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Writing Books/Where do I start?



Once again thank you for your advice.  What you are suggesting makes perfect sense.

As you suggest, I was planning to write the manuscript myself and then have the professional help (for fee) involved.

I also wanted to ask you a favor to comment on the project plot itself from the feasibility perspective.

A little background:

My wife is a Nurse Practitioner with the background in OB/GYN who works for the last 10 years at one of the large county hospitals in Northern California.

A specific unit where she works at is so called “rape center”.  This is the place where the rape victims are brought by the police shortly after the “incident”.  My wife's responsibilities include:

•   The detailed interview of the victim.  She often interviews and examines a suspect as well, if one is identified and caught
•   the examination of the victim with the purpose of the criminal evidence gathering
•   Testifying in court as a DA expert witness

In the last ten years a large number of absolutely stunning stories came through her cases.  The victims ages were from infants to 85 year old, rich and poor, all races, religions, nationalities.  Some are very tragic and sad and some are hysterically funny.  Some are very real and some are fake and made up by the “victim”.

My wife has been sharing these cases and history of her interaction with victims, police, DA, courts in the close circle of friends.  We all find her stories fascinating and worth writing about.

The idea of the book came from the fact that she has the unique first hand account of the cases and access to police reports.

In the nutshell, I was planning to collection of 50 – 70 best of her stories.  Each story would have the “authority line” as well as the facts of the case itself.

That's the plot.

Just wanted to get your take on this.

Also, any recommendations on a specific “independent editor”?
Thank you so much for your recommendations.


Followup To
Question -

Thank you for a quick response.

I did not mean to imply a self-publishing approach.

I envisioned perhaps putting together a manuscript and potentially getting a professional writer (and later publisher) engaged.

Is this even an option?

In terms of the full-time vs. part-time approach, I was hoping I could continue to perform my job duties at my present workplace.  I am actually a product manager for one of the high tech companies in the Silicon Valley.

I perceive the idea as a "side" project.  I am able to dedicate a few hours per day to it.  

Best regards

Gennady Galanter
Followup To
Question -
Actually both.

I do not have an advanced degree in journalistic.

Neither do I have any special writing skills.

The idea to write and to publish the book came from the fact that I happened to have a unique access to certain information that represents a fascinating subject for what I believe a broad reader base.

I am looking for end to end process.  “Turn-key” so to speak.

What are the best way to approach this, given that I would ultimately like to have a financial reward from the project.

Best regards

Gennady Galanter

Followup To
Question -
I have an idea for the book. If I were to assess the project from the economics perspective, how would I approach the feasibility study?
Answer -
Request more information:

Do you mean the feasibility of writing the project or publishing it?

Youngbear Roth
Answer -
Hello, Gennady!

First, if you wish to write a book in English, you are going to have to brush up on your written English skills.  I sense from the two communications of yours which I have read that your writing skill is rough.

Writing the book:

Writing a book-length manuscript takes on average one year of six to eight-hour days.  Your economics perspective is simply this, "Can I afford to write the book full-time or must I continue to earn a living and write the book in my spare time?"  Writing costs money: hardware, software, office supplies, office space, living expenses.

However, you have failed to ask the most serious question of all for your feasibility study, and it is not one of economics.  The question is life sustaining, spiritual, emotional; how much time can you afford to take away from family, friends, other important relationships that will be back-burnered while you write the book?

Publishing the book:


This means that you must consider the costs of marketing your manuscript to agents and publishers.  This is normally a long process and an arduous uphill climb.  Few authors have what it takes to make it to the top of the hill.  Most often, the costs of marketing the first book exceeds any hope of a profit.

Am I trying to discourage you?  No!  But I want you to go into this serious project with your eyes open.  This is as honest an answer as I can give to your query.

My best,
Youngbear Roth

Answer -

You're getting in deeper!  My rate for writing a script or manuscript from a project treatment is $3000.00 per week with a $70,000.00 minimum and a $7000.00 kill fee.  So, yes, it is an option, and if you are an investment group that has started its own production company or publishing firm, it's a realistic option.  But, if you are an individual, this option is like shooting for the moon, especially when you consider the odds against ever seeing publication or profit.

My suggestion is that you write your manuscript as a labor of love; take it to an independent editor that will charge you an affordable fee; rewrite it, and then submit to agents and publishing houses.  If it makes it - great!  If not, no energy is ever wasted (physics 101) - you will have learned and experienced what it means to be a creative artist with your life; you will not die wondering "What if..."

Honestly, G., you can "think" this thing into the ground or you can roll up your sleeves and get to work.  Visit my web site,  Just peruse the pages and see if it feels like a world you would like to live in for a year or two.

My best,
Youngbear Roth

Hello, Gennady!

In respects to using an independent editor, again, I suggest you go to our web site,  If you study the site and like what you see, email us from the site and request an information package.  We can email you a package, though it is extensive and "byte" heavy; some clients require snail mail.  If you would like to shop around (editing is expensive and shopping would be a wise move) I suggest you begin with the Editorial Freelancers Assoc. out of New York.  You can Google them.

Yes, I like your project plan.  However, rape is an emotionally charged issue on many levels.  You used the word "funny" in your last communication.  Before you handle a rape situation as "funny" you better think about it twice, three times, and turn it around and inside out, and then ask someone else what they think.  Remember, you are entering the arena of words.  Each and every word you write is critical and must be exact.  Also, though you may be telling various stories, they should all express one theme or focus for the book as a whole.  For instance, here is a negative theme, but it is valid: a group of stories demonstrating how women are often raped twice; first by the rapist and again by the system.  Here is a positive theme or focus: a group of stories demonstrating that life can be healthy and whole again after a rape.  In any case, attempt to maintain an overall unified focus or theme that links the stories together.

Good luck!

Youngbear Roth

Writing Books

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M.L. 'Max' Roth, Executive Editor


My specialist area is literary and philosophical fiction. I am pleased to answer all queries regarding story, plot, character arc and development, environment, structure, theme, subtext, and conflict.


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Numerous client references may be found at: under 'References'. Their contact information is available on request.

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