I’m putting together a multi-media web series on writing and publishing nonfiction, placing emphasis on nonfiction in the spirituality and New Age category. I was going to wait until I finished the entire course, all proposed modules, but then I was like F it. Let’s just play this by ear. Throw the spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks.
As each new installment is published here, I’ll link everything together so no matter when you stumble upon these posts, you can trace back to the beginning and follow the steps in consecutive order. All installments will be tagged with the “book writing” category, so you can simply click on that category label and every installment will pop up.
This independent study course will consist of a bunch of downloads, some free and some not so free, pretty much depending on my mood that day that I’m putting the installment together and posting it. There may be some jumping around, however. So for instance, the next installment I have scheduled is out of the order of modules and instead, is a single workbook on publishing contracts. Then we’ll get back to the modules, for Module II.
All right. Why don’t you read on to see what this is all about.
In this workbook-centered course, I’ll cover the writing and publishing process of nonfiction books and impart what I know about both traditional and independent (self) publishing. The focus will be on nonfiction under the Spirituality category. That includes books on New Age, New Thought, alternative religions, and esoteric or occult topics. However, the core of the course content applies to any nonfiction book that is seeking either placement with a small to medium size publisher or through print-on-demand channels. We will also cover basic legal knowledge, from author-publisher contracts and entity formation for independent publishers to intellectual property law, which every author should be familiar with.
The course material will be multi-media in format, but focused on the workbooks that will guide you from outlining your idea for a nonfiction book to querying traditional publishers, preparing your manuscript for independent publishing and even marketing and promotions.
- To provide an aspiring author with insights into publishing nonfiction books in the Spirituality category and the day-to-day logistics of finishing your manuscript
- To provide an insider view of both traditional and self-publishing
- To provide an aspiring author with the beginner tools needed to complete a first manuscript and take it to publication, either by traditional or independent channels
- To get personal and share my thoughts and experiences from an insider’s perspective
- To be realistic, and give you real information and hard numbers, not the glossed-over, polished, and exaggerated fluff you often get from would-be insiders
About Your Instructor
benebell wen is the author of Holistic Tarot: An Integrative Approach to Using Tarot for Personal Growth (North Atlantic Books, 2015) and The Tao of Craft: Fu Talismans and Casting Sigils in the Eastern Esoteric Traditions (North Atlantic Books, forthcoming September 27, 2016). Wen has also served as the editor-in-chief and managing editor of various literary journals, assisted authors with line-editing, formatting, and releasing self-published books in the categories of spirituality and religion, and has represented independent artists and writers in both the traditional and self-published categories. Wen is also a full-time practicing corporate attorney who specializes in business organizations, business law, corporate mergers and acquisitions, venture capital, and intellectual property law.
Writing and Publishing Nonfiction Independent Study Course
- YOU ARE HERE: Module I: Introduction
- Module II: Completing Your Manuscript
- Module III: Traditional Publishing
- Module IV: Independent (Self) Publishing
- Module V: Promoting Your Book & Post-Publication Strategic Plans
Let’s start at the very beginning.
Module 1 is an introduction to the world of publishing nonfiction books in the New Age and Spirituality category. Let’s start by talking about you and what you want. Workbook A covers the elements of successful nonfiction and walks you through prompts to help you establish a strong foundation for your book. We’ll talk about what it is exactly you want to say through your book and who you want to say it to, or your target audience. We’ll also cover current trends and together, reach important deductions about the authors publishing in this market category. Even at this early stage, you need to be thinking about your author platform. Workbook B will help you brainstorm and build your author platform. Handout 1 dovetails on Workbook B that walks you through the process of structuring, preparing for, and organizing public speaking engagements to help you establish your author platform.
There are four audio files that consist of lectures (total play time just shy of 40 minutes), two workbooks, and supplementary handouts. Follow the work in the order noted below.
