As I said, the craze is upon us. Everyone’s online, and sometimes folks spend more time chatting with Internet buddies than they do talking face to face with actual friends. I know I’ve been guilty of this one myself. Anyway, along with the advent of the World Wide Web, came people who need a little help figuring out how to get where they want to get. They want to find like-minded people, find a date, find love, and find support.
There’s a huge book market for hooking people up with people online. Here are just a few things that could be covered: speed dating online, virtual music jams, taking online classes, hooking up with people who share your hobby, and finding online support groups. Any of these and more are of interest to people who wish to get maximum benefit from their ability, thanks to the Internet, to network with people in the farthest reaches of the world. In fact one of the appeals with online communing is that distance does not matter. Help these people in foreign lands find each other with a book.
Topics of special interest to women.
The facts don’t lie. Women dominate the Internet, and they spend or influence spending of 80 cents for every dollar changing hands. What women want has never been so important to business owners and authors.
Certain topics appeal particularly to the female set. These include beauty, health, decorating, emotional support, and life enrichment. Women do a few things, generally, that men don’t. They play bunko, wear make-up, and talk for hours to their girlfriends on the phone. They send more greeting cards, prepare more casseroles, and vacuum more often than men. They eat more salads and go shopping more often for clothes. They get more pedicures and love to dance more than the average man.
There are two things to keep in mind with regards to women and books. If you want to attract a female market, you need to write about a topic that women like to read about, and you want to make the title friendly towards women.
Here’s a female-oriented subject and title: Where to find great shopping bargains in Taos.
And here’s a male subject: Where to catch the most fish in Taos.
Here’s a female-friendly title (same as above): Where to find great shopping bargains in Taos.
And here’s a male-friendly title on the same subject: Keep your money in your pocket in Taos.
See the difference? Even the text colour!!!
Know your market, and if you need to choose between one and the other, you’re safe going with the women’s title.
People don’t need to sneak out of bookstores with erotic books in their hands anymore, and they know it. They are looking on the Internet for sex materials, toys, and books. The Internet is private, individuals can take their sweet time, and indeed they can surf with or without a lover sharing their chair. There’s been a recent eBook success entitled Orgasms for two. There is room for more similar eBooks. On the subject of sex, this is one case where a fiction book may also do the trick. You could create erotic short stories or a how-to-have-great-sex eBook. Either eBook would entice adults interested in this category (or incidentally, most adults are indeed interested in this category).
I have been married twice and known many beautiful women. For most of the last decade I have been happy to live alone.
Yet recently I met someone. And things feel like they are changing.
The way my thoughts have gone bring me back to a song from Jethro Tull. I must have bought this album on vinyl more than 50 years ago…
“All the places I’ve been make it hard to begin, to enjoy life again on the inside, but I mean to. Take a walk around the block, and be glad that I’ve got, me some time to be in from the outside, and inside with you.”
In these days, although fewer and fewer are attending churches, more and more are flocking to purchase self-help books. Self-help books are leaping off shelves at brick and mortar bookstores. People want to feel that if they read a self-help book, they have all the power to change their lives. Whether or not this is true is moot. Changing your life, soul searching, and helping thyself, are all great book topics.
As much as ever before, people want to know how to find peace with their pasts, how to be creative or spiritual in a consuming society, and how to find true love. There is no end to how-to books you could create in the category of self-help, or life enrichment. Here are a few more ideas:
These are fiery hot topics that are sure to be on the rise. You can pull any one of these to use for your first book. Then come back and pull another topic for your next book.
Using the latest electronics.
We are a society obsessed with having the latest and greatest technology. Do a book on iPods, email/camera cell phones, wireless Internet, digital TV, or any combination of these items.
There’s so much of a craze in this area that do-it-yourself (DIY) stores are on every corner of major cities. If you haven’t been to a Home Depot or Lowe’s lately, then you are one of the few. Sure, apartment dwellers and young students aren’t in this market, but people with homes and money to afford them are in this market. In fact, some cable TV services offer entire channels dedicated to home improvement.
Especially of current interest are in-home automation systems. DIY home improvers are eager to learn about and buy things that will make their home lives more relaxing, high-tech, or fun. Create a book to teach them how to make their lights come on for them before they get home from their jobs, or how to press a button to adjust window blinds, music, or temperature. Or how Bill Gates’ house works. Or how to add automation to an existing home, or how to build-in automation when a house is constructed.
Identity theft prevention.
Especially because many books are marketed on the Internet, this is a great topic. This is because people who purchase over the Internet are concerned that their credit card numbers will not be seen by others or misused in any way. Even away from the computer though, consumers are on-edge about identity theft. Today, people are shredding their receipts, removing their personal information from the face of their checks, and cautiously covering themselves when they type in passwords at public terminals or ATMs. Microchips are being installed on ID cards. People are worried. Tap into this with a book!
Along the same lines as worrying about identity theft, people are worried about their safety from other things like crime, chemical warfare attack, and natural disasters. Watch the evening news tonight, and you will be able to list at least twenty things that people are afraid of. When you talk about safety, you are speaking their language. Titles along the lines of be prepared for any natural disaster would go over well, as would those like never be a crime victim again, how to defend yourself in a parking lot, or prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
How-to manualsforany new product recently on the market.
This harks back to the Dummies series but takes it one step further. Target your book to people who want to buy the most current commercially available item. How to use the new model John Deere tractor. You will be sure that no one else has a book like yours, and you can say so in your sales pitch.
How to survive any phase of life.
People face numerous demons and battles as they live their lives. For many, when they’re in need, they’ll be reaching out for help. Support groups, private therapy, being with friends, starting over – these are all solid topics for a book. You could also reach out specifically to certain people needing emotional assistance. How to get through the terrible two’s. How to cope with a cancer diagnosis. Living with your own shortcomings. How to live with someone who is dying. Surviving high school. Any of these will do.
Anything to do withpets.
People are pampering their pets more than ever before. Some pets are treated better than people. It’s the people who spend small fortunes on their pets that will also be willing to pay good money for a book that gives them ideas on how to treat their animals even more royally than they already do.
