Thursday, April 13, 2006

So You Want to Write a Book? Lesson 2

Sorry for the long break between lessons. We went to Kauai, I had deadlines, and I’m working rather feverishly on a book project. Did ya know I write fiction? It’s actually the focus of 2006 (see my WIP Status). Although, as an editor, I can’t resist the siren call of new writers, “how do I write a book?”

So, let’s get back to it, shall we? We left off with fresh as our token word of the day. Moving on.

You've got an idea, and it's more focused than just a book on finding love, I hope. I'd like to focus on titles in this lesson. The rule of odds says the more titles you come up with, the better your title will be. I know writers who come up with 100 or more titles for their book project. This is one of those key elements of a book proposal that must be impeccable. And when I say title, I don't just mean a title "Birds That Sing" or something inane like that. I mean a title, and a subtitle. My current favorite is written by a very knowledgable self-publishing consultant, Marilyn Ross, which is "Shameless Marketing for Brazen Hussies: 307 Awesome Money-Making Stategies for Savvy Entrepreneurs."
Doesn't that just grab your attention right away? I don't know if I'm a brazen hussy, but I am an entrepreneur and want some great ideas. This way, I can buy a book and get the same ideas . . . without having to take on the brazen hussy persona.

What compelling picture can you come up with for your book? Can you turn it into a title?


Before you spend hours and hours putting a book proposal together (What? A proposal? Yes, stay tuned for talk about the proposal in Lesson 3) you might want to test your book idea in a shorter form. How about writing up an article? This way you can synthesize your idea into print in a less-stressed manner. There are tons of places to publish your article ( for example, where I post articles; the owner, Chris Knight, is a great guy). Why not write up a 500-word piece about your topic and let people use it in their newsletters? This way you at least practice getting your message out and you know, after you've written the article, if you're still interested enough in the subject to write a longer version.

Your assignment: Write 100 titles (with subtitles) for your book idea. Imagine a title on the cover of a book and where it would go in your local bookstore. Also, write up your topic in an article and post it on your blog or post it to an article database. Or send it to a paying market and earn some money. Who knows?

Good luck. Talk to you in a few days.

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