Here’s your course outline:
|AUD||Current Market Trends||M4A (10:18)|
|AUD||Why Write and Publish a Book?||M4A (09:46)|
|WBK||Workbook A – Examination of the Seed||DOCX | PDF|
|AUD||What Are You Sharing?||M4A (06:44)|
|WBK||Workbook B – Establishing Your Author Platform||DOCX | PDF|
|HDT||Handout 1 – Brainstorming a Speaking Engagement||DOCX | PDF|
|AUD||Birthing a Book: My Story||M4A (10:20)|
- AUD = Audio File
- WBK = Workbook
- HDT = Handout
Click on the linked files in the right column to download.
Note: Whenever possible, work off the DOCX file, not the PDF. Sometimes the conversion from my original DOCX file to PDF causes the PDF to look a bit wonky. The PDF is provided here just as a backup, in case you want a quick view for reference (since they load more efficiently on a computer or smartphone than DOCX files).
If you have any trouble there, try downloading everything at once, via the below Dropbox link.
DROPBOX LINK TO ALL MODULE 1 FILES
And here is the Note Taking Template referenced in the Introduction:
I recommend the Cornell Method of note taking, which the above template is based on. Use it to take notes while you listen to the audio lectures. (Or not.) With the Cornell Method, jot notes in the right hand column while you listen, emphasize important points you want to remember or questions you have in the left hand column, and then after you’re done with the audio lecture, review your notes and recap the most important points to you in the bottom box.
When you’re done here, move on to MODULE II.
Writing and Publishing Nonfiction Independent Study Course
- YOU ARE HERE: Module I: Introduction
- NEXT, GO HERE: Module II: Completing Your Manuscript
- Module III: Traditional Publishing
- Module IV: Independent (Self) Publishing
- Module V: Promoting Your Book & Post-Publication Strategic Plans
16 thoughts on “Writing and Publishing Nonfiction: Module I”
Totally on board and plan to “follow along!”
Stephanie LH Barrie
Glad to hear! ❤
Loving it so far – sharing with my coauthor. (The part on Author Platform is excellently organised and fun and easy to approach.) -SLHB
You are awesome for putting this online! Going to carve some time out of my schedule to follow along 🙂
You are simply amazing Bell. I am going to follow this.
Good luck with your creative endeavors!
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Really good idea. Will your modules touch on research strategies? Thanks
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?Admit This! Expert Blog
As we have been approaching this year’s January 1 Regular Decision deadline, I’ve been concentrating on essays in my posts listed here. Today, I plan to present you some alot more samples of excellent Usual Software essays so that they might probably inspire you to definitely a more desirable stage of composing.
For starters, let’s report the choices of topics the Everyday Software offers you. In this article are the prompts from which you may choose:
– Some students have a background or story that is certainly so central to their identity that they believe their software would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
– Recount an incident or time any time you veteran failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?
– Reflect on the time in case you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to definitely act? Would you make the same decision again?
– Describe a destination or environment where you could be perfectly content. What do you do or practical experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?
– Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood in your culture, community, or family.
These 5 prompts offer you a large latitude of possibilities for you to definitely conjure an effective statement from the world all around you or your personal life and circumstances. Let’s take a search in a quartet of excellent examples that have crossed my path.
Here’s 1 about a brotherly-sisterly relationship:
I vividly recall asking my mother why her waistline was steadily expanding. She took my hand, placed it on her stomach, and claimed, вЂњMeet your baby sister!вЂќ I was six years old and family life had always been focused on me and my needs. Suddenly, I felt uncertain about my long term. How would my life change? Would my new sister and I like every single other? My father assured me that I would be a kind, loving brother, but I was not so sure!
Hours after LaurenвЂ™s birth, with a snowy February working day, my dad took me to the hospital to meet her. I insisted on wearing my souvenir Burger King crown considering that I liked it, and thought that sheвЂ™d like it, too! Amid all the fanfare and excitement, somehow there was a special gift from Lauren to me: a shiny red fire truck! As I opened my gift, I wondered how she could have known that trucks were being among my favorite toys (although I didnвЂ™t ponder that too prolonged).
