Monday, May 30, 2005

"How Did You Write Your Book?"

When I started participating in book signings soon after the publication of my book--The Complete Communicator: Change Your Communication, Change Your Life!--shoppers asked me one question repeatedly: "How did you write your book?" Also, I hear that question after my speeches and seminars, when I remain to sell and sign my book and other educational products, including audio CDs.

Here is how I answer that question:

1. The book started as a radio series. Three times a week, I hosted a brief radio program for a station in nearby Athens, Georgia, home of the University of Georgia, where I once taught Speech Communication.

2. When the series of radio broadcasts ended, I noticed that I had generated eighty-five short written segments, which I had read on the air. It occurred to me that the advice I had given was worth putting into book form, so more people could benefit from my tips about communication.

3. Before I approached a publisher, I outlined the book, proposing nine chapters. Then I gathered "clips"--copies of articles I had published in numerous newspapers and magazines.

The clips served two purposes. First, they let editors know that other publishers had accepted my writings. Second, they revealed my writing style.

4. Fortunately, the second publisher I "pitched"--through a cover letter, the outline and the clips--offered me a contract, and gave me a deadline for completing the manuscript.

5. For ten weeks, I wrote all day every day, six days a week. Usually, I wrote and edited for 8-10 hours daily.

6. My efforts produced 201 double-spaced pages, which the publisher formatted into the 148 page book.

7. Not long after publication, bookstore customers would ask, "Do you have an audio version?" This alerted me to the need to record my book. I did that, in my own voice, resulting in 5 audio CDs--complete and unabridged.

So if you are an aspiring writer, keep these steps in mind. Writing a book requires intense discipline, research, and careful editing and rewriting. It's not something you accomplish in a week or so. Still, the end result assures you the effort was worthwhile.

I invite you to order The Complete Communicator, either in hardback or on audio CD. You can order online from my Web site's "shopping cart":


Post a Comment

<< Home