As I drive to work every day, I can’t help but wonder how spending all this time in the car warps my personality. At the same time, I’m learning some valuable life lessons. One of the most important is that I am reminded over and over that life is a matter of inches—just made the light, just missed that car, stopped just in time with only inches to spare, and these all were today. Those harrowing events make me think that my life, maybe like yours, has been a lot more “just made it” and only a few “made it with room to spare.” I just made the grade; I was the last person admitted in my class to grade school; my cancer tumor was just 1 mm over the limit, bumping me up to Stage 2; and there are countless other examples.
Book publishing is a little like this too. No matter if I’m the author’s last choice, I can still be the best choice. But here is where publishing is different. No one ever wants their book to just squeak by. We all want the best book possible and, to mix metaphors (It is World Series time.), hit one out of the ballpark. And after all, a home run is still a home run whether by an inch or mile.