How to get a book published: A timeline from making your dream a reality

By Rachel Reva

Real things take time.

A timeline from making One dream a reality:

June 2013: Epiphany that I wanted to write a book. And it would be something about: kindness, career, success and brownies. Start writing.

June 2014: Move to London from Sydney. No job. Book still randomly being written. Land dream job at BBC. Realise it’s not a dream job after all. Feel lost. Book put on the back burner for a while I call it ‘ What the heck am I doing with my life?’ Stay at BBC. Learn British things. Travel.

November 2015: Get married in Fiji. Forget writing a book. We are totally moving to Fiji. Bula Bula.

March 2016: Start new job in London. Book becomes interesting to me again. Have decided to start my own business while working full-time. No idea how this book will tie in with new plan. Keep writing.

Christmas Eve, 24 December, 2016: I am sitting in a Starbucks in London. It’s snowing outside. I write the final chapter of my book. I need to finish this, because I am starting a business and certification course in January. Needed to be done. it’s FINISHED (for now). Save document. Email to family. Quietly celebrate and drink wine.

2017: Start online coaching business (book sits on virtual shelf). I start writing for Huffington Post and Goalcast and other publications. Now I have written a book, somehow I feel more confident pitching myself. Start researching how to publish. Google ‘how to become a published author’. Look at random agencies inside book covers. Send manuscript to random publishing houses. Realise I’m different, An American, with Australian stories who lives in London. No category really exists for me to pitch to. Put book back on virtual shelf. Start my business.

September 2018: Move countries. Have baby. Become a mother. Stop business for a while. Become a mother and book becomes like a first child I only just met then put into a virtual closet.

February 2019: Ready to get visible again. Start asking family to take Michael for 2 hour shifts so I can start pitching my book (again). Receive first rejection straight away. Create a document of agents and publishers and personal reach out’s to keep track. Get some interest, am told my following isn’t large enough, am told my other ideas are more interesting. I film a YouTube video to send to agencies. Lots of no responses. Tired. Family stop asking about it. Awkward. Feel like deleting book as I am now a tired mother and feel like the book looks nothing like my life now.

May 2019: In a midnight delirium, I decide to pitch myself to a local radio station for an inspirational coaching segment called ‘Coffee and Faith’ – a total divine God moment. Excited but also exhausted. Happy to get out of the house. Record many segments before it finally airs in November 2019. Forget about book for a while.

January 2020: Watching Netflix film ‘Interview with God’. Look up production details, as I find the concept fascinating. Stumble across an Australian publishing company that looks faith based. Curious. I send in manuscript details. A few days later, I get an email and call back from their agent.

May 2020: The day I get a publishing deal from a real publishing house. To be in full transparency, this is a co-publishing deal. Which for me felt better then self-publishing. I did not want to deal with logistics. I pay a small amount of money for them to publish, create the cover, distribute the book worldwide and to all online retailors. The marketing (as per most agreements) is up to me.

June 2020: I retain all rights to the book and start learning a LOT about the publishing industry. I also change the book cover about 5 times and end up designing it myself. Remember I am a recovering control freak and annoying to work with at times.

September 2020: Start meeting with managers at local shops to gauge interest: would they be open to stocking my book? Koorong agrees. Still waiting on Harry Hartog to respond. Realise I literally have to hit the pavements with my book – it’s up to the local store managers if they choose to stock your book. I prepare brownies.

Christmas Eve, 24 December 2020: My mother calls: there is a package at the door for me. It’s a box of books. not just any books: MY BOOK. What a wonderful Christmas present. I have a book. It’s real. I dedicate the book to my friend, my mother and my late Grandmother Hazel. My mother cries. Amazing moment. Merry Christmas to me.

January 1 2021: Decide to hold a REAL LIFE book launch. Because I want to celebrate this achievement. My entire team / family gets on board. Excited but nervous to see if anyone will actually come to launch.

January 20 2021: Laurel Mc from RhemaFM invites me to be a weekly guest on her morning show. She has heard my ‘Coffee and Faith’ spots and likes them. We get along fabulously. I am now on the radio twice a week, and promoting my book and my business to 50,000 people each day for free.

March 27 2021: Launch sells out. Event is amazing and exhausting. Laurel Mc from Rhema hosts it makes me feel like I am being interviewed by Oprah. I am a published author. Now starts the real part: marketing the book.

Would I have even STARTED writing the book if I knew it would take me 7 years?? 3 years to write, and 4 years to publish??? I think not. But that’s the thing with a dream. It will always take longer. But you must start. I never knew / understood the trajectory of where this book would take me. It’s now ironic (but clearly in God’s plan) for me to talk about my faith and career journey in a book and now I am on the radio, and have a mastermind where I share the same principles of success and visibility.

Don’t buy the ‘overnight success’ bumper sticker. Invest in the dream and sign up for the journey. It may take you longer then you would like, but it will also take you places you would never imagine in your business and life.


TIME WILL PASS ANYWAY. You may as well create something that will last. REAL IMPACT starts with you.

From a fellow dreamer (and published author) XXX


You can order a copy of ‘Grit, Grace and Hustle: A Faith Gal’s Guide to Authentic Success’ published by Ark House, from Amazon, Koorong, Barnes and Noble, Waterstones or at Life On Her Terms (Australia only).

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