Write books on how to pamper your parakeet, homemade meals for picky dogs, where the pet spas are, how to train your kids to be cat-friendly, million dollar homes for mutts, which animals make the best pets, or pet psychology.
Traveling mixed with the subjects above.
Not only are people traveling like crazy, but they want to customize their itineraries and their methods of travel with their hobbies and lifestyles. Try a few of these on for size:
Where to dine around the globe and still stay on a low-carb diet plan
Tom scanned the wooden floors, the roof beams, the empty glasses, the empty-headed numbskulls at the bar. He scanned a newspaper, a tin of beans and the police radio in New York. He noticed a group of Gnomes sitting in the corner, underneath the metal signs for shoe polish and soap, each sipping a glass of lemonade and holding a sign saying ‘I’m Free!’
“Is that some sort of political pressure group?” enquired Tom.
“Where do you come from?” said Ken. “Haven’t you seen Gnomes at a bar before? Fantastic chaps at the end of the night!”
A quizzical look danced across Tom’s face, shimmied down his right arm and persuaded his hand to impel his pint towards his mouth.
Ken suffered the same quizzical face; so after a massive chug of the Black stuff he explained.
“Gnomes are the most helpful chaps we know. If you need the fish to be taken out of your pond the Gnomes will happily spend days fishing; if you have a toadstool that needs warming up a Gnome will happily sit there all day keeping the seat nice and warm. If you have a wheelbarrow full of anything, they will wheel it away for you; Ladybirds needed – ask a Gnome. They’ll even do a bit of Lady Gardening if you can’t be bothered. And when a chap is pissed as a newt – a Gnome will escort you back to your household.”
“Fascinating,” said Tom.
“Indeed,” added Magdalene, feeling the need for a bit of gardening.
“Thanyuverrmuch!” said Ken.
There followed many more cries of ‘Dublin’ as the evening progressed, the Elves becoming marvellously pissed, the Masters of Reality appearing to suffer no ill effects.
“Who fancies a game of Candle in the Wind?” asked Wayne.
“What is that?” enquired Magdalene.
Wayne demonstrated what happens when you put a candle in the wind, producing a wonderful rear flamethrower and a scorch mark on the table. With a snort and a sneer Magdalene decided not to participate.
Wayne and Ken got into a terrible argument about Magic Mushrooms, Wayne believing they should be provided free, Ken arguing that such delicacies were not an essential and should therefore be charged for accordingly. Wayne felt it should be a part of a National Elf Service; Ken called him a Communist. Neither had considered the cost benefit analysis of their viewpoints, nor the elasticity of demand; so instead they decided that the best conclusion to the argument would be to come up with the best put down possible.
“Knob!” was flung by each simultaneously.
As the beer turned their mood to melancholia, things changed.
“You’re the devil in disguise!”
“You and your cheating heart!”
“Who’s sorry now?”
“You’re a heartbreaker!”
“You’ve lost that loving’ feeling!”
“You’ll never walk alone!”
“I mean you’ll never walk again!”
“Disturbing,” said Tom.
“Fascinating,” said Magdalene.
“Anyway,” said Ken, “Let’s have a little less conversation and a little more action!”
He lifted his arms as if to engage in a bout of fisticuffs with his old friend; instead he crashed his head into the table top, sending empty glasses spinning wildly across the floor, magically not breaking any; this was rapidly followed by Wayne sliding down his chair to a sleeping position on the floor.
“Come on now Gentlemen,” shouted the Barman. “No sleeping under the table; let’s make a move. Haven’t you got a Gnome to go to?”
Never has so much travel been available to so many. People today want to get in touch with the people they love. They want to experience different parts of the world. See exotic things. Be entertained. Also, because, especially in America, adults sometimes work well more than 40 hours a week, people need really good vacations. They’re doing their research to make sure that they will really enjoy their precious few weeks off each year.
Here are some topics for you: how to trade frequent flyer miles, how to keep airport security off your back, how to travel on a dime and get change, and how to keep your children happy on long car trips.
Beyond the how-to’s, there is plenty of room for books like, the best amusement parks for your money, top 100 campgrounds, things you must see and do in Utah before you die, and free things to do when visiting Washington, D.C.
Get the idea? The good thing about creating travel books is that you may already know a lot about a place that other people may be interested in visiting. Makes it easy!
Money makes the world go around (well that and the earth’s axis and planetary forces), and so it would make sense that books would abound on the topic of money. They do, but the market is nowhere near saturated. There’s always room for more. From getting rich to just saving money day-to-day, people are always interested in how-to books related to money. Ideas below:
Perhaps sixteen year old girls don’t want to look younger, but from that point on, and for most of the population in Western society, looking young is a common desire. Everybody wants to find the fountain of youth, whether it be in a pill bottle, a special diet, surgery, or a book.
A book about staying or appearing young in the face of growing old will have a solid future. Here are some title ideas, and I’m sure you can come up with a truckload more.
“Drop ten years and ten pounds in ten days”
“How to look 28 forever”
“100 ways to look younger”
“Grocery store products that will help you look younger”
“Look 30 again without surgery”
“How to live to be 100”
This topic is red hot. Botox, surgery, chemical peels, lasers, diets, acupuncture, electronic pulses, mega vitamins, prescription teas, thigh cream, and teeth whiteners are being purchased by baby boomers, the elderly, and even women as young as 20 ! No one wants to look a day older than they have to.
Health is a concern to anyone who is growing old or ill or faced illness with a loved one or wants more energy or, basically, everybody. Health books are a good investment for you to make. And doctors don’t have to be the authors. Anyone with any credentials, or no credentials at all, can write books on health. Just be sure you don’t claim to be a doctor if you’re not one.
Here are some health topics you can hit at this moment in time and be almost guaranteed immediate interest, readership, and sales!
Disease prevention and cure.As our baby boomer population ages, most will be afflicted with heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, or some other malady. Give these people some hope. Create a book on how to cope, how to find the best practitioners, how to avoid disease triggers, or cures American doctors are unaware of.
Natural remedies. People are curious about alternatives to standard medicine, and are anxious to try herbal, natural, or holistic treatments. Create a book on any disease that covers alternative cures. For example, “How to Treat Lymphoma, Naturally.” Or, you could just address natural supplements in general, “The best natural remedies for common ailments,” or “Holistic health.”
