On Friday, February 20th, at 4:30 Mountain, it happened…
I signed a book deal!!
Yes, yes, yes. With tears of gratitude streaming down my face. It’s a dream come true. The essence of the Art of Money work will soon be captured in The Art of Money book — a beautiful, creative, story-packed, helpful, soulful, practical, amazing book. I am ready!
I’ve been celebrating over here with wine and some beautiful dark chocolate (of course!).
I feel so incredibly lucky for so many aspects of this situation. Not least of which: the perfectly-matched publisher found me and we’re already building a beautiful new relationship together.
I’m so pleased and humbled to introduce my amazing publisher to you: Parallax Press.
This partnership is right on all levels. They are small-but-mighty — funny: this is how I sometimes describe myself!
Originally created as the publishing house for Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, Parallax is now growing and expanding, publishing books by other amazing teachers about mindfulness in different areas of life: in our relationship to food, in our parenting, and now, in our relationship to money.
They are warm and wonderful. They are committed to service, giving books away every month to people in prison. Our missions around mindfulness, creativity, and compassion are beautifully aligned.
The story of how Parallax found me feels more like a fairy tale than a traditional publishing deal.
Once upon a time, I knew I wanted to write a book. So last year, I announced it to the world: I’m writing a book this year!! Intention set. Vision spoken aloud. Mojo activated.
What this really meant was writing a book proposal — an incredibly long, comprehensive, and detailed document, including dozens of sections about me, my work, my community, my book outline, sample chapters, and on and on.
With the help of my wonderful co-writer, Angela Raines, I began the book proposal process last year. We slowly made progress — all while keeping up with my normal publishing schedule of blog posts, newsletters, interviews, private clients, Art of Money community, mama-hood, wife-hood, and on and on. It was slow going, and we even paused our work on it to focus on The Art of Money Roadshow and sharing The Art of Money 2015 with the world.
Before we could even finish the book proposal — let alone send it to publishers — Parallax contacted ME!
Simply amazing. They saw this little guest post I wrote on Laurie Wagner’s site, and immediately contacted me, asking “Have you ever thought about writing a book?” “Um, actually…it’s funny that you ask that…” Meanwhile, I’m in my office bouncing in my chair with excitement, and nervousness, and HOLY COW! a publisher just reached out to me!
Best of all: the more my team and I found out about Parallax, the more perfect the match felt.
Thankfully, Parallax didn’t need a complete, traditional book proposal (including sample chapters) — so we threw our resources into finishing a modified, multimedia-rich, creative version of a proposal, including beautiful videos, the Pocket Map 7-day mini-course, the entire behind-the-scenes Art of Money member’s area, and more. We sent this off to them under the wire, on December 31st.
And then…we held our breath.
Parallax shared our proposal with everyone on their team, and they were so impressed that things happened very quickly from there. They decided to throw a huge portion of their resources behind this project, and sent over the first version of a contract on January 20th.
Then came the tricky part — negotiating. Gulp!
It took us an entire month to negotiate the contract. This was edgy stuff for me, because while I’ve done so much work around my value, my fees, my business models — I’ve never had to ask for more money. But that’s exactly what I did.
You see, one of the items in a publishing contract is the “advance” — this is what the publisher pays you, before any books are even sold, as you write the book. Depending on the size of the publisher, the particular deal, and a million other factors, this advance can range from pretty small to ginormous proportions.
And while Parallax offered me a very generous advance, I knew I needed more in order to not dip into my personal savings to write the book, as I would need to pay my co-writer, the lovely miss Angela Raines, and focus a huge amount of my time and energy on writing the book instead of on things that would make money in the short-term, like private Financial Therapy.
So, we negotiated. I threw myself into the fastest, deepest learning mode about the publishing world — as did my husband and Angela. I reached out for support and brought in a literary agent as well as a lawyer to make sure I made the best decision.
As timing would have it, during this month, interest in my book rolled in from other, much bigger publishing houses. Working with them would mean a far bigger advance, but potentially less creative control, editorial support, and philosophical alignment. It became a complex decision, and I had the chance to do great comparisons. I kept coming back to what felt truly right in my heart, my mind, and my soul.
To support my decision process, I identified 8 key areas that I needed in a publisher to say YES. I want to share them with you because I know that many of you have books inside of you that you want to birth into the world.
Maybe a few of these 8 super important things for my own book writing process will help you in some way.
Here’s the things that I knew had to be just right about the publisher I would say yes to:
1. The Philosophy/Mission: Do they “get” me, and my work? Most mainstream publishers just don’t understand me, on a deep level. Some think I’m teaching abundance mindsets and Law of Attraction. Or, they want me to stay totally mainstream, and offer investment advice. And almost all of them refer to my work as “A Spiritual Money Book.” All of these dishonor the depth of what I do, and just how full-spectrum and holistic my approach is.
