Thursday, February 09, 2006

So You Want to Write a Book? Introduction

I get requests constantly from people who are writing, want to write, or have written books and need advice on exactly how that is done. I've decided to write a series of posts (articles) here on my blog to guide people who are curious, or who have already asked me for advice, or who may just be searching the web for some information about writing books and how to go about that in an organized and realistic manner.

I've got over ten years of publishing experience. I've written, and had published nine books. I'm currently writing several more (yes, this is a working writer's true confession) and I work as a full-time book editor helping writers write and polish and prepare their books for publication. I may not know everything about writing and publishing a book, but I know a whole lot more than most people. So here we go.

Writing a Book

Writing a book is not for the faint of heart. It is also not for those who think that once you write a book all your problems will be over. Pardon me while I go laugh out loud.

There are many, many people who just want to be published and famous and rich. Sure, I'm one. I'll raise my hand too, minus the famous part (blech, it has not done Paris Hilton any favors). But to get to that, one must first be just a writer. And a writer is someone who wants to know more about everything. And I mean everything .

A Few Questions for You

1. Do you go into a book store and come out discouraged because you couldn't buy all the books? Also, does it discourage you that you won't be able to know everything in your brief lifetime? (This kills me.)
2. Do you read voraciously, inhaling information? Do you frequently keep your family and friends held hostage on the phone or in a car while you spout forth hours and hours of rehashed material that you learned from these books?
3. Do you do masses of research about a topic, way overboard what you personally need to find a solution, and then wonder what to do with all that information?

Join the club. You're with friends here.

Curiosity is a great asset for a writer. Taking that curiosity and applying it to writing a book is our simple premise here.

For our first post, I'll ask you to simply brainstorm. Think about what kinds of topics you want to write about? Do you have a really great recipe collection? Do you have strong skills in sewing, knitting, or woodworking? Do you have a model train collection? How about model airplanes? Do you want to help people feel good about themselves? Do you want them to find love? Do you have a twelve-step program to getting a good deal on a home purchase? Do you want to write a novel?

You need to have down on paper and in your mind what exactly you want to accomplish in book form. If you don't know, figure it out. But don't fret if you're still stuck.

Step 1 in our Write-a-Book Help series will be finding a great idea.

Stay tuned!

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