We haven't been as active with our critiquing blog as we once were, but that doesn't mean we haven't been busy looking for new ways to work with writers and help them along in their writing journey. Becky and I remain part of active critique groups and continue to enjoy the critiquing process, but we're also always looking for other avenues to help writers.
Recently one of my writing friends suggested that I write something for all those aspiring writers who wanted to do nonfiction “stuff”... you know, how-to books, articles on how they coped with one of life’s problems and of course, how to get started doing blogs.
After of bit of thinking and not wanting the book to be too long for even writers have short attention spans... grin, I decided to categorize the subject of writing nonfiction into six sections (six short books) and started on the first idea, which was... wait for it... a booklet on how to find, expand and focus in on one great IDEA.
Once the outline was complete the writing was a breeze. It ended up at 48 single spaced pages, in the Times font and a little over 11,000 words.
Now comes the more interesting part. I have a friend that is a computer genius. He has a company that, you guessed it, was slowing turning their skills in audio-vision talents into formatting books for the web.
Talking to him about who he knew who could format this file for me inexpensively he suddenly offered to do it for me. Thank God, because as many of you know, I am dyslexic and learning how to format a book would be way beyond my capabilities, never mind the fact that I can’t spell or that I’m simply too busy writing to stop and learn a new skill.
So I sent him the “raw” file. No page breaks, just the file in word. About three hours later he sent me the most beautiful, professional, top-of-the-line layout I have ever seen. Considering that I had already seen some of the e-pub stuff and had not been impressed, my book looked great. In fact so great, I hardly recognized it.
Turned out he and his partner were now part of a new company that is going to be going public very soon that will be publishing and formatting books for authors and paying good royalties, 50% at first and then 75% and they will do all the marketing. I was overjoyed.
As I talked to the principals the simple idea I had for a small booklet for nonfiction writers morphed into something quite interesting. I realized that “booklets” don’t really sell well. Remember that when you talk with people about marketing and money, they think a bit differently that writers do. Thank goodness for the difference. Grin.
That was the break-through.
We changed the concept of doing small booklets into the idea of doing writing guides because they were simple and sell better. Think the “Dummies” series or even the “Chicken Soup” books.
These guides needed a name. Something that would catch the buyers attention. A name that we could use on other guides.
Oh yes. Other guides. This concept quickly took over all my gray cells. Then in the middle of the night the name came to me.
The WEEKEND WRITER’S Guide to....
It simply clicked. Once the overall name was there, the overall theme, the ideas flowed like a faucet had been turned with the various titles pouring out.
Over the years I have taught and lectured to literally hundreds of organizations, writing groups both onsite and online. Sometimes alone, but often with Becky. We had tons of lectures already written for classes that had been well received.
We could turn all these classes into WEEKEND WRITER’S Guides.
Yes! And so the next phrase began. Outlining and writing the guides.
We now have one finished and formatted, two in line to be formatted, five outlined and many more in the “thinking” stages.
All together 18 are in the works.
We plan on having the first few available the first of the year. So, if you have any ideas for a guide that you would like to see, please let us know. And watch for the first one, which will be the guide on IDEAS.
And as the new year starts we are also going to be starting a new blog, called writethatnovel.blogspot.com. Today we have more on how the idea for the Weekend Writer's Guides developed.