Editor’s Note : We are so excited to roll out our new blog series: Three Things. We’ve been interviewing amazing, inspiring people in the community for insight on their fields of expertise and are so excited to share their responses with you!
Our very first Three Things blog is brought to you by our friend, Craftcation alumni and presenter, Rachel Mae Smith of The Crafted Life. She recently published her first book – Hello Color – and has graciously compiled three things you need to know before you write your first book.
It’s still hard for me to believe that I was able to take my blog from a hobby, to a full time job, and now a book but here I am! And because writing a book is different than writing a blog, I’m excited to be sharing three things I learned throughout the process that I think you should know if you’re considering taking the leap as well!
1. Schedule, schedule, schedule.
Deadlines will approach fast and can often be overwhelming. I did both the writing and photography for my book, and sometimes it was hard for me to see how I’d ever finish. Scheduling out what I needed to do each day was the only way for me to chip away at such a large project (you can make a calendar on Google Calendars, but I just used a pen and paper). Even if you don’t have a hard deadline, I still suggest mapping out what you’re going to work on everyday to help keep you on track. I also used the software scrivener to keep my chapters and writing organized.
2. It’s a team effort.
Unlike writing a blog, a book involves so many other parties that you may have to comprise creatively. Because your publisher has experience working with bookstores, and you will want your book to be in as many as possible, make sure to have an open dialogue with them about creative expectations to see if you’re on the same page. It’s so important to find a publisher that is on the same page as you, so before you sign, check out the other books they’ve produced, to see if it’s inline with your vision. You’ll be working with them for years, so if it doesn’t feel right, consider waiting.
3. It’s a long-term project.
Just because you turn in your manuscript, doesn’t mean you’re done with the book. Your publisher will most likely have a round or two of edits before it goes to production. After that, it’s all about the marketing of the book. You’ll need to come up with a game plan for promotion, and then when the book comes out, you’ll need to spend time to sell it, do media appearances, host events, etc. So even though the book may only take you a few months to write, expect to invest a few years of your time into it.
About Rachel Mae Smith
Rachel Mae Smith is a lifestyle writer, photographer, and author of the popular blog The Crafted Life. Her work centers on making fun and colorful projects, using accessible items and techniques to help readers create items that convey personal style without the stress. Her book Hello Color was published May 2018 and she’s been featured in Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes & Garden, and Real Simple among others. When she’s not brushing glitter out of her hair, you can find her exploring and color hunting around the world.