Secrets and Tidbits for successful writing.
Nancy I. Sanders
I met Nancy at Pat Miller’s NF4NF Conference, September 2016, in Houston, Texas. It was an awesome conference! Nancy shared so many things from writing our manuscripts to getting them published. What a blessing it was to have Nancy for inspiration.
Nancy has written over 100 books. She has books for children—books for teachers---books for authors---books for faith and more books, books, books!
We learned so much from Nancy that I don’t know where to begin. So I’ll begin at the beginning.
Share a little bit about your road to success. Inquiring minds want to know…
How long have you been seriously writing?
I started writing just after our second son was born and he’s 32 years old. Wow…how time flies! For the first five years, I studied how-to-write books and writing magazines, and learned how to write and get published. After that, I started landing contracts to write magazine articles and also children’s books.
You shared with us that sometimes we don’t need an agent and sometimes we do. We were surprised to hear this! Would you explain for those who were not at the conference?
If you want to get published by the big publishers who require an agent, you have to have an agent. But there are many publishers of children’s books who do not require an agent. In fact, most of my books have been published without an agent in the loop. If you want to find a list of agents who represent children’s books as well as a list of publishers who do not require an agent, visit my blog at: https://nancyisanders.wordpress.com/agents/
Where do you get your inspiration for your books?
I love to spend time every day sitting at the feet of Jesus, reading the Bible, and listening to the Holy Spirit guiding me and directing me. Lots of days, it’s during these times that I get ideas for new books. I’ve got some amazing testimonies of days I’ve finished my prayer time, picked up the phone to call one of my editors, only to be told that the publisher had just been talking about getting a book underway that matched the idea I shared with them. The results? More book contracts! Of course, those are the WOW moments. Also I get many ideas browsing through a publisher’s new catalog and asking myself, “What’s an idea for a new book I could write that could fit into this publisher’s line of books?”
Do you have any new books coming out?
Yes, I do! The Bible Explorer’s Guide (Zonderkidz) is coming out in April, 2017. It’s got over 1000 facts and photos to help kids learn about the Bible.
And I just self-published a book for parents and teachers to help their little ones learn to read. It’s called Apples, Birds, and Dolch Sight Words. Each page features three high-frequency nouns or colors in large font along with engaging photographs to quickly build word recognition. At the bottom of each page young learners read all three key words in a sentence. I read it to my two-year-old grandson and he already loves it!
I’ve discovered you are a woman of many talents. You make quilts. Have you ever thought of writing a book and illustrating it using them? I one of your quilts that could definitely be in a picture book!
Thanks! Yes, I quilt for enjoyment. I like to use the images on the covers of my how-to-write books. And your idea sounds like fun! What a great project that could be.
What else would you like to tell the world?
I saw a survey once about writers. According to the survey, a few years back writers earned more money and spent less time on social media. Yet in more recent years, the survey said, writers spend significantly more time on social media and earn significantly less income. I would like to encourage writers to keep a log of how much time each day they spend on social media versus writing with an editor or publisher in mind. Use this log to constantly be re-evaluating how you spend your time. Make sure you’re spending more time writing with the intent of getting published than you do clicking around on social media each day. The more you focus your mental energies on the actual task of writing each day, the more you’ll experience success as a writer.
That's great advice for all of us!
Thanks, Nancy, for sharing your secrets and tidbits.
Go to www.yesyoucanlearn.wordpress.com to check out Nancy’s two how-to books for children’s writers:
Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Children’s Books, Get Them Published, and Build a Successful Writing Career,
Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Beginning Readers and Chapter Books.
You can purchase Nancy’s books at your local bookstore, favorite Christian online bookstore, or online at: www.amazon.com.
For more information about Nancy visit her website at: www.nancysanders.com
blog at: www.nancyisanders.wordpress.com
or her online store with educational products for teachers at:
The quilt of trees. The making of a wonderful illustration.