Thread: Writing a book
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:00 PM
Tom Schiffer Tom Schiffer is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: On Flintlock Farm on Gunpowder Road in Boone County, Kentucky
Posts: 777

Mel: Alan's written and co-written more than one book, and I'd urge you to see the rest of them. You won't be disappointed. While I agree with what Alan sez in a general way, the most important, time-consuming and expensive part is research. Since some of you guys LIVED, it, you only hafta tell it. That is an oversimplification in that you will be verifying dates, places and people etc all the way through. That's one reason I like to write book reviews...simply read the book and tell folks what you think about it! It is hard to dispute what you think about something. Alan is correct about their being no market though methinks a bit pessimistic. I once wrote a book and was told the same thing...the market is very limited. But, somehow we've sold nearly 5000 copies. Once you reach and saturate folks on this board you hafta have something with wide appeal. With a wide approach the subject can have near universal appeal (see the thread on Dolly Parton...she has a very wide, uh, er, um, appeal to at least 50% of the viewers and mebbe 50% of the remaining out of curiosity...she understands packaging!). But if your text is full of monkey rudders, hog chains, face wires, ship-up gear, wheel buckets, mud drums, blow-down valves and such like as that there, you've done drifted into shallow water! Books about war have a wide appeal because war brings out the best and worst in people. Readers are not so much interested in war as they are in the PEOPLE. The river is similar in that regard...not an easy life that brings out the best and worst. And, if the river has anything more numerous than snags, it's characters! Just about any talk I have heard on the subject of steamboats would appeal to a very wide audience if they knew up-front that it was about people...not just the jig saw and blacksmithing work that is a steamboat. Bruno put his finger on is the people (crew) that he misses about the DQ...not the deck chair, bunk or bar stool (not too sure about the latter). As far as adjectives and adverbs and other snags and shoal water...that's what editors are for. It sure helps keep you from losing money if you have a publisher up-front. Dummy up a chapter and shop it around and don't take your first NO for an'll get plenty of them. Other than getting married and buying and running my own little steamboat, putting a book before the public has been my most memorable accomplishment. I din't get rich, met a lot of nice people and had no end of fun before and after publication. And, no, my book was not about steamboats. Cap'n Walnut
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