Publishing is a field in which I am certainly no expert, but I will try to answer the basic questions posed to me.
1) How do I tell my story?
The best way to tell a story in book form is to be yourself. Let the material come naturally from within. Let it be a conversation of sorts, between you and whoever will read the material. Of course, there will be changes made, time and again, but start with the simple version of your story.
2) How do I arrange poetry?
Songs are poetry set to music, which is my field. If you write rhyming poetry arranged in rhyming order, lines 1 and 3 and lines 2 and 4 should rhyme. Or, you can use lines 1 and 2 then lines 3 and 4 going together. I have also seen the middle and ends of lines rhyming. This is a personal choice. It can be different on each poem/song you do. If you do not write in a rhyming manner, the words can be arranged by the meter of the poem or song.
3) How do I get my material published?
This one is particularly difficult to answer. In my case, I used my record company with which I have a songwriter’s contract. They were most helpful in my first book. However, they do not do that on a regular basis and so, I decided on my second book to publish it myself.
4) How do I start my own publishing company?
Any reputable lawyer will be able to assist you in this matter. However, the fee will vary by state. If you do not wish to use a lawyer, contact your department of state. You would choose your own printer in this case.
5) Is there a guide source book with information for writers?
Yes! The Writer’s Market is readily available and new additions are published every year. This book has all publishers’ names and contact information listed.
6) How do I check my writing style and grammar?
A: The best book I have found is by William Zinsser entitled On Writing Well. It is a wonderful source book.
7) What do I type my final book on?
Don’t even think about using a typewriter in this day and age. Use a computer with a program such as” WORD” for instance. Choose the style of lettering and spacing and stick to it. Save it on a writable CD, floppy disc or a zip script. This will be the “manuscript” you will send in most cases. If you are computer illiterate, hire out the job to someone you know and trust to do the job well.
8) How do I distribute my book?
There are distribution companies out there that can carry your book, though I have not used them myself. My
books have sold by my appointments through singing and speaking, mail orders and via my web site. You will need to make sure all of this information is published on your book.
9) How do I choose a title for my book?
The choice is purely yours. I changed my title several times before finally being led to the right one on my first book. My second book was a simple statement I heard someone say.
Don’t be afraid to go to your local library and your local bookstore to research these items for yourself. Source books will be at your fingertips at either place. Or, you may choose to look it up on the internet. This is what I did.
Your book will need to be read and reread for grammar, spelling and order of words. Good editing is essential. Getting someone other than yourself to help you in this endeavor is a must. Fresh eyes and ideas sometimes can help to “tweak” a paragraph or phrase.
If you are truly a writer, God will open the door you need. Don’t rush it, let Him do the work.