Inception at the Precipice

by Rod Thomas
(Lake Forest, California)

Question: I absolutely found your sight a "God Send."

I recently gave a PowerPoint presentation on a unique topic in Christianity that has of late generated a lot of interest. My presentation was well received to such an extent that I was inspired to put it into book form. I've never ever considered writing a book in my life, humorously having the customary belief that there are more writers than readers in the world (of course I don't actually believe that...). Any who, my question is: I currently have my research engine running at "full speed ahead;" I have my baseline material from the PowerPoint presentation simmering on the back burner; and I have a solid theme hanging in the back of my mind for my work. I just don't know if I should venture into writing the full blown book before I start inquiring into the feasibility of getting it published. I've given myself a 1-year timeframe in which to complete my work. Is any of this making sense? Is 1-year too ambitious? I do work a full-time management job. Consequently, how much time each night is reasonable for serious writers to spend on their work?Your thoughts on any or all of these issue?

Best Regards.

Answer: It's certainly true that there are a lot of people who want to write religious books, which doesn't make it an easy field to break into.

Before you write the book, you should probably focus on putting together a proposal
that you can submit to agents or religious publishers. That's standard practice these days. You may have enough research already to write a proposal in a reasonably short time.

If your proposal is rejected by all and sundry, you will have saved yourself a lot of work. Some agents may also give you feedback on how to improve your concept for the book (but don't ever pay for such advice).

If a publisher offers to buy the book based on the proposal, they will likely give you a time frame in which to complete a draft. Most new writers have day jobs, so the timeframe should be reasonable - and you can negotiate.

You should read some books on proposal writing (I mention a couple on this site).

You might also check out Michael Hyatt's blog. Michael runs Thomas Nelson, the biggest Christian publisher in the world. Among other things, he has a list of agents who represent Christian authors. The web address is...

He also has a good page of advice for first time writers...

One final thought, your chances of selling your book are much higher if you have a platform. By that, I mean a large following of people who are likely to buy the book. If you regularly do big presentations or have a large number of readers, you will appeal more to publishers. After all, you can sell your book to your audience at presentations, market on your blog, etc.

Best of luck

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