There is an age-old adage that is as true today as when it was first ... has at least one good book in them"The problem is that most people never get around to writing it because they ham
There is an age-old adage that is as true today as when it was first mooted.
"Everyone has at least one good book in them"
The problem is that most people never get around to writing it because they hamper progress by cluttering their minds with blocks. Could you produce a niche-carving bestseller in your spare time? With professional guidance you could. I never suspected I would but I have managed to produce several over the years on a part time basis, and so too could you if you set about matters with conviction.
SO YOU'VE NEVER EVER WRITTEN ANYTHING CREATIVE?
You have, you know, and you've been doing it all of your life.
When you were sitting exams at school, you were engaging in the creative writing process, addressing questions and providing answers with well reasoned argument. When you sit down to compose a letter, produce a thesis or develop a business proposal, you are in the creative mode. All of these exercises have something common: they are works of non-fiction, and so it follows that the creation of a full-length book in that genre is any and all of these activities writ large.
You are adept at creative writing but so far you have only skimmed the surface of your latent ability.
SO YOU'VE TRIED AND TRIED AGAIN WITHOUT SUCCESS?
Perhaps on the other hand you have been activating your innate skills for years and all you have to show for it is a never-ending stream of rejection slips. Perhaps too you have been focusing your energies on fiction, the most notoriously difficult of genres to break into as a writer aspiring to achieve the recognition that leads to publication. Could it be you have now decided that the only way you'll ever see your work in print is to become a self-publisher?
You wouldn't be the first. These famous masters of fiction were all obliged to take the route of shelling out hard cash to have their debut novels printed.
Alexandre Dumas, D.H. Lawrence, Edgar Allan Poe, Edgar Rice Burroughs, George Bernard Shaw, Gertrude Stein, James Joyce, John Grisham, Mark Twain, Mary Baker Eddy, Rudyard Kipling, Stephen Crane, Upton Sinclair, Virginia Woolf, Walt Whitman, William Blake, Zane Grey
John Grisham, incidentally, sold copies of his first novel A Time to Kill out of the boot of a car which at the outset was his sole 'vehicle' for distribution...
But we are concerned here with another genre, a genre that permits self-expression under predetermined guidelines designed to give you a better than evens chance of publication without the necessity of paying for the privilege, providing always that your work and its presentation are painstakingly and professionally executed.
DETERMINE YOUR PROPENSITY FOR CREATING NICHE NON-FICTION
Ask yourself these questions and spend a few minutes in quiet reflection before you provide the answers.
1. Do you like to read, be it fiction or non-fiction? 2. Do you enjoy writing letters, reports, or whatever? 3. Do you have a better than average vocabulary? 4. Do you strive at every opportunity to enhance your personal word power? 5. Do you persist with crosswords until you've solved all the clues? 6. Do you have an enquiring mind? Do you have special interests? 7. Do you have expertise in any particular subject(s)? 8. Would you undertake research to confirm and expand on what you think you know? 9. Would you be prepared to share this knowledge with others? 10. Would you be willing to make time to write about it for pleasure and profit? 11. Are you comfortable about committing your private thoughts to paper? 12. Are you self-disciplined? 13. Are you relaxed about working on your own?
If you can genuinely answer 'yes' to all of these questions, you already have the nucleus of a powerful propensity for creating niche non-fiction in the shape of self-help and how-to guides.
If on the other hand you answered 'yes' to most and 'no' to a few, then work on those negative areas.
If you answered 'no' to Question 8, then think again and dig deeply this time. Most people have expert knowledge on something or other. It could be a job, a hobby, or any of a thousand disparate topics. And should you consider that what you know would be of little value to anyone else, you would be wrong. Many people share a passion for your particular area of interest and are anxious to become even better informed.
Jim Green is a bestselling author with a string of niche non-fiction titles to his credit including 'Starting Your Own Business' (How To Books ISBN 1-85703-859-2) and 'Starting an Internet Business at Home' (Kogan Page ISBN 0-7494-3484-8). http://www.writing-for-profit.com