I’m excited to introduce today’s guest contributor. Candice Coppola is a business owner, wedding planner and designer, a small business coach / mentor, and a published author(!) of The White Dress: In Color. You may be familiar with her event planning and design companies, Jubilee Events and Jubilee Events: Caribbean. You can also find her dishing out business know-how at CandiceCoppola.com. I’ve invited Candice to shed light on what it’s like to write and publish a book.
Writing a book is on the bucket list of many entrepreneurs in the wedding industry. Being a published author was definitely something I wanted to achieve long before I became a wedding planner (… the dream started when I was in college and thought I would become a writer!).
If you’re interested in publishing a book— it’s likely you’re unsure where to start. My co-authors and I were in the same boat when we conceptualized the idea of The White Dress in Color — Inspirations for the Modern Bride. The thought of having your work published can seem insurmountable and in truth, it isn’t very easy. Getting your book published with a publishing house is a lot of work, and requires a clear vision, dedication to the project and often times a little social “grease” to get you in the door. Here are 3 things you should know about getting a book published:
1. You’ll Likely Need an “In”.
That age old saying “it’s all in who you know” rings true when you want to get your book published. Publishing houses receive thousands of pitches a month from aspiring authors who want to write books— and standing out from other manuscripts in the “slush pile” isn’t easy. Often times, your manuscript doesn’t even make it to a decision makers desk.
The easiest way to get noticed is to get introduced. If you have a friend, family member or even acquaintance who has had their work published by a publisher— ask for an introduction! They may require that you provide them a full proposal (much like a business plan— but for your book) outlining your topic and why you’re qualified to write about it. An introduction can do WONDERS for getting in front of the right people— and it is the reason why we were able to get a sit-down meeting with our publisher, Schiffer. A friend of ours had published a book, gave us advice on our pitch, and did us the enormous favor of making the connection.
2. Books Don’t Make You Money…. Directly.
Unfortunately, I am not printing money after the release of our book. Don’t expect your book sales to become a huge revenue stream— or to get a book advance. It just doesn’t happen that often (unless your someone like Elizabeth Gilbert, of course). And while you might only make “lipstick money” (you know— enough money to buy an expensive new shade of lipstick at the MAC counter!) on the sales of your book, you WILL increase your exposure. Publishing a book has led directly to booking clients and it elevated me into a category of expert. It becomes a business card that stands out from the rest— and can lead to tremendous opportunities for you and your business.
3. It Takes a Lot Longer Than You Think.
In the digital age, we’re accustom to producing things rather quickly— and in turn we also expect things to be done timely. You could likely turn around a digital E-book over the course of a very productive weekend! The same can’t be said when working with a publisher; books take A LOT of time. Expect the process to take over a year— or more! My second book is scheduled to be released by the end of this year and work began on this project in 2015. Yes, it’s taken two years (and a few revisions to the concept during that timeframe). Between writing the content, producing the images, coding (yes, coding!) your manuscript and the changes and suggestions requested by your publisher— it does take a long time. Plus, there is often several months after submission where you may not hear anything; this is the time when your publishing house is reviewing your material and prepping your book.
If you’re interested in publishing a book, you want to start the process sooner rather than later. Get out there and get going— and remember — it’s never too late to start! To get you started, I wanted to share the original pitch file that we sent our publisher, Schiffer Publishing, when we first made contact with them. You can follow this link to download the PDF.
Candice’s first business, Jubilee Events, started out on a whim: she had a desire to plan and design beautiful events, but had no formal training in event planning or the business of weddings. Somehow, some way, she developed an intuitive knack for both and in turn, learned a lot during the journey to where she is today.
Candice is passionate about the experience she provides her clients, and has a love affair with designing gorgeous event spaces that her couples and their guests will always remember. She’s equally passionate about motivating, teaching, and helping other small businesses in this industry succeed. The wedding industry has grown so much over the past 10 years since she started, and with that growth comes a lot of competition!
Candice’s work and voice can be seen in many publications, but most recently and most notably in the inspirational coffee table book she co-authored entitled, The White Dress: In Color — Inspirations for the Modern Bride. Her second book is due to be released later this year.
Her favorite color is pink, there isn’t a ruffle she doesn’t love, she’s always over dressed, and she eloped and now lives in beautiful Barbados!
Candice’s Work has been Featured in Brides, Elle Decor, Martha Stewart Weddings, People Magazine, Glamour Magazine, Inside Weddings, The Knot, and Style Me Pretty.