This post is different from what I usually write, but it’s a new year and I’ve already had a couple of discussions with friends who would like to publish a book in the next year and I thought there might be a few others who are interested.
(btw–If you have any questions about anything I suggest please feel free to post a comment. I promise to respond on the public board.)
I’ve had one book published (Running on Empty–Cook Communications, 2005) with two more to be released in the next year (Scripture to Live By–Adams Media, March 2007 and Remember Who You Are–Standard Publishing, July 2007).
I feel so blessed to have been given the opportunity to have these books published. I am so grateful that God opened up this avenue of ministry for me and I’m always eager to help other writers who long to be published. I’ve learned so much in the past three years of this journey.
That’s why the following statistics from Dan Poynter on www.parapub.com caught my attention. Here are some cold hard facts:
- 81% of the population feels they have a book inside them.
- 27% would write fiction
- 28% would write on personal development
- 27% would write history, biography, etc.
- 20% would do a picture book, cookbook, etc.
- 6 million have written a manuscript
- 6 million manuscripts are making the rounds
- Out of every 10,000 children’s books, 3 get published.
Since the moment I did my first book-signing I’ve met countless people who dream of one day writing a book and having it published. I always try to be as encouraging and helpful as possible. I wouldn’t be a published author if not for the help and encouragement of a couple of my friends who were already published authors. But the reality is (based on how few books actually get published each year) that very few of those people I speak with will actually write a book and even fewer will have a book published, which I think is an absolute shame because so many of the people with whom I’ve spoken over the past few years have great book ideas.
So, I thought I’d devote the next few blogs this week to some random thoughts, ideas, advice, guidance, and wisdom that I think is important to consider if you are considering publishing a book.
- Write . . . like the wind! Practice makes perfect. If you want to be a good writer then you have to practice writing. Start a blog, submit articles to magazines, journals, newspapers, Reader’s Digest, or your church newsletter. Max Lucado’s first book, On the Anvil, was a collection of articles he wrote for his church newsletter. Seek out opportunities to get published, start writing a book proposal (I’ll give you more advice on this in the coming days), start writing a manuscript–it may not be any good, but that’s o.k. At least you’re writing. I couldn’t hit the rim the first time I picked up a basketball, but now I can shoot pretty well.
- Get Used to Rejection. Just because you want to write (and practice) does not guarantee that you’re a good writer and even if you’re a good writer . . . you will be rejected many times in your career. Every author I’ve ever met, or read about, has been rejected many, many times. One of my best friends was rejected for 18 years, but he refused to quit and he is now on his 5th or 6th book with a major publisher, which leads me to my last bit of advice for today . . .
- Don’t quit. If you are serious about writing, if you have something to say, and if you have even basic writing talent . . . don’t quit until you get something published somewhere. Even if you have to self-publish (I’ll cover this, too.) don’t quit until you’ve done all you can do to fulfill your writing goals. You may not ever write a best-seller, but, if you refuse to quit, you may write a book, a story, or even an article for your church newsletter that blesses someone somewhere.
To be continued . . .