How many times have you heard “I think I gotta book in me”? I just hate the way that sounds; it’s as if whoever says it has come down with some kind of a grave internal affliction. But I get it, and the desire to write a book can be a driving measure of excitement that can nag at you for years if you don’t take action.
In my case, I felt no excitement or drive, but rather the draw of just one too many people, known and unknown, fervently demanding that I engage in the writing of a book. And I finally engaged. For those of us who cannot, or will not write our own books, there is always an alternate route you can take — employ a ghostwriter.
I did write my own book and I have ghostwritten a book for a very good friend. Odd though it seemed, my friend, in my opinion, was just a fine writer and I wonder why he didn’t just write his own book and save thousands of dollars. I didn’t charge my friend a dime, but he gifted me with some righteous bank that was never part of any prior deal.
“True friends trust and take care of true friends.”
You would likely agree that the hardest part of writing a book is getting started. I won’t disagree with any opinions about the book-writing process where degrees of difficulty are assigned to specific phases. I found no difficulty nor lacked content when writing my own book, though it was frustrating trying to find the right place to just stop writing and end it.
However, I put my book off to concentrate on ghostwriting my very good friend’s book. In his case, I had not read his compilation of short stories and didn’t know how mesmerizing each chapter was. In most cases, I found it hard to stop writing for a night and sat on a pin cushion waiting for the next chance to write his next chapter.
And here is a good point to insert a couple of bold-faced, shameless plugs:
Having a book in you
As far as people with “books in them,” I think in most cases that is not a thing you can say about yourself; rather, it’s something that other people should reveal to you.
Years ago my mother told me: “I think I have a book in me.”
To which I replied: “Quick, call the doctor!”
It was many years later when all children were gone and paid for, that she actually did sit down and write her book. When I “read” it… well, I didn’t actually read it through. It just wasn’t a book I would ever read. A large part of the beginning was essentially a family tree; it read like the Bible in terms of who begot whom, and so on, and on.
It felt like a genealogy report and smacked of a volume of reference. I thought (hoped) she would write about growing up in the 40s in abject poverty with her many sisters and her talented mother who made her girls’ undergarments out of empty flour sacks. There was no deciding who her audience was to be, or so I gathered.
This all means to say, that if you are told that you are a good writer — just the best storyteller — by so many other people you are acquainted with, take heed as you may just be a successful book write and teller of stories.
Here is the best piece of advice I can give: everyone surely must know at least one person who has written a book — there is your primary point of contact for learning and executing the writing/publishing process.
Ghostwriting the book Death Waits in the Dark: Six Guns Don’t Miss by Army attack helicopter fighter pilot CW4 Gregory “Gravy” Coker, provided me with a pretty tame learning curve regarding the publishing process.
It can be a flat-out nightmare trying to find a publishing company that won’t (1) rob you blind, and (2) not take years to get your product finished.
For my book, I just used the same publisher that Greg used and found in him an adviser who had already experienced the ruts along the route of the publishing process.
Self-publishing is an alternative to using a major publisher such as Penguin/Random House, Hachette Book Group, Harper Collins, and Simon & Schuster. Book publishers will keep most of the profits of your book when/if it starts selling. Self-publishing at home with just employing a book printer service is more appealing to some folks. Via self-publishing, you keep all of your sales profits, though the work you end up doing yourself at home is going to be plenty.
Other corollaries that the publisher takes care of, or that you can negotiate with your printer service to do for you are:
- Issuing an International Standard Book Number (ISBN). The ISBN is used to track and order books in bookstores. It is a 10- or 13-digit number in the form of a barcode.
- Registering your work for copyright purposes: you should be interested indeed in having your book copyrighted if you hope to keep your content protected from plagiarism.
Amazon is perhaps the easiest path you can take for your total book-publishing experience. You have to ask yourself (and be honest) whether you are writing your book for your legacy (your children and such), or if you are just after the money. I can tell you there are very few writers today who can sustain a decent living just by writing books about what’s on their minds.
You can still get your legacy out there and make a modest profit. Even if you lose your shirt in a book deal you can always claim you wrote for posterity and ever-presence — you left your mark!
“Brooks was Here” (The Shawshank Redemption)
By Almighty God and with honor,
Read more from Sandboxx News
- 10 books from the special operations world to add to your list
- V is For Veteran: An alphabet picture book with a spec ops twist
- Letters to Loretta: Brotherly Love and Army schools
- Letters to Loretta: A series into the power of humanity to persevere during war
- Thinking of writing a military book? Here are 6 tips to get you started