Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How to Write a Book 101...

Too bad I never attended that class, other wise I might have an idea of what the hell I'm doing. HA! I did have a job once, just after I graduated High School where I worked for an independant book publisher (nothing big time) formatting work given to us in a Word document so that it would fit on to a normal printed book page. It wasn't a bad job, but because of how young I was, I was not getting paid what I should. It was my first tech type of job and in many was I wish I would of stuck with it a bit and continued with that skill set.

So for those of you who know me, or those of you who have corresponded with me, you probably already know what I'm about to say, but I'll go ahead and tell everyone else the story behind my blog. Bare with me...

My blog was initially started on my MySpace Page. (feel free to add me if you have MySpace as well! :D ) In the past I have always wanted to write a book, but never had anything good to write about. Once I learned of our deployment, I realized that I would have an event in my life which actually might make an interesting story, so in an effort to inform my family and friends of what I was doing (saving me from telling the same story over and over), and more so as a way to keep record of what I experienced and to not forget the little details over time, I started keeping blogs on MySpace. They started out simple, but as we began doing missions I started trying to write down as much info as I could remember, within the limits of OPSEC of course. Over the course of 3 months I had several posts on there, detailing the begining of my 15-month deployment. At some point I began noticing that a handful of people were reading my blogs on there, and some of them were people that I had no clue who they were. I began formatting the blog page there, coming up with the origional layout of what would eventually involve in to the look of my blog today. I was getting frustrated with the lack of options for the formatting of my MySpace blog, so after some time, I decided to move over to Blogspot to continue my blog. I copied over all the entries from just before we left until that time, and put them on to my Blogger account, which they are still accessable there today. On April 8th, everything was copied over and I was happy with the way the blog looked, so I added a counter and linked to the new blog site, from my MySpace blog. And from there, the rest is history... haha I've always wanted to say that.

Fast foward to now. 15 months later, 113 (published) posts later and I'm stuck trying to figure out what I need to do in order to make the initial dream a reality. I guess I probably need to contact publishers and see if they would be interested, or whatever. If anyone has any advice for me in this department I am open ears. Until that day comes, I will continue to take my posts and put them in to Word, and format them and spell/grammer check (yes BrianFH, when I have the time I do know how to do that! :D ) and try and save any (hopefully) future editors a little bit of time and headache editing through my stories. Ideally, I would like to keep my old posts intact and then after selected posts I put in a book, Id like to tell more to the story than I was able to do at the time while in Iraq. Maybe include some additional pictures. Theres many ideas in my head, but again, no real plan of action at this point. Not to mention I do also want to write a book about getting Charlie out of Iraq and back to the States. (Oh and those of you asking about Charlie updates, I will have a post here soon dedicated to that... so stay tuned!)

I think I have babbled on enough for now. That is really about all that I have right now. Like I said if you have any advice or can point me in the right direction for this, leave me a comment or send me out an email. I greatly appreciate any help, and thanks in advance.


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10 comments:

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 03/25/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front lines.

Tony said...

I am not a lawyer and I do not play one on TV but I would suggest you immediately look into copywriting everything you have written.

I am not sure what rights if any are given up by posting on the web.

Get some legal help.

EWODAD

James said...

1. You automatically have copyright to what you write.

2. Few publishers accept manuscripts directly, you'll probably need to find an agent. Look at Writer's Digest to find agents who handle authors writing in your field (which is presumably non-fiction/biography).

3. The biggest trick to writing a book is organization. Will it be just about your 15 month tour, or about your entire time in the Army? Fortunately, since it's autobiographical, you will most likely be organizing it chronologically, so you just need to to assemble your posts, clean them up, and fill in the appropriate connecting text.

Airbornedad said...

ED,

I'm a former newspaper editor/writer. My son's being doing some writing at www.theonepercenters.blogspot.com and I've got some ideas. Contact me directly at markmiddlebrook@gmail.com.

Anonymous said...

some authors are self publishing their book and taking it on a book tour themselves

you make a profit off of every one you sell

Anonymous said...

Hello. Glad you are back safe and sound. Your writing is very good. Look into the publishing companies of other recent war & military books. You can look up the publisher's telephone number via an online search. Call them and ask to be connected to the editor of their specific military book. Make sure you are calling the right publisher to the coorect corresponding book. Try to get in touch with an editor directly. Then you can Q&A and find out what their Protocol is for accepting a proposal on a new military book. You may find that your material is so current that you don't have any problem getting through. Be careful to protect all your own writing and don't sign anything until you have it reviewed by your own attorney. Good luck. Keep writing!

Army Wife said...

I think it may work to send stories to magazines first...

publishers are not always thriiled with military books...

that being said....

send what you have written to bigger publishing houses...

but magazines might be a great place to start...

Maxim FHM, Esquire...etc...

enjoy

membrain said...

Try contacting Matt Burden of Blackfive fame. He's a good guy. He got the book The Blog of War published. He can be reached at:blackfive@gmail.com

Also contact the folks at the Sandbox: http://gocomics.typepad.com/the_sandbox/

I know you've had some of your work published there before.

Hope this helps and best of luck.

Glad you're home safe and sound.

AIRBORNE POPPA said...

Glad you are home. I have been reading your blog for about 5/6 months. Sounds like you went with my son because he is with the 82nd and returned the same Wednesday two weeks ago. Don't know much about writing so all I can say is don't give up your dream. Been good to read you, keep something going here so us old guys can buy a copy of that book!

G-d Bless and Thanks.

Brian H said...

Since you took my name in vain, I'll respond:
I'm afraid I won't be able to bare with you. You can strip if you want, but I'm remaining fully clothed. I hope you can bear the disappointment! :D

And I'm afraid you malapropped elsewhere, too: "eventually involve in to the look of my blog today." That's "evolve into", pls. ;p
And "...which they are still accessable there today." is garbled. (and misspelled.)

"...where they are still accessible" says it all.

However, content is king, and judging by your string of blogs and experiences, you'd have a winner.