Thank you to all for your encouragement as I write my first book. I know I talk often about my overloaded inbox, but the amount of emails I have received offering support and encouragement is staggering. Thank you, FWJ community. Many of you are finding my blogging the book process to be helpful for your own book aspirations, which is why I’m doing this. Welcome to part two of my series.
So let me tell you where I am now.
Writing a book is both easier and harder than I thought. I know what I want to say and where I want to go, but not taking my audience for granted is a challenge. I have to stop assuming my readers will know what I’m talking about and remember to put in explanations and terminology. One thing that isn’t a challenge is the subject matter. I often wonder if I’m adding too much to my outline because there’s just so much to talk about.
I asked an editor friend to look at my first chapter. Usually if there’s publishing interest they’ll request a first chapter so I wanted that in the can. My friend offered good tips and practical advice and I ended up hiring him to edit the entire book. This is kind of a relief for me as I wanted to find someone who is a kickass editor but also who understands me and what I’m going for. Also, I wanted to hire someone I can trust. I’ve known this editor for about eight years now and trust him implicitly. I also wanted someone who didn’t know my topic very well. This way he can let me know if I’m targeting beginners well enough, while not talking down to the vets.
One worry down.
The problem with having someone edit your work is the criticism. I’m not good with it at all. When someone leaves a negative comment on this blog, or I receive negative email or read negativity directed upon me at another blog or Twitter, I dwell upon it for weeks. The criticism can be perfectly respectful and kind, but I always take it to heart. Isn’t that funny, though? I talk here about writers having confidence and thick skins and I don’t always practice what I preach.
My editor friend’s comments and nitpicks were kind. On a whole, he enjoyed my writing but requested I fix a few grammatical errors and some things that didn’t make sense to him. It wasn’t bad though. I did dwell on his comments, but since his edits were better than I expected, I walked away from the experience with more confidence.
Though I did pitch my book to a publishing rep at a party, I’ve been advised by several other successful authors to get an agent. This is kind of scary because I don’t know a thing about agents or where to find them. However, some of my author friends are asking if I want introductions to their agents, so it may turn out to be easier than I thought. I’ll still have to work out a proposal, but at least getting some names will be helpful. I’ll keep you posted on that one. The part about publishing a book that I find most daunting is finding an agent and shopping my book around to publishers.
I want to thank my friend Kate Lister, who wrote the wonderful book Undress for Success. Kate has not only been a wealth of information, but she boosted my confidence during a time of self doubt. She really knows her stuff and I’m going to see if I can get her to do a guest post or two here as part of our book writing series.
I’m keeping true to my promise of at least one page per day, but am averaging two or three. I also asked an online friend to write the forward and I’m still waiting to hear from him. This book has me both excited and afraid, just like I was when I began writing for a living. Hopefully, by documenting it here, you’ll know what to expect and what to avoid.
I hope you’re finding it helpful.