Posts Tagged ‘Talking Through My Hat’

5 Great Reasons to Write a Book

Saturday, October 17th, 2009

I’m here to say that writing a book is good for the soul as long as your expectations are realistic. The chances of being a best selling author are probably worse than winning the lottery, but notice that the lottery’s notoriously slim odds doesn’t keep people from entering. If you write only for the pleasure of writing and keep your expectations in line, you will find much to commend it.

1.

A book gives you prestige and raises confidence. In my profession I am known as a print broker. Those in the graphic arts industry know what that is, but no one else seems to. The best I can expect after trying to explain what I do is an unenthusiastic, “Oh.” On the other hand if I say I am an author and starting an association of self-publishing authors, I get, “Wow, that’s great.” That is a big difference.

2.

A book allows you to say all the things that you’ve wanted to say. Whatever your experience or field of expertise is, don’t you just hate it when people get it wrong? The Stephen Spielberg movie called Catch Me if You Can, made me indignant. Toward the end of the movie Spielberg’s lead character was printing checks on a press located in France. It was all wrong. Checks are not printed the way they were portrayed and it made me question this movie, and frankly every other Spielberg movie made. Has he never visited a print shop?

3.

Writing a book is a pleasant pastime. I’m a morning person. I wake up a good two hours before anyone else in the house. Writing gives me an opportunity to jump start my brain. It is good exercise. Currently I write for two blogs (Talking Through My Hat and Chicken Scratchings), submit articles to Ezine, and am working on two books, one fiction, and one non-fiction. I also belong to the Utah State Poetry Society and have written two books of poetry. Many of our poets are older people. I’ve noticed some things they all have in common, their minds are sharp, and they love life. When I’m in my 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s if I can be like them I will consider it a great accomplishment.

4.

Writing fiction lets your imagination soar. Most of us in our daily lives have to deal exclusively with the mundane and routine details. It can get very boring. If you write fiction you can go anywhere, do anything, and experience things that are considered impossible. My wife writes a blog The Misty World of Arial Hollyberry. She has created a connection between a fairy world and our backyard. She writes in a serial style with each entry a continuation of the story. Arial Hollyberry has enriched our lives.

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5.

Writing is meditation. I don’t know about you, but my life seems to be like a runaway freight train. I find I have to react to situations far more than I would like. When I write, however, my mind is focused on my thought. It’s a kind of meditation. My wife complains sometimes that I don’t hear a question she asked. She’s right. When I’m in the writing space the rest of the world is cut off. Ah.

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What do you do once you have a book? You may want to find an audience. After all, what good is a book that no one but you reads? Learn how to use the Internet for book marketing the easy way through the Author’s Platform.

Finally–Free Speech That’s Really Free!

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

14,400 hits, 94 countries, 7 months

I find it fascinating that this modern Internet age has brought both its opportunities and challenges. For example, I began writing this blog in January of this year. So far, I’ve had 14,400 hits in over 94 countries. I’m not telling you this to brag, but to express amazement that this Salt Lake City, Utah lifetime printing broker who has only been two foreign countries in his life, Mexico and Canada, has through the Internet been able to reach out to the entire world.

Seeing the Forest for the Trees

Now, my progress is not spectacular. I’m not an Internet shooting star. What I am is a person sitting at my desk on the lower east slope of the Wasatch Front in my eighty-year-old home overlooking the Salt Lake Valley. I’m a publicly-educated, middle-class guy, raised in a middle-class family, without any particular social advantages. My only real leg up is that I have a better-than-average capability to see the forest for the trees and a strong work ethic. With these abilities, I’ve managed to make a lower-upper-middle-class income over the past twenty years by selling my knowledge of printing and offering my services to help customers get their printed projects delivered on-time, at competitive prices, at improved quality levels.

What I’m trying to say is that I really haven’t achieved any more than millions of other Americans in similar circumstances.

Writing the Great American Novel

So what is it that this unspectacular, pretty average guy brings to the table that  people throughout the world might want to know? Obviously, my understanding of printing and how to get things done efficiently has proven to have value. It has been that knowledge that paid my bills for 20 years. What else? I wrote a novel and that experience brought me to the edge of my knowledge chasm.

Reaching my knowledge chasm

Reaching my knowledge chasm

I looked down and realized that I had no idea of how to cross to the other side. In the real world a printed book makes a poor bridge across a wide gulf. In the mind, however, a book can be anything. It can give you wings.

Could I produce a book? You bet. I could do that in my sleep. Did I know what to do with it once it was created? No way.

Those Who Sort the Avalanche

That’s when I discovered some interesting facts. I believed that writing a book was unique. Wrong, some 80% of adults would like to write a book. Of that 80%, many, like me, actually do it. I also believed that publishers would be anxious to get their hands on my special novel. Wrong again. I learned that most publishers aren’t interested in a manuscript that hasn’t been presented to them by well-connected agents, so I contacted a lot of agents. For the longest time I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with them. They seemed oblivious to the particular genius of my book, then I discovered that both agents and publishers face daily avalanches of manuscripts. Far more than they could ever get through. How could anyone deal with this mass of paper? They take short cuts and make primary decisions on arbitrary things. Oops a misspelling–you’re out. Darn the manuscript was bound when the instructions said unbound–you’re out too. And so on. I was told that less than 4% of submitted manuscripts ever become books. Getting a book traditionally published isn’t an up hill battle, it is a vertical climb without a rope. I didn’t like the odds and began to seriously consider the concept of self-publishing.

Pre-build the Audience

That’s where I am now. I am learning everything I can as fast as I can about self-publishing and marketing. This blog, example gives me an opportunity to introduce myself to the world. So far this year, as I said earlier, over 14,000 people have checked in. By the end of the year, could that number double? What about the year after that? At some point, and I’m not sure when that will be yet, I will feel ready to invest in producing my book and offering it to my readers. My reasoning is that if people like my blog they will likely like other things I write.

Free, Free, Free

Again, I’m not a shooting star. I’m just a regular guy who has the ability to express myself fairly well in the medium of the written word. I have hopes and dreams just like any other person. I’m thrilled with the response to Talking Through My Hat–may it continue to grow. The reason I wrote my story here is to give others hope too. The Internet provides a platform to talk to the entire world. If you aspire to be an author, and apparently, 80% do, write a blog. If you don’t know how to get started look into The Author Platform by following this link. Talk to people and tell them who you are. Let them get to know you. It’s free or nearly free. It’s the First Amendment to the US Constitution in action. Free Speech for Free how could you get more democratic than that?

P.S.If you already have a self-published book and would like to enter it into a no-fee contest with winner chosen by reader votes go to Wake Up Celebrity Author on The Author Platform. The winner becomes the Barnes & Noble. com Best-Seller. Cool.

The Easy Way To Reach Bill Ruesch
He's available to help you with any of your printing, or publishing needs. Please contact him if you need a book, marketing materials, or anything else printed. His thirty-five years of experience, and thousands of happy customers is your guarantee of satisfaction.

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© Bill Ruesch, Talking Through My Hat, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bill Ruesch, Talking Through My Hat with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.