You’re an author. You know how it goes. That thought starts rolling around in your head and you can’t shake the idea that someone needs to write a book about it. The more you ponder, the more you realize you are that someone!
So you sit down, roll up your sleeves, and stare at the computer screen. Where do you go from here? What’s the next step?
• Do you just start hammering out thoughts and edit them later?
• Should you systematically begin outlining the chapters?
• What books will you research to help support your message?
In case you’re not aware, if you submit a completed manuscript to a traditional publisher—rather than a book proposal—you’ll likely get a rejection letter. Not necessarily because your work’s unacceptable, but editors are so inundated with submissions they simply don’t have the time to read entire manuscripts.
What will give you a fighting chance to be considered by an editor is a book proposal that includes:
1. A table of contents
2. A synopsis of each chapter’s theme
3. A sample chapter
4. Information about other books similar to yours
5. Why your book needs to be published
6. How you’ll market the book
Once my proposal was accepted by my publisher, I had a wonderful road map for writing the book as I followed along the proposal’s already well-planned table of contents and chapter themes.
Since the books I write are grounded in biblical principles to help the reader build a no regrets life, I take very seriously the opportunity the Lord has granted me to mentor multitudes through the pages of my books and articles.
So, planning and organizing my thoughts isn’t enough. I first spend a great deal of time praying for God’s wisdom, guidance and discernment as I study Scripture throughout the writing process.
Also, I never write a book without a solid team of prayer support. I am confident that doors have been opened and Truth has been taught because of this amazing support of prayer.
Finally, I read books that will help grow my perspective and support the message I want to share. Proverbs 24:6 says, “For by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.”
Learning from other authors can bring victory when writing might feel like you’re waging a war against:
• A culture that does not necessarily hold to your biblical perspective (but desperately needs to hear it)
• Responsibilities that steal away your precious writing time
• Your own thoughts of discouragement
• Temptation to quit
Temptation to quit is something I regularly battle. To date, I have published . With each one I think, this will be my last. But then a new thought starts rolling around in my mind and back to the computer I go!
Rhonda Stoppe is the No Regrets Woman. With more than 30 years of experience as a marriage mentor, pastor’s wife, author and speaker, Stoppe leads women of all ages to live lives of no regrets. Stoppe is the author of Moms Raising Sons to be Men, which mentors thousands of moms to guide sons toward a no-regrets life, If My Husband Would Change, I’d Be Happy & Other Myths Wives Believe, helping countless women build no-regrets marriages and Real-Life Romance, a collection of real-life love stories. Her latest release is The Marriage Mentor, written with her husband, Steve. Visit Rhonda Stoppe’s website www.NoRegretsWoman.com for more resources on love, marriage and parenting. She is also active on , () and on Twitter (@RhondaStoppe).