My journey in writing The Little Book of Sewing began in a cafe, over a coffee. A friend suggested I write a book and introduced me to an editor. It was just before Christmas 2017. The meeting went well and I was invited to pull together a full proposal over the festive period.
I took my time, thinking carefully about theme and structure. If you’re writing a book to be published, you alway want to think about your USP (unique selling point) in the marketplace.
I have never been interested in drafting patterns, so that couldn’t be my schtick. BUT I knew I could write strong narrative and hoped I had natural empathy with the emotional sphere of sewing. So that became my USP – seven chapters gathered around the emotions of sewing. The book covers:
- Self Love
- Body Image
- Mental Health
- The Highs And Lows
As the world turned away from apps to encourage mindfulness, as readers fell back in love with the physical book, and whilst I thought back over my own sewing journey, I knew I’d found a great story we could all share.
Now, all I had to do was write the book – with Ella’s help, of course.
Most non fiction books are commissioned on the back of a proposal and sample text. You don’t have to write the full book without a contract – unlike many debut novelists who can often slave over 100,000+ words in the hope of being published. Writing fiction and non fiction are two extremely different disciplines.
I agreed with my editor, Ellen, that I would deliver a chapter a month of the book, to keep us on course. This was a game changer – I was answerable to someone other than myself. I wrote the book over weeks at my desk, in cafes around the country, on trains, in tea shops, from my bed and …
… I met my deadline – yay! (If you’re ever offered a book contract, please meet your deadlines.)
Publishing is all slow … slow … quick, quick, quick! Things started happening. Cover treatments, inside illustrations, page design, copyediting, proofreading… And before I knew it, Ellen was asking me for a dedication – let me know if you spot the reference. 😉 The book was going to press. No more chance to make changes. Scary!
Soon after, advance copies were delivered. I opened them with trembling hands, but was utterly delighted with what I saw.
I’m so proud of what myself and Head of Zeus have created with The Little Book of Sewing. But writing the book was only one stage on the journey. In the meantime, something else had been happening behind the scenes. And that’s a whole other story for a whole other day…
Are you interested in writing a sewing book proposal, too? Then, here is your own FREE guide to Bagging A Book Deal!