So You Want To Write A Book?

Write your book only if you can do it for the creative joy of writing.  Because if you don’t enjoy it, you likely won’t finish writing it.  And even if you do finish, most likely you won’t take the time and effort to do it the best you possibly can.

Here are some facts you should know:

  • Number of self-published books in 2016 (last year available):  786,935.*
  • Number of traditionally print books in 2016:  683,624.
  • Chance of a book being stocked by a bookstore:  less than 1% **
  • Most book marketing today is done by the authors.  (This is why one’s “marketing platform” is so important to a prospective editor.)

So is it even worth writing your book?

  • If you have to  ask, maybe not
  • Probably not if your goal is to quit your day job and live off your writing.
  • Yes, if the writing itself gives you pleasure.
  • Yes, if you can’t not do it.

How should you start?

  • Learn the craft of writing. (From good writing books.  Better yet, from extended education writing classes)
  • Attend a good writers conference where you can meet agents and editors, and learn from successful writers.
  • Write and write and write some more.

*According to Bowker, the official source for ISBNs in the United States. An ISBN uniquely identifies your book, and helps get it into bookstores and libraries.

**For every available bookstore shelf space, there are 100 to 1,000 or more titles competing.

 “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.  The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

Thomas Edison

 

About kaystrom

Kay Marshall Strom, who am I? Well, I’m a traveler, a railer against social injustice, a passionate citizen of the world. I’m a follower of Jesus Christ. I’m a 21st century abolitionist who speaks out against slavery of all kinds. I am a beach walker and a gardener and the off-key singer of songs. I’m a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend. Most people, though, know me as a writer and a speaker. So here is a bit more about that part of my life: Of my 43 published books, eight have been book club selections, seventeen have been translated into foreign languages, and two have been optioned for movies. My writing credits include numerous magazine articles, books for children, short stories, television scripts and two prize-winning screenplays. Along with my husband Dan, I also have produced a series of booklets for writers. My writing has appeared in a number of volumes including three versions of the NIV Devotional Bible and the devotional book My Heart, Christ’s Home, Through the Year. I love to write, and I love to share about topics close to my heart. I speak at seminars, retreats, writer’s conferences, and special events throughout the country. And because I do enjoy travel, I even speak on cruise ships! More and more my writing and speaking are drawing me to countries and cultures around the world. Because I don’t see how a writer can really reflect another people and land without spending time there, I’ve been trekking through India, China, Indonesia, Cambodia, Sudan, Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt, tape recorder and camera in hand, to gather stories from the world-wide family of God and to speak on their behalf. I’ve traveled to the hard places of the world to tell “the rest of the story” of our donor dollars at work. Thanks to my “virtual friendship” with 17th century John Newton, slave ship captain turned preacher, I traveled through Ireland with the preview team of the movie Amazing Grace (John wrote the hymn). I recently spoke in Japan and South Korea, and my husband Dan and I taught writing classes in India. And, oh, how thankful I am for every bit of it! I went to West Africa to work on a non-fiction book, but when I toured an old slave fortress off the coast and saw a tiny set of baby manacles bolted to the wall, I was struck dumb. All I could think was: “How could good, God-fearing people ever get to the place where they think that is okay?” From that horror came a story question, and from that question, my foray into fiction: The Grace in Africa trilogy. My seven trips to India led to the Blessings in India fiction trilogy. Come join me as I travel and rail against injustice. Join me as I walk along the beach, or work in the garden, or warble a tune. Be my friend. Maybe you will choose to also be a 21st century abolitionist.
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2 Responses to So You Want To Write A Book?

  1. B.J. Taylor says:

    Everything you said is so true, Kay. Those who write books must be committed, determined, tenacious writers. And a never-give-up attitude is also a must when it comes to making that book the best it can be and also when looking for publication success. I encourage everyone to stick with it.

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