My first book contract was for a book of crafts for Sunday School or Christian School teachers to use. At the time I worked with Christian Ed Publishers/Rainbow Press. The way I landed this contract was that I was attending a writer’s conference and another writer signed me up for an appointment to meet with an editor. I was totally surprised that she did this and almost didn’t go to the appointment, but I decided to give it a try. I asked the editor what kind of book she was looking for, so during the appointment, she explained to me all about the project she wanted. Then I went home and wrote up a proposal which included a couple of sample crafts to show her my writing. I landed the contract, which became the first of a number of contracts for this company that involved books for teachers to use in the Sunday School or Christian school classroom.
The wonderful thing about starting writing for this company was that they basically trained me from the ground up. They didn’t pay me much money, but I earned way and above what I received in my paycheck. The experience I gained and the confidence I was able to build as a writer, gave me the skills and published credits to pitch ideas and land contracts with bigger and bigger educational publishers until I was able to land very nice contracts to write books for Scholastic Teaching Resources. In fact, I now have a bestseller with Scholastic that has sold over 250,000 copies so far, 25 Read and Write Mini-Books that Teach Word Families.
That bestseller with Scholastic was able to happen because I was willing to start small with a first step writing work-for-hire projects that didn’t pay much. I encourage writers to do the same along their journey as a writer.