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]:
- Stage 1: The One Thing That Will Guarantee Your Success
- Stage 2: Finding a Literary Agent and Writing a Knock-Your-Socks-Off Book Proposal
- Stage 3: Hooray—You Have an Offer! And How to Write a Book the Sane Way.
- Stage 4: How to Make Book Promotion Enjoyable, Plus Preorders and The Year After Publication
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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