Writing a Book

Many people ask me how I wrote my first book: How did I find an agent, a publisher, how did I have the discipline to write it within a tight timeframe. Is a proposal necessary, is an agent necessary. Over the last three years I’ve learned there is an allure to being an author, a mystique to securing a publisher. Rightfully so: It’s damn difficult to get an agent or publisher to notice you.  Tens of thousands of people believe they have “a book inside” and I bet they do.  But the odds of taking that great idea through the process of selling it, writing it and publishing it with a big house are slim. But I did it and with the help of a coach, Lucy Hedrick, who splits her time between Florida and Connecticut (guess where she is now…..). Lucy opened my eyes wide to the realities of publishing, the importance of a fantastic business-minded non-fiction proposal, and the desire to sell.  We were successful, and Lucy introduced me to my agent, a business partner and wonderful friend (a woman who, with her lovely husband, even babysat my twins for weekend!).

Another coach I’ve met recently is Jo Parfitt, author and writing coach. I met Jo through a mutual online friend, Andrea Martins, who manages the all-important website for female expats ExpatWomen. Jo interviewed me about my personal experience in writing the book and posted the author-to-author interview on her web site. The international connection made our interview fun and interesting,and I learned a lot about Jo’s passions: She wants to help writers write and authors publish. Based in the Netherlands, she writes a regular blog and offers some great giveaways for wanna-be-writers.

And then of course there is self-publishing. I have just begun to explore this avenue and I’m getting pretty excited about the opportunities down the road. First up will be my latest book on Kindle and Nook in the coming months, but the real exciting stuff is coming down the pike. More on this when it’s time…

But I realize that as a book lover, receiving that first shiny, turquoise blue book that smelled hot off the presses was an amazing, over-the-moon feeling of achievement.  And still, three years later, as I look at my office bookshelf and see Get Ahead By Going Abroad, I feel a sense of pride and overwhelming accomplishment. There’s nothing quite like a real book to my 43-year-old self. But if it’s the content that counts, and the electronic medium actually reaches and helps more people, then the eBook might become my vessel of choice for the future. Plus it’s wicked easy to self-publish!  The writing and the marketing …now that’s a different story.