Daily life very quickly changed for me in ways I hadnвЂ™t imagined. Initially, my big-brother role was mostly that of helpful assistant, who dutifully gave her a bottle or held her. After I had been assisting with her physical care for some time, I volunteered a bit more meaningful contributions, like as encouraging her to crawl and walk. To my surprise, I secretly started to enjoy my new role. I was acquiring unexpected pleasure from my increasing responsibilities and from my rising family status. No longer was I simply the more mature brother; now I was also her close friend, teacher, and coach. Her respect for me made (and makes) me truly feel considerably more mature, capable, adult-like. I treat her questions seriously and trust that she finds the lessons I teach her from my expertise helpful and relevant. I welcome the opportunity to mentor her and she shows me her appreciation.
Lauren has definitely benefited from my help, and I can see that our relationship is considerably more mutually beneficial than I had anticipated. The lessons that I have taught Lauren have proven me the benefits of compassion, patience, communication, and understanding the so-called feminine вЂњmystique.вЂќ When she broke her collarbone, I helped her with daily duties, these types of as obtaining dressed and carrying her books. I was pleased to be able to help her during this difficult and awkward time. IвЂ™m also patient with her when weвЂ™re active in shared interests like music, swimming, or tennis.
As Lauren matures into much more of the peer, I value her feminine point of check out. Despite our age and gender differences, my parents enabled a lifelong bond involving us, and I foster that bond as we grow. I appreciate LaurenвЂ™s opinions about things. She feels sufficiently comfortable to comment on my friends (вЂњthey dress funnyвЂќ), my clothes (вЂњtoo preppyвЂќ), and my haircut (вЂњgrow it out; it is too short!вЂќ). We laugh and frequently get angry with each individual other, but we always resolve our differences, which serves to strengthen relationship.
Thinking back again to the calendar year she was born, I realize that my dadвЂ™s prediction was accurate. I have become the wise more mature brother, having a greater appreciation for your dimension and richness that a positive sibling relationship can bring. Our mutual help, trust, and love have brought out the highest quality in me, and I know that the leading is yet to come.
This a particular centers on what you might pull from seemingly mundane observations round you every working day and in school.
There exists a certain delight in feeling modest. I mean very little with the context on the word belittle. As negative a connotation the word has adopted, in a very different frame of reference, it is very enthralling. An example:
I have an unconscious tendency to strategize my position inside a classroom. I prefer the front-row-middle seat always.
An early Saturday morning earlier this thirty day period found me standing beneath the doorframe of my assigned classroom, staring within the redheaded girl who had stolen my seat. I spent 54 seconds telepathically explaining to her and her Starbucks coffee that THAT was MY seat. All I got again was static. Giving up grudgingly, I wandered to what seemed to be the absolutely most irritating seat inside of the entire room-middle-row middle seat. Amazingly, the tallest students of your class found it absolutely necessary to sit during the front two rows, producing a grade-A wall concerning any perspective within the front and me. Somewhat an advantage if the teacher threw erasers, though, but an unlikely possibility with this class-Quantum Theory and Relativity.
My teacher stepped in. Quick punctuated biography of Hayn Park: Born South Korean. Raised South American. Schooled Harvard, Moscow, Columbia. Specialty: quantum physics. Korean military services. Columbia again. His opening bit of wisdom to my class: вЂњStay in school, at least they do not make you dig ditches.вЂќ He had me at Panama.
