We Wrote a Book, Part I: Brainstorming, Writing, and Editing

I’ve said more than once that I never expected TAIP to grow into the resource it has become. I simply wanted to help others who, like myself, wanted to move to France but didn’t know how.

After ten years of helping people who were trying to figure out how to get here, I used that experience to put together a book that goes through how to do to move to France as a non-citizen, step-by-step.

Rather than offer detailed explanations of how to fill out specific visa applications (which can periodically become outdated and which we’ve already offered for free on the site) we took a higher perspective from: once I know that I want to move to France, what are all the things I need to think through in order to make that happen?

We created a set of 29 “Days” which serve as prompts and exercises to prepare you to move to France, broken into three parts, to help get you organized

  • before you arrive
  • when you arrive
  • after you’ve been here for a while

This is the book that I wish I had when I was preparing to move to France.

I didn’t write it alone. TAIP correspondents Molli Sébrier and Gracie Bialecki shared the load.

The book comes in three forms:

  • A traditional paperback, which comes with original photos and two appendices featuring a resource list for Paris residents (doctors, plumbers, accountants, etc.). This purchase also gives access to the digital version, which will be updated annually, and the email autoresponder version, which sends you the book in email form over 29 emails.
  • A digital copy for whichever e-reader you prefer. This version does not include photos or the appendices.
  • An email autoresponder which sends you the content in email form, spaced out over 29 consecutive days.

I’ve worked on publishing projects before, but only as a proofreader or as someone helping behind the scenes to get the project to press. This was my first time as an author, and even there I had help in the form of two co-authors.

There’s such a big gap between “I’d like to write a book” and “I wrote a book” and it’s not just work that fills that gap.

It’s the original brainstorming of what people really need to know before they get here, when they get here, and after they’ve been here a while.

It’s endless proofreading. For those of you who’ve edited work, you know the feeling of finding a typo (“another one?”) on what feels like the 27th pass of a text.

It’s sending galley copies out to reviewers (of which we had half a dozen from the TAIP audience step up and volunteer to help).

It’s personal events and travel that are also jockeying for attention (e.g. Molli left to get married the day after she sent a batch of edits to the publisher, then came right back to that text a couple of weeks later to finish up).

We also wanted to make the information useful but not overwhelmingly so, which led us to create single-page days with specific exercises at the end of each one.

We’ll be sharing more information on this book each month for the rest of the year. For now, I am very happy to have completed the project and am excited to get this book into the hands of those seriously considering a move here. It’s going to make the process so much more enjoyable, fun, and reflective.

Photo taken outside one of the windows of my apartment in Moret, where almost all my chapters of the book were written.

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3 thoughts on “We Wrote a Book, Part I: Brainstorming, Writing, and Editing

  1. Pingback: We Wrote a Book, Part II: Publishing | The American in Paris

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