Diet. What we eat is always a hot topic. There are literally dozens if not hundreds of diet fads currently out there. Pick any one of them for a book. Then there’s obesity, general health, and also diet supplements like vitamins. Think “How to equip your kitchen for macrobiotic dieting.” Or, “Eat to cure cancer.”
There are groups of people who are willing to buy nonfiction books: hobbyists. At any given time, these people are looking for ways to spend their money on their hobbies. Their passion is your financial gain.
What avid hobbyists want will always make great book material. Note that I did not say what hobbyists need. You may have certain opinions on what exactly certain people should need or should read. But those are not necessarily good topics for immediate book publishing profit. Those topics may be areas for you to dabble in at your leisure. However, if you want to make money at this, find out what niche groups want, and hit those groups with your book.
Find hobbyists and niche groups by searching the web for “popular hobbies,” “enthusiasts,” or “what America is buying.” Or, you can search specifically for forums and discussion groups for hobbyists. In the forums, people talk with each other to share ideas with one another. Often, they will exchange testimonials for equipment, upcoming events, and books.
One popular site where hobbyists go to talk to one another online is Yahoo! Check it out. Go to www.yahoo.com. Click “groups.” On the groups page you’ll see a list of categories such as Business & finance, and Religion. For demonstration purposes, click on “Games.”
On the games screen, game subcategories are listed followed by numbers. The numbers indicate how many discussion forums are available for that subcategory. These numbers reveal a lot. Notice how “role playing games,” and “video & computer games” have factors of ten or in some cases factors of 100 more forums than other subcategories. “Wargaming” and “paintball” don’t even come close, although those categories are much more discussion-laden than “horseshoe pitching.”
For fun, one day I continued selecting subcategories until I arrived at a list of over a thousand (yes a thousand) discussion groups on Yahoo having to do with vampire role playing. Here’s how I got there: Games>>Role Playing Games>>Live Action>> World of Darkness>>Vampire: The Masquerade.
Some of the forums are open to new members, and you can join to read what everyone’s discussing. Once in the forum, you can review discussion threads from today, yesterday, or a year ago. Don’t go back too far if you want to find out the hottest possible book topics. You can participate in discussions if you like. FYI, do not drop into a discussion group just to market a book; hobbyists consider this spam and will drop you from the group.
When you read and/or participate, you’ll find out what this group is buying. All you have to do is skim to find out what questions they are asking each other about products or traveling or information. What they are interested in buying is a key piece of information because passionate consumers love to research before they buy. This is an immediate book market. Create a book on how to select the best this or that on the market, related to the current wants of the enthusiasts.
Enthusiasts come in all shapes and sizes. Think brides-to-be, golfers, whitewater rafters, people who collect vintage baseball cards, wine connoisseurs, gardeners, frequent vacationers, video gamers, and parents who put their children into private tutoring, ballet, and violin lessons before age 3.
There are some hobbies that seem to continually attract enthusiasts, like playing golf, watching football, restoring old cars, and listening to music. These are classics. Then there are some hobbies that seem to come and go in waves, such as Red Hat Societies participation, snowboarding, or line dancing. Pick either a classic hobby or a fluctuating hobby in its peak season for your best odds.
A big market on the Internet is the 20-30 set. Here’s what they are doing right now, according to one survey. They’re snowboarding, wakeboarding, traveling, camping, listening to music, taking photographs. They’re drinking gourmet coffee, rock climbing, playing guitar, camping, dancing, looking for online love, shopping for computers and other electronics, attending sports events, studying the Bible, exercising, trying to find jobs, and watching movies. Any one of these subjects would make a great book with a buying market standing by.
There is almost no limit whatsoever on the marketability of how-to books. Everyone wants an instruction manual, advice, and encouragement that they can do anything they read a how-to book for. Anything you know how to do, anything you’ve ever wanted to learn, or anything that’s teachable at all, can become a how-to book.
How-to books for hobbyists are a good way to go, and this overlaps with the discussion above. A hobby how-to book could be anything from how to build a home from hay bales to how to play Texas Hold ‘Em to how to understand Shakespeare.
One book publisher knows how hungry we are for how-to information, and has created a whole series of “Dummies” books around the market. Further, there are other similar book series’, and all of them are doing quite well! “The Everything” series, “Idiot’s Guide” series and others are all cashing in on the how-to phenomenon.
You could cash in by creating books on any or all subjects covered in any of those series’. Go to www.dummies.com, and check out their list of titles. Pick one you like, and move full speed ahead!
Remember that even though the books have “Dummies” in the title, that the books are as popular as they are because the readers are not treated like dummies at all. The authors cater to a person who wants to find out the easiest way to do something without too much tangential discussion. When you have your book written and when you choose a title, make sure you are appealing to a reader’s smarts! If you use words like stupid, dumb, or hopeless in the title, make sure that it is clear that the meaning would not extend to insulting the individual reader.
EBooks, because of their brevity and because they are marketed primarily on the Internet can target smaller audiences. You don’t have to write a universal book like How to use a computer (which may not be interesting enough to sell anyway in this decade). EBooks can cover more specific territory. Knowing this, you can 1) create your book in a specific way for a specific niche readership, and 2) create additional books for different facets of the same subject, and sell each one separately!
Say you’ve decided to write a book on fishing. (FYI, this is one of those hobbies where enthusiasts are willing to spend money!). You could create “How to Catch Freshwater Trout,” “How to Tie Your Own Flies,” or “How to Plan a Successful Deep Sea Fishing Trip.” Almost anything related to the hobby can become a separate book depending on how much detail you include. Clearly, “How to put on waders,” probably wouldn’t be a great choice (though some would say it’s impossible to underestimate today’s consumer), because you would have to strain to fill up 60 to 100 pages on such a simple topic. You get the idea. The topic would need to be, in most cases, book worthy. Use good judgment.
Then, life itself requires instructions, as we know from “Life’s Little Instruction Book.” So, life also qualifies as a good how-to book topic. There are numerous subtopics, and you’ll never run out of ideas. Here are a few examples:
“How to ensure your child gets an A+ in math”
“How to have a successful garage sale”
“How to organize your home office”
And while we’re on the subject of how-to books, I’d like to make one quick point. The titles of these books do not need to be incredibly clever. Be sure the words “How to” are the first part of the title, and the rest should tell exactly what the book is about.
