An old saying begins: "If I had a nickel for every time I _____________, I'd be rich by now." If I had to fill in that blank, I'd say, "every time someone asked me a question about how to get a book published. . ."
Seriously, it sometimes seems like every person I talk to has a secret ambition to write a book. If you're reading this blog, you are probably one of them. You have family stories to tell, or family recipes, an idea for the perfect murder, an inspirational tale about a friend or neighbor, a collection of photographs, a secret stash of poetry -- something that is so important to you that you want to to turn it into a book. But of course, the very reason you ask how to get started is that the question is too big to be answered.
For a while I tried to provide some guidance on this blog. In one post, I wrote, "Start exploring the advice available on the Internet, keeping in mind that not all sources are equally valuable. If I had to choose one blogger’s advice, I’d go to Dana Lynn Smith’s Savvy Book Marketer site. For general money saving tips, you can’t go wrong using Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s series of “Frugal” web publications."
For the rest, you can find dozens of bloggers and columnists who have made successful careers out of telling others how to use the resources of the Internet to write a book. I decided not to recommend any one over the others, because much depends on your own needs and personality. I subscribed to one promising blog, only to discover that the writer knew less than I did about the Internet and could provide only the most basic bits of advice. Her simplistic remarks sent me pounding on the delete key. Another site turned out to be written so far above me that I felt I was reading a foreign language. My best advice was to sample widely and find a few resources that prove helpful.
Eventually I realized that if there were ironclad rules for "writing a book," someone would have laid them out a long time ago. Instead, I decided to tell my own story, from the first decision to self-publish to that heady moment when I found myself at the top of one of Amazon's bestseller lists. My choices won't work for everyone. My problems were specific to my own book. But I learned a lot along the way, and I'm happy to pass along any tips that will help you to get started on your own writing project. That's how The Second Mouse Gets the Cheese came to be.
Don't expect to find a heavy volume of unbreakable rules and stuffy grammar. This is a light-hearted anecdotal account of my ups and downs as I learned about the publishing world. I want you to smile while you read it. My little cartoon mice pop up occasionally to remind us all that if you're not having fun at what you're doing, you probably need to do something else. One reviewer commented that she felt like she was chatting with me over a cup of coffee. So if you've ever thought about writing a book, click on over to the Book Launch page and find out how you can get your own paper copy at a reduced price or a Kindle edition for only $0.99. You might even qualify for a prize. Then grab a mug, pull up a chair, and let's talk about self-publishing.