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Published by: api-28323749 on May 31, 2010
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12/19/2014

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How to Write a Book 
Good evening ladies and gentlemen.This evening’s talk is sponsored by the 
the BCS
the VRS
The Royal Family
Harrods
and the Devonshire Arms.I understand that after last year’s after-dinner talk Rae had many requests from you.But he ignored them all and invited me back again.I don’t have to remind you that life is very hectic, and as the Internet increasingly,takes over our lives, we seem to have less spare time to relax and enjoy ourselves.But there is time, but you have to look for it.
My own day begins at 4.30 a.m. when I take breakfast in bed.
There’s nothing like a few rashers of bacon, a fried egg, a slice of black bloodsausage and a large mushroom to put your stomach in top gear.My wife prefers a small bowl of corn flakes.I then take a shower.
Our 
au pair 
is normally first in the shower, and if I’m really pushed for time weshare the hot water. This makes a significant contribution to global warming.Before leaving for work  
I cut the grass
trim the hedges
have another go at removing a tree stump
finish off some painting.and then it’s off to lectures, tutorials, staff meetings, email, voice messages,resignations, QAA meetings, RAE meetings, the daily post, etc.And before I know it, the day is over and I am driving home to my wife.
We always dine together and talk about our individual days.
And then I
 polish the cars
decorate a bedroom or two
 
hold the satellite dish whilst my wife looks at Sky’s Discovery programme: TheFirst World War in Black and White.
read the dog a story
and it’s off to bed, ready for another early start and breakfast in bed. Now I know what you are thinking.You are asking yourself “What do I do in my spare time?”How do I fill those long empty boring periods with something constructive anduseful?Well, I write books. Which is the topic of my talk tonight.I want to persuade you to consider writing a book in your spare time.It was Rae who first introduced me to the pleasures of writing books.In 1985 I discovered that his own publishing efforts had caused terrible demands onthe world’s paper supplies.The Amazon rain forests were being razed to the ground to support titles such as
“Virtual Reality Applications and the Single Woman”
“The Joy of Mobile Media” with a foreword by Anne Widdecomb.
“Visualising Anne Widdecombe in IMAX”
“John Prescott: The Age of Intelligent Agents”.Rae soon convinced me that I, too, could say goodbye to spare time by writing books.Twenty years later we have edited and co-authored several books that have included:
“The Digital Media Future is Coming”
“The Analogue Past is Converging with the Digital Future”
“Bill Gates: Our Part in his Downfall”
“When is the Digital Future Coming?”
“The Joy of e-Sex”
“Multi, Mobile, Virtual, Converging, Digital Media”
“The Joy of John Prescott” with a foreword by William Hague.
“Who Said the Digital Future is Coming?” Now, I must admit that not all of these books have been best sellers, but that’s not the point.The point is that when you are writing a book, you will not waste your time onholidays, television, relaxing, walks and sleeping.Before you start writing a book, ask yourself these simple questions:
Can I write?
 
Do I have anything to write about?
Am I really interested in anything?
Will anyone read my book?If the answers to these questions is
 NOthen you have no problems. Just start writing.If the answer to these questions is
YESthen you have problems.You have to:
learn to write
find something to write about
 become interested in a something
and hope that people will like reading your book. Next find a publisher.They will ask you to complete a book proposal form.This requires you to:
Give an outline of your book 
Identify any competition
Describe why your book is better than the competition
Provide the names and addresses of several hundred friends who have promised to buy your book.You then sign a contract which guarantees you
10% of every book sold.
The publisher and the bookseller takes the other 90%.I know what you are thinking:“How do publishers make any profit out of selling books?”It’s difficult, I know.But authors can help by:
not using any coloured images
choose cheap meals if invited to dine with the publisher 
 produce a camera-ready manuscript
design the cover 
write all the publicity material
 produce the index
do all the proof reading

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