An Update on the Journey to Publishing a Best-Selling Book

I have wanted to be a “famous author” ever since I was a little girl, when I would pen beginnings of novels in spiral-bound notebooks and then stash them in the back of my desk drawers, if I couldn’t figure out to resolve one of my high-drama plotlines. And as long-time 8womendream readers know, I have actively been on the journey to publishing a best-selling book for a few years now.

No one publishes a book overnight. Writing a book can take years, and publishing it is a whole ‘nother step on the journey. Writing and publishing a book of your own, especially if you go the route of using major publishing houses, is not an easy journey – or else everyone who has ever expressed the desire to write a book would have one out on the marketplace! (Instead, I find, many people talk about wanting to write books, and few ever do).

I have been wildly busy in 2013 plotting out my World Tour as a burlesque dancer, which is another creative aspect of my journey and my life. I figured it was time to update my 8womendream readers on how the book is going, and what’s coming next!

The Revised Book Title and Concept 

My book was originally tentatively titled “Burning Down the House,” since it shared true stories of the times I had “burned down” and then risen from the ashes in my life, my true-to-life Phoenix Rising story. And, it involved an actual house fire.

Last December, I changed the title to Hot for Happiness: How to Transform a Painful Past into a Life Filled with Passion, Pleasure and Purpose. This title was endorsed by #1 New York Times best-selling authors Marci Shimoff, Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood, who are mentors who are currently helping me on this book-publishing journey.

The latest, greatest title of the moment is as follows: Hot for Happiness: How An Exotic Dancer Transformed Her Painful Past into a Life Filled with Passion, Pleasure and Purpose – and How You Can Too! I decided that my career as a burlesque dancer will likely only enhance my book sales, because what I do on stage is all about living with passion, pleasure and purpose, and owning my own power, sensuality, and happiness.

living the dream of publishing a best-selling book

The book is still my own “Eat, Pray, Love” style journey of studying with spiritual teachers in the Buddhist tradition, launching a daily meditation practice and studying yoga in order to heal myself from the traumas of my past. It shares stories of my various global travels and adventures and describes how I went from being someone tortured by chronic anxiety, low self-esteem and panic attacks to living a happy joyful life, finally truly at peace.

The Journey to Getting This Book Published Finally!

I first started writing the book in 2009, working with writing coach Ellen Sussman. By October 2010, I had a 476-page manuscript!

Now, that is longer than I intend for the final book to be, and much has been chopped, and much more likely will still be trimmed. The final book will be closer to 200 pages.

The big project of the moment that is still ongoing is completing my book proposal. I have the great fortune of working with best-selling authors Marci, Janet and Chris on that.

Their help will make a difference in enabling me to hopefully create a knockout book proposal. And, they will also help me to get this proposal to an agent.

My game plan is to land an agent in 2013, and a book contract hopefully by the end of this year as well. I am ready to finally get this book out into the world!

Time with My Mentors

I will be spending the first weekend in April with my mentors, working on the book proposal and my game plan to continue to build my life coaching business, which is also called Hot for Happiness.

I’m excited to be able to report in on the results of that upcoming weekend, soon. In the meantime, the main challenge is staying focused on writing and editing regularly, while managing my dance career and travel, and all the other projects currently on my plate.

I suppose that is true for all artists in all genres, that the day-to-day challenge can be carving out the time to write, draw, dance, paint etc. in the midst of our busy lives. And yet it is engaging in our passions that ultimately gives us the energy and fuel to live loves we love.

I will keep my 8womendream readers posted on the progress on the book proposal, on landing an agent, and ultimately on getting this book published finally! Of course, then the journey of marketing and promoting the book begins…

For now, I remain focused on the prize of writing a phenomenal book proposal, and continuing to polish the manuscript so that this will be a book that I am proud of.

Looking forward to sharing it with all of you!

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Lisa is a freelance writer, consultant and life coach. She has her BA in English and Creative Writing from Princeton and her MPA from Harvard. Lisa recently finished the first draft of her book manuscript, Burning Down the House. Her dream is to publish this first book and teach the world how to discover their hidden joy. Her post day is Tuesday.
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  • I love both new titles, which I think are absolutely perfect. Have you played around with any cover design ideas yet? Those would be fun to see too. I know some people here who love following your burlesque career. I think the whole concept works and is perfect for you.


  • Engaging our passion is definitely key to working toward our dreams. Thanks for the update Lisa and can’t wait to hear how the mentor meeting goes… I always look forward to those :)