|Edition description:||4th ed|
|Product dimensions:||5.53(w) x 8.49(h) x 0.51(d)|
Read an Excerpt
From Chapter One.
Chances are you already know why you should write a book. Maybe the inspiration for your project struck all at once while you were driving the car, taking a shower, feeding the baby or digging in the garden. Or perhaps your Idea developed over a period of time, as a series of incidents convinced you that a particular book needed to be written.
For Mindy Bingham, inspiration came as she stood at the front desk of the Girls Club of Santa Barbara. Mindy was touched when a single parent, struggling financially, exhausted and disifiusloned, anived to pick up her daughter. Living in poverty and feeling that she had no control over her own life, the woman had tears in her eyes as she asked Mindy, "Why didn't someone tell me what it would be like when I was growing up?"
As Mindy turned from the desk, she vowed to do something to help young women take charge of their lives-not just the teenagers in her care but as many young women as she could reach. And she knew the best vehicle for accomplishing her goal would be a book.
A book is the only immortality. - Rufus Choate
You should write a book because there is something you need to say, or you feel there is something other people need to know. Books are the carriers of ideas and Information. They are the key to personal growth and increased satisfaction. Books unlock the mind. When you write a book, you become a part of the elite community that creates our culture and keeps it alive. And there are a lot of people and books in that community. According to a 1997 Wall St reeL Journal article, "A staggering 1.3 millIon book titles are now in print, 140,000 of them first published in 1996 alone.
The chapters whIch follow will tell you how to author your book and get It into print, even if you do not have the time, temperament, talent, training or territory to be a "writer" in the traditional sense of the word.
As in many other parts of our lives today, tradition is playing a smaller role in the book business. In the past, books were luxuries available to only a few. Now they are necessities, bought and read by the millions of people who realize the importance of knowledge in a technological world such as ours. As John Naisbitt and Patricia Aburdene said in Megatrends 2000, "In fewer than ten years the growth in information has only quickened." The Information boom continues to accelerate, but as the authors point out, "Without a structure, a frame of reference, the vast amount of data that comes your way each day will probably whiz right by you." That's why it is important to be aware of the changes surrounding you. Some of the megatrends mentioned that are influencing our lives include a renaissance in the arts, global lifestyles and cultural nationalism, the religious revival of the new millenium, and the triumph of the individual. For anyone interested in authoring a book, these facts point the way to many new opportunities. Packaged information is becoming increasingly specialized. More and more books are being printed in smaller and smaller quantities. The Information in them is going out of date faster, but books are being produced more rapidly by computerized equipment.
The new source of power is not money in the hands of a few but information in the hands of many. -John Naisbitt in Megatrends.
In general, consumers feel pressed for time so they expect to gain knowledge through shorter and slimmer books. People want to know "how to" and "where to" and they will pay well to find out. This hunger for the written word extends to works of fiction as well. Perhaps because they do not have the time actually to get away, readers reach for a book when they want escape, adventure or romance.
IS IT WORTH THE EFFORT? While writing a book is not terribly difficult, it takes time and commitment. You have only 24 hours in each day. Time can be enjoyed, employed, invested or just dribbled away. Often It Is simply lost- forever.
By investing some of that time in writing a book, you create opportunities that could change your whole life. Authoring a book may be the least expensive way of going into business for yourself. It can give you economic freedom.
During the writing process, producing a book may seem like anything but freedom. However, it is a trade-off. You work for the book now. It will work for you later.
Your published book can generate income for years while you are away doing something else. Someday, while you are lying on a beach or flying off to London, it will cross your mind that, "I'm getting paid for this!" You will no longer wonder if it was worth the effort.
Financial rewards are signfficant, but there are other payoffs for writing a successful book. Some of them are:
- The fulfillment of a dream
- The pride of ownership, the satisfaction of knowing it is yours
- The strong sense of accomplishment when you finish
- Reaching hundreds or thousands of people with your ideas
- Changing people's lives, or even the directions of institutions
- The good feeling you get whenever you get a letter from a satisfied reader
- The recognition of your peers
Most authors love the process and the outcome. They also love the pats on the head. If you were to ask them, we think they would agree that, yes, you should write a book.