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Entries in writing (13)

Wednesday
May262010

Anatomy of A First Book- How An Author Brought Her Book into Being

Have you ever wondered how an idea becomes a book? Or how an idea morphs into a story? We are very pleased today to have for Our Little Books Guest Post Wednesday, a post by Bronwyn Clee, a leadership and emotional fitness coach from DownUnder. In her post, we follow her as her idea eventually becomes a short story, while surrounded by all the fears and hopes that we all attach to our own writings. By reading Part One about her writing journey, hopefully other people will be willing to take the plunge into becoming an author and stay tuned for Part Two next week! Enjoy.

I started writing my first book in 2002 and filed the outline in a ‘secret file’ in case our children stumbled across it on our shared computer of the time. Funny thing was, I forgot about the secret file, and besides I had a very busy life to attend to … so my first book quietly faded in to the background of my busy brain.  Then in 2005 my lifetime partner and I took our first overseas holiday and went to Bali for 8 days. On our second day, I started writing a letter to my mum, and the letter continued for the entire 8 days, and of course became such an epic yarn that I just couldn’t send her a 50 page letter. I do remember saying to my husband that I seriously didn’t want to go home and that I just wanted to stay in Bali and write my book.

When we got home and I read back over my lengthy letter, I didn’t think anyone else would really want to read that much about 'my insights' so I shelved it. I tried to read parts of it to mum over the phone which was pretty clumsy - when you live over 3,000kilm apart you become creative about how else to share info that you would normally share over a pot of tea. And I did try one more time when we she was visiting and even hooked up the video camera to try and add colour and flavour to my lengthy letter and that didn’t really work either…

During my recuperation time late last year, in my infinite wisdom, I decided that I really wanted to turn that darn lengthy letter into a short story for mum. In doing so, I realized that it would probably be a decent thing to show my husband first as there are quite a few ‘reflective moments’ which I never intended for him to read. Him being a very harsh critic who as a reader must be captivated within the first two pages or he won’t turn another, set my heart a fluttering when he agreed to read this book. With great trepidation I even suggested he might like to make notes on my second final draft (my proper final drafts are capitalized and filed as FINAL – this is the only code that works for me!) and reminded him that I had a timeline of one week for him to read and get back to me.

I was astonished when he read it in four nights and told me it was a bloody good read. When I asked if he wanted me to change anything he said there was something that should be fixed. My heart sunk to my stomach and between butterflies in my belly and a banging heart I waited for him to show me. Remember this is not a man who dresses anything up for any reason, and me being a blushing ‘author’ and all was obviously a bit nervous. I had a smile a mile wide when he pointed out a ‘typo’ on the second last page! And that was all! My 50 handwritten notes had become 80 B5 pages and he had chugged his way through reading it. The butterflies in my belly stopped partying with my thumping heart and all was well again in my world. He who gives away compliments on the rarest of occasions had read my book and enjoyed it. His parting comment was, “I don’t think the world’s ready for this one honey, it’s a bit too much about us. But you are a bloody good writer and I’m looking forward to your first real book”.

Bronwyn’s new life motto is “self care ~ self pace ~ self love”. In facing death last year, Bronwyn came face to face with what she truly, madly, and deeply valued most in life. Of course it had always been loving relationships, so she decided that this was her chance to sift and sort and align her life with her core values and only do things she really believe in doing. To find out more about Bronwyn, check out Bronwyn’s websites at www.bronwynclee.com or www.gratitudelog.com/growingratitudes and make sure you come back next week for Our Little Books Guest Post Wednesday Part Two of An Anatomy of a First Book.

 

Tuesday
May112010

Why Spend All Of That Money To Get Your Book Edited When Your Sister Can Do It?

If you decide to self publish your book you should not overlook the value of a good editor. Most editors charge per word or page to review your work and can cost $2000 depending on the length and type of editing you need. You may think that you can not afford to pay for an editor but think about the cost of not getting your work edited.

