View Full Version : Research

07-05-2004, 12:03 AM
Hi all,

I'm planning to write this book on book promotion. Er, specifically, on one aspect of book promotion, and not just book promotion in general. I talked with my publisher about this and, while she's got a book similar to this idea, she said it sounded unique and expressed interest. I wrote the outline and figured out a way to make this book unique and different from the other title and I've started to do research for it.

But therein lies the problem. While I'm basing this book on my own tactics and personal experience, I know that I can't just jump into this subject without some research. Of course I've read tons of articles and books on book promotion, along with methods employing my approach. But I'm worried that, from this point forward, any research I do on this subject might seep into my own book and be presented as "my idea." I certainly wouldn't do such a thing to another writer!

When I was writing my tips book, I avoided reading ANY writing tips as well as very few articles on writing. I was merciless in making sure every single tip in my book came from my personal experiences as a writer and as someone often stopped in the hall, on the street, etc., asked for advice on writing. I made sure that there wasn't anything in there that I got from someone else's experiences or someone else's words.

But I don't know if I'll be able to do that with this book. I'm not writing it at present; only researching it. As it goes, I might get too caught up with the nonfiction book I am writing now for the chances of my research for book 4 to get into the actual writing of it. But, I don't know the odds of that happening.

Any advice?

Take care. :)


07-12-2004, 06:06 PM
At least 90% of all the nonfiction I've written, including writing advice, comes as much from the experience of others as it does from my own experience. Just because someone else experienced it doesn't mean it won't help readers, and doesn't mean they've heard it before.

07-13-2004, 12:36 AM
Why can't you use direct quotes from other writers, supporting your method? I would think it would strengthen your argument - the fact that this one method helped others to succeed as well.

07-20-2004, 04:12 AM
Hiya Dawn,

Look at it this way: You definitely can't experience every little thing there is to book promotion, but your readers do want to know them. That's why you're writing the book remember-- to give them a whole round scoop of what works, what doesn't, what worked for you, what worked for others, etc.

I've read so many books that say, "One writer I knew tried so-and-so thing and ...." And why just writing books? Relationship books often refer to stories of other couples, financial coaches will usually talk about their students, etc.

So go ahead, find all the anecdotes, quotes, etc that you can and include them in your book. Just don't call them your own experiences.

Hope that solves your dilemma.

07-22-2004, 11:34 PM
Thanks for your suggestions. :) It took me a while to respond because I've been thinking about them.

There is one part of this book that will have a "this worked for me" section for people to share their own marketing/promo tips. But, Stephanie, THANK YOU for bringing that up!! I didn't think about that, really.

Look at it this way: You definitely can't experience every little thing there is to book promotion, but your readers do want to know them.

Thanks, Mridu!! You've got a good point there. I'd be short-changing readers if I relied on only what I know and did.

Thanks also for your comment, James. Maybe I should stop using just my experiences as fodder for the NF writing books. Maybe that's a problem I didn't notice before.

What I wanted to do was make this a "how I did this and you can, too!" sort of book. But this plan I'm going to use has never been done before, so what if it fails? I might very well end up being right back at square one: Researching the topic. Maybe if I do that now, it'll save the time and avoid problems later.

Thanks again, everyone! You've been a big help! :)

Take care.