What follows here, is the process as it worked for me.
a goal I had always wanted to achieve.
The goal in question, is one that many aspire to. Write a book
and get it published.
Having no idea how to get this done I started by asking myself
lots of questions to clarify the benefits and possible effects that
may occur in the pursuit of this goal, and found none that would
create any issues.
The next point to decide, was what kind of book
The options that came up were things like
Fact or Fiction
Story or Novel
Long or short
Tutorial or Guide
The subject matter was vast, but it was narrowed down to
Whilst going though this procedure, the idea started to take on
it's own identity. The project eventually became something short,
on a specialized subject which I have a familiarity with.
The result was a short format layout with the subject being music.
With this point established, the next part of the procedure was to
drill down further with more questions about the subject matter.
What areas of music.
The other things which emerged from this particular interrogation
was about the book format.
Text and Illustrations
What resulted was an illustrated/text exercise and teaching guide
on the caged system for guitar.
As can be seen, the goal has been thoroughly examined and broken
down from a vague idea, to a working concept. But there was much
more work to be done. The next step was to start the research,
getting the content that was relevant. Along with a way to present it.
The subject matter was relatively easy to assemble, as it was
something I had worked with on a regular basis. The fun part would
be imparting my own interpretation of the subject matter.
As the project developed, the more ideas seemed to flow. With the
concept fully mapped, the process of bringing it into being commenced.
As it began to take a physical form, the flow of ideas and options
increased. Things such as form, layout and presentation. the project
began to almost generate it's own momentum.
The entire process was worked in two stages
This initially was writing the text sequences, I used several font
styles before finding one that worked for me. Once this was down,
the challenge was in generating the graphics to support it. I used
several ideas and colour schemes, before deciding on the grey black
Here the design work for the page layouts took place. The goal was
to get the graphics aligned with the text in a manner which made the
book easy to follow. There were many experiments in design and
layout before the final mix of graphics and text were married up
into the draft manuscript.
Once the draft was ready, it was time to leave the project for a while.
The idea being to return and review it with a clear mind. This has to
be done in a subjective manner. Once the material had passed scrutiny,
it was time to design the cover artwork. This was relatively simple as
ideas had already come to mind whilst working on the internal
graphics. Once again, this was tweaked and amended until I was
satisfied with the final result.
The next stage was publishing.
There were three options available, all of which had pros and cons.
My criteria for achieving publication was simple. Finance was at a
premium, and the main consideration was to get the book published.
Option One: Publishing House.
As it transpired this was not even an option for me. It involves sending
a copy of the manuscript to the agent for assessment. Then having to
wait for either an acceptance or rejection notice. If the thing was
rejected, then it would have to be sent elsewhere to go through the
entire process again. This would cost time and money, and as stated
my criteria was publication at minimal cost.
Option Two: Printing company.
Here you take your manuscript to a printers and pay for x number of
copies. Which you then sell via an outlet of your choosing.
Once again this involved considerable expenditure and well outside
of my criteria.
Option Three: Online Publishing
Here the resources of an online publishing site are used. The manuscript
is sent electronically. The site produces a proof copy, which you simply check. If it's acceptable. You publish.
The pros are simple, it's easy to use, and has free publishing and
marketing. No storage of hard copies as these are printed and sent
by the publishing site. Authors get a reduced price on hard copy
Cons: You get paid a small royalty on units sold.
This for me fulfilled the criteria perfectly, and was the option chosen.
That then is how the process worked for me, in making that particular
goal come into being, and I hope it provides some insight into how you
can make your own goals a reality.
That simple fact is, that any process leads to a result. However, is it the desired result. Using the example above, this is something which was applied throughout the project. It is simply a case, of continually
assessing the project to make sure the results achieved are in line
with the project criteria.
If not, the process is amended until the results do match the project
criteria. This is a kind of quality control for your goal.
It worked as follows, the concept for the book was a small text and
graphics exercise book. When creating the content, this was used as the guiding principle. So text and graphics were kept simple and direct.
Content which deviated from the concept was either dropped completely,
or adapted to fit. This way the concept requirement was met in full.
This aspect of the monitoring process allows for changes to be made
inline with the concept. Things happen where the results are not as expected or desired.
Therefore changes may have to be made in order to get the right results.
As an example the original graphic designs were coloured.
This had to change when it was found that the cost of printing the hard copy,would be twice as much as it would be in black and white.
Which would have to be reflected in the retail price of the book.
Making the book at least in my mind far to expensive for what it was.
Therefore the graphics were changed to a black white and grey format
to work better with a black and white layout.
Although this meant a massive amount of work in making the changes,
it illustrates perfectly how outside circumstances can have a bearing on your goal. Flexibility in approach, and monitoring the process, allows
issues to be seen early. It frequently enhances the process by throwing
up ideas which help with solutions to those issues.
At the end of all this, was my desired outcome. I published my book.
Which at this current time is my best selling product.
May I wish you well in your writing efforts and hope this little
article provides some guidance and inspiration on your journey
All the best