What Did The Journey of Writing Your New Book Look Like (Part 2)

May 20, 2021 | podcast

On today’s episode of “College Admissions Real Talk”, Dr. Legatt discusses the process of writing and publishing her book, “Get Real and Get In”.


VO: Welcome to College Admissions Real Talk with Dr. Aviva Legatt, a podcast for students seeking to get admitted to top-tier colleges. Each episode will feature an important tip for your college admission success, delivered with candor and love. If you’ve ever wanted to take a peek inside the mind of a college admissions officer, this is your chance. Have a question? Text Dr. Legatt at 610-222-5762. So, what’s your dream school?

 AL: Now, in terms of publishing the book? It’s hard to do that. So I’m very fortunate that I got with a major publisher, which is St. Martin’s Press, they’re a division of Macmillan, which is one of the largest publishers in the United States. So I was very fortunate. I had my book idea that I shared with you now in mind and I went to conferences and I pitched this book idea to different agents and editors. And the editor who was at this literary conference I attended all the way back in 2017. We just really clicked. And this editor was from St. Martin’s Press. Now, my proposal for the book went through a series of revisions, thanks to the mentorship of this wonderful editor from St. Martin’s Press. And then in that time, I ended up having a baby. And of course, that took time to recuperate from and get back on the book train and proposal train. And so it was essentially two years later that I ended up from meeting this person at St. Martin’s to actually pitching my final proposal when I learned that this editor was leaving St. Martin’s and unfortunately, she would not be available to potentially pitch my book again. But she did pitch a version of it in early 2019 and people did like it. She gave me some feedback before she left, and I revised the proposal. Ultimately, I ended up eventually connecting with my current editor at St. Martin’s towards the end of 2019 and got my book deal. And then, Lo and behold, the book is coming out August 2021. So for anybody thinking about writing a book or looking to write a book, know that it can be a very long journey, especially if you want to do traditional publishing. But now that the book is almost here, I’m just so excited. and I’m so happy that I took the journey that I did because I stayed true to what I wanted, which was to be with a great publisher. It was much like my love of NYU at the time. I was like, I need to be signed to St. Martin’s Press. After I met this woman and I hit it off with her, I was like, this is a great company to be working with. So I’m really thrilled that this has happened.And for anyone thinking about doing a book, just know it takes a lot of time.

And then I’ll also share on the book note, for high school students, I have had students who have self-published their own books. I had one student who did a video book, which was a beautiful story about COVID-19 and hand-washing and best practices, but it was done in a children’s book style, and it was really moving and sweet. And then I had another student from a previous year who wrote kind of a fictionalized memoir of his life based on his own struggles with depression and teenage angst. He ended up writing and self-publishing that on Amazon, and it was just a fantastic experience for him. And ultimately, he was admitted to his top choice college. This other person who did this COVID-19 book video is not quite at the point of applying to college yet, but I know she’s going to do very well. And I have a lot of students who are interested in publishing books. So if you are out there and you’re looking for an opportunity like that, we are definitely well-suited to help you achieve a goal like self-publishing.

We also love helping people with things like research projects. So we have a program called the Emerging Leader Program, and in that program we match students with mentors and the students who get a mentor complete an original research project in a topic of their interest. We have access to a network of over 95 professors, so the matches that we can suggest are quite diverse and interesting, and many of them come from industry and mostly our professors are at top-tier colleges. So if you are interested in looking for research opportunity, I would encourage you, to have your child apply or for you, If you’re a student to apply to our Emerging Leader program, you can fill a lot of application for free on our website, we ask for an essay and some information, and then we’ll be back in touch with you about your matches. The nice thing is also, you can do it any time of year. So you have a two month period where you feel like you don’t have a lot going on and you want to dig into a topic more deeply, that’s a great time to do the Emerging Leader Program because you’ll have access to this awesome 1-to-1 mentor and you’ll get some great experiences along the way. So I definitely encourage you to check that out if you or your student, your child wants an original research opportunity.

So I went for my book journey and then just talking generally about opportunities for students, self-publishing, research project, and then other things that we help people with are starting up organizations. So a lot of times people have ideas about what they want to do, but they don’t necessarily know how to operationalize it. So our process to help people get mentored through pursuing an organizational founding, or getting a better leadership role, or more fitting leadership role within the organization.

 That’s a part of the value that we add to our students who are looking to build up their experiences ahead of college. I call this the College Admissions X-Factor, which I say is comprised of experience, expertise and exponentialism. Experience essentially refers to the exposure that you get from being in an environment where you’re learning about a new topic and that gives you some insight about if you want to do that or if you want to pursue it more deeply.

Expertise is that next step that you take. So let’s say you find a topic you like, you want to get some more depth. you take an opportunity, like our Emerging Leader Program to do some original research and get a better understanding of what your specific interests are within that topic. And then finally, exponentialism. This refers to not only your own knowledge and expertise, but how do you take that knowledge and expertise and make it bigger than you? So Maybe it’s writing a blog, maybe it’s making a podcast or YouTube channel or doing something on social. Or maybe it’s just the simple act of expanding on whatever you have, whether it’s your organization or a community service project. I have a student, for example, who is featured in Forbes recently for his organization, which helps make face shields for a local community in the United States. There are lots of ways to achieve exponentialism, but really the foundation is building up that experience and expertise. So you have to get the exposure to something before you can really achieve that exponentialism, that impact, which is ultimately a huge differentiator for you as you go to apply to college or as your child goes to apply to college. So that’s the College Admissions X-Factor. We just shared some ways that you can build that X-Factor.

So in summary, college is a journey. It’s also a destination, and your results are important to us. So we want to work with you to help you figure out for your child, for you, what is your best strategy for moving forward? How do you define your goals? How do you define what colleges you should target based on those goals and based on where you are realistically well-positioned to get admitted. That’s why we’ve been successful year after year is because we look at the these questions thoughtfully and strategically, and we want to work with you and your child to make this an authentic journey for them where they’re actually achieving something that they’re proud of versus just trying to check a bunch of boxes that they did, community service hours or they took a leadership role in an organization. We want this to be the right experiences to help that child on their journey. I would also say if you’re looking for further support, reach out to our team, info@ivyinsight.com, and we can answer any questions you may have about the admissions process, about working with us, or about resources that we can recommend to you along this journey. Thank you so much for being with us, and I look forward to seeing you again soon. Take care. 

VO: College Admissions Real Talk is hosted by Dr. Aviva Legatt, edited by Stephanie Carlin, and produced by Incontrera Consulting. I’m Caroline Stokes and this has been your daily boost of college admissions insight. Have a question? Text Dr. Legatt at 610-222-5762. For more information on Dr. Legatt and Ivy Insight visit www.ivyinsight.com. And you can pick up Dr. Legatt’s book, “Get Real and Get In”, at major retail outlets across the world. Insight out.