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!


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