Whoo-hoo, I did it! I sent a query letter, book proposal and chapter-by-chapter outline of my book, A Place to Paint, to a publisher this afternoon. The book was five years in the making but I finally got it done and out the door. I’m so proud of myself right now, I could hug myself!
I admit I did this whole process a little backwards. I wrote and designed the book first. Next, I wrote the book proposal and chapter-by-chapter outline. And, lastly I wrote the Query letter. I’ve since learned that you usually put a book together in this order:
- Query Letter
- Book Proposal
- Chapter-by Chapter Outline
- Write the Book
- Publisher Designs the Book
Even though the process was not the norm, I learned so much. First I learned that I could write a book. It’s not a long book (a.k.a. War & Peace) but it is informative and inspiring.
I also learned that it’s better to finish writing the book before you start designing it.
In other words, writing and designing a book at the same time is just down right messy. Editing, required changing the layout, which sometimes required additional editing, which necessitated other layouts adjustments. In other words, it was a vicious circle. I ended up “tweaking” the book almost to death. At which point, I’d set it aside to rest so I could come back to it with a fresh perspective. No wonder it took me five years to get it done!
Sometime during this process, I gained valuable experience in catalog design at my day job. This experience taught me a huge number of time savings tricks that I could have and should have used in designing the book. The biggest being the use of Adobe InDesign’s master pages and character, paragraph, table, and object style sheets. I’m sure InDesign has a bunch of other time-saving features for book design. My goal wasn’t to become a professional book designer. I just wanted to produce a book. However, if I ever decide to design a book again, I’ll be sure to maximize the use of InDesign’s book design capabilities – and only after the book is completely written!
Read the Forward to A Place to Paint: A Guide to Setting Up an Art Studio for Painters and Other Artists.
- Subscribe to our mailing list to keep informed about my progress with getting the book published.
- Check out the artists that were featured in the book.
Other Resources: Steps to Publishing a Book – A Timeline. I wish I’d seen this first!