WRITE YOUR BOOK
Payoffs = Plan x Prepare x Publish x Promote
Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D.
WRITE YOUR BOOK WITH ME
By Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D.
“If you're thinking about writing your own book and need inspiration, step-by-step guidance and lots of encouragement, this book is for you. Doug Cooper writes in an approachable style, and his scientific background comes through as he analyzes and picks apart the actions you need to take to make your book a success. From getting into the right frame of mind, to planning, writing, publishing and marketing (or as Doug says 'payoffs = plan x prepare x publish x promote’), this book contains all you need to make your own a success.”
Ginny Carter, The Author Maker, www.marketingtwentyone.co.uk
“I wish I had a copy of Write Your Book with Me as I wrote my first book in 1994. The process by which you can write a book is spelled out step by step, with time-lines, accountability tables, and all the resources necessary to make the journey a pleasure. If you ever thought writing a book was impossible, I encourage you to pick up this book, and you'll see the possibilities.”
Edison Guzman, President, A&E Advertising and Web Design
“Dr. Cooper’s academic credentials (Ph.D. from Harvard, etc.) led me to expect academic writing—technical and boring. I discovered, to my delight, that I was completely wrong. In these pages I found a great intellect reading widely in the field, consolidating the most practical tips, and expressing them in crisp, down-to-earth prose. He’s also honest—neither promising nor claiming best-selling status—but telling us candidly what works (and doesn’t work) for him and others, motivating us by his passion for writing and his genuine concern for helping fellow writers along the way. In the rapidly changing writing and publishing industry, I needed a refresher and update before publishing my latest book. This one more than met my need!”
J. Steve Miller, author of Sell More Books! and Why Brilliant People Believe Nonsense: A Practical Text on Critical and Creative Thinking
"As a budding novelist, I’ve read a lot of books on how to write. A lot. I wish I’d had access to this book sooner. Ever the scientist, Dr. Cooper has extensively researched what the experts (Stephen King, Dan Poynter, and others) have said, and then distilled it into a comprehensive text. He covers all the different formats: fiction, nonfiction, and memoir.
“The book starts with an excellent section on why to write in the first place, then covers preparation, the actual act of writing, publishing, promoting and marketing. It covers the whole enchilada. The best part, in my opinion, is how the author illuminates each section with examples from his own memoir, Ting and I.
“If you’re contemplating writing and publishing, this book should be in your inventory."
Dr. G.E. Nolly, author of the Hamfist series
TING AND I: A MEMOIR OF LOVE, COURAGE, AND DEVOTION
by Douglas Winslow Cooper
“This book reads like the book Love Story, but with the harsh realities of how a couple deals with a catastrophic illness….Ting and I is a must-read for any health care professional.” Patricia A. Burns, Ph.d., R.N., Professor of Nursing.
“Whether it be close friendships, lifetime companions or marriage soul-mates, this book clearly illustrates what it means to be a human being.” Amazon reviewer (5 stars).
“This is a poignant saga of a brilliant, beautiful young Chinese woman who fell in love with an American Ivy League student that tugs at the heartstrings.” Amazon reviewer (5 stars)
“It is unique because the people it is about are unique. God bless them both.” Amazon reviewer (5 stars).
“The memoir was a great read!” Amazon reviewer (4 stars).
“Poignant story of true love and commitment.” Amazon reviewer (5 stars).
TABLE OF CONTENTS
STEPHEN KING’S FOREWORD TO HIS ON WRITING
GREETINGS: GETTING STARTED
WHY WRITE YOUR BOOK? WHY NOT BLOG?
REASONS TO WRITE A BOOK
CHAPTER 1: PLAN
WHAT KIND OF BOOK?
WRITE FOR YOURSELF? SATISFACTION, REGARDLESS OF SALES
WRITE FOR AN AUDIENCE? INVESTIGATING WHAT SELLS
WHO IS YOUR AUDIENCE? DEMOGRAPHICS: AGE, SEX, LOCATION, RACE, INCOME, POLITICS, ETHNICITY, MARITAL STATUS
HOW TO WRITE IT?
APPLYING COVEY’S 7 HABITS
CHAPTER 2: PREPARE
BOOK-WRITING TIPS FROM DAN POYNTER (2000)
GETTING STARTED: SIT. THINK. WRITE, “OPEN A VEIN….”
MAKING TIME AND SPACE
WRITE THAT BOOK ALREADY!
