Monday, January 04, 2016

Book Update Part 1

Where to begin - almost two months ago, I posted for the first time that I'd finished writing a book. Much has happened since than and I want to get it all into a big update right now!

First of all, some of you were surprised that I had already finished the book! This idea of writing a book has been something I've wanted to do for years. However, I had a specific idea two or three years ago to write a book on this whole idea of Slow. I sort of started writing it a couple of years ago.

Then I set it aside for an entire year because of: fear. Fear of what others would think, fear of readers not liking it, fear of not being the right person to write a book, fear, fear, fear. You get the idea. After a year, the idea was still crisp and it became more of a calling that I knew I needed to finish. I would describe this as feeling compelled to carry this out.

So one year ago, I picked it up with diligence and wrote on it all Spring and finished it by May. Then I wondered what to do next. Was it just for me? For the process of writing it and learning in the process? Was it to share? How?

I started looking into all kinds of publishing options. Every book I picked up, I studied who published it, who their agent was and more. I read blog posts on how to get published and what publishers are looking for and listened to videos and Periscopes on publishing. I sought counsel and asked a lot of questions. It can be somewhat overwhelming to sift through all of this info and really know where to begin.

The first step I was able to narrow down through all of this information was to write an official book proposal. I bought this ebook on Writing a Winning Book Proposal and walked through the entire process in writing a book proposal. I asked several close family and friends to read through that proposal and help me find grammar errors and things that maybe didn't sound right or make sense. So, now I had a book proposal and a polished writing sample to offer.

I also downloaded a list of Christian Literary Agents from Michael Hyatt's blog which was a great starting place for me. I submitted my book proposal according to their submission standards. If there is one thing I can say for this process it is that it is slow, slow, slow! Agents do not respond if they are not interested and each response can take 6-8 weeks.

There were a few agents who did respond that it didn't fit their work schedule and/or what they were looking for right now. Basically, an agent takes your idea to publishers they think would like the topic and acts as the go-between from author to publisher. Publishers are only able to publish a teensy percentage of unsolicited manuscripts they receive each year. I mean like 1% teensy. The chances are very slim and it is hard to get your foot in the door.

Ok, so my proposal was out there for a few months and I got one positive response. I had an agent interested in my topic and proposal. That is when I posted about my book for the first time. The bottom line is that a publisher {and therefore an agent} is looking for a well established platform so that they know they'll be able to sell a certain number of books.

My "platform" is very small and I like it that way. I don't really want to build a mega platform and have that sort of full time job on my hands. I am a wife and homeschooling mother who really can't do that right now. So, after prayer and seeking counsel, we decided to close the door with this agent who was only interested if my platform was solid and steadily growing.

I'm thankful for this part of the process because it helped me to really stop and think about what my goals were for this book, our home and family and what to pursue next.

My goals in writing a book are not to establish a large following, big platform, speaking line up or anything like that. My goals in writing a book are to be obedient and come alongside other women who are caught up in frantic and make slow appealing and achievable.

This is getting lengthy, so I'm go call this Part One and finish it tomorrow!!! Thanks for reading and supporting me in this!


Josiah and Anna said...

Hi, Monica!
I was so surprised and happy to open your blog this morning and find that you were writing on the topic of publishing a book.
I wrote a book about my time in Mozambique, and my goal this month was to figure out how to get it published. I had looked into this before, but it seemed like a very difficult and lengthy process, so I had set it aside until I had more time to work on it. Now I really want to pursue getting this book published, and I am really looking forward to hearing more about your experience and hopefully learning some things from what you are doing! Thank you for sharing with your blog readers:) Seiously, the timing could not be more perfect.
~Anna (Coumos) McGuckin

Bevy @ Treasured Up and Pondered said...

This is wonderful!! I'm so happy for you and for all of us (readers) who can't wait for the final and tangible item to hold in our hands! :)


Lauren said...

Can't wait to hear the rest!

Shelby said...

Oh friend I am so happy you took the plunge and stepped out of the fear. You will no doubt be a blessing to so many and I can't wait to purchase my book:) xoxoxo

Terri S said...

Monica, How exciting that you are so far along in the process. I can't wait for part two to hear what you are deciding to pursue with your book. Blessings, Terri

Monica Wilkinson said...

@josiahandanna: Anna! I haven't heard from you for ages!!!! :) So happy to see your name pop up this morning! I'm glad this is a blessing to you - and if you need/want more specific info than what is included in these two posts feel free to email me at thehomespunheart {at} hotmail {dot} com. Don't want to overwhelm a blog post with details but am happy to share specifically if that is a blessing or help.

@Bevy - thank you so much!

@Lauren - thanks, friend!

Riverswamp said...

Wow! I have followed your blog for years, even since all my homeschoolers have graduated and I have gone to work. Love reading it- reminds me of my 'good old days'.Would love to read your book!

Becky said...

Hello Monica,
I have enjoyed following your blog for a long time! I love your style and insights and willingness to share your experiences both good and challenging. Your effort, passion, and reason for undertaking your book project is inspiring to me! Just an idea for you so you can see your project to completion and hold it professionally bound in your hands: use a service like Mixbook or Shutterfly to design the layout, add text, and images and they print it and you will have it in book form to hold, lend, or even casually leave it at a library for some unsuspecting stressed out mommy in need of slow to discover! So fun! I was thinking of doing this with my children's book ideas and illustrations. Oh be sure to leave your contact info and “about me” page in the book—you never know who will pick it up . . . Blessings, Rebecca

Happy Husband said...

I love you Mommy!
-Emily (via Interloping Happy Husband)

Anonymous said...

Dear Monica:
I am a long time follower and just wanted to leave a word of encouragement on your book....... I have been blessed by your writing style and subjects and stories of family life Monica and felt it important to just share my appreciation with you.


Mom said...

I just finished proofreading your book last night. It was a blessing to me as I know it will be to others. Well done!

Tina Leigh said...

Wow. I'm excited for you...and yes it will be a blessing to read this book. I'm so excited for you & us!