Archive for March, 2009

Writing Nonfiction Books is my topic at the Mamapreneurs Inc. Meeting Tonight

Hiya mamas,

I’m part of a panel for Mamapreneurs tonight in Portland, Oregon. I thought I’d share a few links here in advance in order to be more “green.” This way I won’t have to type suggested resources up in Word and print it out, and waste a lot of paper. I can just invite attendees to check my blog.

Here’s a list of resources for publishing a nonfiction book today:

Listen to the short, free Webinar by Jane Friedman over at Writer’s Digest, Secrets to Getting Published in Tough Times. It’s about thirty minutes of key information for anyone hoping to get a book published in these times.

1. To publish nonfiction books, here’s the typical order of how it happens:

1. Platform Development & Building for 1-3 years prior to and during the book development process. I’ve been developing my platform for eight years consistently.

2. Book proposal development & book pitching can take anywhere from one month to one year. Even longer in some cases, if a lot of back and forth is involved. My proposal for Writer Mama took about a month but I’d been working up to it for a month prior to that. My proposal for Get Known was also pretty quick because I was already writing and speaking on the topic.

3. Book writing takes anywhere from six months to six years. Typically one to two years. I spent one and a half years writing Writer Mama and one year on Get Known.

4. Book marketing lasts as long as the book is in print. I try to pace myself rather than a big burst of events all at once, which works out to roughly one-three events per month.

2. What’s the leading misconception about writing nonfiction books for publication?

Possibly that everyone would enjoy writing for traditional publication. Writing any genre book is an enormous amount of work, time, and energy. And honestly, I don’t think it’s for everyone. However, I do believe that most people have a book (or ten) in them. I’m just not sure that all of those books in all those people are right for traditional publication, especially because of the rapid decrease in the number of traditionally published books that are going to get published in the future.

I think if someone reads my book Get Known Before the Book Deal and likes the sound of most of the challenges that those people should pitch their book ideas because they will be the most likely to succeed in the current book publishing marketplace.

3. What are the potential costs involved with getting published?

This amount would vary so widely that I’m trying to come up with more of a rule of thumb. Advice I often give to writers is that you will get back what you invest amplified. So if you don’t invest, work, time, energy and money, then don’t expect to make money.

So, let’s say out of your advance (say 5-10 thousand dollars for a first book), you can expect to spend up to all of it, or at least half of it. But you will make money from other types of income streams like writing articles, teaching, consulting and speaking if you follow my advice. Just like any business, expect to reinvest 30-50% back into your business so it will grow.

4. What are the top 3 things a writer can do to help increase his/her chances of getting published?

I’ve written a top ten list of tips on platform building based on my book, Get Known Before the Book Deal. E-mail me at writermama@earthlink.net and I’ll send it to you.

5. What are some top trends in the writing & publishing industry that writers should be aware of?

Competition is stiffer than ever. Less physical books will be published going forward. Writers need to invest heavily in their platforms in addition to writing, selling and professional development.

But the good news is: publishing is not over by any means. The industry is evolving and so are writers. The most grounded, not the swiftest, will survive. (That’s my prediction anyway.)

If I met you at the Mamapreneurs, Inc. meeting, please leave a comment and say hello!

Day Thirty-One of the Writer Mama Two-Year Anniversary Blog Tour Giveaway

A chance to win a copy of Writer Mama every day in March 2009!

A chance to win a copy of Writer Mama every day in March 2009!

Today I’m over at Robin Mizell’s blog, Treated & Released.

Robin is an agent who is very savvy about technology and very motivated to work with new, promising authors.

It’s not often that I recommend a “green” agent. But Robin is an exception. And if you ever have the pleasure of meeting her, you’ll understand what I mean.

I can’t wait to see her at the Writer’s Digest/BEA Conference in New York City. We’re going to hang out at Book Expo America afterwards too.

The other thing I like about Robin is her sense of humor. Just look at her blog. See how it says “Robin Mizell (Un) Ltd.”? See where she wrote “97% transparent“? That’s funny!

Come on over to Robin Mizell’s blog, Treated & Released and celebrate the final day of the Writer Mama Two-Year Anniversary Blog Tour Giveaway with us

Day Thirty of the Writer Mama Two-Year Anniversary Blog Tour Giveaway

A chance to win a copy of Writer Mama every day in March 2009!

A chance to win a copy of Writer Mama every day in March 2009!

