I started with a heart centered mission and a newly published book, How to Raise Respectful Parents: Better Communication with Teens and Parents. Like all new authors, I was proud of it, but I soon learned writing and publishing a book are only half the journey. I had to market, and I wanted to market it to those who needed my message the most.
Grant writing is my day job. I knew funds were available for the kind of materials and workshops I wanted to offer. Often authors think that they can only apply for grants directly to fund themselves as writers to write their book. While that is possible; it’s rare and highly competitive.
I sought a large entity/business with which my mission aligned with theirs: the school district. I offered to write grants for school programs for FREE. Yes, for FREE! In exchange for this service, I requested that I be allowed to write my workshops and books into the grant budget. School programs hurt for time and dollars. Since there was no expenditure of time and effort on the part of their personnel, they agreed.
First Grant to Write the Book
I interviewed the parent engagement coordinator and learned about the unique aspects of her program. I suggested that I use my expertise to better train her parent educators. I was delighted when she said, “yes.” I wrote a small grant to a local private family foundation and they funded us. I was hired under the grant to conduct training for the school district’s parent educators. The development of those training materials became the basis of my first book. In effect, I wrote the first draft of my book with grant funds while providing a needed service to the school partner.
Second Grant with Surprise Bulk Book Sales
The second grant funding for my mission came through an existing afterschool program grant. Because of the positive relationships built during the first grant funded opportunity, I negotiated the opportunity to provide a series of teen and parent communication workshops funded through their afterschool grant. I shared that I was willing to donate 10 copies of my book for the workshop. The project coordinator liked the book and decided to purchase more copies. She ordered enough for each family in the workshop – a total of 50 books! Just like that, I made my first bulk book sale.
Since my initial success, I’ve helped two author friends find grant funding for their heart- centered missions. I interviewed them and wrote grant proposals for each. One friend funded bulk book sales with her grant template and the other friend funded her one woman show with writing workshop materials with a grant proposal.
As a result, I have been asked to write a book about grant writing for authors. The Quick Start Guide to Grant Writing will be released in 2018.
BIO: Laura Lyles Reagan is a family sociologist, parenting coach, speaker and author of How to Raise Respectful Parents. She can be reached through her website, www.LauraLReagan.com.