If you’re not sure what you might want to do, and you don’t have a lot of money to invest, consider your loves – what you enjoy doing, what gets you so involved that you forget to eat, miss appointments, and lose all track of time. Jot these down somewhere – perhaps a tiny notebook that you carry with you at all times, a sticky note on your laptop, or memo pad on the home page of your smartphone. It might be swing dancing, hiking, writing, volunteering, or baking.
Add to that list your areas of experience and expertise. Think about your jobs and the things you accomplished that make you proud. Were you the first in your department to make a suggestion that came to fruition? Did you design the first “XYZ”? Have you been a mentor or SCORE counselor to someone whose budding business is now worth millions? Did you start as an overweight couch patio and teach yourself to hike 10 miles a day and slim down? Are you an accomplished business plan writer? Pianist? Wood carver? Programmer? Floral designer? What do you know that others might want to learn about?
Now think about what you bring to the expertise table that is unique. If you’re a wood carver, for example, are you lightning fast? Or do you / would you create customized pieces for others? Have you been doing this since age 5 at your grandfather’s knee? Do you have or could you take great pictures of your finished products?
At this point you’ll probably have a hefty list. If not, ask others that know you well to tell you what they see as your strengths, skills and accomplishments.
Now, add to that list your funny, entertaining, heart-wrenching, and / or uplifting stories – the ones that elicit the response, “you ought to write a book” from the friends, colleagues and family that you tell them to for the first time. Perhaps you, a Minnesotan, went hiking in Arizona for the first time with a friend and it got hot, you both got overheated, and had to be rescued, just in the nick of time.
As example, I remember well our family dog Poco developing tumors right after my mother died of cancer, and my sister and I trying to put bandaids on Poco so she’d heal. Dad then took her to the vet and we asked him over and over, “You’re not going to put her to sleep, are you?” and him saying “No” over and over again.
Later that day I returned to the house to find dad burying Poco in the backyard. While I had held it together throughout mom’s funeral and burial this was the last straw. I screamed at dad. I cried for days. I’ve longed to write a book about Poco and what she meant to me, and how she stayed by mom’s side as mom got sicker and sicker. And then Poco died of the same disease shortly after.
So, if friends say, “You ought to write a book” – well, you ought to.
Amazon has a great program with its Kindle division. Anyone can write about anything, and quickly be a published author. I have trained to do so, and am just starting my first e-book, hopefully out Dec. 1. But this isn’t about me, and so I’ll tell you more later. This is about YOU.
If you write well, and are disciplined, you should be able to do this in 2 weeks or less. Just set aside some time each day to write. Then go to Udemy and sign up for a free or inexpensive course on publishing in Kindle. I took two dynamite courses – one free, and one $11, that taught me how to determine if my idea was marketable, how to market it and how to publish.
You can hire someone to do the publishing end of it instead of tackling that yourself.
For inexpensive book covers, and / or publishing help go to Fiverr and hire a freelancer. My book cover is costing me $25, and that includes an extra $5 tip I gave the artist. I am handling the publishing myself.
If you DON’T write well, I would be willing to ghostwrite it, or edit it, for a percentage of its sales, provided you can convince me it has an audience. Or we can work out a fee. You can also look to Fiverr for a ghostwriter or editor.
For success, you must have or build up a strong social following on such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and / or LinkedIn. Amazon lets you keep 70 percent of all sales if your book is priced $2.99 – $9.99. Above or below that and your take is 35%.
While Kindle isn’t the only publishing option, having your book on Amazon is a great way to get your e-book author feet wet.