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A Guide to Being an Author

August 6, 2015

Self-publishing authors are all the rage these days. With the advent of technology like ebooks, and platforms such as Kickstarter and Go Fund Me to help defray (if not outright cover) the costs of physical publishing, people today are able to bring their ideas to fruition easier than ever. No more vetting by monolithic publishing companies, or meddlesome editors interfering with your effort to bring to light your thoughts on the next earth-shattering idea. You, too, can be the next Malcom Gladwell, Amy Tan, or David Sedaris.

The only question, really, is what to write about to drive an audience to your Next Great American Novel? If you’ve perused Amazon.com lately, you’ll see that the adage “There’s no accounting for taste” is alive & kicking. But what can you write about that both hasn’t been covered, and will prove to be popular? One way to solve such a dilemma is to engage in an exercise where you come up with a list of book topics that almost certainly won’t generate any interest from the public, then write something that is the opposite of that. What follows is a list of titles I have handily compiled, to help you know what books NOT to write. All you have to do is figure out the book that is not one of these, and then write it, and publish it. Profits soon to follow. You’re welcome.

  1. The Technology of Babies
  2. A Sojourn with Monkeys: My Visit to the Topeka Zoo
  3. The Paradox of Black Light Candles: Understanding the World through the Prism of Impossible Dreaming
  4. Making Friends at the Mall
  5. A History of Church Picnic Menus
  6. Aloha Olaf: A Guide to Cabana Wear for Norwegian Beaches
  7. Learn Anything in About 20 Minutes: A Specific Guide to Being Terrible at Everything
  8. The Trouble with Overweight Giraffes
  9. A Restaurateur’s Guide to Dining at 3:15 p.m.
  10. The Curious Case of Diaper Disposal Systems around the World
  11. The Hamburger that Talked (About Politics in New Guinea)
  12. Mistakes Were Made: Why Pinatas Don’t belong at Funerals
  13. The Price of Misjudgment, or How I Spent 40 Years without Beets
  14. Why I Named My Cat Franklin Pierce
  15. Silent but Deadly: How Shrimp Flatulence Threatens the World’s Oceans
  16. A Pawn in the Game of Scrabble: Introducing Disruptive Innovation to Your Family Game Night
  17. The Day I Loaded a Dishwater on an Airplane: A Critique of Contemporary Law Enforcement Training at Airports
  18. The Armadillo Who Thought He Was a Bicycle
  19. Shrugging Your Shoulders at the World: A Self-Help Guide for Kindergartners
  20. Measuring Boiling Noodles in a Pot, and Other Bad Ideas

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