WRITING BASICS: THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE
HIRE AN EDITOR
FIGURES OF SPEECH
NONFICTION BOOKS: THE TRUTH, APPROXIMATELY
CHOOSING YOUR NONFICTION NICHE
CHOOSING YOUR NONFICTION TITLE
YOU CAN SELL A BOOK BY ITS COVER (ALMOST)
DON’T BLOW THE BLURB
HOW TO WRITE A BOOK FROM OUTLINE TO FINISH LINE (HITZ, 2015)
WHAT’S UP FRONT COUNTS: DEDICATION, TABLE OF CONTENTS, ACKNOWLEDGMENTS, FOREWORD, PREFACE
WRITING A COMPELLING NONFICTION INTRODUCTION
NONFICTION: FACTS AND OPINIONS
MEMOIRS: PART OF THE TRUTH, HOW YOU SAW IT
HOW TO ORDER YOUR CHAPTERS
HOW-TO BOOKS: STEP-BY-STEP
HISTORY: FACTS AND INTEPRETATIONS
POLITICS: LEFT, RIGHT, MIDDLE, MUDDLE
PROFESSIONS: MEDICAL, LEGAL, TECHNICAL
HEALTH: DIET, EXERCISE, MIND
WEALTH: EARNING, SAVING, INVESTING
RELATIONSHIPS: FAMILY, FRIENDS, LOVERS, NEIGHBORS, COLLEAGUES
FICTION GENRES: AUDIENCE KNOWS WHAT IT LIKES
FICTION: TRUTH THROUGH FABLE – THEMES, SETTING, CHARACTERS, ACTION, DIALOGUE, DESCRIPTION, ARCS, FORESHADOWING, CLIFF-HANGERS, RESOLUTION
HISTORICAL FICTION: BLASTS FROM THE PAST – ACCURATE SETTING, FICTIONAL PEOPLE AND DIALOGUE
SCIENCE FICTION: WHAT COULD BE, MAY BE – MAKE US CARE, MAKE US SCARED?
ROMANTIC FICTION: LOVE LOST AND FOUND
CHAPTER 3: PUBLISH
PUBLISHING’S “LONG TAIL”
PRODUCE, PUBLISH, PUBLICIZE (SUMSION, 2010)
PUBLISHING OPTIONS: TRADITIONAL, SUBSIDY, INDIE
CHAPTER 4: PROMOTE
HOW TO GET MAXIMUM PUBLICITY IN MINIMUM TIME
UNSELFISH SELF-PROMOTION (OLSON, 2009)
AUTHOR SUCCESS GUIDE (BAREHAM, 2015)
THE AUDIENCE REVOLUTION (INY, 2015)
PROMOTING YOUR BOOK AND YOURSELF: KNOWN, LIKED, TRUSTED…K, L, T
MARKETING YOUR BOOK
TWEETING ON TWITTER
ADVERTISING ON SOCIAL MEDIA (GUZMAN, 2015)
GOING VIRAL (ADAMS, 2015)
CHAPTER 5: PAYOFF
WAYS TO MAKE MONEY FROM WRITING A BOOK (CANFIELD, BOLT, HARRISON)
HOW TO MAKE A LIVING WITH YOUR WRITING: Books, Blogging, and More (PENN, 2015)
20 SIMPLE FIXES IF YOUR BOOK ISN’T SELLING (HALL, 2015)
GETTING PUBLISHED AND SELLING BOOKS ON AMAZON (COHEN, 2015)
9 MISTAKES AUTHORS MAKE (HARRISON, 2015)
SELL MORE BOOKS (ALLEN, 2015)
SELLING YOUR FIRST 1000 COPIES (GRAHL, 2013)
GHOSTWRITING DEFENDED (CARTER, 2015)
CHAPTER 6: REFLECTIONS
HOW TO BE OUTSTANDING
CHAPTER 7: RESOURCES
INTERNET, LIBRARIES, SOCIETIES, ENCYCLOPEDIA, THESAURUS, DICTIONARY, ETC.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
COME, WRITE YOUR BOOK WITH ME
REFERENCES / BIBLIOGRAPHY
APPENDIX I. ACTIVITY AND PROGRESS RECORD
HIS FOREWORD TO STEPHEN KING’S ON WRITING
This is a short book because most books about writing are filled with bullshit. Fiction writers, present company [King] included, don’t understand very much about what they do---not why it works when it’s good, not why it doesn’t when it’s bad. I figured the shorter the book, the less the bullshit.
One notable exception to the bullshit rule is The Elements of Style, by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White. There is little or no detectable bullshit in that book. (Of course it’s short; at eighty-five pages it’s much shorter than this one.) I’ll tell you right now that every aspiring writer should read The Elements of Style. Rule 17 in the chapter titled Principles of Composition is, “Omit needless words.” I will do that here.
