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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


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