Parallax really understood the depth and scope of what I do — bringing mindfulness and love into our relationship with money, with healing and practical steps. They got me, because they’re on a parallel mission.
2. Timing: I’m rarin’ to go for a Spring 2016 release date (with pre-orders later this year!). I’m ready. My team and my community are ready. The world is ready. Parallax is 100% committed to this timeline with me.
3. Money: Oh, yes. There are finances to consider, here! Parallax offered me a tremendously generous advance for a publishing house of their size.
4. Marketing Reach and Style: I break marketing rules all the time, because I believe authenticity and beauty trump slick-n-shiny sleaze any day of the week. So I want my publisher to sing my book from the rooftops — but in a classy, creative way. Plus, Parallax’s marketing style is a perfect match: they share content in an artistic, creative way — and my smartypants marketing husband loved talking shop with them. Win!!
While many of the bigger publishing houses wanted me to already be more well-known, or have more national media appearances, Parallax fully honored the beautiful, home-grown growth and community I already have, and how important creative marketing is to me. They understand and support my vision of growing sustainably, and we will do this, together.
5. The Editor: It’s important to me to get tons of loving support in the book-writing process. Our editor at Parallax, is the woman who originally pitched me to her team. I know she gets my vision, and is excited to help me bring it to life. (P.S. Here’s an update on my editing process and experience, over here… there were some bumps in the road!)
6. The Experience: I want the journey to feel fun, loving, and supportive. I want to jive with my team, love talking to them, and know we’re on the same page. At Parallax — this is a heck, yes!
7. Creative Rights: I want final say over the title of the book and the cover design, and I want to be the voice for the audio that will accompany the book, too. I wouldn’t necessarily get them with a bigger publisher. But Parallax understands how important this is to me, and was happy to say yes.
8. The Final Product: I want this book to be of the absolute highest quality. Something I’m supremely proud of. A beautiful body of work. An instant classic. Dog-eared and love-worn and life-changing, all over the world, for decades to come. I trust Parallax to help me get there.
Now, someone else has probably already written a list very much like this one (and it’s likely more extensive than mine.) But I came to this list on my own, in my way: on my hikes, in reflective moments, turning within. This is how I make decisions: I identify what’s really important to me, I trust my heart, I take the time I need to settle into my clarity, and I move forward.
So, while other publishing houses came forward with interest in my book, I kept going back to my list of important areas: adding to it, noticing what felt missing, what I was willing to negotiate, and what absolutely needed to stay.
In the end, I negotiated a higher advance, and gave a big, huge, heartfelt YES to Parallax! I sent this note off on a Friday eve, just as the sun was setting over the horizon …
The timing couldn’t be more divinely orchestrated: I just finished my final batch of 11, six-month coaching clients. Back when I began this journey with them, I was very intentional about it, and shared that I foresaw this being my last batch of clients before I hunkered down to dive into the book. This was just an intention, a hope — but it set things into motion. And a week after the book contract was signed, I finished with all of these clients.
And now…and now, the journey has begun:
This is how I spent a recent Saturday evening: Breathing life into my book and beginning the process of organizing and planning. Laid out before me are about 47 articles I’ve written about Money Healing of the past few years.
If feels a bit like divining with tea leaves on the floor. What patterns can I find in the teachings I’ve written about? Which piece will go where? What stories can I tell to convey these concepts and these and those ones over there…
Speak to me…
Speak to me…
Speak to me…
And a day later, I sat quietly at my desk, meditating on some classic books that have moved and inspired me. Books that have the level of quality, or a particular “feel”, that’s similar to what we’re aiming for with the Art of Money book.
We’ve begun…me, my Angela, and my husband. The unwritten book is already speaking to us as we begin shaping the first chapters.
It’s going to be quite a journey and a big team collaboration.
Blessings, blessings, blessings to this journey and everyone that is helping with this process.
One step at a time.
One story at a time.
One chapter at a time.
May we create a book that will touch many people’s lives.
May this book help people around the world change their relationship to money in so many positive ways.
And may the ripples of goodness radiate outward into all areas of their lives…
Now, Don’t worry: I’m not going anywhere…
Well, I am going into the writing cave with Angela and Forest, but look…I love creating useful free content for you all so much that nothing can keep me away from continuing to do that!
I will continue sending you amazing free content for you over this year (though it will be less frequent than my normal once-a-week newsletter.) My team and I even have a few thrilling ideas up our sleeves (stuff you’ve asked for) that I can’t wait to show you! I adore you, my community, and am so devoted to sharing stories and practices with you. So, I’ll keep on with that, even as I’m working on the book this year.
Thank you so much for all of your support, love, and enthusiasm for this work. It’s truly what’s gotten me here, today — and I can’t wait to share its next and greatest evolution with you: the book!
With my dearest wishes,