Our Publishing Journey: From Dorms to Diapers

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We met back in the early 1990s—Rebecca an impressionable freshman in college, Joy the older and wiser resident assistant. Little did we know that several years, boyfriends, and trips around the world later, we’d be emailing each other back and forth about . . . diapers.
joy-and-rebecca
Us in 2007

“What’s the difference between a prefold and a pocket diaper?” “How do you wash your diapers?” “Have you tried making your own baby food?” After months of stimulating conversation on these and other life-and-death topics, Joy had the inspired idea to put our new-found knowledge into a book. Early in 2007, we drafted our first book proposal. Convinced of its brilliance, we immediately sent it off to a few major publishing houses.

Nothing happened. We heard a few encouraging responses, and a few not-so-encouraging responses. One publisher suggested we write up our ideas in a magazine article—they didn’t think we had enough to say on the topic of eco-babies to write an entire book. (This is the number one reason most non-fiction book proposals are rejected.) Finally we stumbled upon Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody Can Write: How to Get a Contract and Advance Before Writing Your Book by Elizabeth Lyon. Parts of it are now a bit dated, but the information on its pages are invaluable! She clued us in to the idea that we needed to get an agent rather than submit directly to publishers.
nonfiction book proposals anybody can write
Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody Can Write led us to publication!

I’ll skip the boring stuff about us writing, writing, writing, revising, revising, revising that proposal and sending it off to agent after agent. We found a wonderful agent in 2008, and she gave us the advice we wish we’d gotten much earlier: Build a platform! We needed to find ourselves an audience for our book before she could sell the idea to publishers. And thus, greenbabyguide.com was born!

She sold the book to Stewart, Tabori, & Chang in the summer of 2008, and they planned to publish it in March of 2010. “2010!” we exclaimed. It seemed like a date in the far and distant future, light years from the days we used to sit in our dorm rooms, dreaming of being writers.

But that day is finally here. We have a blog. We have a book. We are writers!

Comments

  1. You ladies ROCK! 🙂

  2. Carol Kelley says:

    Rebecca published a paper which included weather, movie reviews and a cartoon in grade school. I knew she was destined for greatness then. The book is great.

  3. Thought I would share my review of your book with you girls. IT WAS GREAT!

    http://bugro2.blogspot.com/2010/03/its-green-giveaway-people.html

  4. Super green..Go Green.Good luck!/Thanks for the review Kara

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