Write and publish THAT book you have
had in mind for so long.
Great writers have discarded the
notion that one must possess very special talents in order to
write. Alejo Carpentier believed that any person can write so
long as he or she has something to say. Mark Twain considered it
a tragedy that most humans come to the end their lives without
ever having put down their words on paper, or with their songs
trapped inside their hearts. The American poet Stanley Kunitz
used to say that any of his students in any of the universities
where he taught could be a poet.
Conventional wisdom has it that in
order to write one has to be “intelligent”. It is easy to
confuse intelligence with culture, as well as general
intelligence with specific intelligence. We all know people that
lacking a high level of education nonetheless excel at something.
For example, a mother with little
education, someone that at a casual glance may appear to lack
intelligence, is capable of rearing her children in such a
manner as to have all of them become good citizens with
successful careers. That mom was capable of this because she was
intelligent in her realm of activity, and she could easily write
a book about her experiences, or she could tell them to someone
that could write them for her.
No matter the reasons you may have
for wanting to publish, that book you write and publish will
provide you greater prestige and satisfaction than what you may
obtain from purchasing any brand name product. Your standing
among your peers will increase as a result of your intellectual
work in a given sphere of knowledge, the arts or a profession.
And prestige is not the opposite of
earning money. Your book will begin to be sold in the
marketplace and you will begin to earn an income from each sale.
Regarding what to write about (See
list of subjects)
If you have the talent, and you are
convinced that you have something important to say in a literary
work of fiction, then continue to write novels, short stories,
poetry, plays, what is commonly known as literature.
Most likely you will need some
income to allow you to develop this type of writing. And one way
to earn some income is writing nonfiction.
Or perhaps you don’t feel up to the
task of writing a literary work, yet you find writing to be
something you like to do, and you have some knowledge or notions
about a specific topic, or you have the inclination or know-how
to be able to research information about a topic you find of
Whatever the case may be, nonfiction
writing is a field with many opportunities.
About 50,000 new books are published
each year in the United States, of which, only 3,500 are works
of fiction. And of these, only around 140 sell over 100,000
copies. The same is not true in the case of nonliterary books.
books are breaking the 100,000 copy barrier as never before.
There are plenty of books whose print runs exceed 500,000
copies, amounts that are not easily reached by fiction titles.
Several come to mind, such as How to Win Friends and
Influence People by Dale Carneige, The Guiness Book of
Records, and In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters,
with print runs in the millions that continue to sell to this
day. In the category of self-help, Americans are spending $700
million a year.
Amateur writers, housewives, and
even high school dropouts have been pleasantly surprised by the
money they have earned after producing a best seller. Writing
books on popular topics has become one of the most lucrative
businesses around, in addition to being easy to get into with
very limited resources, as well as providing a desirable social
Writing nonfiction books offers
other advantages. As opposed to what happens in the case of
fiction writing, the name of the author in nonfiction work is
not the most important factor. The main factor is the topic of
These books attend to specific needs.
Men and women find in them answers to their immediate needs or
interests. The need to read these books is very different from
the wish to read a work of fiction. That is why, even if the
initial print run is not large, they can be reprinted for a very
long time, and its authors keep on earning the corresponding
The most stable topics, those that
are seemingly always in vogue, enjoying the greatest market
acceptance include: cook books, especially low-fat and low-carb,
diet books; human relations, particularly advice to parents;
sex; religion and spiritual experiences; money, business and
finance; pets, especially cats; social mobility, college careers;
computers and the World Wide Web.
How-to books are always sought-after,
as well as psychological self-help, biographies, history, true
adventure travels, personal memoirs, science fiction, and humor.
Health and medicine books as well as sports books are always
popular. Even the occult is a popular topic.
One piece of information that is
critical when selecting a topic is the fact that women purchase
80% of all books. Additionally, they are a majority among book
Of course, these topics are by no
means the only ones. The success of many of these books lies
precisely in that their authors have found a new or virgin field
of interest, a “niche” as some call it.
By thinking about these types of
books you will be able to tell if you have a good idea. There
are several questions you should ask yourself before starting to
write. Is the topic I have in mind one that can find its place
among the rest of the books on this topic out there? Have I been
able to detect a target audience for this book? Can I get some
free publicity for my book? Could this book sustain itself on
book lists, even if no longer a best-seller? Does the topic
transcend international boundries?
Once you have come up with answers
to these and other questions, stop thinking about writing your
book for a few days before making your decision. If after
filtering your idea through these questions you answer is in the
positive, you will have a great deal of the battle won.
You will have plenty of help, in
part due to the infinite sources of information available on the
Internet that allow you to obtain information without leaving
home. You do not even need to be a specialist to be able to
write about a specific topic, so long as you have the patience
and will necessary to seek the information you need. If you were
not able to obtain all the information you needed, you can
always seek the advice of an expert, interview this expert, and
if need be, incorporate this expert into the project. Remember,
you can always count on the aid provided by our very own
editors. Please see "Advice on writing trade
Then, get on with
the task of writing the book you have always wanted to publish!
You can count on our help. We take care of the rest: design,
illustrations, editing, production, publication, and help in
marketing your book. The final outcome will be your very own
book, published by us, while you retain the copyright to the
Renewed Editions of Existing
Alexandria Library can also publishes works whose copyright has
expired (public domain), or those in which the copyright owner
authorizes their renewed publication. Copyright expires after 90
years in the U.S. and 50 years after the death of the author in
other countries. This allows you to:
Publish again works whose
copyright has expired or those where the copyright owner
Translate and publish in other languages books whose
copyright has expired or those having author permission.
Publish books that are
compilations of articles (or other genders) regarding a
specific topic, whose copyrights are in the public domain or
by obtaining permission from
the copyright owners.
These renewed works can be published on paper, electronic and
audio formats. Finance terms can be negotiable.