The Independent Book Publishers Association tells us the 81% of Americans, 200 million people, feel they have a book in them, and should write it. However, they don’t. Even with recent trends in publishing, still only 2% actually do. The question becomes: Why not? And what can we do to get those stories into the world?
There are several reasons people do not write books, and even more reasons they never go on to publish them even once they are written. In fact, I have even ghostwritten books for people who, after having paid good money to put their stories into a commercially viable manuscript, have still never published.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Will you join the 2% of storytellers who become authors every single day? Here are some common obstacles and how we help you overcome them.
Finding Time to Write
This is one of the most common things we hear from aspiring authors, and it is generally a pretty valid excuse. You may own and run a business and may even have additional family and other responsibilities. Writing takes a lot of time. How do you fit that into your schedule?
There are answers. First, you can build writing time into your schedule. Typically if you want to do something, you can make time for it, and if that is focused time, you can get a lot done. Here are some tips:
Set a time in the morning or in the evening, or when you have a break during the day, and make an appointment with yourself. Then keep it.
Don’t allow yourself to be disturbed. Turn off Wi-Fi, hold all your calls, and shut your office door. The more you can stay on task, the better.
Perfection is the enemy of completion. There are editors, ghostwriters, and other professionals who can help you take your story from the rough words you put down into a marketable product. But they can’t edit what is in your head.
Write, write, write. Don’t think about things, just write your thoughts the best you can. Remember, it’s better to have too much than not enough material. You can always cut, but its much harder to add things later on.
This works for some people. Even if your writing is not the greatest, something cam be done with it. However, if writing does not work for you, there are other options.
Recording Your Stories
Are you better at telling you story verbally? Good. Sit down and record your stories using a digital recorder or have someone do it for you. If you can, use a transcription program like DragonSpeak or even the dictation options in Microsoft Word, OneNote, Evernote, or any number of other programs.
Just be sure that you have a good microphone. If a computer program does not work for you, there are transcription services that will turn your spoken words into typed ones. Don’t worry if you don’t have time to source these resources. At Unbound Publishing, we can help with this step if you need it.
Just remember a couple of things while you are recording:
Use a good microphone and speak clearly.
Try to have an agenda and stick to it. The more you wander with your story, the harder (and more time consuming) it will be to edit your transcripts.
Take breaks. All of that talking can be surprisingly exhausting and talking through some of your story or even your ideas can be emotionally difficult too. Take your time.
Even if you are better at talking through your story and your ideas, we can still work with you to take you from being a storyteller to being an author.vWe can use transcripts, and often do, in the ghostwriting process.
Are you unsure about where to start when it comes to telling your story? Do you need help getting it out of your head? A method that often helps is to have a ghostwriter come and interview you in person or do interviews over various video chatting applications. The questions we can ask will often help you organize your thoughts, and can even help you remember events in a whole new way.
This is one of the most common ways that books are ghostwritten. The writer will interview the storyteller and create transcripts from those interviews. This also helps keep you focused on your story, and the exact parts you want to share.
Worrying about What People Think
One of the next obstacles storytellers often face is the worry about what others might think. You might want to tell your story, but you may be concerned about what your family or friends might think if you share the truth about your past. You may even be concerned about how it will affect your business.
Even if you have business ideas to share, you might be fearful that others will reject them or even ridicule them. The truth is, this is something that every author faces in one form or another.
So we promise storytellers one thing: we’ll make sure that your stories and ideas are expressed in the best way possible. We promise to be honest if something is not working or might be offensive or unpalatable to your audience. At Unbound Publishing, we’ll be with you every single step of the way.
We’re your concierge publishing company. When you are ready to go from the 81% or want to and should write a book to the 2% that do, contact us. Let us be your partners in publishing.
Writing a book is something many people think about doing in their lifetime, but they never quite have the ambition or drive. If you’re a book lover why not write one of your own? Whether you’re a fan of fiction or you want to write a scientific report on some research you have done, there will always be an audience that has an interest in what you have to say. Consider the following five fundamentals of writing your first book and you will be able to get started right away.
