This episode is dedicated completely to the art and science of book publishing. Or, at least, Tsh and Emily’s 5% of total knowledge they have on the subject. But you all have asked them lots of questions about the topic, so they thought it’d be fun to dedicate a podcast on the subject.

Tsh's book

Tsh’s books are Organized Simplicity and One Bite at a Time, and she’s got a new one coming out early 2014 with Thomas Nelson called Notes from a Blue Bike.

emily's book

Emily’s books are Grace for the Good Girl and Graceful, and newest book will be available later this year, called A Million Little Ways.

Emily’s first conference about writing was She Speaks.

How to write a book proposal, by Michael Hyatt.

Emily wrote about the day networking died.

She’s also written other posts about traditional publishing.

Jeff Goins wrote about an alternative to self-promotion.

Tsh found the database she was thinking of—it’s called Agent Query.

And sadly, Jon Acuff doesn’t have his free e-book about writing a book on his anymore…

Emily also wrote about building a bench.

Caroline Starr-Rose left a great comment on Emily’s post, and quoted the lovely Katherine Paterson.

Emily likes Richella Parham.

Some blogs we recommend about the book writing and publishing process:

What question of yours didn’t they cover? Are you a published author with a drastically different experience than theirs?

Leave a Reply

38 comments on “Be a Good YOU (and Build a Bench)

  1. Am I the only person to comment? I loved this podcast! I find this kind of stuff fascinating because, (as you mentioned up front before the whole shebang started) I have long dreamed of publishing a book. Throughout my life I have had many opportunities starting from working in a Barnes & Noble for 3 years (barista first! Children’s lit second), working as an Instructor for a before and after school program for kids K-5 (where my curriculum was literature/craft heavy), graduated with an English/Creative Writing degree, I’ve kept a blog for almost 5 years, and I even won a spot in a Children’s Literature 8 week course online.
    And yet.
    I have never called myself a writer, and I believe in so many others and their work. It’s so hard to put yourself out there, especially in my market of choice, Children’s Literature, which seems to be THE most saturated area of book publishing.
    I feel like your podcast was sort of a blessing (and ANOTHER nudge in this direction) in disguise, as it explained some pretty necessary steps in an accessible manner.
    So, even though maybe some tuned out because they weren’t interested, please know I got so much joy listening to both of your stories, and a little urge to continue on, and be more brave.

  2. Love hearing that, Sarah. Glad to be just one more nudge in the journey for you!

  3. Oh, boy, did it make my day to listen to this podcast. To begin with, it’s such fun to listen to a conversation between two lovely women who are glad for you to listen. You don’t feel like a creeper; you feel like an honored guest, nodding your head and smiling and laughing along with them. Second, it’s wonderful to hear the voices of two women who have been there and done that in the world of book writing and publishing and who are willing to share their knowledge with others. Third, Emily Freeman said my name in front of God and everybody and proclaimed that I am wise. And Tsh Oxenreider included my name and a link to my blog in her program notes. Be still, my heart!

    Thank you, Tsh and Emily!

  4. I’m going to sound like a total gushing teenage fan girl here, and that’s okay. (You don’t mind, right!?)

    A friend introduced me to Emily’s blog and I’ve been so warmly invited to sit on her bench, as it were, Naturally, I’m digitally following where ever she goes! I happened to see the link to this podcast in my Twitter feed and thankfully have a job that often affords me the opportunity to plug in and listen to music, podcasts, and such during the day.

    Listening to your conversation has been beyond inspiring! I’m a budding writer (because it is still just too weird to call myself a normal “writer”!) and have really been wrestling with this question of what to do with my craft. I love writing, I’ve always done it, and I’ve found that my work does speak to people.

    What an encouragement to hear (from real, live writers!) that the heart behind writing a book, or even entering the publishing world, is organic authenticity.

    There’s this big ol’ grin on my face right now, just realizing that writers are really people just like me. Thanks so much for providing this amazing resource!

  5. Emily and Tsh,

    I appreciate you both taking time to create this podcast. “Resist the urge to compare your process with another person’s finished results.” Love this and need it most days like whoa. I’m so hard on myself and sometimes it can get really ugly, really fast.

    I came to listen because I’m waiting, because I’m just a girl with no certificates, who’s scared of semicolons, trying to be faithful to a calling God hasn’t even given me my whole life, because some days I’m trying not to exchange the writing life, a life I couldn’t trade if I tried, with something else.

