Since so many of you asked about the nuts and bolts of the publishing process last week, I thought it would be worth a post or two. I am in no way any type of expert, which is why I can only offer a post or two. There is tons of fantastic information available about the publishing process from all kinds of professionals. Perhaps my newbie perspective will be somewhat of an encouragement to those of you who have a message in your heart but don’t know where to begin.
Let me just tell you that I get it. I get that you have this message or a partial fuzzy dream of a message and the idea of taking that message and trying to make some sense of it by drawing lines around it with bullet points and paragraphs is terrifying. And thrilling. And everything in between.
Let me also tell you what a very wise friend told me when I considered hiding from my message.
It’s not going to go away. It will linger over you like a dark cloud, follow you everywhere you go, invade every peaceful moment of thought that you have, stalking your every move. Action cures fear. Get out of the boat and walk on the water to your very bright, very beautiful future in writing.
It doesn’t mean you have to write a book or anything like that. But if you know you have something to say but you aren’t saying it because you don’t have time or money or energy or whatever, I get it. Just know that it isn’t selfish to examine or explore that thing you’ve been thinking about for years. It is part of who you are, how you’re made, what you were made to do. To ignore that thing is to ignore a part of yourself. I know that sounds dramatic, but I still think it’s true.
After I finally decided to tackle this book proposal thing a year ago, it took me a few months to call it a book proposal even to my closest friends. I have a tendency to hunker down and hide out. In my mind, the more people who knew I was working on writing a book, the more people I would have to potentially tell if things didn’t work out.
It’s sort of a personal preference, I suppose; like waiting until the first trimester is over before you announce your pregnancy. If you are like me and tend to keep the big stuff to yourself, I would encourage you to at least have a few, core people who know you well to begin to pray for and with you. I can’t tell you the difference it makes.
It is worth mentioning that I am writing Christian non-fiction. So if you are writing a fiction book about monsters on Mars then perhaps none of my information will help you. I know nothing about writing a proposal for a fiction book. From what I hear, the proposal process for fiction is a little less intense. However, I’ve also heard that a lot of times fiction writers write the entire manuscript before they submit, whereas with non-fiction that isn’t always the case. I only had three chapters finished when I signed the contract for my non-fiction books.
Speaking of book, this post is beginning to look like one. I will post a few of my favorite resources on Wednesday after Tuesdays Unwrapped. For those of you thinking about attending She Speaks this year, I will be leading a session called From Blog to Book Deal: How I Got Published Without Being Famous, where I will share more about this crazy journey. Registration opens soon.
Are you on your own book-writing journey?