You are here:

Writing Books/How many pages should I expect...

Advertisement


Question
Thanks again, here are the fill-ins to the 'plan' questions:
Please note I am trying to be short and sweet so as to not give away catch phrases I intend to copyright.

The subject of the book is how through perception we create our reality.

I am writing this book with hopes to make us all realize that we are the creators of all our joys and sadnesses, and that through perception training we can accomplish our dreams and be successdul all the while creating a better world.

The book is nonfiction since it is based on the prinicples of belief and the science of quantum mechanics.

I am as well in the process of writing a screenplay outline, however at the moment I am thoroughly into this endeavor. I feel it will best serve its purpose as a book.

One other question, I want to copyright the title and perhaps even the text I have written so far, how do I go about that? I do have registered work with the screen writers guild, can I go through them?

Thanks again!
Paul
-------------------------------------------
The text above is a follow-up to ...

-----Question-----
You wrote: "At this point you should be considering your plan."  
What do you mean by "plan?"
-------------------------------------------
The text above is a follow-up to ...

-----Question-----
Hi, I am actually writing a book for the New Age/Spirituality/Self Help genre but was directed to you from a friend for my question. Currently I am writing it in Microsoft word, Courier New font, size 12, Justified left, double spaced and indented correctly. I just started, but I currently have 26 pages and 6,114 words with this format. My question is, how many pages am I shooting for? I know I should just write until I have no more in me and wherever it stops, it stops, but about how many words/pages are publishers looking for? I heard however that it really doesn't matter, and I should have atleast 80 pages in this format since the publisher itself will determine the size of the book and thus this determines the number of pages. Personally, I have seen many books in the New Age section that are all sizes, and some are so small they have 300 pages, and some are so big and only have 250 pages. Some have what seems like 2 inch indents and dont go all the way down the page and starts far down from the top. Is this because they did not have alot of pages ot begin with and the book is being published this way to have more pages printed?

Thank you for your help.
Paul
-----Answer-----
Hello Paul:

There is no way to tell what "publishers" will accept, or what they will require of you in terms of numbers of words or pages. You should use as many words/pages as it takes to make your point (non-fiction)or tell your story (fiction), as the case may be. As you have noted, books come in all sizes. It is the type of book that determines how it will be laid out; I think you are right, some shorter books will be formatted as you describe, to make more pages.

You are worrying about the wrong thing at the wrong time. If you have not completed the book, publishing is a long way off. At this point you should be considering your plan. Every book needs a plan if it is to succeed. Have you made your plan? That's the subject of another question!

I hope this helps. If it does, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high score over 850 questions. And please thank your friend for referring you to me.

And good luck with your writing!
-----Answer-----
Hello again, Paul:

The plan consists of your answers to the following questions (and others):

1. What is the subject of my book? (You have described it as "New Age/Spirituality/Self Help," but that's the category, not a subject. You need to narrow it down. See if you can do this on your own. If you can't, come back and I'll help you.

2. What is your premise (your reason for writing this book)? "With this book, I hope to ____________________." If you have not done this before, your answer may be unsatisfactory, so I'll ask you to bring it back for more help.

3. What is the best way for you to carry out your purpose? This refers to format: fiction or non-fiction (you still haven't said! I won't be able to help you further until you answer this question). You seem to have decided it should be a book, but have you explored the potential of poetry, or perhaps a play?

Please come back when you have made these decisions, let me know what your answers are, and we'll proceed from there.

I hope this helps. If it does, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high score over 850 questions.

And good luck with your writing!

Answer
Hi Paul:

Let's carry this on a little further:

1. SUBJECT: perception

2. PREMISE: "Through perception training we can accomplish our dreams and be successful all the while creating a better world." I would state this so: "Through perception training people can improve their lives and the lives of others," but it's up to you.

3. You have decided that you can convey your message best through a non-fiction book.

Now you are ready to create your outline. The outline serves as a map to lead you to your goal: to write a successful book (as you define success). A book of this type is really an extended essay. Before you make your outline, go to http://www.rscc.cc.tn.us/owl&writingcenter/OWL/Types.html (You will have to cut and paste as this site does not support hyperlinks). Read over the instruction and the sample essays carefully, paying close attention to the "Persuasive Essay," which I believe best suits your subject and premise as you have described them to me.

Next get a pack of 3x5" index cards, and on each one write one point you want to make to support/demonstrate/uphold  your premise (points that, taken together, have convinced you of the truth of your premise). Make notes of any quotes, anecdotes, speeches, etc. that you might want to include. Keep track of these (and their sources) so you can find them later.

From these materials you should be able to formulate an outline that will lead you step-by-step, point-by-point, through your book. I find it useful to rate these points as to their importance. You will give these points the most attention. A rule of thumb is, "Save your big gun point(s) for the end." That goes for sentences, paragraphs, and chapters as well.

The minute you set all or any of your text into tangible form (including on a disk or disk drive) it is automatically copyrighted. Titles are not protected by copyright, nor are facts.

I hope this helps. If it does, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high score over 850 questions.

And good luck with your writing!

Writing Books

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Susan Rand

Expertise

I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at http://pygmypress.com, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.

Experience

I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

Education/Credentials
BA degree in Written Communication

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.