He opened class with the insanely attractive вЂњCommon perception doesnвЂ™t apply listed here.вЂќ His follow-ups had been even a great deal more alluring. вЂњNext class we wonвЂ™t be working in three-dimensional house anymore, weвЂ™ll initiate with 3+1 spaceвЂќ and вЂњIf something travels faster than light, then your cause will happen after you effectвЂќ and my ultimate favorite, вЂњHereвЂ™s how to make a black hole.вЂќ
It is been six lessons, and I now know what it usually means to have oneвЂ™s breath taken absent, to literally have the air stolen from my lungs by some magnificent invisible pressure. For two-and-a-half hours every seven days, I enter a world where boredom has no time to invade, where math is the only language, and theory the only absolute. A person class a week to grasp knowledge I did not know existed, to learn that what I thought was impossible could be.
The seat I was forced to take that earliest working day has ever since been my greatest blessing. From all four corners I am constantly saturated by brilliance. Angular people lopsidedly focused on the particular subject, speaking with fluency in that one particular subject. Vulcan at his forge. A distinctive pride arises when I realize I can call these my peers. A distinctive pride using an attached humility. Feeling minor is mostly a boon when I see all the room I will have to grow.
During breaks, I listen to HaynвЂ™s off-topic trivia about anti-matter additionally, the like. The impact of his abridged soda-machine-time lectures is staggering. Instead of unproductively staring at walls on my subway ride home, I reread the notes from the working day, redrawing some diagrams, reliving the class. In doing so, not only do I see the facts but I also comprehend their truth. Thinking is often a gerund often spoken of but rarely done. Thought is the effect of my Saturday morning venture. Thought-the actual stimulation of new ideas and questions influenced by logic. Startling myself with what I know what I can know, and what I choose to know.
I crave this in college and in life.
About a right of passage …
вЂњIf I cooked you, IвЂ™d be able to survive on your meat for over a thirty day period.вЂќ This was not the welcome I had expected on my earliest working day on the British School in Phuket, Thailand. I wondered if my fellow students below would be as kind as they had been in America or would they be rude and brash, as this insult implied? Would the curriculum be an academic challenge or an intellectual breeze? I had no idea what to expect.
At ten years old, I was 4вЂ™11вЂќ and weighed 185 pounds. As Dreem (this was his name) spoke his offensive words, he smirked. Almost instinctively, something snapped inside me and, although aggressiveness is not really a single of my traits, I rushed him and knocked him to the floor. I think he got my point.
Dreem did not take a look like other Thai kids. Even when he appeared to be Caucasian, his insult implied that English was not his to begin with language. However, with his lightly colored skin and golden blonde curls, he certainly didnвЂ™t look and feel Thai. As October arrived, DreemвЂ™s unique traits began to intrigue me and I wanted to know even more about him. Whether he was eating by himself while in the boisterous refectory or sitting inside of the corner within the library silently doing do the trick, he was always alone. I assumed he didnвЂ™t have various friends as a result of of his personality, but I decided to give him a second chance.
A particular particularly humid working day, I approached him, choosing to ignore the possibility of harassment. He was sitting underneath a sala (a type of Thai hut), fiddling using a cell phone, when I interrupted him. That earliest chat was brief, nevertheless it planted the seeds for our budding friendship. We then sat next to every other in lessons, ate lunch together from the refectory, and did homework together. We had become awesome friends. From bowling to jet skiing, we did it all together and had been inseparable, very a turnaround from that very first assault on my weight.
After a calendar year in Thailand, my family moved again to the U.S. I kept in touch with Dreem by weekly emails and occasionally caught him on the net with MSN Messenger. Dreem lived on Patong Beach, a person for the hardest hit areas with the tragic 2004 tsunami. He didnвЂ™t survive. His house was flattened. I was crushed. I had never lost somebody that close to me.
DreemвЂ™s death dramatically changed my life. I began thinking that life was too short and it would be a waste to do things I didn’t really wish to do. Before Dreem, I never really devoted myself to working hard, but since his passing I now focus on whatвЂ™s important and I hate leaving job unfinished. I need to be successful, not only for myself but also for Dreem. After I reflected on what happened to him, I realized that he never had the chance to do what he wanted in his life-to live and just вЂњbe.вЂќ
His memory burns in me and fuels my passion for life. My once short, stout frame has now grown to six feet tall and my then 185 pounds are now 170. I often wonder what Dreem would be like today. Where would he be? What would he appearance like? What would he be doing? IвЂ™ll never know these answers, but IвЂ™ll also never forget my friend whose name defines my method to life.
