Tuesday, May 12, 2015

750,000 Words After Getting Published

I had a book published 20 years ago on a subject that I never imagined I’d write about and it sold reasonably well.  I believe I would write a book every year.  Boy, was I wrong.

In 1995 you may have heard of The Florida Homeowner, Condo, & Coop Association Handbook – if you lived in the Sunshine State.  

I had moved to South Florida in 1992 as a young adult looking for greener pastures.  It was exciting to be somewhere different than the high-cost, crime-saturated NYC that I’d grown up in.  I began working for a small book publisher in the summer of 1994.  By the end of the year I’d capitalized on an opportunity to get published.

I always loved to write.  When I found myself researching issues for my homeowner’s association, I realized I was writing three-and four-page reports for my fellow amateur board members.  It occurred to me that there should be a book that helps the millions of other people thrust into a position of leadership and management at their association.  I determined I should write it, calling upon my background as a real estate paralegal and my experiences as a homeowner board member.

Since half the book was about general knowledge regarding things like price negotiation, communication, and decision making, I could have had a national guidebook.  But I also realized that each state had its own laws pertaining to homeowner associations, and that it’d be a real asset to focus on a huge state like Florida.  So though I was turning away 80% or more of the nation’s homeowner associations, I zeroed in on one marketplace: Florida.  I sold over 5,000 copies in one year – not bad for a state-specific title by an unknown author from a small publisher.

Not surprisingly, I promoted my book, which back then, was under a pre-social media environment and was in the only the early days of e-mail and the Internet.  In a few weeks upon publication I was featured in the two major papers – The Miami Herald and The Sun Sentinel in Ft. Lauderdale.  I also was featured in smaller but targeted publications.  The whole process was fun and new to me.

I can’t believe I haven’t published a book since then.  I’ve written several books that need to see the light of day. One is on sexual fantasies.  Another is on book marketing.  The third, which is my real baby, is some 1,900 typed pages on ethics and values.

It’s not that I don’t write often, for as you may know, I post on my blog daily.  On May 13 I celebrate four years and some 1,530 blog posts.  I would estimate I’ve penned the equivalent of at least 10 books in that time.

I feel so at home when writing.  The subject matter has to interest me, but I have so many interests that I could conceivably write about anything.  They say you write what you know – and what you experience, feel and think.  I lack the fiction gene.  I’m all about writing about reality, but I like to contemplate the unknown, the possibilities, the why behind the what, and the potential for something better.

Whether in book or blog form – or for a newspaper or a private journal – we write because it comes naturally, because we feel compelled to do so.  We enjoy seeing how our words pair up to dance off the page and to take form in our lives.  The written word gives shape to our feelings and ideas, acting as a record of the life we have and the one we wish to have lived.

In the end, whether we’re paid or not – regardless of the medium in which our words are delivered – our writing impacts others and outlives us.  We wish we could live up to the words we write, to become what we think, to act the way we’ve mapped out on paper, but alas, we fall short.  Writing doesn’t create gaps – it fills them. We seek to putty the cracks and holes of our lives with words that stretch us beyond the life anyone could possibly live.

Whether or not you are published or whether you are writing books or a letter to a friend, keep on writing and enjoy what you do.  It has value, even if no one is paying you.

In Case You Missed It…
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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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