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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Where My Book Ideas Come From

After David Farland's guest post yesterday which opened up vast new ways to enhance our e-books, I've been thinking of how I get my book ideas and wanted to share them here.  Following Dave's lead, this post may be an added feature at the back of my e-novels to come.

In an earlier blog, I noted that I start with characters for my fiction.  For my nonfiction, I start with what I know, what I love.  I'm a freelance (corporate) copy editor, thus my e-book on copyediting.  I saw that as a much needed resource for this flux of Indie authors.  That segued into my second e-book on the more practical aspects of being your own publishing company, a business entity.  As a legal assistant for decades, I pulled some details learned in that career and joined it with the common sense applications I had developed over the years.  My third e-book was on how to quit your current day job.  My life experience gained from changing careers, first a legal assistant, next an author, led to sharing my way of accomplishing this diversion from a focus on money earned to one of fulfillment gained.

So, I guess my first three were How-To e-books on what I had learned throughout my professions.

The next two e-books were based on love.  What I love.  What I do with my free time.  What I do daily.  What I collect without being paid to do so.  Which is:  favorite quotes, Bible verses and recipes.  So it seemed very natural to organize my massive (and extremely messy, unorganized) collection of quotes into an e-book.  Mine is a specific collection designed to help the person and the business seeking self-improvement.  They are geared to setting goals, working resolutions into habits, developing a lifestyle founded on principles.

For the last several years, I have been the Bible Verse Editor for a small Texas newspaper, gathering fifty-two verses annually for many years for their subsequent weekly publication.  I went through those seven (or so) years' worth of verses and culled out the repeats and, voila, I had my Bible verses section of my proposed e-book done.  Oh yeah, after I changed them from Revised Standard Version (1952) to American Standard Version (1901) of the Bible to avoid copyright issues.  That took some time with approximately 364 quotes I was working with.

Another hard part was finding all the great quotes I had saved for most of my life--as some were on scraps of paper only God knew where; I bet a lot were lost when my older computers crashed.  I've learned now to make a Word document as I find them, and back it up regularly.

All those books began as a whisper of an idea with a minute lifespan passing through my thoughts.  I captured them, began to make them physical and, what is so cool, have four of the five accomplished and uploaded.  All within 2011.  Aa-mazing.  [weird spelling done to add a more verbal emphasis]

I am still working on my cookbook.  It was supposed to be available with the quotes collection but . . . life got in the way.  Like my Final Edit of my debut e-novel, "Good Ole Boys," still in progress, but nearing its November 18, 2011 deadline.  Like exchanging emails with my artist I had to have for my fiction covers since there is no way I can do that.  Like playing around with the cover for my quotes book.  Like the time it takes to upload and preview a book.  Like NaNoWriMo.  Like copyediting projects.  Like updating my email signature to include my newest e-book.  Like posting to the Kindle Boards my newest e-book.  Like awaiting Moderator approval to then update the Kindle Boards Master List to show my newest e-book.  Like revising the Book Profile for all four of my e-books.

And that doesn't begin to include non-writing activities, i.e., washing clothes, cooking/eating, doing some housecleaning, some yardwork, buying groceries, etc., etc., etc.

But I'm proud of my accomplishments--as we should all be.  So get started on one of yours.  You'll never know true happiness until you do two things:  (1)  begin your dream, just one tiny step, and (2) tackle a job you have been procrastinating on, just one tiny step.

Best wishes!

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