For example, which of these three titles would be best?
1. “How to have a successful garage sale.”
2. “One weekend away from a cleaner house”
3. “How to sell your old shoes for a profit”
Although numbers 2 and 3 are clever, a little punchy, and correspond with the book content, I would still recommend using title number 1. “How to have a successful garage sale” sums it up pretty well and will catch the eye of an Internet surfer who is interested in putting together a garage sale and needs a how-to manual.
Anyway, back to the point. Any phase of life, way of coping with life, or large or small thing about life can be the subject of a how-to book.
The Internet is a great way to find out what people are looking for at any given moment. You can search for almost anything. Google™ is a popular search engine you can use, or you can try any of the others like Yahoo! Type in phrases like “top concerns of Americans,” “best-selling nonfiction topics,” or “popular how-to manuals.”
Find out the most popular nonfiction books from the New York Times bestseller list, Amazon, and a Google search for best-selling books. Your findings will tell you exactly what book subject’s people are buying right now.
Try this. Go to www.amazon.com. From the tabbed menu running along the top of the Amazon home page, click “Top Sellers.”
I did this one day in September 2011 and found a Harry Potter book, several other fiction books, and titles such as Natural cures “they” won’t tell you about, How what you wear can change your life, How to profit from the demise of the dollar, and The official SAT study guide. I’ve paraphrased to some degree, but you get the idea.
Here’s what I learned just from spending a few minutes on Amazon that day. People are reading good fiction from already-best selling authors (Da Vinci Code, the Harry Potter series, the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and others). Secondly, Amazon buyers, buying over the Internet, are interested in nonfiction topics such as improving their lives and making more money. For these books, just about any author will do, even virtual unknowns or people who went to prison for lying to the American public.
And that quick visit only confirmed that the straightest route to book profits is in the nonfiction book market. This is for a number of reasons. Fiction readers tend to like to curl up in a chair with an actual book. Some of them attend book clubs where the physical books are brought around someone’s kitchen table with wine and cheese. Fiction readers tend to purchase from authors they’re already familiar with. Fiction can be more difficult to write and deliver well. Also, many of the classics in fiction are available as free eBooks. A reader interested in fiction could just download those. So stick with nonfiction unless you’re feeling particularly bold and experimental.
Here is some more good news, and if you didn’t already know this then you are going to be smiling big. Drum roll please… ideas are not copyrighted, therefore any idea you see, hear, or read anywhere anytime, is yours to use for a book! You can create books around the same ideas that are covered in the Amazon best seller list, and turnaround and create a book on the exact same subject!
Now, copyright law does protect the way ideas are expressed, so you want to make sure your hired author does not plagiarize or copy book text outright. And you cannot use the title word for word either. But there’s nothing stopping you from creating another book or eBook that covers the same subject with a different voice. It’s all as completely legal and guilt-free as nonfat Haagen Dazs. This is why looking at bestseller lists is a great way to get topic ideas.
This week we will look at some ideas for writing a book that might be non-fiction to help grow your business.
One of the best things that you can do to help grow your business and to position yourself as an expert in whatever field you may work in is to write your own book.
The problem is writing a book can be hard even if you are a seasoned writer.
In this guide were going to talk about different ways that you can have your own book completed by this time next month regardless of if you decide to write yourself or if you choose to take the easy route and have somebody else write it for you.
I would not have believed it if I hadn’t done it for myself. You can actually write a book without actually doing the writing. Because of an interesting legal twist, you can hire a writer, and then when the writer is finished, you own the complete copyright to the work. If it sounds too good to be true, it almost is!
It couldn’t be easier to select a topic for a book. People are hungry for information, and people are looking to the Internet to feed their hunger. After you’ve read this chapter, you will feel confident enough to choose your own topic, or you can literally pull your book topic directly from this book and use it! How’s that for a deal?
If you’re smart enough to read this, you’re smart enough to look around you and determine what interests you and those around you. Think of what problems you’ve recently solved, and what kinds of problems others have had and solved. Any problem that has been solved in your world could easily be the subject of your next book. People love to read how other have solved a problem that they currently have.
So, brainstorm a list of problems in your life and in the lives of those around you. Your friend Bob lost his job? Your sister’s child had chicken pox? How did they cope or find solutions? While you’re at it, start another list of unsolved problems evident in your corner of the world. Write down problems you wish you had solved. Aha! These are subjects that people will really be interested in!
How to lose the last ten pounds.
The truth about UFOs.
The straightest path to becoming a millionaire.
From your personal corner, your step-granddaughter is pregnant at age 14?
Your grocery bill is double what it used to be?
Your roof leaks?
These are problems waiting for solutions!
These unsolved problems would also be great book topics. Remember, you don’t have to know the solution, just the topic. You’re going to get someone else to do the research and write the book for you. You will not actually be writing one word.
It is approaching midnight Wednesday. I am scheduling blog posts, editing my second book, preparing Physics lessons for my online classes and applying for a full time teaching post in Cairo.
A busy evening…
In the background I have Youtube on my TV. Playing some classic tracks from the Jethro Tull album ‘ Benefit’ – it was their third release in 1970. I remember buying it when I was 13. I have always enjoyed this album – it is one I seem to rediscover every 3 or 4 years.
Anyway, on TV appeared Ian Anderson playing live at the Montreaux Jazz Festival a few years ago. And he played ‘With You there to Help Me’, the first track form ‘Benefit’. It was a lovely live version, somewhat slower and more mellow than the original album version – maybe we’re all getting older!
I just felt I would like to share some of the lyrics.
“With You There To Help Me”
In days of peace — sweet smelling summer nights of wine and song; dusty pavements burning feet. Why am I crying, I want to know. How can I smile and make it right? For sixty days and eighty nights and not give in and lose the fight.
I’m going back to the ones that I know, with whom I can be what I want to be. Just one week for the feeling to go — and with you there to help me then it probably will.
I won’t go down acting the same old play. Give sixty days for just one night. Don’t think I’d make it: but then I might.
