Friday, November 18, 2011

I Want to Write a Book!

I received the email below, asking me about how to become a writer…

“Well, I wanted to ask you regarding a situation: As I read you are an author too...I am 18 years old and aspiring Airline Pilot, well first one ever to even take in skies. I have always worked very hard in life and have got the bug of flying since a very young age. I have got myself involved in as much as I can with aviation (teaching at Air Cadets, volunteering in aviation related events-Member of Air League etc etc) so far and it has proven very positive. I am in London, recently I had won and completed a flying scholarship having gone solo-best moment of my life! I had written a diary, which included all the details from time, date, place, all technical details, fun experience, everything I can recall etc. I was wondering if you know any aviation Publisher who might take a little interest to turn it into a book. I have researched on Amazon and EBay and I don’t think there is any book out there that shares 'Zero to Solo' experience. I mean it is entirely my own experience nothing promotional just my experience. I was wondering if anything like that could be done. Thanks for your time reading this e mail, I just wanted to ask it’s completely fine if it cant be done. Hope your flying is great!” Dipeet

Thank you for a great question. Dipeet, yes… it is possible to write your story, but not in the manner you think. To have a publisher want your book… you normally need to go through an agent. Agents get about 3000 queries a week. They sell to the publishers, who may have books in cue for two years before going to print.

In your case, however, you’re writing a non-fiction book, which is different from fiction. Fiction you would spend years writing, then pitch, then query, then submit to agents, and if you find an agent, then they attempt to sell it. From what I see, the time to bring a fiction book to market is anywhere from 2 to 10 years, unless you are extremely good and lucky.

Non-fiction is different. You’ll create an idea, and write a proposal. You will sell your book before you write it. I have yet to do this… but, I’m getting ready, so I purchased a book by one of my favorite authors and teachers—Elizabeth Lyon. I’ve yet to read, Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody Can Write, but I purchased it because I love all Elizabeth's other books. She’s brilliant. And then the next book I would recommend is Noah Lukemans’ The First Five Pages. This I did read, and it’s outstanding.

Having something to write about is easy with someone like yourself who is out there living life to the fullest. The next task will be learning how to write the story. That will come through reading and learning. Figure out what’s needed to start this process by learning "how to" write the non-fiction proposal, and then we’ll go from there.

Next week on Flight To Success, I’ll be featuring someone who took what you’re doing the greatest heights. I’ll be sharing his story all week… a must read for everyone.

Can anyone help Dipeet by sharing tips and advice for this aspiring writer? He also happens to be my Friday Flyer today. Drop by Flight To Success and read all about this amazing young man.

Enjoy the Journey!

XOX Karlene


  1. Oh, weren't we all there? Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Elizabeth Lyon's book is an excellent suggestion. Dipeet wil gain a lot from reading books on publishing nonfiction. Then he'll be ready to give it a shot.

  3. HELLO Karlene. THANK YOU SO MUCH for that wonderful guidance! Got it printed, sorted and highlighted in my diary. This has certainly opened my mind up I mean I know a very few things about publications in the author side world but I definitely like to write and store experiences which happen to come in my life (flying most likely). This is a great guide has given me a chain and checklists to work upon for this process on how to get one being published. I truly believe and agree with 'how to' write and I think my next big first step will be to get a grip on reading different set of books get a feel then attempting to write in that manner and then apply it to the story I want to write as give it out as. I would look out in the book stores for the recommended books which you have said. Sounds really wonderful. I have noted the next task and will work upon it straight away. Very much looking forward to the blog which sounds very motivations. I THANK YOU AS ALWAYS EVER SO MUCH for all the guidance and 'little' help which prove to have a massive impact for later on. I THANK YOU! I do. And Linda, indeed thanks a bunch. I will give giving it a shot reading it and working on it. Thank you again! MADE MY DAY :)

  4. L.M. We were all there. It's taken me two years of studying and I'm still learning. One day I'll get it all figured out. Thanks for your comment!

  5. Thanks Linda. I know we all want to jump in and write...but the time taken in the beginning will be of great value later.

  6. Hi! Great email and great advice. I'd also add check out helpful sites like...

  7. Dipeet, you are so welcome! It took me long enough to answer, but good things come to those who wait. You'll make an outstanding author with you dedication to life!

  8. Excellent advice Karlene! I would add to write as often as possible and always work on improving one's craft (much like flying!). Best of luck to Dipeet!

  9. Forgive me for the late reply. Tina thank you so much for the sites. I have looked at them and they are sooooo full of advice as well. THANK YOU. Karelene not a problem at all, absolutely! working for it, one day! Thank you for the kind comments dear. Heather that's an excellent idea I don't fly everyday (I SO WISH) but I can write something each day everyday to get a grip regarding flying. THANK YOU SO MUCH Heather. Everyone is so helpful how can I thank you? :D

  10. Interesting post altogether.
    Dipeet, I think your story would be interesting to read ( even though I am not even interested remotely to aviation) but personal journeys are always interesting to read. Karlene, very good advice you gave him. Thanks for sharing.