92% OF PROFESSIONALS WRITING BOOKS
NEW YORK. September 9, 2007.
A new survey by College of Staten Island researcher William Cane reveals that 92 percent of professionals are either working on a book or have started a book in the past twelve months. The survey of 1,400 adults from 29 countries found that 76 percent of those with a college education thought that they might some day write a book. Those with more education — doctors, lawyers, psychologists, dentists, engineers, and other professionals — were more likely to be working on a book or to have started a book in the past year.
“Almost everybody feels they have a book to write,” says Cane, who teaches English at the College of Staten Island. “The problem is that most people don’t know how to go about getting their work in print.”
Despite the increasing popularity of the Internet as a source of information, the number of new titles published each year is close to a whopping 300,000, according to Publisher’s Weekly. Source: http://publishersweekly.com/eNewsletter/CA6448376/2286.html (Accessed September 9, 2007.)
“Jimmy Durante was right,” says Cane. “Everybody wants to get into the act. And it’s getting easier for first-time writers to break into print. If you have a book idea, this is the time to make your move.”
Publishers are hungry for new titles because each new book is a potential best-seller. With advances in six figures not unheard of for first-time authors, writers have a strong incentive to submit a manuscript.
“What most people fail to realize is that you don’t need to write a complete manuscript to get a book contract," says Cane. "In fact, it’s industry practice not to look at full manuscripts but instead to consider only a short book proposal and one or two sample chapters instead.”
Cane, whose book The Art of Kissing was translated into nineteen languages, has created a new Web site, hiwrite.com, the first of its kind dedicated to helping new writers break into print.
“You begin by writing a book proposal, and then you send a query letter to a literary agent. Hopefully they’ll be interested enough to take you on as a client and try to sell your idea to a good publisher for a good advance.”
Cane stresses the fact that those hoping to publish a book should stop trying to complete their manuscripts and instead start writing the shorter (10- to 20-page) book proposal instead.
William Cane can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 201-656-7956. An attorney and former Boston College professor, he teaches English at the College of Staten Island.