To begin with, why would anyone want to write a book? Well, it depends: is it a biography, autobiography, historical novel, technical work, workbook, how to get rich, a guide to starting a business (as several of my students are planning), a medical book, a basketball coaching book (as with my recent Basketball Coaching 101 work), etc….etc…? The reason for writing and publishing a book will vary with the individual. For most of us simple folk, it boils down to one or a combination of the following 10 factors:
- Provide a written document for family
- Provide a written document for friends
- Make money
- Keep busy
- Attack the status quo
- Get retribution
- Waste time
- Waste money
- Express your opinion
Irrespective of the subject matter and your interests, the probability of getting a traditional house to publish your book is close to ZERO!! Alas, there is hope. Today, anyone can SELF PUBLISH…and at a cost as low as $150. Yes, the number is correct. Not $1,500. Not $15,000. But $150.
For me, the reasons for my 105 technical books were (1), (4) and (5). For my BASKETBALL COACHING 101 book, it was (1), (2), (3), (5) and (10).
Back to the main theme of this article. This is obviously a 2-part piece. First, how does one write a book? And second, how does one publish the book? Here is what I have to offer on each of these questions.
On to one of the main theses of this article: how does one write a book? You have to have a strategy (or plan) as you move forward towards publication…and this will vary for each of us. Here is what I have drawn from my notes:
- Decide on a title.
- Prepare a Table of Contents.
- Write the Preface.
- Write the Introduction (optional).
- With reference to (2), set aside a folder for each chapter.
- Research material (where applicable) for each chapter and fill the folder with notes, references, written material, etc.
- For each chapter, decide on Section headings, e.g., Introduction, Early History, Recent History, . . . , References.
- Gather material for each Section.
- Write the first Section of the chapter.
- Following the procedure in (8), write the remaining Sections of the chapter.
- Following the procedure in (5) – (10), write the remaining chapters.
- Carefully edit the manuscript.
- Carefully proof the manuscript prior to submitting it for publication.
Confusing? Contact me at www.theodorenewsletter.com and I’ll make every effort to get back to you.
I leave you with this very important piece of information. Any government publication is in the public domain. This means that you own it and may use it in any manner you deem fit. You do not even have to reference it although the professional and ethical thing is to do so. Naturally, anything you have written in the past also belongs to you. You might also consider submitting your manuscript to the Copyright Office ($40), but I haven’t recently. If you need help writing, proofing, editing, publishing, etc., your manuscript, I suggest contacting my editorial consultant, Rita D’Aguino at:
RDAQ Publishing Consultants
(646) 418-6678 ©
She has proven invaluable to me for several publications.
So, now you have written your book. What’s left is to publish it. As noted above, forget about a traditional publisher and instead self-publish which involves the Print on Demand (POD) approach. That’s what I did with my Basketball Coaching 101 book and it was a terrific experience. I would tell you about that experience but there is something better available.
I recently became reconnected – after nearly 60 years – with Neal Gillen, an old basketball nemesis from my coaching days. Shockingly, Neal graduated from robbing cars at age 16 – to an immensely successful career in politics and business. Although I can detail my experience in POD, here is what I recommend for prospective authors. Neal very recently published a book on Amazon titled How to Publish Now. His book (back cover) does the following:
DEMONSTRATES how to publish efficiently at minimal cost.
DEMONSTRATES how to properly prepare your manuscript for publication.
REVIEWS over 25 Print on Demand (POD) publishers that specialize in self-published books.
REVIEWS the services offered by these POD publishers.
COMPARES the costs and benefits of those services.
ALERTS you about the services to avoid.
SUGGESTS appropriate publishers for your book.
SHOWS how to utilize social media and the Internet to market your book beyond your personal universe.
Furthermore, here is his Table of Contents:
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: The New Publishing Landscape
Chapter 3: The Journey to Publication – Getting it Done
Chapter 4: The Self-Publisher is a Publisher
Chapter 5: Your Business Plan
Chapter 6: Overseeing the Process – Preparing for Publication
Chapter 7: From Manuscript to Book
Chapter 8: Selecting a Publisher
Chapter 9: The POD Publisher
Chapter 10: What Do They Offer You?
Chapter 11: Comparing the POD
Chapter 12: Caveat Emptor on Marketing Services
Chapter 13: The Factors That Will Determine Your Choice
Chapter 14: Analyzing the Critical Cost Factors
Chapter 15: Analysis of Potential Profit or Loss on Publishing, Purchasing and Selling
Of 100 Books From Selected Publishers
Chapter 16: Decision Time
Chapter 17: Marketing Your Book
I close with this. If you are considering writing/publishing, Neal’s book is an absolute must…an absolutely terrific bargain at $10.95. And believe me, you too can write and publish–trust me; it’s not that difficult. If you need help here, I do suggest you contact Rita.
So there you have it.
Visit the author on Facebook at Basketball Coaching 101.
NEXT POSTINGS: (tentative):
MARCH 1: On Random Thoughts XXIII
APRIL 1: On Financial Inequity
MAY 1: On the 2016 East Williston School District Budget Vote