Writers love to spend time on content creation. Because of our focus on the art of writing, we may initially find the world of publishing confusing and mysterious. It can be challenging to find a clear explanation of the process of book publishing without chasing rabbit trails across the internet.
What happens first? Who are the main players? At hope*writers, we want to help you avoid hours of googling for the right information. We chatted with Alex Field, literary agent and owner of literary agency The Bindery to learn from his expertise on the process of publishing. He gave us an overview of the eight steps to traditional publication, from idea to contract.
A book proposal is a business plan for your book. It typically includes a summary and outline of the book, a description of your target audience, information about you as an author, and a marketing plan. For nonfiction, it will include at least three sample chapters. Fiction writers...
When Anna LeBaron applied to become a member of Jen Hatmaker’s For the Love book launch team, she had never participated in a book launch. Because there were an overwhelming number of applications for a small number of spots, Anna didn’t make it on the team.
Instead of feeling disappointed and giving up, she decided the next best thing to joining the official launch team was to gather the other 4,500 readers who didn’t make it into the group, and help launch the book anyway.
For the Love became a national bestseller in part due to the efforts of Anna and the unofficial launch team she gathered in a private group on Facebook. She learned how to launch a book by doing it, and it paid off for both Jen Hatmaker and Anna.
Anna is now an author herself and a sought-after book launch manager who works directly with publishers to launch books. Her experience with Hatmaker’s book launch blossomed into a new career, throughout which she has launched many books,...
Among writers, the word “networking” conjures up images of forced connections, mixed motives, and try-hard conversations. The thought of networking can leave many writers with a feeling of overwhelm or even dread. However, networking is an important part of sharing your work and growing your audience.
At hope*writers, we know writers can’t do it all on their own. We’re committed to helping you balance the art of writing and the business of publishing — networking is a necessary part of the process.
We interviewed author and speaker Katie Reid, who shared the wins and pitfalls she experienced in the networking process.
Katie offers us the following do’s and don’ts of networking as writers:
Get to know people in the same casual, friendly way you would if you sat down over coffee.
Try to impress people. This doesn’t build authentic relationships. Building real relationships that benefit both...
Have you ever felt lonely in your work as a writer? Writing is a solitary pursuit, and many writers find that in order to thrive, they must balance the individual work of writing with an outside support system.
An introvert and self-described “solopreneur,” author Tsh Oxenreider discovered her need for a writing community early in her career.
Tsh sat down with hope*writers to share her top tips for creating an intentional community that supports your writing work.
“I’m a big believer in looking ahead and finding your mentors, looking behind and finding your mentees, and also looking left and right and finding your peers.” — Tsh Oxenreider
Finding mentors isn’t as challenging as it may seem at first glance. Writing professionals frequently offer their services, and can be found online or through word of mouth without much difficulty. Authors may even serve as our unofficial mentors through their work.
However, finding peers to...
Author and speaker Jo Saxton is passionate about encouraging writers to recognize their potential as leaders and to take risks in their work. She tells hope*writers, “It takes a village to raise, launch, and sustain a leader.”
So what does it look like to gather a supportive village? This is an important part of a writing life, especially if we want to do it for the long haul.
Jo offers the following questions for us to ask ourselves as we create a thriving community of people around us who will help to support and sustain our work as writers.
Before we can name what we need to thrive, we first have to define what a thriving writing life looks like for us. The answer to this question will be unique for each writer.
It’s important to consider your needs as they pertain to your specific goals, life season, and level of experience as a writer.
What kind of support will you need from others to create a...
Have you ever been romanced by the mythical image of the writer working in solitude while nestled comfortably in a remote woodland cabin? Those of us who write in the cracks of ordinary life with families, jobs, and busy schedules may find this image particularly compelling as we struggle to balance our lives with our writing work.
As you create space and learn to write within the boundaries of your life, you will learn that good work requires quiet, but it doesn’t require a complete removal from your life and the people in it. In fact, as your writing develops, you may discover that inviting others into your work can be a welcome catalyst for creativity.
A cabin in the woods sounds great, but creating in a community of fellow writers is even better.
At hope*writers, we believe writers flourish in community with one another, so we sat down to discuss this idea with author, professor, and Inklings expert Diana Glyer.
Diana has spent years studying the...
The growth of the internet as a publishing outlet has offered many writers the opportunity to share their stories in ways that were not possible before; however, this gift can be a double-edged sword. Because of the proliferation of content online, it’s easy for a writer’s voice to be drowned out by other voices producing content on the same topics.
At hope*writers, we want the words you publish to stand out from the rest, so we sat down with experienced editor Stephanie Smith for a conversation about what she looks for in a writer.
She offers the following tips to help you go from writer to author by refining your ideas for a word-saturated market.
Universal topics such as family relationships, vulnerability, coping with anxiety, and personal growth continue to resonate with readers, regardless of how many writers explore these subjects. Stephanie urges us to follow the poet Emily Dickinson’s advice: “Tell all the truth but tell it...
Have you ever read an older piece you’ve written and wondered why you sound so unlike your everyday self? As writers, it’s tempting to hide our true voice, or keep certain aspects of our lives or our life experiences out of our stories because we’re afraid of how readers might perceive us. This is a form of perfectionism, and it can influence how and what we’re willing to share on the page.
When we focus too much on how we’re perceived in our writing, it can keep us from meeting our readers' needs and allowing them to connect with our story. Writer, podcaster, and pastor Osheta Moore knows this temptation too well. She sat down with hope*writers to discuss how she’s learned to embrace her full, whole self as a writer, and how we can do the same.
Osheta knows how hard it can be to tackle difficult topics. Her readers look to her to help them discover how their everyday lives intersect with peacemaking, and how they can live out peacemaking in...
“Telling the truth matters even when it involves hard questions.
Showing up even when it’s difficult often gives strength for others to show up as well.”
Good news! If you write nonfiction, you are already equipped with all of the raw material you need to craft a unique, interesting story.
Our true life experiences can provide the plot, the setting, and the main characters for our writing. However, not every detail of a true story is interesting or beneficial to a reader.
When writing about your own life experiences, you will have to wrestle with how much to reveal within your work, especially if your story is a hard one filled with painful circumstances, or if your story involves other people. The difficulty of deciding when, how, and how much to share of your own story can be discouraging.
At hope*writers, we know this fear of oversharing on sensitive topics can keep writers from sharing their story with readers who need...
One of the most common hazards you may face as a writer of memoir is the temptation to write your story as if it’s a daily journal entry. When we sat down with memoirist and writing coach Marion Roach Smith, she reminded us that a memoir is not a diary, and recommended we consider the needs of our reader before we begin to write our story.
As writers who lay bare the raw material of our own lives for public consumption, memoirists face a distinct challenge when it comes to deciding how to structure our work. Unlike fiction, where the plot may be shifted and shaped to suit the story, when writing about real life events, you must consider both the truth of the narrative and the needs of the reader.
Memoir: a record of a record of events written by a person having intimate knowledge of them and based on personal observation. (dictionary.com)
Marion would likely take issue with this over-simplification of memoir. She defines...