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Updated on May 7, 2013
Think you have an idea for a book?  Explore the possibilities to bring that idea to fruition.
Think you have an idea for a book? Explore the possibilities to bring that idea to fruition.

If the words, “I should write a book” or “I could write a book” have ever crossed your mind, then rest assured that you are not alone. According to, 81% or 200 million people say they would like to publish a book; yet, statistics prove that very few pursue authorship status.

The publishing industry, has experienced dramatic changes over the past twenty years. The most prevalent changes have included the advancement, acceptance and surge of self-publishing houses and e-books. In 2010, 2,776,260 titles were self-published, compared with 316,480 titles published by traditional publishing houses, as reported by Bowker. Regardless of the method of publishing, people love to read and books are still in demand.

As you consider entering the wonderful world of writing, you may be wondering what genre, Fiction or Non-Fiction, promotes the most book sales. USA TODAY’s Best Selling Book List found that Fiction sales rose from 67% in 2007 to 78% in 2011, whereas, Non-Fiction sales trail slightly. Non-Fiction most popular categories include: History, Biographies and Religious/Spirituality.

The publishing industry estimates that more than 50% of all books are ghostwritten; however, this figure is difficult to confirm for several reasons, ghostwriter anonymity, author recognition and contractual agreements, to name a few.

Possibly, you are thinking the time has arrived to stop procrastinating and put paper to pen or…. fingers to keyboard, as the case may be. BUT wait……….not so fast! Before you race to the computer to impart powerful words of wisdom, write the great American novel or search the internet to find a ghostwriter, it is imperative to understand that the publishing process involves much more than placing words on a page. The goal is to sell your writing and avoid having hundreds of book copies stored away in a closet. Listed below are a few things to consider before writing that first word.


· Genre-Fiction/Non-Fiction

· Category-Mystery, Sci-Fi, Humor, History, Religious/Spiritual

· Self-Publishing or Traditional Publishing (Note: Traditional Publishing usually requires securing an agent)

· Define your target audience

· Objective for the reader

· Anticipated word count-(varies by genre, audience and topic)

· Develop a website and social media pages

· Speaking tours for promotion

· Book signings

· Obtain an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) CAUTION: Be aware of P.O.D. (publish on demand). A P.O.D. publisher often takes a large percentage of sales and does not market your book.

· E-book (Each book format requires a separate ISBN)

· Graphics

· Book size

· Printing

· Obtain a copyright -

With your basic writing starter kit compiled, it is now time to begin. Isolate yourself from everyone for a few hours, sit comfortably at your computer or pick up a pen and paper, grab a cup of hot coffee and let the inspiration, begin.


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