Most adults hope to write a book. Why not do so before it is too late? The author, a retired scientist who has published over 100 articles and has authored, co-authored, or edited a half-dozen books, tells the would-be author how to plan, prepare, publish, promote, and reap the pay-offs from writing a book, fiction or non-fiction. PLAN: determine your goals. Why are you writing? For self-satisfaction? For family, friends, and acquaintances? For the mass market? Your choice will influence how you go about publishing: printing, self-publishing, or using an indie, subsidy, or traditional publishing house. Writing for a large audience requires thinking about demographics: who is your ideal reader? Age, gender, location, race, ethnicity, income, politics, ethnicity, marital status…all count. PREPARE: book writing tips are given, from a constellation of authors. Nonfiction, approximately the truth, requires a degree of research that fiction, not necessarily the truth, will not, although historical fiction will need to take place in a real time and place. Your nonfiction title needs to be short, descriptive, possibly a bit puzzling, clarified by your subtitle. Your fiction title needs to evoke curiosity while signaling the genre of the book, as readers rarely buy books in genres other than their favorites. More advice is given on title, cover, dedication, table of contents, acknowledgment, foreword, and preface…what’s up front counts. Find time and space, then sit, think, write, perhaps “open a vein.” Heed the guidelines from ELEMENTS OF STYLE. Dr. Cooper describes the basics of the most popular types of nonfiction and fiction books. PUBLISH: computer manuscript preparation and print-on-demand technology have revolutionized publishing. A million new titles per year can reach the marketplace, ten times what was typical a decade or so ago. Authors can print their own books, work with an independent (“indie”) publisher, pay a subsidy or “vanity” press, or try to get published by a traditional publishing house, usually requiring fame or celebrity. Dr. Cooper tells of his use of Outskirts Press, a subsidy publisher that allows him editorial control, retention of all rights, speed to market, and electronic and print formats. PROMOTE: Once you’ve written your book, you want it read. To get beyond family, friends, and acquaintances, you need to have it known and to generate interest in it. Publicity is free advertising. An extensive chapter marshals the advice from a host of experts on getting maximum publicity for your book and for becoming yourself known, liked, and trusted, crucial if you are to translate book sales into other pay-offs. Traditional advertising as well as social media methods of free and paid notice are covered. If lucky, your book, and you, will go viral. PAY-OFFS: The author’s first book, TING AND I: A MEMOIR OF LOVE, COURAGE, AND DEVOTION, was written largely for family and friends, but went beyond that circle due to favorable publicity, with its themes of the power of love, the importance of marriage, and the value of life, even if severely disabled. It thanked many who had helped them. It opened up a writing and coaching business for him. Often books bring their authors benefits that dwarf royalties from book sales. A book can be “the best business card in the world.” WRITE YOUR BOOK WITH ME combines a light-hearted, encouraging approach with insights derived from his experience, plus the wisdom of experts.
“Helpful, encouraging and inspiring”
Five Star Review on Amazon By Ginny Carter
This is a helpful and inspiring book if you’re a budding author. Doug combines precision (well he used to be a scientist after all), with emotional encouragement to help you write a great book. It’s good for first time authors but also for anyone looking to improve their book planning and writing skills, as well as learning more about publishing and marketing. Doug’s got a lovely style – you’ll enjoy the read.
About the Author
Douglas Winslow Cooper (1942- ) is a freelance writer, a retired physicist, a caregiver, and a rational optimist. From his early years in the shadow of New York City’s George Washington Bridge to his early retirement by sunny Lake Osiris in Walden, NY, to help care for his beloved bedridden wife, Tina Su Cooper, he has found that indeed “the world is a tragedy to those who feel and a comedy to those who think,” agreeing with Horace Walpole.
On June 2, 1984, after twenty years apart, former college sweethearts Tina Su (born Su Ting-ting) and Doug Cooper married. Their wedding rings are inscribed, “A dream come true.” After more than 25 years of being married, they still feel that way, their motto being: “Together forever.” The Coopers’ marriage has been filled with joy, laughter, and occasional sorrow, due to her increasing disability from multiple sclerosis. Their glasses may be half-full now, but what remains is precious.
Dr.Cooper’s first book was his 1974 Ph.D. dissertation for Harvard University. A dozen printed copies more than filled the public demand. Tina and Doug hope to reach a wider audience with TING AND I to share some lessons learned about life, love, loyalty. They invite you to write them at email@example.com.
A three-minute interview done in October 2011 by donovanmediastrategies.com is available at tinyurl.com/4yag4oc .
After publishing TING AND I, Dr. Cooper established a business helping others to write and publish their books, writeyourbookwithme.com. He co-authored AVA GARDNER’S DAUGHTER, which was withdrawn when his co-author’s claims were refuted; THE SHIELD OF GOLD, a candid memoir by a former NYPD detective; KIDNAPPED TWICE, the memoir of a woman betrayed and abused as a child. He coached and edited the memoirs HIGH SHOES AND BLOOMERS and BUT…AT WHAT COST. Subsequently, Dr. Cooper co-authored with Adria Goldman Gross SOLVED! CURING YOUR MEDICAL INSURANCE PROBLEMS and MULTI-PAYER MEDICINE NIGHTMARE MADE IN THE USA, the International Edition of SOLVED! He coached Kathleen Blake Shields and edited her HOME IS WHERE THE STORY BEGINS.
Most recently, Dr. Cooper published WRITE YOUR BOOK WITH ME, to help would-be authors succeed in planning, preparing, publishing, and promoting their books.