Today I’m over at Dena Dyer’s Mother Inferior blog.

First off, I love the title of this blog. What mother doesn’t feel “inferior” from time to time?

It seems we all have confidences issue that can cause imposter syndrome to rear its ugly head when we least appreciate it.

And mamas, this is totally normal and Dena is here to remind us.

In her own words, Dena’s blog is about parenting, religions, writing, and other “deep” topics (but always with a light touch). I write to encourage women they’re not crazy, they’re not alone, and they can make it through the crazy years–with their sense of humor (and sanity) intact.

Please join me over at Mother Inferior for the second-to-last day (already?) of the Writer Mama Two-Year Anniversary Blog Tour Giveaway!

Day Twenty-Nine of the Writer Mama Two-Year Anniversary Blog Tour Giveaway

A chance to win a copy of Writer Mama every day in March 2009!

A chance to win a copy of Writer Mama every day in March 2009!

Today I’m over at Caroline Grant’s blog, Food for Thought.

I was fortunate to meet Caroline at the Associated Writing Programs Conference in February, where she was on a panel with a group of other wonderful representatives from Literary Mama, the wonderful online literary magazine for the maternally inclined.

I always wondered what the women from Literary Mama would be like and I was thrilled for the opportunity to meet them, though it was way too brief.

But I was happy that I got to be there for the announcement that Caroline would become the new Editor-in-Chief of Literary Mama. So congratulations to Caroline!

Caroline says, “Food for Thought is my family blog, where I write about my kids, our meals, what I’m writing and reading. It’s for anyone interested in the daily life of a writer mama who likes to cook a bit, too.”

Come on over and join me at Food for Thought today!

Day Twenty-Eight of the Writer Mama Two-Year Anniversary Blog Tour Giveaway

A chance to win a copy of Writer Mama every day in March 2009!

A chance to win a copy of Writer Mama every day in March 2009!

Today I’m over at Erika Dreifus’ Practicing Writer.

Erika is a long-time supporter of writers in many genres.

She says her blog is for practicing writers of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. It aims to provide news, resources, and inspiration for writers at all levels of experience, while sharing aspects of my own writing practice.

Please join me today over at Practicing Writer!

[The original post I wrote was accidentally deleted. Rats!]

Day Twenty-Seven of the Writer Mama Two-Year Anniversary Blog Tour Giveaway

A chance to win a copy of Writer Mama every day in March 2009!

Today I’m over at Julie Steed’s blog, Emerging Author.

One of my favorite things I get to do as a writing instructor is working with students over time. Julie Steed is one of those students I’ve been fortunate enough to work with several times. I always appreciate her determination, commitment and steady, patient effort.

I wish I could tell you there was something more glamorous that would pay off in the long run but I can’t. It’s really just patient steady effort that takes any writer from point A to point B.

Or in Julie’s case, from point A to point somewhere-in-the-middle-of-the-alphabet. 🙂

About her blog, Julie says, “I blog about trial and error as a writer, the learning curve involved, and emotions involved. I like to leave posts open-ended in an attempt to provoke thought in my readers. I write for others who are already committed to writing. I see it as a way to share the experience of success and the need to try again and again (and the range of emotions that come with that.) My blog is a growing work in progress, like my career.”

Thanks for joining me today over at Emerging Author where we’ll be discussing the author questionnaire.

Day Twenty-Six of the Writer Mama Two-Year Blog Tour Giveaway

A chance to win a copy of Writer Mama every day in March 2009!

A chance to win a copy of Writer Mama every day in March 2009!

Today I’m featuring the blog of someone I like and respect, Sue Lick of the Freelancing for Newpapers blog (named after the book of the same name).

Sue’s many years of writing experience shine through everything she writes and yet she is especially a friend to aspiring writers. I really like that in a person and Sue’s attention to the details offer any beginning writer that extra edge of insight that you can really only get from years of experience.

Recently Sue has been going through a difficult life transition. Her husband, Fred, has Alzheimer’s and has recently gone to live in a nursing home. I can only imagine how difficult this would be for any wife.  I’m so glad that Sue has those two sweet puppies at home to lick her face and track in mud when it’s least welcome.

It’s difficult to write in tough times. And it’s even more difficult under increased financial pressure. Please join me over at Sue’s blog, Freelancing for Newspapers today. And if you do not yet own, Freelancing for Newspapers, I think today would be a great day to purchase a copy!


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