1. Seek Advice and Do Your Research
First of all, you need to start carrying out some research on your chosen topic or story theme. If you have experience in writing before, why not seek out the advice from LCMPA. Their feedback could be incredibly valuable to you if you’re embarking on a new project. They will be able to provide you with guidance on your next piece of work so that you can be sure you’re heading in the right direction.
2. Decide Where Your Workspace Is
Being a writer can be frustrating if you don’t have a comfortable place to be creative. Whether you’re working from a cosy corner in your home or you prefer to people watch in a public coffee shop, there will always be a place that makes you feel productive. Everybody is completely different when it comes to their writing workspaces, so discover yours before you get started with your project.
3. Discover Your Final Idea
Honing in on your final idea can be quite a challenge, especially when you have so many ideas all at once. Ask others for opinions on your various subject matters and narrow it down to one fantastic concept. It might take several crumpled up pieces of paper for you to get there, but you will discover the hidden gem within there somewhere.
4. Get Words onto a Page
As soon as you know where your book idea is going, you need to start getting some words onto the page. You can always go back and edit later, but you need to get the main framework down onto the paper. Consider the arc of your story, if you’re writing a fiction book. Do you want to leave the reader on a cliffhanger? Do you want to release facts slowly throughout the book so they have to piece them together like a puzzle? Understand your main goal as the writer and use your words to shape this idea.
5. Proofread and Proofread Some More
When you think you have the final product, it is very important to proofread your work. Once you have mastered the art, you will be able to carry this out a couple of times to make sure there are no glaring errors in your hard work!
Writing a book is a marathon, not a sprint so take your time and enjoy the process. You will be much more pleased by the end product if you have spent time researching, proofreading and discovering the true meaning behind your first book.
At Unbound Publishing, we love creative new ways to do things, especially when they challenge the antiquated and entrenched power structures that block the success of the little guy. This is exactly what we are seeing with the plucky endeavor of a small group of actors that are producing their own television series. They are creating first and asking for validation second.
Bypass The Man
In today’s distributed access to fame, normal channels to success are no longer needed. There was a time that you looked to be ‘discovered’ in order to be able to become famous. Now, you are in charge. You just need to create enough buzz to get people to watch. Ultimately the landscape of how we create art, media, literature and ultimate fame has completely changed. This phenomenon is represented in the grassroots creation of the entertaining TV series, Idaho Boys.
The show’s “webisodes”, seen on Facebook and Youtube, revolve around two brothers who are constantly battling to save their family farm. When all avenues seem futile, the brothers, played by real life brothers, Troy Ozeander (Cameron Crain) and Jerry (James Russell) are confronted with an entertaining idea to attract listeners to their hillbilly radio show. Having more listeners is believed by the Ozeander boys to be a method which will produce more ad revenue; money they need to rescue their farm. The plan becomes complicated by periodic attempts to be sensational and the hijinx among the disparate characters is reminiscent of a countrified version of Three’s Company. The antics are entertaining and the concept is solid, but the real story is how they have tapped into the modern ethos of distributed creation and marketing.
The show’s foundation is completely organic. It was conceived of and created by a small group of actors (not yet household names, but an accomplished group). Instead of going through conventional and traditional routes, like pitching an idea to a studio, creating a pilot and hoping for the show to be picked up, this group has self-funded, crowd-funded and created the show from the ground up.
The group is lead by the two brothers who also star in the show, Cameron Crain and James Russell. Cameron was the longtime president of the Nevada Shakespeare Company, where he acted, directed and produced nearly 2 decades of perpetual stage events. He has also had appearances in the movie A Single Woman, where he had multiple roles. Currently, in addition to creating Idaho Boys, Cameron is developing his career as a standup comedian and playwright. He penned Nevada: It Ain’t Just Vegas Baby! Which toured to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.
