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Hello there

I'd like to ask you about making a living from writing non-fiction. I'm especially interested in writing books on film, and possibly film-related biographies as I assume these would be more saleable.

But I'd like to know how I would go about this. Would I need to build up a profile through articles and freelance journalism or could I just approach a publisher with a proposal? Can most people hope to make a living from these kind of books or is it only likely to be a sideline or part time job? And can anyone write an "unauthorised" biography, or is there so much competition only the established writers usually get a shot at the big celebrities?

Any advice you can give me would be very welcome!
Thanks in advance


Dear Jeff,
Thank you for your letter. Some people make a living from their writing, but moste often, having a book opens doors for you in other areas of your career. A psychologist with a book usually does better than a psychologist with no book. Same for college professors, businessmen, etc.
If you have a good book idea, you can write a proposal and start sending it to publishers. You don't need any previous experience, but most publishers want authors who are experts in their fields.
You can write an unauthorized biography, but it might be difficult to sell.
At my page for writers I have posted an article on how to find a publisher. Check it out, because it gives you an overview of what's involved:
The best reason to write a book is because you have to. In other words, there's a book in you trying to get out. If you feel that way, then you will have to write it. Maybe you don't know what it is yet, but you will find out as you move forward. Try all kinds of writing to see what you like best. I encourage you to pick up a copy of the Artists Way (see "good writing books" link at my site).
I hope this helps,

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Nori J. Muster


Writing and publishing books, including e-books.


I have been writing for publication since 1981, including years as a staff writer, associate editor, editorial writer, and freelance reporter. At this time, I have eight Kindle books for sale at

Lakes of Tempe Authors, Tempe, Arizona

Betrayal of the Spirit: My Life behind the Headlines of the Hare Krishna Movement
Dreaming Peace: Your Thoughts Can Change the World
Cult Recovery Handbook: Seven Paths to an Authentic Life
Child of the Cult
Learning to Flow with the Tao: The 64 Hexagrams of the I Ching
Positive Quotations: Wisdom from the Master Mind
Collected Writings: Five Books by Nori Muster
Noriland Art Gallery: Secrets from the Vault
Spiritual Summer and Other Short Stories

UCLA Extension Writer's Program, 1988 - 1994
Master's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, Western Oregon University, 1991

Awards and Honors
USA Today, Los Angeles Times, BBC World Services Focus on Faith, BBC Sunday Programme,, Glamour Magazine, Portland Mercury News, W-Five TV (Toronto), Publisher's Weekly, Boston Phoenix, San Francisco Chronicle, ABC TV News - 20/20, ABC radio, Associated Press, The Age (Melbourne),, The New York Times, Religious News Service, Dallas Morning News, Columbia Journalism School, Whole Life Times (Los Angeles), Toronto Sun, the John Dayle Show (KFYI AM, Phoenix), the Eliot Stein Show (syndicated radio and Internet broadcast), Discovery with Josh Wagner (KKUP, 91.5 FM, Santa Clara, California), KOGO (News Radio 600, San Diego), Jupiterís Girl syndicated radio show, Lakes Log.

Book Reviews:
Publisherís Weekly, Feminist Bookstore News, Yoga Journal, New York Post, Choice Magazine, Boston Herald, Nexus (Colorado), Gentle Strength Times, Coastlines (UCSB alumni), Theology Digest, Nova Religio, Rapport, India West,,

Book Signings:
Prescott College reunion; Gentle Strength Co-op, Tempe; Different Drummer Bookshop, Laguna Beach; L.A. Times Toastmasters; Biltmore Plaza Border's Books, Phoenix; Bodhi Tree Bookstore, Los Angeles; Health & Life Enrichment Expo, Pasadena; Sacramento Reads book festival, and others.

ISKCON World Review, Van Dhal Publications, Gentle Strength Times, Arizona Woman, Lakes Log, ICSA Today, Cultic Studies Review, University of Illinois Press, Kindle,,, Apple Books, and others.

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