One of the greatest feelings one can experience on earth is joining the ranks of published authors. Once your book is published, you will join the ranks of the immortals. You start rubbing shoulders with legends like Homer, Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Frederick Douglass, Virginia Woolf, Tom Peters, Peter Drucker, to name just seven.
With the advent of the Internet, many are enthusiastically joining the book-writing bandwagon, but the vast majority are being stifled by widespread myths about book-writing and the book trade in general. This article aims to debunk the top 8 myths, clearing the way for you to step into the book writing fraternity and publish your New York Times best seller from now on. Jump, the water is hotter than you think, but first, the myths.
1. Book writing is for the more educated people.
The most educated people are professors, some with triple doctorates. People like Marshall Goldsmith, Michael Porter, Ali Mazrui come to mind. But do you know that the first writer had no education? Homer, one of the first writers whose works date back more than 2,500 years, had no academic qualifications. If Homer could do it then, you have no excuse with all the resources available on the Internet, Google, Amazon, that make writing books a walk in the park.
2. Only older people write books
This myth is related to the fact that the first drawings and works of art of writers always depicted them with long white beards. The early writings of the prophets, apostles, and disciples all had this tone. While that may have been the case in ancient times, today a writer can be of any age. Dorothy Straight was just six years old when her book, How the World Began, was published in 1962. Christopher Paolini, author of The Inheritance Cycle, a best-selling book series that sold more than 20 million copies, was 15 when it was released. the first cycle. . So start writing your book like young people write books too.
3. You must be wise to write a book.
This myth is closely aligned with myth one, but carries the myth a little higher. Wise men, by definition, have a stellar upbringing, have white beards and a hint of blessing from on high, the saying goes. Nothing could be further from the truth, as myth two already debunked above makes clear. Some of the world’s most beloved authors are ordinary men and women who have found their passion and a message to share with the world. Such is the case of the Delany sisters, Sarah Louise Delany and Annie Elizabeth Delany, who wrote their first book in 1994, aged 106 and 104. Sarah was a school teacher and Annie a dentist. Her book, Having Our Opinion: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years, set the reading world on fire and became a New York Times bestseller. The importance of history is that you are never too old or too young, and you don’t have to be a wise person to write a book.
4. You must be an expert before you can write a book.
This myth is closely aligned with myth two, also debunked above, but with the added twist that you must be a celebrity recognized around the world as an expert in your field before you can write a book. In this vein, Ben Carson, widely recognized as one of the most talented neurosurgeons in the world, quickly comes to mind. Ironically, none of Ben Carson’s 10+ books, including The Gifted Hands, The Big Picture, and A More Perfect Union, is about neurosurgery. Neither are Bill Gates’ books The Road Ahead and Business At the Speed of Thought on computer coding and programming. Therefore, you don’t need to be an expert to write a book, as you can write on any subject that tickles your imagination.
5. You need an agent to publish your book.
This must have been the case in the era that no longer exists when powerful, monopolistic publishers ruled. Today, with desktop publishing companies, previously widely ridiculed by powerful publishing monopolies as vanity publications, helping lesser mortals like you and me get our ideas and stories out there, anyone can write a book and publish it. . So say goodbye to literary agents and get your book off to a roaring start from now on.
6. It is very expensive to publish a book.
This was the case in the analog age when literary agents dominated. In those days it cost a small fortune to get a literary agent. Literary agents were like investment bankers, charged by the hour and only the wealthiest could afford it. Thanks to technology, this is no longer the case today. In fact, some desktop publishing technologies such as Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), Create Space, and ACX are so simple that you can produce an e-book, paper book, or audiobook just from the comfort of your laptop. You don’t even need to convert your book to any arcane language like mobi or epub, Amazon platforms do everything for you. Write your book in MS-Word and leave the rest to the Amazon platforms and you will be a published author. So is it very expensive to publish a book? The answer is self-evident.
7. You need seven years to write a book.
This point is both a myth and a fact. It is a fact, in the sense that anything worth doing is worth doing well. Take Michael Jackson, widely revered as the “King of Pop,” as an extreme example. On average, it took three to five years for his mega albums such as Off The Wall (1979), Thriller (1982) and Bad (1987) to be released. At the same time, you don’t need seven years to come up with a well-crafted story. John Locke, who has written more than 12 books and sold more than a million e-books, publishes his books an average of nine months apart. I recently learned a “secret” from Chandler Bolt on how to write a 200-page book in 90 days, so rest assured it doesn’t take seven years to write a thriller.
8. Writing a book is difficult
This myth is a summary of all the other myths that we have covered so far. If you have read up to this point, you will agree that writing a book and publishing it is easy and achievable by anyone: baby, man, woman, educated and not so educated. Every time one of these myths rears its ugly head, take a deep breath and scream at the top of your lungs, I know what you are, you are just a myth and I am going to write and publish my book right now.
There is no better time in all of human history than now to write a book and make your voice heard around the world. Everyone has a story, tell yours as others have told theirs. You could become a New York Times best-selling author. Take the case of JK Rowling of Harry Potter fame. Her first book was rejected by various publishers, but she persisted and today she is one of the richest people in the UK. The same can also be said for Jack Canefield and Mark Victor Hansen of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame. According to them, the first book in the series was rejected a whopping 400 times, but they moved on and today the Chicken Soup for the Soul series has sold over a billion copies. So start writing even if you hate writing. There is a trick you can unleash to start loving writing. I promise to reveal the secret to you if you are willing to let me show it to you. Here’s the secret: start writing now. Choose a sheet of paper and a pen and write on top of the blank paper I LOVE WRITING and keep writing until you have written 250 words. Wasn’t that simple?