When I first started out in the film industry I volunteered to be a script supervisor for a feature
film to be shot in Utah by an LA filmmaker. The filmmaker was so unprepared for the shoot I
ended up producing the feature film since I found and locked in local crew, found and secured
most of the locations to shoot in, auditioned and helped locked in the cast, ended up running the
craft table, and still occasionally acted as script supervisor and even PA’d when the pa was
promoted into the camera department.
Oh yeah, I was also assigned to acquire the wardrobe
and wrangle it on set. I’m flexible and intelligent, but I’m also human. When one person has to
juggle nearly every ball in the production things get overlooked. Tempers flared on occasion,
and people started to blame others. It was a fabulous introduction into the low/nobudget film
scene and I’m glad I experienced it. This project caused me to crash physically for about a week
straight, but when I bounced back the fire had consumed me I had to make movies.
Since that experience, as a producer I have worked closely with four local Utah directors. All of
those experiences were very unique and each of those relationships are in a different phase. I
married one of them (Chris Adler) and so far we’ve been working for three years on short films,
music videos, and we have several features in development. Our current active project is called
Sanctus is a psychological thriller based on concepts from “The Uncanny”, which is an essay
written by Sigmund Freud, about things that cause the human mind to reject what it sees, feel
repulsion, and experience the notion that we’re experiencing a repressed memory. It’s a horror
film without a narrative, but with all of the elements in place to allow the viewer to supply their
own narrative. It’s a pretty amazing production.
We’re currently in the middle of a crowdfunding
campaign for the film on IndieGoGo and need to raise our budget to shoot the three remaining
days and pay the cast and crew for the first shoot day that we’ve already completed. With a
short film there’s no profit or income potential, so there aren’t any investors out there we can
track down. We have to find fans of the genre and fans of ourselves as filmmakers to make it
happen. And it’s really hard work. We’re almost two weeks in and we’ve spent a ton of hours to
get where we are currently and we have so far to go still.
When I think back on all of the projects I’ve worked on and the experience I had on those
projects, I come to the following conclusions:
● I feel terrible when I work on a production where people aren’t being paid for their hard
work and dedication. It’s hard enough to find talented people to work with who can work
well with others, but when you can’t offer them money for spending their day on your set
it really sucks.
● I myself have only been paid to produce one project in the last four years (and that was
only for actual days on set). Producing starts at development and ends long after post
finishes if the film plays in the festival circuit. Producers put in far more time than any
other position in the crew generally. Yeah, you’re welcome.
● Most directors really don’t understand what a producer does, especially if they’ve never
produced themselves. So many balls to juggle, decisions to be made, and personalities
on set to wrangle. Things need purchased, lastminute cancellations need to be
managed, and even little details like where people can park or go to the bathroom land
on us. We don’t have location departments or art departments. These film have no
money for that.
● Most directors expect producers to do pretty much everything that they don’t want to do
themselves. Some parts of filmmaking are a blast, and others are mindnumbing and
tedious. I dispose of the shit so the director doesn’t smell it. Most of the time the director
never even gets wind that there was a problem.
But in the face of all of it, I love filmmaking. I love watching an idea come to life. I love being
surrounded by a group of artists as we come together to make something unique, entertaining
and meaningful. I love nurturing and encouraging a director vision, starting at the beginning of a
project when rough ideas shared over coffee transform into to a script, and eventually into to a
finished film. It draws me to it.
The struggles and disappointments don’t drown out the intense
satisfaction I feel on set, and later during a screening. I’m proud of what I do, and how I do it. I
feel the drive to help others around me succeed and grow. I offer them opportunities to shine
while still keeping the integrity of the project in mind. I’ll take your shit along with the good.
Dezi Barr is a producer in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. She is motivated to help talented filmmakers give voice to their stories. She has worked on several films,most of which went on to win awards. Dezi was born and raised in Missouri, family brought her to Salt Lake and that is when she became interested in Film.