    Maybe I’ll seriously regret asking this question out in the open but I’m going to ask it anyway: How the heck do you connect and engage with people through your blog?
    Maybe it’s just me. Maybe it’s because I actually know diddly.squat. Maybe I’m the last awkward person on the planet. I want to encourage and challenge and befriend. If it’s not translating, then I need to do something about it.

    P.S.: Emily, I rarely feel good about when I’m talking out loud either. It isn’t pretty.

    Thank you both!

  6. Thank you gals for all the great resources! I haven’t listened to the podcast in entirety yet (my two munchkins are currently “napping” ~read: squawking at each other from separate rooms with closed doors) but when I have a moment I will. I appreciate you sharing your experience!

  7. This is great Emily and Tsh. Thanks for putting up the podcast. Great information.

  8. Thanks for the mention! I’m about to clean the bathroom…and tune in. :)

  9. This podcast is perfect timing! I just returned from the Faith & Culture Writer’s Conference very inspired, but my head full of questions and insecurities. You’ve address all I was thinking in one hour…almost like you were talking directly to me. (Which, of course, means I guess I’m not the only one feeling inadequate.) Thanks for taking the time to record this.

  10. Thank you so much for doing this Emily and Tsh. I listened while taking my walk. I am so conflicted about all of this writing a book business. I actually wrote 100 pages and then scared myself to death and set it aside. I thought ahead to agents and proposals and felt lost. Your words have been so encouraging.
    My one (of so many) question is – does all you’ve talked about apply to fiction as well?

  11. Thanks for doing this one! I enjoyed listening and it made the chores fly by today.
    I’m curious if you know of any fiction writers who use a blog as a platform to promote their books. You mentioned a fiction writer who blogs about publishing, but do you know of a fiction writer who blogs about writing fiction or even shares fiction on their blog? Thank you!

    • That’s a great question – hoping someone can answer it for you 😉

      I remember at a conference once my agent saying the things she looks for in a non-fiction writer – all the platform stuff, stats, numbers, all of that.

      And then someone from the audience asked her, “Well what about a fiction writer? What do you look for in her?”

      And she said, “Oh. Well she just has to be able to tell a great story.”

      I know Mary DeMuth has published both fiction and non-fiction and sometimes shares about the process on her blog. But that’s different from what you’re asking here, I know.

      • Susan May Warren has a wonderful site for fiction writing, a community of writers, lots of different resources. Check her out: I love her books and then her notes at the end of the book give an insight into her writing process. This is Christian fiction without hammering doctrine or platitudes.

    • Holly Lisle.

  12. Tsh & Emily,
    Consider this my note in a time capsule. I will check back here when my first book is in my hands and I want to know the exact day I realized it really could happen. *Thank you.*

  13. i laughed in the beginning. i’m a doctor and yes, i have a lot of ‘certificates’ like diplomas and licenses i have to renew and such : ) But I didn’t turn off the podcast! Listened to the whole thing. I felt encouraged to keep writing and being true to who I am. Thanks!

    • I *knew* there would be a doctor listening and I would HATE myself for not being able to think of the words “diploma” and “license” !! Glad you didn’t turn us off.

  14. Made a mistake on typing my name in my reply. Couldn’t figure out how to edit it. The information below is correct! Sorry about that!

  15. “The sky is only the limit if you’re an airplane”
    Oh my word! I love this, and it’s so very relevant in my world right now. I’m not looking to write a book, or ever get published, but so much of what you were both saying spoke directly to where I am right now.
    A ginormous “Thank You!!”

  16. I enjoyed this podcast so much. I am new to the publishing world. I am finishing up and prepping for the editing process. It is so nice to feel you are included in the conversation, and not alone in the mess of the hundreds of steps we have to take to get ourselves out there. Thanks!

  17. Thank you for sharing your information and encouragement, I really appreciate it!

  18. Anisha Apr 17, 2013

    Hi Tch,

    First, I adore your podcasts and blog. I started listening to your podcast first randomly because I typed Mom into iTunes Podcast. :) Anyway, fun story. Somehow my iPod sped up without me noticing halfway through your podcast. Suddenly you and Emily were talking insanely fast, and I thought I was missing something. Are they having a Gilmore Girls speed talking competition?

    Eventually I figured it out :) thank you for your amazing work. You make my commute ten times better !

