In the ever growing market of books from countless individuals, there is a constant demand for the reader’s attention. Books left and right and at times the confusion of which ones are worth even considering and which aren’t. Ultimately, that’s a decision each person has to make for his or herself.
However, I have started to notice that in the fight for attention, a huge number of people out there have bought into a belief that books should be free and that spending more than 99c is too much. As someone who is both a writer and a reader, I can certainly see some of the pros on this side as well as the cons. Often when I’ve shared with others that I’m writing or have written books, the first question I hear is, “How long did it take you to write it?”
I am typically blunt and honest with anyone that asks me. In my experience, writing a book is no small feat. And further, once it’s written, there are even greater hurdles to cross to get it from that ugly first draft to the amazing finished work that gets put in front of readers. If you haven’t ever actually reached this point, or have always wondered what it really takes for a book to go from idea to finished work, read on.
To start out, despite all the books out there, I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met that want to write a book or have even started one and for one excuse or another have never gotten around to actually finishing it. Don’t get me wrong, this part is challenging. Whether you have fears about others’ criticism, self-doubt, limited time, or any other countless setbacks, let me tell you… each and every author has faced these. The difference is that at some point, they told the setbacks to shut up and move aside and they marched forward.
To finish the first draft is monumental. And whether the writer is the type that likes to pre-plan everything out by the smallest detail, or just makes a rough idea and then goes for it, at some point, he or she has to sit down and actually write. Sure, this is the oldest rule in the book. But it’s the truth. And if the writer doesn’t do it, they’ll never see their book in print. Period.
But what comes after that?
After the first draft, the book has to go through substantial editing. No matter who the author is or how well-known… every book has to go through this. My first book went under edits for months. (Come on, it was my first!) And my second one a few weeks. This time was absolutely critical and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Finally, once a book is polished the real work begins. Whether there is already a publisher lined up, submissions need to be made, or the author is self-publishing, the work is the same. The book needs a title, a cover, formatting, and an official release date. Not to mention potential promotional materials to get the word out such as press releases (SCARY, at least for me), bookmarks, and for some a book trailer. And often, all of these things take a significant amount of time to complete.
And that’s just to get the book available to readers. That doesn’t even scratch the surface of putting the book in readers’ hands.
Every single book out there goes through a rigorous (some more than others) process from idea to publication, and the author’s passion, blood, sweat, and tears (literally for some), goes into it. I personally believe that it’s great to know the value of what you’re reading. Some books are more valuable than others. It’s just how it goes. But at the same time, I think everyone should know and understand that writing a book takes just as much work, if not more, as someone working in an office or doing physical labor and that books do have some sort of value.
What is your opinion on the value of a book?