I’m going back to the ones that I know, with whom I can be what I want to be. Just one week for the feeling to go — and with you there to help me then it probably will.
When I took up creative writing in a more serious mode, I looked into getting a publishing deal. The whole thing about getting an Agent or going direct to the publishing company just seemed overwhelming. I found this article and tweaked it a little , as I think many people will have experienced the same emotions and indecisions. In the end I self-published on Amazon as it is easy to then sell a Kindle version and a paperback. I have added a link to my first Comedy at the end of this post – ANY feedback is appreciated.
Are you an author who has a book that you would like to see published?
If so, have you received multiple rejection letters from both large and small publishing houses? If you have, your first thought may be to give up. Of course, it is your right to do so, but did you know that you do have other options? One of those options is to self-publish your own book.
Before examining if self-publishing your own book is right for you, it is first important to familiarize yourself with self-publishing, namely what it is. Self-publishing involves writing, developing, and selling a book without the assistance of a third party publishing company. Book authors are responsible for writing a book, editing a book, and finding a company to print the book, as well as selling the book. Self-published authors typically sell their books on their own websites or they approach retailers, both on and offline.
As for whether or not self-publishing a book is the right option for you, there are some signs that you will want to look for. A few signs that self-publishing may be your best option are highlighted below for your convenience.
Sign #1 – You Have a Book with Limited Readers
When many of us think of publishing a book, we automatically think of captivating stories. Fiction books are not the only types of books written, although they do typically tend to have the largest audiences. If you have written a how-to book or a guide on a specific area that is likely to only draw in a limited number of readers, self-publishing may be your best option. Many well-known publishers tend to stay away from books that only have small target audiences.
In my case I had to ask – how many people would be interested in the Strange Tale of a Pixy with Piles as he travels around Uranus looking for a cure!
Sign #2 – You Want to Retain the Largest Profit
Self-published authors stand the best chance of making the biggest profit. This is because publishing fees are not taken out of their profits. With that said, it is important to remember that self-publishing is not free. You will have to pay to have your books developed in print, but that fee is typically smaller than the cut that many well-known publishers take. There are always ways that you can save money with self-publishing, like by printing on demand, as opposed to a large quantity of books on hand.
Self-publishing on Amazon allows you to set the price and to see how much profit you can make per sale.
Of course, it is important to remember that just because you want to make money, it doesn’t mean that you will. If you want to make the most money with a self-published book, you have do to the proper amount of marketing.
Sign #3 – You Have Received Multiple Rejection Letters
What it is first important to understand about the publishing process is that few authors receive offers from publishers on their first, second, or even third try. In fact, some authors try as many as fifty times or more to get just one book published before they receive an offer.
As a good rule to set for yourself, be sure to send your manuscript to as many publishers as you possibly can, especially those that are looking for what you have, such as an environmental themed children’s book or a science fiction novel. When there are no more publishers left, consider self-publishing.
Sign #4 – Despite Rejection Letters You Still Believe You Have a Good Book
Self-publishing is a wise choice for many, but for others it can be a costly mistake. Before deciding to go ahead with self-publishing a book, it is important to make sure that you are fully behind your book. Do you honestly and truly believe in your heart that you have a good book on your hands? If you do, self-publishing may be for you.
As a reminder, it is important to remember that there are a number of pros and cons to self-publishing. With that being said, self-publishing may be the best option for you. If you truly believe that you have a book that will sell, you are encouraged to closely examine self-publishing, as you have nothing to lose by doing so.
Don’t forget there are many other Online places to put a copy of your book. You can post chapters to sites for people to comment.
Do you have the goal of becoming a published writer?
If you do, you may be curious as to what steps you need to take to achieve your goal. When it comes to getting a book published, there are multiple steps that you will need to take; however, some are much more important than others.
The first thing that you will need to do is…
… write your book. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to proceed with caution. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that any book will do. Do the research to determine which genres are popular or what types of books publishers are seeking. Another common mistake that many new authors make is aiming for children’s books. If you truly want to write a children’s book, go ahead and do so. However, do not make the mistake of assuming that it would be easier to make more money with children’s books because they are easier to write and shorter in length.
If you have already written your book or as soon as it is completed, there are steps that you will want to take before sending your completed manuscripts off to publishers.
You will want to proofread your book,
then proofread it again,
and one more time for safe measure.
If you are not using the services of a professional editor, it may be a wise idea to ask a small number of trusted friends or relatives to review your book for you, give you input, and make note of any errors. For longer books, consider giving those that you know a few chapters to review.
Another step that you will want to take involves looking into literary agents.
When writing adult books, you will find that a good percentage of well-known publishers only deal with authors who have professional literary agents in their corner. With that said, you are not required to use the services of a literary agent, but it may result in more work for you. Even if you are not sure if a literary agent is the right choice for you, consider giving a few a close look. When doing so, examine fees, feedback, client testimonials, and success rate.
If you decide not to use the services of a professional literary agent, you will need to find and examine book publishers yourself.
When sending your manuscript out, be very careful. You will not want to make some costly, but easy to avoid mistakes. That is why research is important. Purchase a writer’s guide or book, such as the Writer’s Market. You can also use the internet to find similar information online, although this approach can be time consuming.
As for why researching publishers is important, you will find that many have rules and restrictions. For example, do not waste your time by sending your books to publishers who only deal with literary agents if you do not have an agent. Examine dates, as some publishers only accept manuscript certain months of the year. Can you submit your manuscript to other publishers at the same time? Some have rules, restrictions, or recommendations that encourage you not to do so.
Another important step that you will want to take, when looking to get a book published…
is to not give up.
It is rare for a publisher to accept a book on the first try, especially if you are unpublished author. Do not give up. Try different publishers. If you receive ten or more rejections, it may be time to recheck your book. Are there any storyline changes or layout changes that can be made to improve your chances of getting your book published? If so, experiment.
When looking to get a book published, the above mentioned steps are just a few of the many that you will want to take and should take. These steps, however, are ones that all authors should take, as they should be able to help you improve your chances of getting your book published. As a reminder, it is important to do the proper amount of research before you start submitting your book.
Are you a writer who is interested in writing a book, hopefully one that will be published?
