Writing Books/Book idea

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Question
I have a great idea for a book, but i don't believe that i am a writer. I tried to develop characters and even start writing. Neither one of those worked for me.  My next thought was to try to outline what i feel like each chapter should be about.   I have also thought about selling my idea. I dont want someone to distort my idea. And i have thought about getting someone to help me write my book like a co-author My question what would be the best option to get my idea out and is there anyway that i can insure my idea so someone can't say that it belong to them?

Answer
Dear Christopher,
Thank you for your question. If you got the idea, then it's yours to develop. If you feel you cannot develop it, then you could possibly hire someone to write it with you. First decide what your budget will be. A writer may cost anywhere from free (for an amature) or $50 to $150 per hour for a professional. Writing a book can take hundreds of hours.
If you sink money into it, do it purely for the enjoyment of seeing your idea developed. The writing market is competitive and getting a novel published may be difficult. Even if you get it published, most novels sell between 1,000 to 5,000 copies and the author gets about $.50 - $1 per book.
You might be able to develop it as a screenplay, in which case it could earn more. However, the screenplay writing industry is very, very competitive. Everyone is writing a screenplay. The best way to sell a screenplay is to have a perfect, complete script, ready to go. However, getting  there is the problem. You can sell an idea or a treatment, but it's extremely difficult when there are so many perfectly written scripts available.
Another alternative is to write a good book proposal based on your idea and shop it around with some agents and publishers. If you find one who is interested, perhaps they can give you an editor to help you develop it. However, there again, it is very difficult because there are so many finished manuscripts that are available, which could be published with very little editing.
Also, writing a good book proposal might be difficult. If you hire someone to help you write the proposal, it could take far fewer hours and cost far less than writing the entire book.
It is amazing how a book comes to us, fully formed in the mind. You can visualize the whole story and how it turns out, the themes it will cover, who the characters are, etc. The problem is getting it to come down from the mind onto paper. If you want to give it another try, use the Fiction Writer's Workshop posted at my site.
http://steamboats.com/writing.html
If you want to find a ghost writer, Craig's List (http://craigslist.org) is a good place to start.
I hope this helps,
Sincerely,
Nori

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