roots is forthcoming from Shanti Arts Publishing. He edits a poetry column Poetic Ponderings in Wilmette Living Magazine and his writing has appeared in Hobo Camp Review, Utopia, Deep Overstock, and others. He is a writer and physician with interests in cider craft, cross country skiing, and dire portents. 

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