Today I write about the writing and self-publishing journey of my Success with LADA Diabetes book. If you also dream of writing a book, I hope this will give you some guidance and inspiration.
The Beginning of the Book Project
Writing a book was a dream I had first as a teenager. Back then, I had a motivational article pinned to my wall with a bold headline that read, “Risk nakedness.” Little did I know, those words would later serve as a reminder of the vulnerability and courage it takes to bare one’s soul through writing.
While I had dabbled in blogging on and off over the years, I couldn’t help but feel like my words were floating in an endless sea of content, never quite finding their intended shore. It was during one of those introspective moments that the thought struck me—what if I wrote a book?
It was a realization that dawned upon me like a beacon in the night. I possessed a wealth of knowledge about LADA diabetes, knowledge that could potentially fill a void in the market. At that point in time, the literary landscape seemed to lack a dedicated resource for LADA diabetes, despite it being a fairly common variant of diabetes.
I remember turning to my Mom and saying, “I think I’m going to write a book about diabetes.”
Back then, I hadn’t even realized that I was approaching my 10th year of living with diabetes. All I knew was that diabetes had become an integral part of my life, a relentless companion that demanded my attention with every meal, every blood glucose test, every insulin pump adjustment. But I also knew that I had a desire burning within me—to share my knowledge and experiences with others who walked a similar path. And so, I decided to take the plunge and write that book.
The Mental Commitment
There were moments when giving up seemed like the easier path, particularly because it meant dedicating even more mental energy to thinking about diabetes. After all, diabetes is an all-encompassing condition, a never-ending responsibility that looms over daily life. Why, I wondered, did I make this commitment to myself?
Then, when I was about three-quarters of the way through, I discovered that someone else had beaten me to the punch—a LADA book was already out there. Doubt crept in. Should I continue? I found my answer in the uniqueness of my experiences and insights. I realized that there’s always room for more than one perspective and that my voice could offer something distinct to those seeking answers and guidance.
Organizing the Material into a Book
Early on, I only spent $50 on this project. That $50 went toward purchasing the book-writing software Scrivener. I hoped that being indebted to this project would help keep me motivated to complete it. Scrivener turned out to be a very good choice, because organizing the material proved surprisingly difficult, and Scrivener provided a way to see my in progress book from multiple views (outline, cork board), which made reorganizing easy.
What to include, what to leave out, when to introduce certain topics—these questions swirled in my mind. Not all LADA diabetes journeys are the same; some may not involve insulin immediately, relying instead on diet, exercise, or other medications during the honeymoon period. However, I felt compelled to emphasize that insulin treatment, while daunting, is a vital and valuable part of the journey. So, I reorganized the book multiple times to improve the flow.
The Writing Process and Self-Doubt
As I delved deeper into the writing process, self-doubt started to creep in. Am I approaching this topic in the right way? Am I knowledgeable enough to write authoritatively on this topic? These questions haunted me, causing moments of hesitation and uncertainty.
However, I reminded myself of my initial motivation. I reminded myself that my unique experience and insights could provide valuable information to others who were navigating the complexities of LADA diabetes. With this renewed sense of purpose, I pushed through the self-doubt and continued writing.
Choosing How to Publish
I knew that I wanted my book to be available on Amazon, the world’s largest book marketplace. I also wanted to publish my book quickly. While there are some benefits with going with a traditional publisher, choosing to self-publish meant that I had all of the control and could bring my book to market quickly. Some of my book’s contents are very timely. I wrote about specific diabetes tech, and any delay could cause information to become out of date.
Books that Helped Me Along the Way
I read numerous books about writing and publishing non-fiction books. The series of books that I found most inspiring and helpful were Donna Partow’s books:
- Getting Started with Amazon KDP: The Ultimate “How To Become an Author Book” Reveals Everything About Writing Books for Kindle
- Successful Book Launch Secrets: Book Marketing Tips From a Bestselling Author to Make YOU a Book Marketing Hero
Her books provide a wealth of good information along with encouragement, which was just what I needed!
I am keeping a list of things to add or change when I revise my book, and also I’m looking for endorsements; would love to have yours!
I am considering writing a more general book about diabetes lessons learned, about diet and health, to expand my audience. I also have brainstormed other book topics — now that I’ve learned how to self-publish a book, I feel like there’s new doors open for me.
About the Author
Lin May has a decade of experience living with LADA diabetes and is the author of Success with LADA Diabetes: Achieving Optimal Health with Diet, Exercise, and Insulin. She is dedicated to helping others learn about diabetes.