How I wrote my first book as a new author
A Glimpse of what it's about
Andrea Claassen is an Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor, RYT 500 hour yoga teacher and Wild Woman Circle leader who has been in the wellness space since 2007. Her mission is to help people slow down, tune in, and connect with themselves again. Her favorite place to be is wandering through the woods with her family. Connect with Andrea on her website at www.andreaclaassen.com or on IG @seasonallivingmamas
My Step 1
I hired a book coach. The Fall of 2019 I signed up for a cyclical creativity workshop with Eleanor from Folk & Field.
I would not have been able to do this without her. I had no idea on what I was doing, how to write a book, or the steps I should take. I met with Eleanor once a month for 16 months. We discussed my book I held myself accountable to her and she kept me focused on what I wanted to achieve in writing this book. Trust me I had a few I don't think I can do this moments.
I booked a stay at a hermitage in a remote cabin on a resort that brought meals to your door. This cabin was literally in the middle of the woods in January in Minnesota. So needless to say it was cold out, not much to do and no distractions besides my own mind to have me lose focus.
I brought all of my research, books, notes and notebook to start my work. I hand wrote my first copy. I had no internet at this cabin so my laptop was useless and decided my flow worked best pen to paper. I completed 3 of the 4 seasons at this cabin. I already had my outline done and knew what practices I wanted to put in each season so that wasn't going to be an issue for me. I just needed to expand on the practices.
When I got home it took me another 6 weeks to complete the project. I put it off and decided I didn't know if my book was good enough. I think I told Eleanor maybe this isn't for me. I was scared and had major imposter syndrome. Who am I to write this and do this work. Everyone will see it, I'm not good enough.. All of the stories reared their ugly heads.
Thankfully Eleanor pushed me gently to finish the book and see what I thought once I finish the writing. So I did. I also still was unsure is this for me or not.. Can I put this out into peoples hands. I feel my soul is showing. Even though its a nonfiction book it's still scary to share and think of the judgement of she's only been in the wellness space for 14 years, she just started studying Ayurveda and the seasons 7 years ago. All of the stories came back. Once more I had to push them aside and really sit with them.
I have actually been practicing seasonal living my entire life. I grew up on a farm and was introduced to that way of living. My dad is a farmer and works with the seasons. It is something I innately know and now have practices to help embody those changes. How to keep the mind, body & soul happy with the shift in seasons. Things I would have loved to know growing up.
Editing was the part I was least looking forwards to. I hate to edit and proofread my work. I also was scared stiffless to hand over my book to an editor the first person who was reading my work. I know I've been blogging for 9 years weekly but this felt different. Thankfully I had 100 editors who submitted to me they wanted to be my editor. Which meant I read through a ton of proposals which also helped me see when doing a giant project like this how to and not to respond to prospective clients..
I ultimately landed with Kim Carr. I had an initial call with her I liked her willingness to work with first time authors and she really helped me understand her process and how editors work. She said she really enjoyed the book and was looking forward to the final copy. That helped me let out a huge exhale. Knowing she didn't think it was total garbage. Again writing a book is majorly intimidating and a scary thing for me.
Next I had to pick a book cover and have someone format the book. Originally I was going to try and use Adobe In-design but one look around I knew it would take me years to complete the intake on how to use the platform. I voiced my concern and Eleanor was willing and able to do that for me. She also designed the cover to the book. I'm beyond grateful as she knew what my book was about and knew the vibe I wanted. She nailed the cover art the first batch of images she shared with me.
Publishing & What platform to sell from?
Who was going to publish my book was the next problem I had to try & solve. I had a few local companies I reached out to and a few online publishing options. Ultimately I went with an online publishing option as it was the cheapest process for me. I also didn't realize taking into account all of the money I'm spending on the process how much I need to book to be to make money vs losing money on writing & publishing a book.
The next question is what platform do you sell the product from? Amazon, Shopify, E-commerce, etc. I picked Shopify as Amazon takes out quite a bit for fees again making the author make not very much money. Not the reason I wrote a book but also didn't want to end up in a huge hole. Which as you can see from the book writing process it is a lot of money spent creating the book. I'm not doing it to become a New York Times best seller. Amazon seemed like the least attractive option for me in that regards.
This is probably the other hard part for me. Sharing that I wrote a book. I'm beyond excited but also nervous. As an avid reader myself I don't want to disappoint the readers but also know this book will help so many people. It's practices I give to clients in one easy to access book.
I have created 3 tiers to my promotion
- If you purchase by Sept. 23rd you get to join the 10 Day Slow Down, Tune In Challenge & Ayurvedic guide & live Q & A session & class.
- If you purchase by Oct. 23rd you get the Winter Ayurvedic Guide & live Q & A session & class.
- If you purchase by Nov. 23rd you get a live online Q & A and restorative yoga class.