[This is King’s Second Foreword to his On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.]
Cheryl C. Cohen, Director of Membership Investment at the Orange County [NY] Chamber of Commerce, has once again added her editorial efforts to her encouragement, for which I am very grateful.
Edison Guzman, President of A&E Advertising and Web Design [aeadvertising.com], has warmly encouraged me and expertly advised me.
You know you want to write a book, and I know I can help you. My book will help you get started, and my coaching enterprise [writeyourbookwithme.com] is available to give you personalized help, like a personal trainer does for those who want to get fit.
I just Googled “how to write a book,” and I found 25 million entries…lots of interest, lots of advice. I’ve added to that collection. Information comes nearly free, consultation and coaching do not. Since you are here now, “love the one you’re with,” and let me help you write, publish, and promote your book to get you your payoff, whatever that may be.
You can do well by doing good, as author and entrepreneur Jorge S. Olson (2009) writes:
Want to be famous? Start writing.
Writing is one of the greatest and most noble ways of unselfish self-promotion. Through your writing you are able to entertain, you can tach, you allow your readers to imagine and dream. Writing is truly one of the ultimate tools for unselfish self-promotion.
The Internet site writeyourbookwithme.com describes the coaching business I established after writing and publishing my own Ting and I: A Memoir of Love, Courage and Devotion. What I did I can teach you to do. I don’t guarantee you a bestseller or financial success, but if you follow the path I’ve taken, you will have written and published your book, promoted it to let others know it exists, and perhaps even profited financially from the process.
payoffs = plan x prepare x publish x promote
This sub-title of mine implies that each step builds on the preceding ones. You will gain from having planned and then prepared your text, gain more by publishing and then promoting it, and you may even profit from it directly or indirectly, getting a payoff that you sought. If the equation were exact and if you improved each of the factors on the right-hand side by 20%, your payoff would more than double. A retired physicist, I love equations, even ones that need a bit of interpretation.
Certainly, you will gain a sense of pride in your accomplishment, like completing a marathon. Those who read your book will gain from the experience.
Jump right in. The water is fine. I hope you will be entertained, energized, and educated by what you read here.
Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D.
264 East Drive
Walden, NY 12586-2329
GREETINGS: GETTING STARTED
Today, Sunday, I’m getting serious about writing this book for you. The day you start to read this may be the day you, too, get started seriously on your own book.
Pretty early in the process, you should set up a method to keep track of your progress. In management, they often say “if it isn’t measured, it isn’t managed.” So, by keeping track of your progress in terms of word count, you can see how well you’re doing, congratulate yourself when you’re doing well, scold yourself when you are a bit behind schedule. You’ll find that just the little reward of self-praise and the little punishment of self-blame will accelerate your progress. Incentives incent.
For me, I started by outlining this book a week or two ago, but now I’m beginning to write. My progress record will be: the day, what I worked on, the cumulative word count, and the added amount. Here’s my first week:
WEEK ONE Final Word Count | Change
Saturday, outlined. w/c= 500. Added 500.
Sunday, wrote up to WHY WRITE. w/c= 2,500. Added 2,000.
Sunday, added prior blogs. w/c=17,900. Added 15,400.
Sunday, more writing. w/c=20,100. Added 2,200.
Monday, more writing. w/c=21,840. Added 1,740.
Tuesday, more writing. w/c=24,800 Added 2,960
Tuesday, deleted 1000 duplicates. w/c=23,870 Added - 930
Wednesday, organized, planned, wrote. w/c=26,030 Added 2,160.
Thursday, wrote. w/c=26,880 Added 850.
Friday, wrote nothing, added file. w/c= 27,350 Added 470.
You get the idea. I’ve put my whole progress and effort record in Appendix I. Bestselling author Shelley Hitz (2015) recommends an even more detailed tracking of your progress, including calculating words per minute written. Well, “whatever floats your boat,” as they say, whoever “they” are.
A good feature of Microsoft’s Word is that it displays unobtrusively your page count, page position, and word count. Another nice feather is “autocorrect,” which caught and changed my initial misspelling of “unobtrusively.” Sadly, it sometimes guesses wrong, so you can get “fort” instead of “font.” Beware.
I got a head start by having material I had already written for my blog, and I am a fast writer, so there are days when I added 1000 words in a few hours. Your speed will vary, but aim for a pace you find you can usually achieve. Try to write every day. As noted above, keep track of your effort or your output or both, so you see how well you are doing. Accomplishment feels good. Slacking off, not so much. The day I didn’t write, I felt I should have. Life intruded.