A Behind the Scenes Look at Writing My Book
Since I announced my new book last week, I have had so many questions. The most common question is “How long does it take to write a book?”.
Today I am going to try to answer all of your questions about my book, A Home to Share, the writing journey, and more. I cannot even begin to tell you how great it is to be able to finally share my book-writing journey.
My new book, A Home to Share, is available for Pre-order now! Click here for more details!
My First Thoughts
The first thing I wanted to do was thank you for all of your incredible support! Writing a book is a huge undertaking and there are a lot of nervous thoughts that happen along the way.
So many of you have left messages on my blog and Instagram that you thought I should write a book. I took all of these thoughts to heart and made the plunge early last year by finding an agent and publisher. It was so wonderful that while I was writing the book you were still telling me to write a book!
Why Did You Decide to Write a Book?
This is such a great question and yet it is really hard to answer. That is because there are so many reasons!
The biggest reason is that so many of you asked, suggested, encouraged, and told me I really needed to write a book. I had been thinking about it but I was a bit afraid of the time and effort it would take. But I was intrigued and really wanted to be able to share my ideas with a much wider audience who were looking for creative and affordable ideas for their home.
In many ways, my whole life has been a lead-up to the writing of this book. I’ve raised three children and entertained hundreds, if not thousands of people, from sprawling backyard weddings to intimate dinner parties. My purpose in sharing my home, whether with friends and family, or on social media, is to encourage others to design interiors where family and guests love to linger. After all, what is a home if not a place to gather and create memories?
How Long Does it Take to Write a Book?
I think the best way to answer this is to first tell you how long it took from the point I found my agent to when the book will be released.
The answer is almost two years.
When I signed with my agent, she helped me put together the 40-page book pitch. This took a few months to create. Then my agent pitched it to some publishers and we picked Abrams Books. Next came the legal stuff, and then we had an all-hands call and talked about the timeline.
I was given six months to write the book. Then it was estimated it would take a year to edit, print, ship, and promote the book. We have been exactly on time for every deadline and ironically, I turned in the manuscript on September 27, 2021, and it will be released on September 27, 2022.
How Did You Find a Publisher for Your Book?
I didn’t find a publisher, my agent did. It’s important to know that most publishers do not accept submissions from authors. In most cases, you have to have an agent.
So how did I find my agent? A few friends who had already written some books gave me recommendations. But the agent I found was someone I found online and reached out to with a blind email. She was already representing some amazing authors (Half Baked Harvest and Ayesha Curry) and I was thrilled when she agreed to sign me.
What is the Book About?
A Home to Share is all about the spirit of welcome: It is a guide to giving new life to underused spaces, and to bringing cozy, truly livable decor to every room of the house—including outdoor rooms to extend home space in temperate weather. It’s also about creating a home that welcomes your family and friends, creating gatherings throughout your home, indoors and out, and some new amazing DIYs!
Is the Book Different From What’s Already on Your Blog?
Yes! We had fourteen photo shoots with a professional photography duo, Natashia, and Shauna from Public 311 Design. They are a mother-daughter team who works to produce photoshoots for interior designers and lifestyle brands! They are both amazing and not only are the photos better than I ever imagined but we laughed and had so much fun at every photo shoot.
Every photo in the book is new! The ideas are also new and I know you are going to love this book!
Should I Order the Book Now or Wait Until it Comes Out in September?
Most of you may not know that pre-ordering a book is really important! Pre-orders are an indication to booksellers that the book is popular so if you haven’t ordered your book, please order it here! This will help me a lot!
What Process Did You Use to Write the Book?
Considering this was the first book I had ever written, it was a bit of the blind leading the blind. I had an outline for the book and that was the guide that was used to manage the content for the book. My best friend and work partner Maryliz and I put the outlines on big sheets of Post-It Note paper and hung them on the wall in our office.
Next came more extensive outlines, shot lists for the photo shoots, and lots and lots of writing. The chapters were not written in order, which is a good thing because we switched the chapters and format many times while writing the book.
I also had multiple deadlines from my publisher. There were three major deadlines that represented content for one-third of the book each time. We met every deadline and surprisingly I don’t think that is the norm!
Throughout the entire process, there was a lot of time focused on editing the chapters. Writing a blog is different from writing a book and some of the words and expressions (such as I love!) are not appropriate for a book. We went through the book with a fine tooth comb and reread it over and over again. But this kind of detail is really important!
What Was the Hardest Part About Writing a Book?
This is the easiest question to answer.
During the six months we were planning, writing, and editing the book, we were also working on the blog full-time and generating content seven days a week. My full-time blogging job is actually more than a 40-hour work week. Adding another full-time secret job on top of that was hard. I think I wanted you all to know how hard I was working (which is kind of dumb) and that obviously wasn’t an option.
Now that the book is written, printed, and on its way here, I cannot wait to receive my copy! And just so you know, I am so proud of A Home to Share and I cannot wait for you all to read it.
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This is a very fun show as I shared lots of items you will see in my book!
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I am so happy for you. I can’t wait to receive my book. It will also be a great Christmas gift. I don’t know how you could decide on what to put in the book with all your ideas you have. Can’t wait for Volume II. You are amazing!
Yay I’m so excited!
thank you for sharing and looking for more and your book–it has been a wonderful, fun journey to be part of you sharing your life, home, blog, and now a book–loving it–keep it going! So Inspiring!
I am so excited, thank you for your kind words!
So excited for the book ! September can’t come fast enough ❤️
I don’t know how you managed even with help to do all the blogging and posting and stories and write a book plus be a regular person who is a wife and mom and friend ! Not to mention adding the beach house remodel to the list !
No wonder you wanted everyone to know how hard you we’re working behind the scenes ! You were already working hard right in front of everyone!
Job well done 💪🏻 ❤️
Thank you so much Erin! You are so kind.
Looking forward to receiving my copy.
I’m so excited to read your book, Leslie. I get so much inspiration from you. I would love to share this tomorrow on my Saltwater Sounds so everyone gets a chance to look at your behind-the-scenes!
Oh thank you so much Kim! I would really appreciate that!
It is a labor of love! I know it will be awesome!
Thanks for the behind the scenes. It must have really been a labor of love to work that hard for that long. And secretly too! It’s SO fabulous – I can’t wait! ♥
It really was! Thanks so much, me neither!
I have ordered the book and can’t wait to celebrate it’s arrival with you! How exciting to actually put into a beautiful book all of the experience, beauty and excitement you have to share with all of us. Celebrating with you!!
Oh thank you so much! You are the best. I can’t wait!