Writing Books @ the Speed of Thought

May 2000
by Dan Poynter

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Books are changing—for the better. There is a New Model for
book writing, producing, selling, and promoting. Now you can break
into print faster, easier, and cheaper. One part of this
revolutionary change is in book writing.

Gone are the days of manuscript boxes holding boring sheets of
paper with double-spaced lines in Courier typeface. Gone too are
dull manuscripts without photos and drawings. Today’s
manuscripts look like books. In fact, they are books with four-color
soft covers, single-spaced lines, words that may be bolded or
italicized, and headers with page numbers. New printing techniques
let you produce books faster and cheaper—and this changes the
way the books are written.

Today authors “build” their books; writing is just part
of the assembly. Building your book is like building a speech with
PowerPoint. The computer simply provides you with more aids to help
you get your point across to your reader. Now, in addition to the
printed word, you add digital photos and scanned drawings to your
manuscript as you write. You pull information from the Web, add
resource URLs to your text, search encyclopedias for background
information, check art sites for illustrations, and skim through
quotation sites for quotations. You draw from all these sources as
you draft the manuscript.

First, you set up your book in a binder with frontmatter pages,
dividers for each chapter, and a backmatter section. You fill in…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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