May 27, 2009

The Book I Didn't Know I'd Already Written By ChaChanna Simpson | printable version

I didn't set out to write a book.

When I started my business, Twentity.com, it was more of a hobby. It was just a website to help recent college graduates make the transition from college into the real world. As time passed (years, actually), I realized I really wanted to develop this as a business and started treating it as such. I started brainstorming ideas on how I could market my business. That led me to start speaking to get the word out. And while I got a few gigs here and there, I wasn't really getting any attention. While doing research on speaking and how to get more gigs, I read that in order for people to pay attention, you have to become an expert. And nothing says expert like having a book with your name on it.

By now I'm thinking that having my own business is a lot more work than I thought. I'd already put myself out there by speaking, but now I have to write a book? What did I possibly have to say that someone might want to read for any length of time? I did have experience writing. I'd written articles for the website. And, I've tried my hand at fiction writing and that hadn't panned out. But writing a non-fiction book, I guess. But what was I going to write about, I thought. I literally racked my brain for months. I finally realized that I already had the book written, somewhat. The articles I had been writing over the years for my website are what I could use. How could I have been so stupid? Don't answer that.

But I couldn't just take all my articles and throw them together and call it a book. I mean, I could've but that would've been the easy way out. No, I went through all of them and looked to see what would make sense for a how-to book. I grouped similar themes together and then created an outline that made sense. I revised some articles so the information would be up-to-date and had to write other sections that were missing.

Finally, Life After College: What Your Parents and Professors Never Taught You was born. In total, it took me a whole year and two months from idea to finished product. And, now that the book was finished I had to figure out how to get the thing in bound form. I had already decided that I was going to do self-publishing because I barely had enough patience waiting for myself to finish writing. It would kill me to have to wait another year or so for it to be published.

So, I set out to compare different print on demand companies. And through my research, I decided to go with Booklocker.com. Well, actually, they decided to go with me. Because they actually screen manuscripts before they make a decision. They don't okay everything sent by anyone. I like that. I also liked that fact that, when I went to their site, they were actually promoting their author's books and not their services.

Finally my book is out and I'm out promoting it and have the distinguished pleasure of saying, "I wrote a book." People want to work with me, and are interested in having me speak at their events. And, I didn't have to start my book from scratch, I looked at what I already had.

ChaChanna Simpson is the author of Life After College: What Your Parents and Professors Never Taught You, a no nonsense guide that covers diverse topics such as moving back home, money management, job etiquette and more. She is also the editor and publisher of Twentity.com, a website dedicated to helping college grads adjust to life after college.

 




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