Want to publish a book? Do this first.

When most people think about publishing a book, they think about getting an agent, or submitting a proposal, or figuring out self-publishing (or what’s also known as indie-publishing). But before you get there, in fact to HELP you get there, you have to get great at sharing your message.

It may sound silly, or too simple, but to succeed with publishing you have to actually share your message. And that can be scary!

I remember the first paying article I ever turned in to an editor. It was actually on paper, and as I handed it over to the editor, my hands were shaking so badly that the paper rattled. The article wasn’t personal; it was an assigned piece. I don’t remember the topic, but I do remember the feeling of being vulnerable and putting my words and myself out there for someone else to edit, critique and comment on.

Over time, after writing and turning in literally millions of words, it became easier to put myself out there. The topics became more personal, more meaningful to me, and more impactful to my readers. And when I published my third book, Get Personal: The Importance of Sharing Your Faith Story, the content was completely personal. I believe that’s why it resonates with people to the point that I’ve had some tell me, “I feel like you wrote this just for me!” And that’s the point! I want people to feel what I’m writing and take action on the message. When that happens, it’s worth every bit of discomfort or fear I ever had about sharing my message!

Was I worried about putting my heart out there for the world to read. You bet! But action builds confidence and at the same time public practice builds your skill and your audience.

So as you’re thinking about writing a book, practice putting yourself out there by sharing your authentic message—the thing that matters most to you. You can do that in your blog, in articles for local magazines, by contributing to other people’s blogs or to larger blogging or online news platforms. However you choose to share your message, your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to write, publish, and repeat!  Write, publish, and repeat!

Put yourself—your real self—out there. I promise that, if you’re feeling nervous about sharing your writing, the practice will help build your confidence. And bonus, if your message is focused and engages the reader’s heart, all that practice will help you build a strong author platform.

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