If you are, have you ever written a book before? If not, there is a good chance that you are looking for the easiest approach to take. After all, no one wants to create more work for themselves than needed. That often results in many writers asking themselves which books are easier to get published.
When it comes to determining what type of books are easier to get published, the answer isn’t as easy to find as many individuals had hoped for. In all honesty, publishing any type of book, whether it be a children’s book or a romance novel, isn’t easy. A lot of time, hard, work, determination, and research goes into getting a book published. With that said, there are a number of steps that you can take to help you ease the process.
For starters, it is important to choose a genre, topic, or theme, that you feel passionate about.
This is particularly true with how-to books or other helpful guides. Yes, you should look at writing as a job, especially if you hope to get a book published, but writing should never seem like work. That is why it is important that you choose a genre, topic, or theme that interests you and one that you feel passionate about. For example, if you are a parent, consider writing a children’s book. If you are a science fiction enthusiast, consider writing a science fiction novel, and so forth.
Not only will choosing a genre, topic, or theme that you are interested in make it much easier for you to write a book, but it will also provide assistance with getting your book published. If you have an invested interest in what you are writing about or if you are passionate about the words that you write, you are more likely to produce better results. You are also more likely to take the time to properly proofread and edit your book, as opposed to other authors who are just hoping to make as much money and as quickly as possible.
Regardless of what type of book are you interested in writing, you should do a little bit of research first.
As important as it is to write on a topic or great a story that you feel passionate about, it is also important to know what publishers want. For example, did you know that mysteries are popular stories for chapter books and early adult books? They are and you will see if this if you take the time to research what publishers are looking for. This research is easy to do with printed resources, like the Writer’s Market books, or by using a standard internet search online.
When you write a book that focuses on a story or topic that you have an invested passion in, as well one that focuses on a topic or a story that publishers are seeking, your chances of getting your book published increase significantly. It is also important note ease of writing. When you know what you should write about, in addition to what you want to write about, the words will flow off of your fingers in no time at all.
As a reminder, there is no specific type of book that is easier to get published than others. All publishers have the same goal and that is to publish a book that will sell. For that reason, all have strict standards.
I found this article so decided to publish it here on this blog – it’s ok I have permission!
Are you a writer who has only written web content or a writer who has only written as a hobby?
If you are, you may still have the dream of writing your own book, a book that will get published. Although most individuals who research publishing a book have already written a book, you may have yet to accomplish this important task. The good news, however, is that it may work in your favour.
If you have yet to write a book, there are a number of important steps that you will first want to take. These steps, a few of which are highlighted below, may help to improve your chances of you writing a book that will get published.
One of the first things that you will want to do, when looking to write a book that will get published, is to choose a genre.
This involves first deciding who you want to write for. Do you want to write for children, young adults, or adults? Next, decide what you want to write about. Do you want to educate your readers or give them a captivating story that they just can’t put down? As for the topic or storyline that you choose, be sure to choose something that interests you. A writer who is passionate about what they write is more likely to see success.
Once you have an idea of what type of book you want to write, as well as an idea on your theme, take the time to examine publishing companies. This is easy to do with the Writer’s Market books and other similar printed resources. Most clearly outline what types of books publishers are looking for. For example, a publisher that is accepting manuscripts for science fiction novels may give you specific tips and ideas, as well as things to avoid.
Writing a book with a theme that interests you, as well as a theme that is in demand by publishers, is one of the best ways to get your book published.
As for writing your book, it is important to start out with a plot. If you are writing a non-fiction book, such as a how-to guide, be sure to create an outline for you to follow. Fiction authors, however, should first outline a plot. Unfortunately, many authors, especially new writers, just start writing. Of course, it is important to get your thoughts on paper or on your computer, but a clear and solid plot is an important component of writing a book that will get published. Books that are just a collection of words are likely to not get published.
Once your book has been written, it is important that you do the proper amount of proofreading and editing. Many professionals vary on the number of times that a book should be proofread, but you should read through yours no less than three times. In addition to doing your own editing, you may benefit from the professional knowledge and expertise of an editor. Many have reasonable fees.
It is a wise idea to first see what many publishers are looking for.
You can do this by using the internet or printed resource guides, like the Writer’s Market. If you highlighted or recorded the information that you read, you may already have a list of publishers to submit your book to. Once your book has been proofread and edited, you are now ready to send your book to publishing companies, along with a professional cover letter. Good luck.
When writing I love to play with words. I always loved how the great, late Ronnie Barker could come up some of the best jokes by just playing with words and their meanings. There is nothing better than the famous ‘Four Candles’ sketch with Ronnie Corbert; ‘handles for forks’. He also said ” I would rather have a full bottle in front of me rather than a full frontal lobotomy”.
I have included a section from Trans-Uranic Elements: The Dark Sid of Uranus in which I have played about – I would love some feed back.
Bye the way, a ‘grumble flick’ is a reference I heard in the army, meaning a pornographic movie.
“Do you know about the Witch King?” enquired Wayne, with a slight look of pain in his eye; though it may just have been a tear of sympathy at his former predicament; or maybe it was irritated by mushroom spores that wandered lonely in a cloud, beside the river, beneath the trees, looking for a nose to make it sneeze.
“The Witch King. The meanest son of a bitch ever to pop up on Uranus!”
“And how would I address this mighty King of the Witches, should I ever chance upon him?”
“Some call him … Grumbleflick!”
“Yes – Grumbleflick! He has ants in his pants and doesn’t like to dance!”
“It seems to me young Elf, that you are familiar with this Grumbleflick.”
“That is a lie! No Elf would ever be a familiar to a Witch! No matter which Witch it was!”
A face totally devoid of any expression afflicted Tom momentarily, as he tried to work out what the feck these Elves were saying.
“I am trying to work out what the firkin Heck are you saying, young Elf?” probed Mad Tom of Bedlam.
“Look,” steamed Ken, “I know about Witches and I know about the Witch King Grumbleflick. But I am not his familiar. Nor do I like to be probed!”
“OK! OK! Let’s start again. Tell me about Grumbleflick!”
“What do you mean?”
“You don’t know what dead means?”
“Yes I do – but how can he be dead?”
“He’s a Witch!”
