The write way up

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The write way up

EVERYONE has a book inside them and sadly this is where it usually stays. As Richard Bach says, ‘a professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.’

Writing a book is a challenge but by way of letters and emails most people have already written enough to complete several paperbacks.

As with learning any new skill there’s a formula for success. Using advice given or learned I added my name to over 40 book titles and I have ghosted as many more. Your typing finger is simply a spare tongue so let your finger do the talking.

Most wannabe authors are deterred by their inability to write to retail standards. But, poor writing never discouraged successful authors like Jeffrey Archer or Stephen King. Their storyline inspirations are simply handed to a ghost writer who writes their book.

Most books are brought to publishing standards by a ghost-writer rather than the person named on the book’s cover. Many well-known authors lend their names to the works of lesser known authors. These include Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, and Clive Cussler.

Clancy’s publishers say: “Tom Clancy creates the ideas for these series and the writers execute Clancy’s ideas. All are subject to his supervision.”

It helps if the writer has experience of the subject. It is not unknown for hoteliers, social workers, those employed in the sex industry, policemen and entertainers to make more money selling their life story than living it.

Biographies don’t sell but romance and erotica; dubbed mummy porn clears the shelves. The soft porn market generates $1.44 billion each year; most buyers are women. Hot on the heels of erotica are crime novels but with sales at $728 million crime is unlikely to close the thigh gap.

Mills and Boon shrugged off its maiden aunt image by adding Cherish and Dare Romance books which are much more sexually explicit. These are described by the publishers as erotically charged and irresistibly passionate.

Size is important: The word count for romantic novels is 50,000 whilst the average paperback is likely to consist of 70 to 80k words. A sticking point for many new authors is embarrassment but if a penname is used who knows?

Will you make the Rich List? It’s a lottery but ‘if you’re not in you can’t win’. Certainly, being a published author is financially viable; a 10-day cruise would cost more than the ghost-writing and publishing fees but royalties recover some or all of one’s outlay. These tend to be 10 to 15 per cent of the cover price, which are paid direct into one’s bank account.

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