Host: Is there a guide or a roadmap on how to approach getting started on my book?
James Frey: I think so, based on a personal experience where I have written and published a book. I also helped my 86-year old father do an autobiography which became as much a project of love for me as it did for him. I think if I refer on those personal experiences there are many experts that you possibly can consult some of the books that I referenced earlier that you might want to read and go through but number one, you have to finalize your subject matter, your theme and your content. You have to decide if it's going to be written in the first person, if it's going to be a third person or if it's going to be a narrative, have that subject matter, theme and content and the voice who is going to be talking in your book, finalize before you even start. So, that's step number one. Step number two, do a rough outline after you have gotten your subject matter established of what the chapters of your book may look at. Don't start writing your book, but try to set a pattern of organization for your book and a few notes or as many notes as you need, not writing the book as to what the contents of those chapters will be. What particular things do you want in there and that includes thoughts as well as maybe there are some documents or photographs or illustrations that would be included. Then you have identified those.
The third step would be to put the materials that you have if there are any with those individual chapter contents; if you will. Most importantly, before you start writing, set a schedule for yourself that you can hold yourself or can able to, that is doable given all the other things that maybe going on in your life. There are people that spend an hour a day on their book. There are some people that will spend two hours a day on a book. Don't be so compulsive that you are going to write for eight hours a day. You will wear yourself out. You need time to refresh your creative juices and people need that.
But once you have set that writing schedule hold to it. If you miss one of your days because of an emergency or illness, setup a plan to get back on schedule. If it was a one hour day maybe the day you missed, the next day do two hours a day, but we have dealt with thousands of potential authors and we have seen many instances where number one, the person has decided to write a book and they start, but they never get done with it because they never get beyond one or two chapters.
Number two, we have people that they have had multiple versions of their manuscript and they keep tinkering with it. You have got to setup a schedule and start off and just start writing. It doesn't have to be perfect. People have the noble objective of compiling of books but it's the discipline of the individuals to get the books completed and the manuscripts written that result in books being published.