Nov 08, 2019, 06:02 AM
Every nonfiction book starts out as a glimmer of an idea. A topic. An area of interest or expertise. But you can’t just pitch a book about beekeeping, kids. You need to know a whole lot more. Is it a beekeeping memoir? A beekeeping how-to? A meditation about the relationship between bees and humanity?

In this episode, we dish about how to answer those questions, because—spoiler—that’s exactly how Jess, who just finished the draft of her second nonfiction book, has been spending her time. Well, not thinking about beekeeping, or at least, I don’t think so. She’s pretty cagey about what, exactly, she’s researching—but that’s a good thing, because this episode is about the first steps that lead to an eventual proposal and, ultimately a book, no matter what the topic. 

Episode links and a transcript follow—but first, a preview of the #WritersTopFive that will be dropping into #AmWriting supporter inboxes on Monday, November 11, 2019: Top 5 Steps to Setting Up Your Author Presence on Amazon (Plus a Couple More for Extra Credit). Not joined that club yet? You’ll want to get on that. Support the podcast you love AND get weekly #WriterTopFives with actionable advice you can use for just $7 a month. 

As always, this episode (and every episode) will appear for all subscribers in your usual podcast listening places, totally free as the #AmWriting Podcast has always been. This shownotes email is free, too, so please—forward it to a friend, and if you haven’t already, join our email list and be on top of it with the shownotes and a transcript every time there’s a new episode. 

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#AmReading (Watching, Listening)

Jess: Jess has been all in this week! Katherine Center’s Things You Save in a Fire, How to Walk Away and the bridge story between those two novels, The Girl in the Plane, plus Happiness for Beginners, The Lost Husband, and Get Lucky.

Also, Ali Wong’s Dear Girls, Ronan Farrow’s Catch and Kill, and Sarina Bowen’s Moonlighter!

Sarina: The Virgin Gift, Lauren Blakely


Octavia Books, New Orleans.

This episode was sponsored by Author Accelerator, the book coaching program that helps you get your work DONE. AND—they’ve got a new program for new nonfiction projects! Visit https://www.authoraccelerator.com/amwritingfor details, special offers and Jennie Nash’s Inside-Outline template.

Find more about Jess here, Sarina here and about KJ here.

If you enjoyed this episode, we suggest you check out Marginally, a podcast about writing, work and friendship.

The image in our podcast illustration is by William Iven on Unsplash.

For transcripts, head to amwriting.substack.com.