Ready to finally write that great American novel you’ve planned? Got lots of advice on fixing things around the house or want to create a cookbook to give Martha Stewart or Rachael Ray a run for their domestic savvy money? No matter what your expertise is or how much you yearn to be the next Stephen King (Cell), Tom Clancy (The Hunt For Red October), Anne Rice (Interview With The Vampire) or Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games), Amazon Kindle can help your publishing. I just had my third Kindle book published on Amazon – Star Trek Sex – and I’m loving the freedom it gives me as an author.
The only way to write your own Kindle book is by taking a first step. Here’s advice on how to get started.
It’s said, write what you know, or certainly know better than the other things you know. I think it’s great advice, especially for a first time author. For example: I loved the JC Chandoor directed film, All Is Lost, starring the Hollywood icon Robert Redford. It’s a high concept and highly original drama that’s unforgettable. I’d love to write or direct something like it myself, however, much of the plot hinges on sailing knowledge. While I could research sailing and become acquainted with it, I’d never be that much of an expert to properly infuse my scenes with such raw authenticity.
Still, flipping the movie’s title – all is not lost. It must be emphasized, the magic of fiction is skillfully playing with themes and elements. It’s all about illusion – convincing your reader the world you’ve built for them is legitimate, or what Superman: The Movie director, Richard Donner, likes to say on his world building – verisimilitude. It means feeling or an appearance of reality and truth. If you think you can pull off a book on a topic you know very little on, by all means, give it a go. For most of you – for a first effort – I’d keep more to those rivers and lakes that you’re used to – like in the song Waterfalls from TLC.
It’s even more true when turning out a book instead of a novel. Don’t pay attention to what’s trending or what you think is hot or marketable. That said, you still want to write text which has an audience, no matter how small. However, trying to deduce what’s in or a hot trend or what will give you big sales is a slippery slope. If you’re not familiar with the topic, you’ll spend more time on research. And even if you do your homework, the book may come across as rushed or lacking real substance.
Here’s where the skill anyone can be taught meets talented magic which sets a star like J.K. Rowling apart from an author you’ve never heard of before. It can be argued back and forth using tons of variables why one author’s work breaks out from the pack – timing, luck, word of mouth, etc. One fact is inarguable: There’s something about those Harry Potter novels or those Twilight Books from author Stephanie Meyer which speaks to readers. These authors connect with millions of book lovers and so the magic and talent is undeniable.
We’re now blessed with a plethora of word processing programs, grammar checkers, and even apps which promise to help you write. We have voice recognition like Dragon Naturally Speaking and the like which cuts out the ‘writing’ part entirely. The bottom line to all of this seems to be what best works for you. I started writing long hand on legal pads and in spiral notebooks. I then used my trusty Commodore 64 and a word processor called PaperClip. I graduated to GEOS, then picked up an IBM PC clone and used WordPerfect for years. I wrote my first TV script for Star Trek: The Next Generation using WordPerfect, so naturally, when I sold the teleplay to Paramount Pictures, that worked well for me.
As to the mechanics of writing – the nuts and bolts – there are great advice books and websites geared to all of the devil in the details kind of stuff. My best advice to the novice writer is to just write away in your own voice and personality and then worry about the nit picking and polishing later. That’s really how most all writers work. You slog away on a first draft. You shape up a better rough draft. And you finally polish up a final draft. Sometimes it never really feels finished or final, but it has to be. If you don’t let that final draft go, it will be a never see the light of day draft.
Marketing anything takes work and time. A book isn’t much different from marketing a new food, website, soft drink or car. You have an item that you feel is worth someone parting with their hard earned cash to buy. This literary item – you are claiming – will enrich their life, entertain and or educate them – hopefully do all that. At the least, it won’t be a waste of money.
Social media – Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, blogs and other sites gets the word out about your book and can cultivate a fan base about you as an author. It can get people excited about your latest book and make them look forward to the release of your next. Amazon has an Author Page for writers. It’s a great place to start after your book is published. You can also maintain blogs on WordPress and Blogspot.
Writing a book – no matter the length or subject matter – isn’t easy. It requires a significant amount of time, energy with laser like focus to finish. Going the Amazon Kindle route makes it easier, but also heaps more work and responsibility on the author. You must create cover artwork, proof, polish and then market a book. This is traditionally done by traditional publishers. All the work is worth it in the long run, however. Finishing your Kindle book acts as satisfaction – a personal milestone – and may also be the kickstart to a profitable literary career for you as an author