“Lots of them are dead. They seem to like it that way – it’s a great tax saving tip!”
“So King Grumbleflick is a stiff?”
“Not all of him, some bits are quite floppy.”
“How does he look?”
“He uses his eyes, like most folks; but apparently he has a deathly stare. And an awful twitch in his left eye…”
“So he is a winking Witch King!”
“Yes the Witch with a twitch.”
“And what of his countenance?”
“Yes, he’s mean alright! Wouldn’t give you the time of day – not that that would bother you!”
“I mean, what does his gob look like!!!!”
“Ugly fucker by all accounts. Face like a bucket of smashed crabs. And pale!”
“A pail of smashed crabs?”
“Not pail! Pale!”
“Did you ever go to school? I mean his face is very white!”
“So he is wan?”
“Yes, just him; the only one.”
“I’m a little lost here,” said Magdalene. “I can’t quite tell the difference between one and wan!”
“It’s two,” chortled Wayne.
“Yes, one and one is two!”
“But the difference is nothing!”
“True; one minus one is the same as zero to the power of ten!”
There was a brief pause as the reader tried to pick up the thread; sewing and reading simultaneously is very impressive, and could save a stitch in Time.
“I know that, but what about ‘one’ and ‘wan’?”
“So you’re not sure about the ‘one’ one and the ‘wan’ one?”
“That is what I said!” screamed Magdalene.
“She’s a bit of a one,” said Wayne to Ken.
Irritated Tom decided to take over.
“When he mentioned the paleness of the wan one he meant the King of the Witches.”
“So Grumbleflick is wan?”
“That’s the one!”
“Yes – deathly white!”
“I see! He is the winking wan King!”
Tom looked to Magdalene – who looked to all purposes like a totally muddled Basset Hound on the streets of Benidorm when the coffin dodgers are in full swing.
“So; we are looking for Grumbleflick, the winking wan King of the Witches! Where can I find him?”
“I haven’t got the foggiest!” declared Ken. “I’m happy for the Witches to be a legend of some renown but you can kiss my sweet patooty if you think I’d want to know where they live!”
“What about you?” asked Magdalene, homing in suddenly on Wayne like a Labrador on a high pitched fart.
“He lives in Witchland!” spurted Wayne.
Ken Tucky went red with anger, rage and constipation.
“I told you to forget that!” screamed Ken at his trembling chum.
“I forgot to remember to forget!” bleated Wayne.
“Which land is Witchland?” asked Tom.
“Yes,” said Ken. “Though they do say this land is my land, this land is your land, and his land is Witchland!”
The first version of my Master’s thesis was so bad and in such juvenile language, that I just deleted it totally and started again from scratch. The second version had about 3 revisions before submission – it passed first time.
With creative writing I still start with a fountain pen and a bottle of ink as I find I can get my ideas down faster this way. Then the second part of creating is to type up and develop ideas. Then it goes on the backburner for a while before reviewing.
And this is when the frustration starts.
Before submitting a poem there may be one word that just doesn’t feel right and I can agonise over it for months or years. A paragraph in a short story or a character name that just doesn’t feel right; is it Dave Jordan or Dave Wright?
With a novel?
There are at least four sitting on my hard drive, waiting for the final edit. There is always a chapter that doesn’t aid the continuity or develop a character or set a scene or even make me laugh!
It has to be done.
As we move out of the dystopian year of 2020 I am committing to finishing more. To reduce the amount of time I agonise on a word or a paragraph. To publish more.
I just went to my notes and found nine working titles for books, four of which already have first drafts saved and the other 5 with outlines planned.
I just watched both again before setting out to work on ‘Trans-Uranic Elements: The Dark Side of Uranus’ the second in my Tales of Fairy Hanny. I intend to publish it on Amazon before January has finished. Please tell me off if I don’t.
When you think of problem solving, what comes to mind? For most of is it will probably be someone sitting at a desk, scratching their head and chewing a pencil. That is to say that we normally think of problems as things that we do slowly over time and in a considered fashion.
In reality though, this often is not the case. Often we will be forced to solve problems rapidly and on the fly and this is when things can get difficult. Here we’ll look at why this ability is so important and at what you can do to improve it.
The best place to study ‘rapid problem solving’ is in the world of action sports. This will include sports like snowboarding, surfing, racecar driving and others that involve last-minute reflexes and reactions. While you might think that these actions occur automatically and in the moment, they can nonetheless still be considered as a form of decision making.
For instance, while it might be pure impulse to go around an obstacle, you still need to think which way around that obstacle you want to go – which should normally mean weighing up which route would be quicker, which has the most obstacles further on and which will make it easiest to balance as you travel. And you won’t be faced with one decision like this but countless ones.
In every-day life we make decisions like this all the time too – right down to knowing when to cross the road. So how can you improve this kind of decision making process?
The answer might lie in ‘flow states’. Flow states are a psychological phenomenon that allow us to make rapid decisions accurately that we would otherwise not be capable of. During these states we are completely focused on the matter in hand and we are able to perform flawlessly almost without thinking about it. The world seems to slow down and we become untouchable. And interestingly, it seems to be very similar to the state of flow we get into when we’re very focused on a work project.
This state is triggered by numerous neurochemicals including dopamine, norepinephrine, anandamide and endorphins. It is similar to the fight or flight response (which normally deadens creativity) but where you remain relaxed and in control the whole time.
How to Get Into Flow
So how do you get into flow? The answer seems to be that you need to be completely focused on what you’re doing, which happens when you are a) very passionate about it, or b) you believe your life is on the line. To be better at rapid decision making you need to be 100% present and as with anything, the best way to accomplish that is to practice. Practice doing things you care deeply about and your rapid decision making may just improve!
Mindfulness, presence, flow states and meditation are all popular concepts right now. In an age where we are constantly stressed, constantly distracted and always being pulled from one thing to another, the idea of calming the mind and being able to rise above the constant chatter is very appealing.
But while this is true, it’s also important not to throw the baby out with the bath water. Being ‘present’ is great because it allows you to react more quickly, to enjoy the moment without daydreaming and to let go of stresses, fears and the infamous ‘inner critic’. On the other hand though, there is a value to that ‘chitter chatter’ and to being distracted and it’s important that we don’t forget this.
