Become an Author - Yes, You Can!
By James F Weinsier
Have you ever
thought about writing a book? Come on-admit it!
From the time you
are taught how to print the entire alphabet you’re asked to write.
First, words, then sentences, paragraphs, essays, short stories, and
so on…. The length of the assignment grew as you advance through
school. You’re up to a thesis in order to get a doctorate. The
point is in your formidable years your creative writing ability is
used in the line of education. As schooling is left behind, so too
is writing for most. Some still write letters (but with the advent
of email that’s all but become extinct), and others may have diaries
or journals, but in all these cases the thoughts and entries are
brief. Once you’re out-of-school there’s no longer the tendency to
apply the 3-E’s of assigned writing- Embellish, Expound, and
Elaborate. After all, in today’s hustle-bustle world, who really has
the time to sit down and write something of substance? Never mind
substance, where did capital letters go, and when did the spelling
of “you” become “u”?
Though you may not
take the time to write extemporaneously, all the while you read
books the thought of writing a book, selling millions of copies, and
becoming rich and famous crosses your mind at least once or twice.
Even if you jot-down an idea with ambitious intentions, that’s
generally as far as it goes. As the next event in your life comes
along, or you put it away in some catchall drawer, it’s forgotten.
How much good-stuff has fallen by the wayside because so few make
the time… or maybe write-it-off figuring it couldn’t possibly go
anywhere? Had Shakespeare, Dickens, or J.K. Rowling dismissed their
creations imagine the void. Whatever your excuse, it fit the
conditions of yesteryear not today.
The fact of the
matter is while technology is always introducing something new in
cell phones, Blue Ray players, and laptops, it hasn’t exactly left
writing and the printing process in the dust. What once took months
to write and assemble, and necessitated printing thousands of
copies, has all changed. Today computers can be used to quickly and
easily write, insert, delete, cut-and-paste, add artwork and change
colors with the click of a mouse. Small projects can be printed,
collated, and bound at the corner copy shop overnight. Through a
technique called “Print On Demand” you can have a handful of books
printed in a few days at a nominal cost. There are virtually no more
possibility of publishing now comes into focus, there’s a new set of
obstacles (or perhaps tasks is a better word) to consider before you
reach your goal. Since you’ve never before taken the next step, and
now the pathway has been cleared, you need to watch out for loose
stepping-stones along the way so you don’t (pit) fall.
Profit: Don’t give up your
day job. Anticipating a large publisher, or periodical, will pay you
a chunk of money up-front for the right to publish your work is a
mistake. In fact, counting on making money at all in the foreseeable
future is equally foolish. If it happens, “Great!” but you’ll be
disappointed if you bank on it. If your project isn’t a passion,
think twice about the ramifications and taking the next step.
Objectives: Decide what
you want to do with your creation. Will it be something for personal
use, or will you be trying to sell it to the masses through
magazines, or in the case of a book to chain stores? Are you trying
to reach a specific target-market, or everyone? The answers to these
and a myriad of other pertinent questions have a direct bearing on
how to proceed. If you’ve written a book the quantity to print (in
turn cost) should be considered. Also, which company will be the
best choice to handle your needs, one that specializes in a
particular facet of the publishing process (i.e. most cost effective
in printing), or a company that is known for its prowess with a
specific market (i.e. an authority in the sports industry)? Outline
a plan that’s subject to change.
Depending on where you’re at in life, as far as time to allocate to
promotion and sales, you may want to consider having someone else (a
company) publish your creation versus self-publishing. Companies
offer a wide variety of services that can be packaged; securing a
copyright, ISBN number and bar code, printing, promotion, entrée to
sales outlets, storage, shipping, and so on. While you can find
companies that specialize in one, or two, of these tasks, for the
most part they won’t touch the project without a publishing
contract. Thus, once you decide to self-publish you’ve dramatically
limited your options. On the other hand, the hefty percentage of
profit that you would be paying for these services will be in your
Options: Before any
decisions are made on whom to hire to do the things you may not be
able to do, such as edit, format, printing, and so on…do your
homework. After compiling a list of possible choices, reflect back
on your objectives and weigh the options. Which satisfy more of your
goals than the others?
References: Don’t be shy
or embarrassed about asking for references, and then contact them.
You will receive referrals for one thing, or another, along your
way, but you need to do some due diligence. The person passing on
the tip may be a business associate, or personal acquaintance of the
referred, thus motive. Just as unreliable without exploration, they
may be the only satisfied customers this business has ever had.
Everything Yourself: While
you rely on others to proof read, edit, and print your manuscript,
you must check the work of others every step along the way. Always
remember, regardless of the fact those you hire are professionals,
no one cares as much about your creation as you.
If you’re less
than adventurous, perhaps these tasks will set your mind back to
square one-the overwhelming stage, but if you think about it pretty
much everything worthwhile in life takes some doing on your part.
Rest assured the rewards of accomplishment and gratification will
more than compensate for your time and effort.
Go for it!
Read other articles and learn more about
James F Weinsier.
[This article is available at no-cost, on a non-exclusive basis.
Contact PR/PR at 407-299-6128 for details and