Once every six weeks or so, I join my friend Tsh (Simple Mom) on her HomeFries podcast. We tend to talk about very important issues like the Oscars, our favorite food, and episodes of Friends.

Tsh and me with short hair at the beach in 2011.

Tsh and me with short hair at the beach in 2011.

This week, we decided to be a bit more intentional and attempt to tackle a question we both get a lot. Here it is:

How did you get your book published?”

People come at it from different angles, wanting to know about the proposal writing process, how to get an agent, or some other detail of the process. But the bottom line is questions about publishing are by far what shows up most often in my inbox. As in, nearly every day.

I love and hate this question – love it because I want to help people and it’s a gift to have people trust me enough to ask. I am willing to share everything I know. But I also hate it because I don’t know that much. The way I did it isn’t necessarily the way to do it. It’s just my story. And there are a bajillion people who dedicate entire blogs and books to this topic.

Even though you can google anything you want to know about publishing, I realize one of the really cool things about blogging is you can hear personal stories from the authors themselves. Sometimes that’s more helpful for you than the technicalities of the business.

So here we are, adding two more voices to the conversation about publishing. It’s informal (as you will quickly discover) and entirely about us (and also our big selves) but if you have an idea you might want to write a book and you are wondering where to begin, perhaps these words will be helpful to you.

You can listen to the conversation Tsh and I had about publishing here. If you don’t have time to listen to the whole thing, here is a detailed break-down of the conversation for you to peruse and fast forward at your leisure:

simple-mom-podcast-0:55 We spend the first two minutes making disclaimers. So that’s informational and not annoying at all.

2:50 Where to get started and the question almost all writers struggle with.

4:30 Why I was embarrassed at my first writer’s conference.

7:25 What I did after my first writer’s conference.

8:44 Book Proposal: what it is, getting started, resources, how long it took us, and why it’s so important.

15:20 Details about the market analysis section of the proposal and how it can make you crazy if you let it.

20:56 Different ways you can package a proposal

23:34 Agents – what it felt like not having one, how we met ours, how to perhaps find one

34:30 On having a blog

37:50 A few generic thoughts from us about traffic and stats. It’s life-changing.

39:50 What happens after the book is published – on brand, platform, marketing and self-promotion.

42:00 Owning your influence and knowing your limits

48:33 Some thoughts on reviews, feedback and releasing your work to the reader

58:00 On having unicorns

58:40 Where you can go to learn more about the publishing process from people who know a lot more than we do.

So there you have it. In the show notes, Tsh included a lot of the links we mentioned so you might want to check those out. Though I would prefer to talk about writing over publishing, I have a few events planned this year where I will be doing a little of both. The conference I mentioned in the show is called She Speaks. This summer will be my fourth year teaching a workshop there. I will also be in Austin in October to speak at the Re:Write conference.

Is there anything we didn’t cover in the podcast you would like to know more about? Maybe we could point you in the right direction.