Thomas E. Woods, Jr., is the New York Times bestselling author of 11 books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History and Meltdown (on the financial crisis.) A senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Woods has appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, FOX News, FOX Business, C-SPAN, Bloomberg Television, and hundreds of radio programs... (Read More)
A reader writes:
So I am starting research to begin writing a short book on the economic history of [name of place removed by TW]. First of all I want to ask if you think that this subject is a worthy one to write about, and second, do you have any general advice for a beginner/first time writer as myself? Thanks again.
My reply wasn’t intended to be discouraging, but to ensure he understands what he’s taking on:
Sure, it’s a worthy project. I would make it a short e-book rather than going the traditional publishing route. The market for books on this subject is low, and few publishers are really going to push a book on this subject for you. So you may as well go your own way, be able to sell it for cheap, and keep a decent percentage of the revenue for yourself.
If you don’t have a blog, get going on one, and use the blog to promote the book and vice versa.
Be sure you are a decent writer. Compare your prose to that of anyone whose writing you respect. If your prose is clunky or pedestrian, work on it.
And finally, do not think you are going to earn money on this. The money will be negligible. You should do it because you are motivated by other reasons: you find the subject inherently demanding of a study, you find the subject interesting, you want to position yourself as a writer in the liberty movement, you want to position yourself as a free-market intellectual, you want to build an audience for yourself, whatever.
I closed by linking him to my article “Nobody Sells ‘Millions of Copies,’” an article I recommend to writers and non-writers alike.