Writing is a beautiful process.

As a writer, you start off with an idea. You write the shitty first draft, as Anne Lamott calls it. With the huge stack of manuscript pages on your desk, you realize you must prune. A season of careful edits follow. Finally, the shiny finished manuscript emerges, as if chiselled from precious stone. How rewarding! This is a blissful place to be – but what about the next step or steps?

What can be surprising for writers (myself included) is that the finished manuscript is just the beginning.

The beginning of what? The answer to this question will look different from person to person. Some may want to share their story with only family and friends. Some have their sights set more broadly. For me personally, I’ve always known I want (and need) to get my work out into the world. Maybe you are like me in this regard…

So how exactly do we get our lovely creative words into readers’ hands?

Publishing is a changing landscape. At least that’s what people tell me. Right now I am in the excitement and learning-experience-stage of publishing my first book. I don’t know the publishing world to be anything but this hyper digital, connected community of storytellers. But don’t get me wrong…

Like most writers, I too daydream of the largely long-gone, now mostly mythical scenario:

  • Author writes a great book

  • Finds an agent

  • Agent pitches to the big publishers

  • One or more of the big publishers makes an offer

  • There is a sizable advance

  • 6. The publisher takes on the book; editing, producing and marketing it full on

  • 7. Author rides horseback into the sunset, royalty checks in hand

  • Author starts the whole process over again

I would love to share a bit about my publishing journey with you. For years I have been working on my memoir, Expecting Sunshine: A journey of grief, healing and pregnancy after loss. My book will be released by She Writes Press in the spring of 2017.

Over the next few months, I will be sharing about my TEN-STEP Publishing Journey. I will reveal my fails and triumphs – and all the invaluable lessons I have learned along the way.

Here is my blogging agenda – by topic – in sharing this journey with you:

Publishing PART 1: Magnificent Manuscript

Publishing PART 2: Editing Excellence

Publishing PART 3: Agent Acquisition

Publishing PART 4: Publishing Partnership

Publishing PART 5: Book Cover Breakthrough

Publishing PART 6: Publicity Plan

Publishing PART 7: Book Launch Basics

Publishing PART 8: Social Media Shakedown

Publishing PART 9: Creative Connections

Publishing PART 10: Repeat

By the time my book comes out, which is April 18, 2017; you will have been walked through the publishing process – right from the beginning of my own journey. I have read, studied and explored each and every topic listed above and am living the journey as I write these very words.

Learn how I: edited my book almost a dozen times, found and parted ways with a prominent agent, and pursued self-publishing before landing a publishing contract with a hybrid. That is only part of it. I will be sharing how the process unfolded through contract negotiations, book cover design, and publicity.

What a ride! Join me in this blogging series and see for yourself: publishing is a lot of work, but it’s a worthwhile adventure!

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Learn more about Expecting Sunshine – both the book and documentary film.