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Writing for Profit, Issue #019, When Ranks Your Book No.3 out of 27,636 Competing Titles…
January 15, 2004

How My First Published Work Almost Hit the Dump Truck

My first published work (and coincidentally my first bestseller) came about by way of accident. What do I mean by that? Just this: I didn’t set out to write a book. I was sitting at home one evening in December 1993 completing a review of the meticulous notes I had compiled in the lead-up to launching a new business. As I closed the ring binder and prepared to consign my accumulated data to the dump truck I stopped in my tracks. Hey, I thought, there’s book in here somewhere, there’s an extra income opportunity, there’s an opening to make money from writing, there’s a way to create a residual income stream, and what’s more, I can earn all of this extra income at home.

Busy though I was in the early days of my new enterprise I set about my extra income idea by drawing up a plan of action to transcribe the recorded research into a how-to or self-help manual for the benefit of others about to embark upon what I had just achieved. This inspiration to earn extra income at home could only be accomplished in my spare time (what there was of it) but because the material was in both date and chronological order I started out with a valuable edge. How to structure the text though, how to convert my expertise into a meaningful volume, how to develop its presentation into a format that would appeal to the publishing industry, how in fact to locate a publisher: these were some of my dilemmas in my plan to earn extra income at home.

Five months later I put the finishing touches to my first draft and sent copies off to four niche publishing houses (something I’ve never done since nor would ever do again because it’s bad form) and to my astonishment received two offers of intent of interest to pursue the project. I appeared to have hit the jackpot and I wondered why. It didn’t take me long to figure that out. Happily, my text coincided with the emergence in the early 1990s of world wide government initiatives to stimulate indigenous economic growth by encouraging start-ups in the area of small to medium size business enterprises.

I decided to opt for one of these offers of publication which proved fortuitous because I was immediately teamed up with a highly experienced commissioning editor who taught me how to craft my raw text into what had been concerning me all along: the production of a meaningful volume. “Starting Your Own Business” was published in October 1994, sold out of its first edition in December of that year, and was reprinted in January 1995 to be followed over the years by seven more reprints and three revised editions . It has gone from strength to strength, is still available at bookstores world wide, and its disposals continue to rise year-on-year.

I tell you all of this not to impress but to let you in on the secret of how my tutorial came into being.

Subsequent success in writing for profit in my spare time prompted me to delve deeply into the reasons why my work always seems to be on target. It couldn’t all be down to luck. Sure, serendipity stepped in at the outset but there had to be more to it than that. I began to evaluate what I was doing right, where I was going wrong on occasion, what I thought I knew and what I had still to learn from my peers. The result of my painstaking research is “Writing for Profit in Your Spare Time. This creative writing course encapsulates the power-packed tried and tested strategies that work for me and other accomplished niche non-fiction authors; strategies that will work just as well for you.


Another of my bestsellers, “Starting an Internet business at Home” (Kogan Page ISBN 0-7494-3484-8) is currently ranking No.3 out of 27,363 competing titles at under keywords ‘starting an internet business’. It was first published in 2001 and is still selling like hotcakes.

Check it out for yourself!

This is the kind of success story you will enjoy for your work if you apply yourself to the power strategies in my WRITING FOR PROFIT tutorial - even if you’ve never written anything before in your life.

Get yourself up to speed on writing for profit in your spare time

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