Rugged Terrain Ahead

When I began my pursuit of being a published author, like most people, I went about it in all the wrong way. I felt like I was climbing a rugged mountain without a map.

Attending a Christian Writers Conference turned me around in the right direction. There I learned all the steps that lead to publication. I discovered that in addition to crafting my manuscript, I needed to write a formal proposal that would convince publishers that my manuscript was worth their investment of $10,000 or more. I would also need to become skilled at marketing my book, an uncomfortable role for me. And once the book was published, I would have to don the hat of an accountant, register for an EIN number from the state tax office, pay state sales taxes regularly and prepare Schedule C reports on my small business.

These roles seemed daunting, but after having tried to cold-contact publishers and having received multiple rejections, I knew I needed help. So after that first conference, I registered for a one-day seminar taught by Marlene Bagnull on how to prepare a book proposal. Marlene runs two major writers conferences each year, one in Colorado ( and the other in Philadelphia ( ). She has published multiple books of her own and nurtured countless green authors like myself. Her advice on creating a book proposal taught me how to present myself and my manuscript as a professional. Marlene held nothing back, wanting each student in her seminar to succeed. Following her instructions faithfully, I sent off my new proposal to several publishers. Imagine my surprise when two responded immediately and offered contracts! A few years later, the publisher of my third book said he had never received a better proposal!

Have you ever faced a task that loomed ahead of you like a rugged mountain range? I’ve learned the wisdom of turning to those who have walked that path already. A good guide knows where the mountain passes are, where to find water and which route is the most direct. Marlene was my guide and shared her wisdom. How has God called you to serve? Have you sought out the Holy Spirit and asked for His wisdom to guide you along the unfamiliar territory that lies ahead?


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