As I wrote about here, August is the month of The Good Stuff around these parts. Every week I’m going to be focusing on something worth celebrating in the publishing journey—whether it’s stories about new deals and successes, or writing inspiration, or platform-building encouragement, I want us all to end our summers steeped in the happy moments that make the crazy business of books worthwhile…
One of the things I most fell in love with about nonfiction publishing is that you learn something new from every single book you work on. Yes, this means I now know how to make a mean chicken wing, and I can probably interior decorate any space within an inch of its (well, my ) life. But I’ve especially loved reading and working on so many psychology and personal development books, because it gives you a chance to think about your interior life.
And what do almost all of the dozens of psychology and personal development books I’ve worked on had in common? They all preach the gospel of Gratitude. I’ll spare you the katrillion studies that prove how gratitude can radically improve our physical and mental states, and just jump right into bringing some gratitude to the publishing journey.
After walking this exhilarating, sometimes crazy, publishing journey alongside so many authors and books, I’ve found the best places to stop, take a look around, and breathe a sigh of gratitude for where you are. Here are the 6 most important moments to celebrate on your publishing journey:
Publishing gets a bad rap sometimes. Too many people see the people within the industry—the literary agents, editors, booksellers, etc.—as overly picky gatekeepers, armed with a “no” for every unsuspecting writer who approaches them.
But that’s really not who we are. We, just like you, really, really like books. So we don’t think it’s fun to say no to books. In fact, we’d much prefer to say yes. We live for those big hearty yeses, where we all clap each other on the back and congratulate ourselves and burst with excitement for that one book we love.
This month I’m running a series [update: Intro; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4] on how the publishing process works and how you can successfully navigate each stage of the journey, with zero bewilderment and maximum fun.
And believe it or not, this first stage in the publishing process is the absolute most important. It’s really more like Step 0 than Step 1—if you don’t have this in place, chances are slim you’ll be able to embark on the rest of the stages.
It’s one of the first questions I get on introductory phone calls with aspiring authors: What does the publishing process entail? So this month I’m running a 4-part series on how the publishing process works and how you can navigate each stage of the journey with zero bewilderment and maximum fun. Consider this your required reading if you’re thinking about birthing a book, but you need to know how to do it without losing your marbles.
It’s no coincidence that everyone in the publishing industry compares publishing a book to birthing a baby—they’re both deeply personal experiences, fraught with questions, doubts, and ultimately, huge rewards. But both experiences are worthwhile because they bring more meaning to our lives, either by growing our immediate family or by growing our extended family: the people out there in the world who you feel called to help. Publishing a book is one of the best ways to get your message and your mission out into the world and to use it as a way to help your readers, rather than as a way to just help yourself.
Over the next 4 Tuesday mornings, I’ll walk you through the 4 key stages of publishing a book, covering everything from how to get in the door, to how to introduce your new book baby to the world. Here’s what we’ll cover [updated with links]:
As a heads up, this series will be discussing only the way things work in the traditional publishing world. If you’re looking for a comprehensive look at how the self-publishing process works, I highly recommend Jane Friedman’s wonderful article found here. And while much of the series emphasizes why a platform matters, I’m a big believer that platform will only become increasingly important for fiction writers, too. (It’s already a must for nonfiction authors.)
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