  19. Kristen Apr 17, 2013

    Tsh and Emily,
    Thank you so much for this podcast. I’ve read both of your books and enjoy your blogs so much! I feel God’s call to write about my journey through breast cancer as a young mother and your blogs helped give me the courage to start. I’m struggling with calling myself a writer and what that means. I trip out on the whole idea of publishing all the time and sometimes I want to give up. But your words about being a writer even if you never publish a book spoke to me. If my writing helps a few people in my inner circle or if it makes it into the hands of a larger audience, it still has value if it comes from a place of authenticity and a desire to serve. Thank you for being willing to share your knowledge.

  20. Emily and Tsh- Thank you for presenting such a complex topic in a personal, relatable, and humble way. Through each of your respective lenses we gain a deep understanding of the publishing process. Really. It’s helpful when published writers share openly. The links in the show notes are great, too.

  21. I have blogged for a long time doing the link-ups and twitter parties and giveaways and blog hops, etc, but I’m just now learning about myself that I’m more of (or want to be more of) a writer than a blogger. My goals seem completely different than my blog friends who I participate in these things with. So my question is, can you have a blog but with the purpose of being a writer without participating in all the bloggy things out there? Or are those things necessary? They take a lot of time, and I think distract from my writing. I spend more time managing a blog than writing. Plus I don’t really enjoy them. Your thoughts??

    • Brenda! I’m just now seeing this. My advice? Stop doing all of those bloggy things you hate. Stop doing them now.

      The great thing about blogging is you can make it what you want. Take a few months and do an experiment of writing content you care about – promote that content in the best way you can, allow it to represent you where you are right now, and forget about all the other stuff you hate. See how you feel after a few months of that.


  22. Hi Tsh and Emily,
    I just listened to this podcast and I wanted to say a big thank you. Something Emily said and joked about is how she is so much better at writing than speaking. It may have just been a passing comment, but it really struck a chord. It was so nice to hear that other people have this…other people that are successful, happy, normal, and witty. I have suspected other people are like this, but it is nice to hear someone say it aloud.

    I would not call it a debilating problem, but more a frustrating and embarrasing part of my personality. In college, for instance, I did an exchange semester in Washington DC and I spoke so little and so haultingly when I did that most of my classmates assumed I was a foreign exchange student. I grew up in IL!

    You both reminded me that it is not as big of a deal as I sometimes think it is. You are both obviously doing just fine. I think too that growing up (I turn 30-something this week) helps put it all in perspective too – meaning I have seen and said enough stupid things without the world ending.

    It was also affirming to hear you recommend to use a blog as a practice space for writing. I totally agree and will begin (again) to push myself to do just that. Thanks for the motivation.

    All the best,

  23. Oh wow! Thank you thank you thank you for this. I have been a loyal listener for a year now. Your podcast actually inspired me to jump in to my writing with both feet. This practical and lighthearted look at the writing “business” made it much less scary. I feel a little more prepared now!

    • Awesome! I’m so glad it was encouraging to you, Shannon. It’s easy to get lost and to feel like everyone else knows something you don’t.

      Glad this little podcast helped you to feel a little less alone in it all.

  24. Tsh, I’m only a few minutes into the podcast but wanted to tell you that I used to do that too… (look up agents, etc.) the book is the Writer’s Market. I want to be an editor, though, not a writer. 😉

  25. I’ve just recently started blogging, mainly because I love to write and love to encourage others. I’ve known from a young age that my heart will someday burst if I do not write and over the years I have released the pressure to some degree with private journals and lengthy emails to my children as an outlet. I’ve always used “my seasons” to defend my lack of writing. “This is my “mom season” or this is my “ministry season”.” Don’t get me wrong, I still believe whole heartedly that, “we can have it all, but we don’t have to have it all at once.” However, listening to you both and now following ‘In Courage’, I have come to see that my “seasons” could possibly be excuses in my own fear to write. I have no regrets mind you, as I believe God’s timing is perfect. But I am compelled to wonder if a writer’s voice is not to be heard in every season of their life and not just the season of writing?

    So for myself I thank you for sharing your humble beginnings and your heart for helping and encouraging other writers, you have increased my momentum. And for the young person, college student, stay-at-home mom and career minded women, I thank you, you have shown them that the voice they crave to write does not have to be a season, only God’s perfect timing.

    I will continue to follow, read, comment, learn and grow. You are friends for the writer’s heart, like coming home to a place I’ve never been. Thank you.

  26. Thank you for taking the time to discuss this topic in such detail; great information! I am in the trying-to-get-a-book-published process :) and have been contemplating if I need an agent or not, and how to go about finding one who is a good match for me. So appreciate both of your words of wisdom and personal stories.

  27. just now listening to this, and it’s all still relevant! thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, tsh and Emily!

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