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How I Quarantine



I have literally written this blog post twice and somehow it manages to keep deleting itself! You'd think the internet caught coronavirus or something. Goodness gracious! What a crazy time we are in right now. However, rather than focusing on the fear and uncertainty, I'm here to tell you about the silver lining that I have personally found in this whole quarantine debacle.


The timing couldn’t have been better to be honest. I have a big fat 50 page book proposal due on April 5th to a publisher for The Purple Eye. This whole stuck in the house alone with free time up the wazoo was just what the doctor ordered for this procrastinator right here.


PUBLISHING BASICS

There are two ways you can go when writing a book.

  1. Publishing House: Send a detailed and eye-catching proposal through a literary agent (most require representation to submit) and be lucky enough to score a book deal. They arrange the editors, help design the cover, assist in promotion and marketing and pay for the printing and distribution of the book. They also may give you a cash advance to write it. However, the process from start to finish, after signing, takes around a year and half.

  2. Self Publishing: Skip the hassle, get a book out quick and do it all on your own! Hire your own team (editors, cover artists, publicist etc) and pay to print copies, or use Amazon’s “print-to-order” system. Takes significantly less time but costs a lot more money.


CAN I HAVE MY CAKE AND EAT IT TOO?


I’ll give you a second to check out the actual footage of me as a child. Not really, but with that style and gusto for cake it may as well be!


Anyway, I didn’t want to self publish because I had no idea where to start or how to go about it, but I also knew chances of me getting a literary agent were also slim to none. If it’s anything like getting an acting agent, it could take years!

Then there it was. A perfectly placed ad (thank you Universe), for my target publisher who was holding a Writer’s Workshop with a competition to win a $10,000 book deal! By going to the workshop I could skip the literary agent, skip the gatekeeper and have a shot at my target publisher within months! Sold!


I flew to Houston, attended the workshop, got all the deets, hired an editor, and dove deep into my first ever book proposal.


THE PROCESS

My editor, who has proven to be completely invaluable, put me into overdrive with lots of homework because I waited till the last minute (seriously though) to start writing the proposal. I’m going to finish it maybe one day before the deadline… if I’m lucky.


Every week she would give me a chunk of the proposal to do and then we would have a phone call to discuss it. Honestly it’s been quite the learning experience. I have watched my idea for The Purple Eye mold itself into a fully formed, compelling, healing, teaching narrative that I’m incredibly excited about!


I’m so grateful credit cards exist because I couldn’t have hired her without one and I couldn’t have done this without her! Wow, my Millennial is showing.


PROPOSAL CONTENTS

Just to give you an idea, here are the sections required for a proposal.

  • Overview

  • About the Author

  • Market Analysis

  • Promotion

  • Competitive Analysis

  • Book Table of Contents

  • Chapter Abstracts

  • Sample Chapter

Doesn’t seem like a lot, but as I said, currently mine sits at about 50 pages.


ALONE WITH MY THOUGHTS

I’m extremely grateful for the undivided attention I can give to this proposal during quarantine. There have been moments of fear while reaching out to people for endorsements. Tears of joy when I found I had much more support than expected. Moments of “when will this be over with?” And moments of “I’m so proud of myself! Let’s add more!”


Needless to say it has been quite the journey and I can’t wait to see where it leads. Right now, I am extremely confident in my ability to win this contest, but if it doesn’t happen, at least I will have a killer proposal to send elsewhere.


Thank you so much for all of your love in support on this journey with me! It’s not an easy topic to traverse but I know it needs to be discussed.


If you haven’t already, subscribe to the newsletter so you don’t miss any updates!


Stay safe out there guys! The world needs you.


With love,


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© 2020 by SHELISE ANN SOLA

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