Why it’s Good to Sometimes Daydream
The key point here is that while mindfulness and presence are good, they shouldn’t be sought after as the only valuable brain state. In other words, we should also value the benefit that can come from simply letting the mind wander and from daydreaming about things.
Whereas mindfulness and flow states are synonymous with the front portion of the brain shutting down, daydreaming is achieved when we engage our ‘default mode network’. This is a series of interconnected brain areas including the medial prefrontal cortex, the posterior cingulate cortex and the parietal cortex among others.
Together, these brain areas allow our mind to wander through memories and ideas while we are busy doing monotonous tasks. This is why you’ll often find yourself daydreaming when walking, when washing the dishes or when doing a host of other things.
And it’s this brain state that Albert Einstein credits with his discovery of the special theory of relativity. He attributes his ‘dull’ job at the patent office with allowing his mind to wander so that he might uncover ideas that would change the world forever.
Many other geniuses, creatives and other key influential figures also describe similar processes leading to their breakthroughs and discoveries. This is also when you or I are most likely to solve problems facing us in our daily lives, or just to imagine some wish-fulfilling scenario in which we’re performing in a rock band. And guess what? During all these experiences, you couldn’t be further from presence or mindfulness.
So the moral of this story is that the default mode network is another brain state worth focusing on and that your ‘inner critic’ isn’t all bad.
You know the feeling. There’s a deadline looming, and your mind has gone completely blank. Nothing, nada. It’s like your brain has frozen. Luckily the latest research shows us the most common roadblocks to creativity, and how to move past them and get on with the job.
Fear of failure
Most people are afraid of failing because they see it as a one-way street to disaster, rejection, and a stain on their reputation forever. Perversely, fear of failure is the mirror image of perfectionism. The idea that nothing you can do will be good enough, and that this failure defines your identity.
Fear of failure means you’re less likely to take risks, and you put off even starting. And those are two things that can kill creativity stone dead. Redefine creativity as a series of experiments, with failure as a kind of course-correction and an inevitable part of the process.
There’s not enough time
The ticking clock is another creativity killer. If you’re like most people, your schedule is probably crammed, and you feel like you’ll never catch up. If your checklist just keeps growing, you won’t be able to relax in the creative process and let the ideas flow.
A surprising way to find more time is to quarantine some chillout time in your diary. Priorities some downtime to listen to music, meditate, or just sit quietly. You’ll feel much less stressed and open to the creative flow.
You’re still staring at the screen
Sitting at your desk, staring at the computer or the blank page is not a good way to get creative. If you’ve been trying to write or problem-solve and it’s just not happening, the best thing you can do is go for a walk or make a coffee. Get out of the environment that’s keeping you stuck, get moving, and your mental gears can disengage and relax enough to be ready when inspiration strikes.
You’re feeling negative
Negative thinking can stop creativity in its track. If you’re sitting there frowning, and thinking you can’t do it, you’re pretty much guaranteeing that you won’t be able to do it.
Pessimism and negative self-talk set up a vicious cycle of gloom and low energy. Reject that self-defeating attitude and give yourself a pep talk. Reframe your task and just promise yourself you’ll write down whatever comes into your head, just to get the process started. Remember, first drafts are invariably not your best product, because that’s what a first draft is for! You’ve done good work before, you’ll do it again. Tell the muse you’re ready and get writing!
I have decided to change my approach to this blog.
I’ve had a lifetime of creative writing, from short stories and poems in School and University magazines, to self publishing on Amazon; helping with scripts for school plays in my teaching career; to workshops as a student and as a tutor.
Professionally, I teach Mathematics and Physics in High school – and I encourage my students to be creative. I once worked on some research at the University of Essex with a Computing lecturer who was a former Art teacher. He reckons you need to have a more creative mind as a Mathematician than as an Artist – there is a good point for debate.
Most of this blog has been extracts from my books, short stories and poems. I have another blog about my journey into online business and as this has been more successful in terms of followers, I will now use some of the concepts I learned there to update this blog.
So from now on there will be articles about Writing, Goal Setting, Motivation etc, interspersed with my own efforts.
If anyone would like to add a short story or poem please let me know.
This time she is called in to help solve a problem in Time. She joins the company of Two Time Travellers and Two Elfs on the way to Witchland, though they aren’t sure which land is Witchland.
Mad Tom and Mad Magdalene (Maudlin) have travelled through Time to find out who is messing about with the Space-Time continuum, with the intention of putting a stop to these shenanigans. They have picked up the company of two Elfs – Ken Tucky and Wayne Down – who only seem to speak Elvis. These two plonkers are a pair of chancers who are also basically cowards!
Hanny directs them to the port of Hlither Poler where they can meet the Sankyu Fairies and get help to visit Witchland,
With the help of Admiral Bell Bottomed George and the wonderful Sankyu Fairy Mutch, they get up to all kinds of japes and scrapes.
There are Kraken, A Bargee Dwarf called Mr O’Nighon, Steve from Aldeburgh, Ferocious Teddy Bears and the winking wan King of the Witches, Grumbleflick.
You will be thrilled!
You will laugh!
You will cry!
You will ask why?
And maybe fly with a pork pie!
None of this will happen until I finish the damned editing!!!
After his outrage about how rejoining the Paris Climate agreement will only benefit Parisians, Senator Ted Cruz, the single celled amoeba from Texas, has declared war on funding other countries with American foods.
“The Buffalo is a Great American Symbol. It reminds us of how we starved the indigenous people so we could make warm hats. And now we are exporting their wings to every country in the world. It’s time to stop this exploitation and let the buffalo fly free in America,” added the former aide to the Moron in Chief.
Cruz has decided on a campaign to stop American hard earned dollars going to support the coffers of other countries. He is particularly angry with Americans who continually support the French and German governments by purchasing French Fries, French toast and hamburgers. He also wants to ban Swiss Rolls and Swiss cheese.
“Why should Americans subsidise those European Communists?” he asked.
He has asked incoming President Biden to stop the sales of Sichuan Peppers and Bombay duck.
“We should stick to traditional American foods like Pizza, Chinese Takeaway and Sauce Americaine,” declared the festering imbecile.