Consider this scenario. You just received your first shipment of books from the printer. The feeling of holding your book for the first time is unbelievable. You send a copy to your sister, mom and best friend. One of them calls and tells you that the second chapter makes no sense and you have two misspelled words. You suddenly feel sick at your stomach as you look at the 500 copies of your book in your living room. You saved $2000 on an editor but now you have to reprint the book with the corrections. Now how much have you saved? 

If you want to sell your book online, after a speaking engagement or in a local bookstore you will want quality work. You want your book to reflect your expertise on your topic.  You should always self edit your work but even if you are an accomplished author you will not see all of your mistakes. You are too close to your work and no matter how many times you read it, you will not pick up on simple errors. 

A professional editor can evaluate your work for content, grammar, and flow of your manuscript. The editor is not emotionally invested in the content and topic and can be more objective about so it will make sense to your reader. The editor will be able to pick up mistakes that you cannot see because you have been looking at the same manuscript for weeks or months. 

Before hiring an editor you should familiarize yourself with the different types of editing so that you will know what type of services you are getting. Interview several editors to make sure you can work together. If you are writing fiction you will not want someone that mainly works on technical manuscripts. A good editor will give you references and will tell you what kind of work they are most familiar with. 

If you don’t plan on selling your book and just want the satisfaction of having your name in print then let your sister edit your book. If you want to sell your book or use it to promote your services then consider hiring a professional.

Tuesday
Mar232010

4 Criteria to Consider Before You Begin Writing Your Book

Whether you are considering writing fiction or non-fiction, epic novel or business book to showcase you as an expert in your field, there are several things to consider before you even begin to put first word to paper.

      1. What are the goals of your book?

What is it you want to do with your book? For example, are you writing a book to promote your business or service? Are you writing a book to have something to sell in the back of the room? How about a book to give away to potential clients or customers? If you present to groups you may want a book that you can sell in the back of the room or give to the participants as part of the enrollment fee. Are you writing a book to become a famous author or to be seen as an expert in your field? No matter what the reason, before you even start to write, you need to know what you are going to do with your book when you are done. Knowing this will help you format the entire book’s direction.

Fine tuning it even further, if you are a business owner, you may have many topics you are qualified to write about. What is the one topic that will accomplish your goal of what you want to do with your book? What topic will appeal to most of your clients and give you the expert status you want? You may have several target markets for your book. It is important to narrow you target audience based on the goals and topics of your book.

      2. What are your personal reasons for writing a book?

This question goes hand in hand with your stated goals. If your primary goal is to leave a book for your grandchildren then the focus and outcome of your book will be different then if you are writing a book to sell in the back of the room. Do you want to have a marketing tool for your business or do you want to become rich and famous from your book. Have a good handle on your own personal reasons for writing the book. Knowing these will make the direction you take much easier to follow. If you have any doubt, you may need to seek a professional to give you advice on reasons behind your manuscript.

     3. How are you going to publish your book?

Today you have a variety of publishing options. If you are writing a novel you may wish to work with a traditional publisher. If you are writing a business book for a niche market you will want to self publishing or find an independent publisher that can guide you through the publishing process. To find out more about the options read Traditional Publishing, Self-Publishing or Co-Publishing. What is Right For You?

     4. How are you going to market your book?

Unless you have already published a best seller and have a publisher that is marketing your book, you will need to have a marketing plan for your book. If you write the book first and then market the book you will have a lot of books stored in your garage or attic. It is important to establish an online platform before you release your book. If you have a following on your blog, twitter and facebook, you can get the word out quicker when your book is released.

There are many factors that determine the success of your book. Many of the factors are out of your control but if you can answer these questions before you even start to write your book, then your success will be greater.

If you would like help getting started on a book, contact us for a free consultation. We can help you get started thinking about how you can become a published author with that book you have always wanted to write.

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