Monday, December 10, 2012

Writing the Christian Nonfiction Book: Concept to Contract by David E. Fessenden

Having been a Christian bookseller for over thirty years, I've sold thousands of books. I've probably read thousands of books. And like most avid readers, I've even thought about writing a book. But writing a nonfiction book is a daunting task.
And I know the chances of getting a book published by a recognized publisher (not self publishing it) is practically nil, even if the manuscript is very good. Many people are doing the self-published ebook thing, just because of the book publishing difficulty.
Fessenden has written this book to help people like me in the process of research, writing, and publishing. This book is an overall survey of writing and getting that writing published.
He gives the eight step process from brainstorming to getting the contract. While he gives a suggested order of doing these tasks, he does note that they can be done in any order and that they frequently overlap.
An example of the good advice Fessenden gives is that on “The Dreaded Outline.” He writes, “I'm here to tell you that our English teachers were just plain wrong.” (48) He suggests a three-fold process, a writing plan, instead: create a purpose statement, identify your genre, establish chapter divisions.
Here is another tip. I would have thought that writing the book was done before writing the query letter. “It sounds logical,” Fessenden writes, “but it's a process doomed to failure.” (73)
Here's another. Before you write your first book, hone your skills on magazine articles. He shows you how that helps you break into the publishing market.
He has practical information in the book too, such as giving proper credit to quoted authors, when you need to ask permission to quote, etc. He even advises you on how to write the query letter. He tells you what to do and what to expect at a writers' conference, and all about agents.

Do you want to write a book and get it published? I mean published by a company that actually prints books and sends them to booksellers?
All the information you need to get your book published is in this book.

Get this book and get to work. Let me know when your book is in print. I'd be happy to blog a review!

So, who is David E. Fessenden that he can write a book about getting your manuscript published? He is the senior editor/acquisitions for CLC Publications. He has a B.A. In journalism and an M.A. In religion. He has over twenty five years of experience in writing and editing. He was on the staff of Christian Publications, Inc., for twelve years, the majority of the time as managing editor. Prior to that he was on the communications staff at Elim Bible Institute and was editor of a regional edition of the largest Protestant weekly newspaper in the country.
He has published four books, produced study guides for two of A. W. Tozer's books, written hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles, and edited numerous books. He was a regular columnist for Cross & Quill, a Christian writer's newsletter, and a frequent speaker at writer's conferences.
He and his wife live in the Philadelphia area.
Visit his blog:

Sonfire Media, 188 pages.

Buy this book at Amazon.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

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