Writing a Book: The Beginnings

As mentioned in other posts, I’m writing my first book. This has always been my dream, but I’ve never actually taken the steps to write a book because I find the process so intimidating.  I decided however, that this would be the year. I also decided that I would blog the book process so that those of you who wish to experience this will know what to expect. If I make mistakes, perhaps you can learn by them. If something I do works, perhaps that will work for you as well.

Book Writing So Far

I already have my outline down and a couple of chapters. The funny thing about the outline is that every time I talk to someone else about my topic, or every time I start typing, I think of more stuff to add.  The good news is that I have plenty of material for my book. So far it appears to be writing itself.

My only negative experiences are with time and confidence. I do try and write at least a page or two each day, but there are so many distractions between work and family.  I think what I need to do is to stop looking at the book as “extra” work and start scheduling it in to my daily routine.

I also have periods of self doubt. Am I a good enough writer? Will people want to buy my book? Will anyone want to publish my book?

Publisher Interest?

At SXSW my friends Chris Garrett and Rick Calvert introduced me to a representative from Wiley Publishing and helped to pitch my book. I thought it went well. I told her my topic and why I feel it will sell. I also told her about my community, who I feel will read my book,  and how I will promote the book. The next day when I bumped into her in the lobby of my hotel, she said she was looking forward to pitching my book when she went back to work.

Yesterday, I sent a note to the rep thanking her for listening to me and briefly reviewing what I told her at SXSW so it’ll be fresh in her mind when she discusses it with the editorial team. I also mentioned that I’m blogging about my book writing experience here so she knows I’m already up on the marketing.

Will anything come of this meeting? Maybe….or maybe not. It’s a positive step, though and I’m glad it happened. The worse that will happen is that Wiley passes on my idea and I’m back at the same place I was last week. Just a minor setback.

Friends in Low Places

I learned that I know more author friends than I realized. Ever since I told some of my writing friends I was writing a book, they have been offering to introduce me to their agents and giving me the best advice. This is a relief. I trust my friends to steer me in the right direction and their advice is invaluable. Patrick O’Keefe is a wealth of information when it comes to learning about payments and royalty statements and how all that works out. Joel Durham is the author of several books and has been so generous with his advice and offers for introductions. Other friends have also offered tips and insight. Having friends who are authors puts me in a better position than many aspiring authors and I know I’m blessed. Again, nothing may come of this, but so far it’s a step in the right direction.

So that’s where I stand during the first stages of writing my book. I’ll keep you posted on the progress and what happens with all the publishers and agents and everything else in between. If I make mistakes, I’ll post them here. If there’s good news, I’ll post it here.If anything, I hope this will inspire many of you to write your own books.

To be continued…

Comments

  1. Congrats again on starting to write your book. You’re a wealth of knowledge in this space and I’m sure you’ll find a great publisher and it will be amazing. Can’t wait to hear more about your experience!
    .-= Brandon Eley´s last blog ..I’m Speaking at SxSWi 2010 =-.

  2. Let me know how to get an autographed first edition when you’re done!

    Keep us posted on progress, etc. You *know* the FWJ audience will want to know!

  3. Fiction or nonfiction? Dare we hope for a blog-community based thriller/detective series?
    .-= allena´s last blog ..Freelance Writing Jobs with the Federal Government =-.

  4. I’m with you on the self-doubt and worries over being good enough, I think all of us are unless, you’re a total basket case. Also, writing a book is so different than freelancing. There is no immediate feedback, and you’re on your own. You spend your time following characters,researching, and trashing most of what you write.

    I’ll be looking forward to your posts about your progress. Good luck Deb!
    .-= Rachel Rueben´s last blog ..The Rap Game and the Writing Game =-.

  5. Keep on pluggin’ away at it, and remember, you don’t have to write your entire nonfiction book before pitching it to a publisher. It’s highly likely that they’ll mandate a word count and may even modify your idea and outline a bit to fit their wants and needs. Work on that proposal, an annotated table of contents, and a killer set of sample chapters (about 3, doesn’t matter from what part of the book). And if I can help you in any way from my experience writing 6 nonfiction books so far, I’m happy to! :)
    .-= Susan Gunelius´s last blog ..Weekly Wrap-up — Marketing, Branding and More =-.

  6. That’s great news! I am going to love this series. I’m slowly but surely getting the confidence to write my book so this will help tremendously. So glad you will sharing your experience.
    .-= Lori´s last blog ..Apple Cheddar Brown Biscuits =-.

  7. Congrats! :) I’m happy to help!

    Patrick

  8. It’s funny, but I’ll write books with great confidence for others, but my own manuscripts tend to languish because I never feel that my own ideas are quite good enough for publishing yet. Great work on taking the next step, and I look forward to seeing a “buy now” link to purchase my copy!
    .-= Kevin Freeman´s last blog ..Why Use Freeman Writing Services? =-.

  9. I loved the idea of your book Deb. I think it’s a great topic and look forward to getting it signed once it’s published.
    .-= chrispian´s last blog ..Android Toys Onsale? =-.

  10. I totally get the self-doubt issue. What has helped for me is deciding that I don’t care if my stories sell or if anyone else will want to read them because what I’m writing is what I enjoy reading. And if I enjoy it, someone else will too.
    .-= Kara Rae Garland´s last blog ..Filled With Light & Joy =-.

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