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Write A Book
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I walked into the Library of Congress. I was visiting Washington DC with my kids and we went there.
Now if you've ever been there you know what I'm talking about when I say it was big. Really, Impressively Big! The fact is, it's the largest library in the entire world. It houses over 35 million books and periodicals. I wondered what the first word on the oldest book there was?
But I'm not writing here about 35 million books, no, I'm here to write about one.
You see, I've had a dream and an ambition for many years now, one that has gone unfulfilled. It's a dream that although I didn't act upon, it never died. The truth is, it only grew into an undeniable need I now am filling.
The need I'm talking about is the need to be a published author. Not merely to write a book mind you. After all, how many people have written or nearly written their stories only to put them in the drawer and forget about them?
That's not what I want, and that's not what I'm going to do.
If any of what I just said sounds negative or difficult to achieve, consider what I'm about to tell you and I think you'll get a fresh view of this subject. Now I know that I'm not alone in wanting to write a book, and to even earn a living from writing. I'll bet there are people in this very room who share my desire. For them and for any of you who are just contemplating the thought of becoming an author, I have some very good news indeed.
While there are many things about modern life which make us long for the days of the past, there are also terrific new ways of doing things which we couldn't have even imagined just a few short years ago. Becoming a published author is one pursuit which was previously considered a long-shot at best, but is now obtainable by just about anyone willing to learn the technology of today.
Book stores are closing all around us yet people are reading more than ever. How can that be? The digital revolution has changed everything and the old paradigms are gone forever. But on one small tablet, a person might have hundreds of books. The convenience is tremendous and the availability of new and classic books is no longer limited to book stores. If you can access the internet, you can get whatever book you wish for in a matter of minutes and for less money than in the past.
How then am I going to publish my book and make money from it?
The first step is the hardest one, write a book! But before you start writing, if you do a bit of research to know what subjects people are searching on-line for, you'll have a great advantage before you even begin. You can research topics and keywords that are popular and write a book that you know, based upon verifiable data. This never could have happened ten years ago! Also, people today don't want a 300 page volume, they want 60 pages priced at $4.99, easy!
The internet is full of resources you can utilize to turn your rough manuscript into a polished tome. For instance you can go to a site such as FIVERR.com or Elance.com to hire an editor or proofreader literally for 10 to 40 dollars. But you still need to put a little sizzle on the steak, right?
At these same sites you can hire a graphic designer to create a wonderful cover for your book at the same bargain rates. Think about it, a professional graphic designer creating your book cover in full color and in various file types for 10 or 20 dollars. It sounds crazy, but its true!
Your still not done yet by any measure. You've written your book on your computer, that's very important, write it on the computer because it's going to be what's known as an EBOOK. You take your completed book and cover and convert it to the three most popular e-reader formats. These formats are epub, mobi and pdf. The customer will download the correct file type based upon whether they intend to read it on an iPad, Nook, Kindle or their PC.
Did I mention that the software used to convert the files is free? It is.
So let's stop for a moment and see exactly where we are. We have a completed book. It has a stylish and attractive cover. It's been converted into the most popular file types. But no one can buy it yet, can they? No they can't. They can't buy it because we haven't uploaded it to an on-line store where it can be found, paid for and downloaded.
Where do you think we should go from here? We're so close aren't we?
Two websites immediately come to mind. One is a little site called Amazon.com and the other is something you may have heard of, it's called iTunes. Now I need you to pay very close attention here, because it gets tricky. On either of these sites you register as an author (for free) and upload your book. Wait a few hours and you are now a published author with a potential audience in the billions! How great is that!
So I know that while not all of you have the dream of writing books, I hope that for those of you who do, I've inspired you to begin. think about what you know, write an outline and flesh it out. Set a date to get started and a goal for when you'll be done.
And remember, it all starts with the first word.
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