Interview with Dr. Mandy Armitage
This week Dr. Mandy Armitage explains how to publish your first book. You might recall that she was interviewed in Episode #22 about medical writing.
She returns now to promote her new book and teach you how to self-publish your first book.
Mandy is a board-certified physiatrist, freelance medical writer, and consultant. Prior to transitioning to nonclinical work, she practiced musculoskeletal medicine.
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Mandy earned her MD from Indiana University School of Medicine. She then completed her PM&R Residency at Carolinas Healthcare System. Then she followed that with a Sports Medicine Fellowship at Emory University.
She was a guest on the podcast almost three years ago to talk about medical writing. In addition to writing, she has worked as Medical Director for several health technology start-ups.
Publishing Her Book
Now she is back doing freelance medical writing and coaching other clinicians. And she just released a new book called From Clinical Practice to Medical Writing: A Career Transition Guide.
I enjoyed hearing about Dr. Armitage’s decision to write a book. During our interview, she walks us through the major steps she took to publish it:
- Deciding on the goal of the book and creating an outline.
- Writing the major content over a period of several months.
- Engaging a series of editors to review the manuscript.
- Hiring help with the internal design and structure of the content (including chapters, headings, subheadings, etc.).
- Putting the files together and in the proper format (pdf, ePub, etc.).
- Hiring someone to help with the cover design and text.
- Putting it all together to create the final document in hard copy and electronic format.
- Promoting the book.
Publish Your First Book
Mandy described the three ways an author can choose to go:
- Traditional publishing
- Hybrid publishing
Traditional publishing is a difficult route for a first book. It generally involves hiring an agent and submitting manuscripts to multiple publishers. The publisher then owns the rights to the book and may edit it in any way it wishes.
Hybrid publishing involves engaging a firm that will help with editing and designing your book. The author will continue to control the manuscript. But the publisher will not provide an advance and will limit its marketing efforts.
With self-publishing, the author maintains complete control and will earn more on each book sold. However, the author will pay all expenses, including editing, marketing, and printing.
If you're driven and you want to make it happen, you can absolutely do it. – Dr. Mandy Armitage
Like many authors publishing a book to a niche audience, Mandy considered hybrid and self-published approaches. She chose the latter and maintains complete control.
The book is an excellent overview of the material Mandy has been teaching for years. It walks the clinician through these topics:
- The types of medical writing.
- How to prepare to become a writer.
- How to build a freelance writing business.
- The expected income a writer can achieve.
- Answers to frequently asked questions about medical writing.
I encourage you to visit armitagemedicalwriting.com and purchase the book.
If you’d like to learn more about medical writing, check out my introductory course at nonclinicalphysicians.com/writingcourse.
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