What I Wish I Knew Before Writing a Book

Are you a writer thinking about writing your first book? Without previous publishing experience, first-time authors can feel overwhelmed by the unknowns that accompany the publishing process. It’s easy to focus solely on what we know: our message and how to weave it into a compelling story. But, there’s more to the process of publishing a book than simply writing it. 

We asked our hope*writers members what they wish they knew before writing their first book, and here’s what they told us.

On Writing

Hope*writer Kevin King shared that he could have saved himself years of work if he had an established critique group while drafting his book. When he did find a good critique group, the feedback from other writers helped lead to significant edits that strengthened his work. 

Other members spoke about trusting the writing process. Sarah Sambles found greater freedom when she realized she doesn’t have to follow anyone else's writing rhythms. She found her...

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One Secret to Launching a Bestselling Book

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,...

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