An unusual destination of contentment …
Believe it or not, the old phrase, вЂњA womanвЂ™s location is on the homeвЂќ is even now alive and properly with the scientific community, because the dramatic gender-bias study published last September with the Proceedings on the National Academy in the Sciences shows. Today, it is вЂњA womanвЂ™s put shouldn’t be on the lab.вЂќ The path I have taken over the past four years has proven to me that women is often just as comfortable in STEM careers as they had been 75 years ago as housewives. My put – where I believe most content – is definitely with the lab.
I function as a research assistant on the Department of NeurosurgeryвЂ™s lab at Penn StateвЂ™s Hershey Medical Center. I obtained this coveted position as a substantial school student, only through dogged persistence. Neurosurgery is just one belonging to the most competitive fields of medicine and proving to the team of world-class researchers that I could contribute to their complex, meaningful studies was no minor feat. I spent my first of all summer absorbing info and directly applying it to my diverse list of assigned tasks, aiming for mastery and efficiency. Since then, I have devoted the bulk of my life to research. Over the past two summers, I have spent roughly fifty hours a week inside lab. During the school calendar year, I try to squeeze in as a lot lab time as I can. Ten hours a week is about all I can manage, but I appreciate the outstanding of your time I can spend working with my colleagues. Scarfing down snacks during the 30-minute commute has become a ritual I fondly associate with my anticipation of learning and productivity there.
My get the job done focuses on animal research, immunohistochemistry, and biochemical studies involving amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ALS is usually a disease for which there isn’t a up-to-date effective treatment or cure. Research is critical in offering alternatives for patients who have very few methods for a significant premium of life. My mentor, Dr. Amanda Snyder, has taught me far over lab technique and critical analysis skills. She has instilled in me the importance of being tenacious, inventive, and passionate about researching this sort of a debilitating disease. Dr. Snyder also demonstrates the importance of comparative studies. As a scientist, she is committed to meaningful, humane animal research. Through her example, I have become an active proponent of responsible animal studies, a topic I advocated in a very TEDx Youth talk I presented during my junior 12 months. Moreover to providing a system for activism, my lab position has also enabled me to shadow leading ALS specialists, who have further inspired me to follow in their path. Most importantly, though, my lab get the job done will allow me to meet ALS patients who could very well someday benefit from our clinical trials. These patients are the reason I dedicate my summers and free of cost time to seemingly tedious duties and constant commuting.
Receiving my monogrammed white lab coat was a rite of passage for me. It represented the confirmation that IвЂ™ve entered a world where I can scrupulously investigate the delicate intricacies from the brain and nervous strategy. It is a world where I witness firsthand the transformation of raw ideas, that had been once a mere hybrid of curiosity and prior knowledge, into pending solutions for your tribulations that plague humanity. Eight researchers in my lab are female. These intelligent, passionate women are beacons of achievement in their respective fields. Their example both of those challenges and humbles me. They invest in my scientific long term through every moment they spend with me. I hope that someday IвЂ™m able to repay that investment by further proving the point that women belong in laboratories and scientific institutions, where they can excel. I would like to banish, once and for all, the misguided mindsets about where a womanвЂ™s вЂњplaceвЂќ should be. While in the meantime, IвЂ™ll be within the lab.
I hope that these four examples will help you see some ways to express yourself within your Basic Software essay. I’ll leave you using a piece of advice that may be specifically valuable to me over the years. It’s about how to come up with decent ideas about which to put in writing. “To understand the invisible, appear close in the visible.”
There are myriad topics inside of your world … right beneath your nose. Use them!
Be sure to check out all my admissions-related articles on College Confidential .
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