The second thing you need to consider quite seriously is who is your audience? Despite what you might think, the answer is not "Everybody!" Even the Bible is not read by everybody. If you intend to make money from your book, then it is important to know who will buy it. Because the reality is that writing a book takes an enormous investment of time and energy, not to mention expense. Yes, there are ways to minimize the cost of producing a book but there is no way to generate a quality book for free.
Because I write books that are geared towards a very specific, niche market I know that my books will not make me rich. Or get me on any best-seller list. And I am okay with that, because I think they contain information that is useful to the market for whom they are intended. But that also means I am going to be smarter about how I approach my books in the future. For example, I have been researching John Murdoch for several years, and have a sizable amount of information and documentation about his life in St. Louis from 1838 until 1880 when he died. But I have to ask myself a) is it enough for a book and, b) who is the audience for the book?
At this point I believe a print book is out of the question due to all of the expenses involved. An ebook might be a possibility, except that I would want to include the maps, deeds of trusts, plats and other documents that really help to tell the story of John Murdoch and early St. Louis history. Ebooks are not quite there yet, with the exception of those in PDF or Apple product formats.
So if you have a story but are not sure that it is ready to be told in a book, I would encourage you to look at newspapers or magazine as an option for publication. It gets your story out there, and you can gauge interest in your topic to help you determine if a book is something to consider down the road.
While I was at the Missouri History Museum, of course I had to photograph their Cakeway to the West (as well as a few others in Forest Park). If you are unfamiliar with the cake project or all of the other activities taking place in St. Louis this year, head on over to stl250.org.
|Missouri History Museum