When I was a kid I dreamed of being an author.
I figured the job description involved, well, you know, writing. I thought the primary requirement to get a book deal was to be a decent writer.
And then I grew up.
This could have been “the end” ’cause I was told that, in order to get a book deal, I needed at least 60,000 people on my email list, 80k followers on Facebook, a YouTube Channel, a popular podcast, and flaming blue hair.
Just kidding on the hair… well, sorta.
If the flaming blue hair made me stand out either as controversial or popular, it too went in the plus column.
These days book deals are reported to go to the most popular, not the most writerly.
But I’m here to stand up for the literati and cry bunk. ‘Cause I’m not much more popular than I was in high school (and I was the kid who ate lunch in the library. I did kiss one of the most popular guys on the lacrosse team during a ski trip but it was on a remote slope with no one else around so he had plausible deniability).
How the heck does an unknown gal who only gets lip by tripping the hotties on a back mountain ski slope get a book deal?
Ready for the big reveal? Drum roll, please…
For nine years now, I’ve been writing this blog. My very first post is dated 1/26/2009. I learned to craft a story, one week at a time, right here with many of you as my lab rats.
But how to get a book deal even if you’re not famous?
It turns out that people were actually reading my little writing experiment and watching my slow slog toward eloquence. One woman in particular, an herbal icon named Rosemary Gladstar, took note of my words and sent me a few of her own:
“Dear Maia, it was so awesome to see you again, and to see the beautiful blossoming of spirit and the vibrant place you hold in the circle. Awesome, in fact!!!! Do you enjoy writing? Think about writing!!”
Contact information for her publisher followed.
After I received said email, I promptly I did what any self-respecting wanna-be-author does when faced with the fruition of a life-long dream:
I shoved that email into the deep recesses of my inbox, hyperventilated for a bit, and then tried to forget its existence because, while I wanted to write a book, I couldn’t for the life of me think of a topic which wasn’t trite or redundant.
I wasn’t going to write anything, gosh darn it, until I could add to the conversation.
Since I didn’t think I had anything particularly original to say, I best not say anything at all (we’re allowed to make fun of our previous selves just a little, aren’t we?).
Luckily at this particular time I was in a community called The Beautiful Writers Group which, also at this particular time, was run by two dynamic women: Linda Sivertsen and Danielle LaPorte.
And because life sometimes has your back, there was a small window in which we group members could get on a live coaching call with these two dynamos.
“Um, hello,” I said. “I have a problem… I have the name of an editor but I don’t have an exact idea for a book.”
Danielle immediately jumped in with “Linda, I’ve got this one!”
Then she shot straight from the hip: “Girlfriend, when you’re given the name of an editor,” she said, “you pull the car over and dial.”
Her tone left no room for argument or conversation. So while I didn’t dial, I did Facebook-message.
That was over three years and two book deals ago.
Wait, two book deals?
Yup. My book first book comes out in August and I already have a book deal for Number Two due out Fall of 2019.
And to be clear, I’m still not popular by modern standards (if you wanna make me look good, go like my Facebook page) but I am a writer and, book #2 cemented it for me, I’m an author.
You can pre-order a signed copy of my first book here!
So if you want to write, for goodness’ sake (and your own!) write ’cause that’s how to get a book deal even if you’re not famous. Yes, there’s always the gain-celebrity-and-followers-in-your-niche path, but that doesn’t preclude *writing* as a path to becoming a writer.