You’ve Written a Book–Now What?

As of this writing, I’m more than 80% of the way through editing a first draft of the book version of this blog. I might finish by the end of the week, which is later than I’d originally hoped, but pretty exciting. Now I’ll be able to get on with the business of trying to sell the book. I have more work ahead, but it’s a different sort, and yes, I’ll be learning and sharing my lessons learned here as I go.

So I have a draft–now what?

Believe it or not, I’ve written novels and nonfiction books before. However, I have usually stopped at the book proposal stage, meaning I’ve written a book proposal, then never submitted it. Why not? As I explained to the lady friend, there’s the potential for rejections. There’s also the potential for success, which carries its own challenges. To which she replied, “Life is full if challenges. Roll with it darling.” So here I am, considering the next big steps in the process:

  • Identifying a publisher for my type of book.
  • Obtaining their submission requirements.
  • Developing an eye-catching query or proposal that meets their expectations.

To find publishers, I need to buy the latest version of the Writer’s Market, Writer’s Digest‘s indispensable guide for professional writers seeking outlets for their work. I also need to revisit the Book in a Box advice that I started reading last year. They actually recommended not reading beyond a certain point until I had a complete draft written. I’m getting rather close to that point, so now would seem a good time to see what else they have to say.

I’ve also been reaching out to friends who already have books published to solicit their advice. Some advantages I have now over previous times I’ve considered publishing my work are:

  • My writing is better than it used to be–good enough that I’m confident enough to get serious and submit it for publishing.
  • I know more about the writing business.
  • I have more friends and contacts whom I can contact for advice and input.
  • I have a solid idea of who my audience is.

That’s not to say I couldn’t have tried to get published earlier, I just wasn’t as confident of the points above as I am now. And confidence, for me, is usually backed up by experience.

The next chapter in this adventure, so to speak, is coming soon.

About Bart Leahy

Freelance Technical Writer, Science Cheerleader Event & Membership Director, and an all-around nice guy. Here to help.
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