ForeWord Reviews

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Writing Spiritual Books

A Bestselling Writer?s Guide to Successful Publication

Foreword Review — Nov / Dec 2004

This writer-friendly, resource-rich book joins a growing list of titles for writers who aim to meet the also-growing popular interest in books that address spiritual concerns and ideas.

The author has not only written many of his own spiritually-based books, such as Follow Your Bliss and Spirit Guides, but has also helped more than 200 authors and publishers develop their own books, and has collaborated with authors like Dr. Mike Samuels and Dr. Stanislav Grof. Add to this his experience teaching writing workshops across the country, and the reader is assured that here is an author who knows what he is talking about.

In his introduction, Bennett defines one of the unique challenges of writing spiritual books: “We need to disclose enough about our own thoughts, feelings, and experiences to convince our readers that we are as passionately involved in our material as we might wish them to be.” He follows his own advice, using personal experiences and his own writing to illustrate points in chapters that include From Revelation to Publication, Know Your Mission, Fostering Receptivity and Change, and Exercises That Grab Your Reader’s Attention.

One theme repeated throughout the book is the idea that the writer should try to see the manuscript through the reader’s eye. In other words, the author should ask what the reader needs rather than just what the writer wants to communicate. “You want to make sure that you’ve written your book so that your readers have the illusion that you are right there with them, supporting them, leading the way, assuring them that if they do get stuck you will not let them stay stuck for long.”

Modeling his own instructions, Bennett supports his readers by guiding them in a tone that is neither academic or esoteric, but personal and friendly. He also provides a wealth of resources including a list of twelve spirit-friendly literary agents that he either knows or has worked with, his personal list of publishers seeking spiritual books, a list of fifty-six bookstores across the country that welcome author visits or lectures, websites for writers, and finally, books for going further.

While most of the chapters and information in Bennett’s book are specific to writing the spiritual book, several of the chapters-Find Models To Follow, Mapping Out Your Book, and Where Your Journal Can Take You-are filled with information and ideas that would help any author of fiction or non-fiction.

With his clear, encouraging language, helpful examples, and extensive resources, the author will definitely not let the writer of spiritual books stay stuck for long, and his book is a definite must on the spiritual writer’s bookshelf.

Paula Scardamalia