Dear Dr. Boli: I was thinking of writing a book, but I’m not sure how to go about it. I’m a good speller, if that helps. Do you have any other advice? —Sincerely, A Country Lawyer Who Has Seen a Lot and Thought He Might Write a Book About It.
Dear Sir: The easiest way to get a book together is by plagiarism. In the United States, at least, plagiarism is quite legal as long as the material plagiarized is old enough. You could probably sell quite a few copies if you decided to write a book called The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle.
If, however, you are set on producing an original work, Dr. Boli would advise you first to establish a projected word count. This is important, because it is easier than you think just to keep writing and writing until you have a fifteen-volume scribble that you need a motorized cart to carry. Use a word processor that keeps the word count constantly visible at the bottom of the screen, and stop when you hit your projected word count. You will save yourself a great deal of trouble that way.
Next, you should make an outline. If you divide your book into ten chapters, it is a very simple matter to calculate the appropriate word count for each chapter by dividing your projected word count by ten. Then you can divide each chapter into ten subheadings, each of which represents 1% of the entire book. That way you will always know exactly how far you have come and how much further you have to go.
So, you see, writing a book is mostly a matter of simple mathematical calculations. The only other thing you need is a cover with big words on the front, since all books are bought on line these days and your cover will be seen as a tiny picture on a Web page. Once you have that, the thing is done. The actual content of the book is irrelevant, because no one will read it anyway.