Friday, October 3, 2008

Questions Aspiring Authors Ask

Thanks to the magic of search engines, people from all over the place are finding their way to my website and browsing among its pages. I’ve tried to keep the site is full of information about how to write a nonfiction book and the services I provide to help aspiring authors. If they are intrigued, they e-mail or call and ask questions. Although every person who wants to write a book is unique, many of their questions touch on the same themes. Here are some of the most common.

I’ve had an unbelievable life, and I think my story could really help people. I want to write it, but I don’t know where to begin.

I would urge you begin by writing a proposal, which forces you to think through every aspect of your book before you actually write it. Here is an overview of the components of a good proposal. No matter how you hope to publish your book, thinking it through on the front end is the most important step in the process. After you do, the actual writing step will make much more sense to you.

I’ve been working on a book for five years. It’s just about finished. How do I get it published?

If the writing is complete and you have not already worked with an editor, that is the first thing you should do. There are two types of editors: one takes the macro view and other a micro view. Content editors look at the big picture, writing style, structure, and flow of ideas, language, and accuracy. Copy editors check for grammar, punctuation, and typos. They catch mistakes you and everyone else have missed. After your book is edited, you have a choice of publishing options, ranging from do-it-yourself to having a big, New York publisher’s name on your book jacket.

I’m a professional speaker/trainer/consultant/marketer, and my clients are asking if I have a book. I know my subject inside and out, but I’m not a writer. What exactly does a ghostwriter do?

You are the expert in your subject matter. A ghostwriter is an expert at learning your subject, understanding what you want to communicate, and translating your message into well-written language. Before you enter into a partnership with a ghostwriter, here is what you should know.

I have enough research to write five books but it’s totally disorganized. I can’t find anything on my computer and my dining room looks like a recycling center. Can you help me bring order to chaos?

You can’t write a book if you are totally disorganized. Getting your act together has two parts: (1) setting up a filing system so that you can put your hands on anything, any time you want to; and (2) saving your files so that you never lose a word you have written. If you do the first before you begin and the second as you go along, you’ll achieve the order you need to go forward.


Anonymous said...

Dear Bobbi Linkemer
I don’t know how to really start on this…well, anyways, I wanted to ask, only if you could answer my questions. I love to write. This started five years ago. I love the word of fiction and I have many stories going through my head that I want to let out. I have written many things but I have them only sitting here with me without doing anything with them. I want to publish them but I fear that my stories aren’t good enough. I’m not an expert in writing and I’m an adult student trying to reach my high school diploma but the answer I need is, am I a good story writer? Will my stories be good enough to be published? I know they are not completed and I know they need more work on them, but I just need to know that if it won’t be a waste of time cracking my head for them.
I was only asking those I could find that sounded as interesting as I read their blogs and web pages. This is only if you have time to answer how I would be able to get over my fear…
If you could answer, my e-mail address is or I could come back…
Thank you,