As I type this, I’m eating Cheerios for breakfast, it is 4 degrees out, and oh, I sent off my book proposal for my Te Araroa travel memoir to the first publisher I am targeting.
Book proposal. Oh boy. If I poured my heart and soul into my book, then I poured someone else’s heart and soul into the book proposal.
When I finished writing the book on Dec. 1, I had no idea what I was getting into for this next step.
There is a format for this thing, but it’s not as much a paint-by-numbers type of instruction. So of course I overanalyzed every piece of it. Bullets in this section? No bullets? Should this sentence go before this one? Or this one?
Now, 21 pages later, I have a synopsis, competitive market analysis, a marketing platform and chapter outlines.
Along with the book proposal, I sent sample chapters carefully plucked from the book. I read, reread, revised and rewrote these chapters at least 170,000 times. Writer friends (and Justin!) read and gave me feedback–invaluable feedback. I was prepared for a sea of track marks across my pages. But nothing they said stung. In fact, they merely suggested things that I couldn’t believe I didn’t think of myself.
Writing is such a personal act, especially in works of nonfiction drawn from your own experiences. During this past month of November, I spent more hours with it than I did with any living soul (unless cats have souls?). And now I’ve sent my baby off into the publishing world.
Well, only to one publisher so far. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
I’m taking a holiday break from my book to be with my husband (yeah!!) and his family. Post-holiday, I have a list of 25 other publishers who will be so excited to receive my book proposal (amiright???). There’s still more work to be done, but another step down.