By Troy Lambert
The Independent Book Publishers Association tells us the 81% of Americans, 200 million people, feel they have a book in them, and should write it. However, they don’t. Even with recent trends in publishing, still only 2% actually do. The question becomes: Why not? And what can we do to get those stories into the world?
There are several reasons people do not write books, and even more reasons they never go on to publish them even once they are written. In fact, I have even ghostwritten books for people who, after having paid good money to put their stories into a commercially viable manuscript, have still never published.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Will you join the 2% of storytellers who become authors every single day? Here are some common obstacles and how we help you overcome them.
Finding Time to Write
This is one of the most common things we hear from aspiring authors, and it is generally a pretty valid excuse. You may own and run a business and may even have additional family and other responsibilities. Writing takes a lot of time. How do you fit that into your schedule?
There are answers. First, you can build writing time into your schedule. Typically if you want to do something, you can make time for it, and if that is focused time, you can get a lot done. Here are some tips:
Set a time in the morning or in the evening, or when you have a break during the day, and make an appointment with yourself. Then keep it.
Don’t allow yourself to be disturbed. Turn off Wi-Fi, hold all your calls, and shut your office door. The more you can stay on task, the better.
Perfection is the enemy of completion. There are editors, ghostwriters, and other professionals who can help you take your story from the rough words you put down into a marketable product. But they can’t edit what is in your head.
Write, write, write. Don’t think about things, just write your thoughts the best you can. Remember, it’s better to have too much than not enough material. You can always cut, but its much harder to add things later on.
This works for some people. Even if your writing is not the greatest, something cam be done with it. However, if writing does not work for you, there are other options.
Recording Your Stories
Are you better at telling you story verbally? Good. Sit down and record your stories using a digital recorder or have someone do it for you. If you can, use a transcription program like DragonSpeak or even the dictation options in Microsoft Word, OneNote, Evernote, or any number of other programs.
Just be sure that you have a good microphone. If a computer program does not work for you, there are transcription services that will turn your spoken words into typed ones. Don’t worry if you don’t have time to source these resources. At Unbound Publishing, we can help with this step if you need it.
- Just remember a couple of things while you are recording:
- Use a good microphone and speak clearly.
- Try to have an agenda and stick to it. The more you wander with your story, the harder (and more time consuming) it will be to edit your transcripts.
- Take breaks. All of that talking can be surprisingly exhausting and talking through some of your story or even your ideas can be emotionally difficult too. Take your time.
Even if you are better at talking through your story and your ideas, we can still work with you to take you from being a storyteller to being an author.vWe can use transcripts, and often do, in the ghostwriting process.
Are you unsure about where to start when it comes to telling your story? Do you need help getting it out of your head? A method that often helps is to have a ghostwriter come and interview you in person or do interviews over various video chatting applications. The questions we can ask will often help you organize your thoughts, and can even help you remember events in a whole new way.
This is one of the most common ways that books are ghostwritten. The writer will interview the storyteller and create transcripts from those interviews. This also helps keep you focused on your story, and the exact parts you want to share.
Worrying about What People Think
One of the next obstacles storytellers often face is the worry about what others might think. You might want to tell your story, but you may be concerned about what your family or friends might think if you share the truth about your past. You may even be concerned about how it will affect your business.
Even if you have business ideas to share, you might be fearful that others will reject them or even ridicule them. The truth is, this is something that every author faces in one form or another.
So we promise storytellers one thing: we’ll make sure that your stories and ideas are expressed in the best way possible. We promise to be honest if something is not working or might be offensive or unpalatable to your audience. At Unbound Publishing, we’ll be with you every single step of the way.
We’re your concierge publishing company. When you are ready to go from the 81% or want to and should write a book to the 2% that do, contact us. Let us be your partners in publishing.