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The worth of a book: Editor's Notes #240
July 31, 2017
Hello,

The worth of a book is to be measured
by what you can carry away from it.

-- James Bryce


In this issue:

1. The worth of a book
2. Tickled my funnybone
3. Interesting Web site
4. Writing prompt

1. The worth of a book
It can be exciting to write a book. So many of us dream of one day holding a bound copy of a book we have written. As someone who has done just that, I can testify to the fathomless pleasure of opening the box of books that proved I was an author. I love selling my books, and I love giving them away. They are my gift to the world.

How can we know that the book we write will be considered worthy of purchase by others, especially total strangers? Many factors influence purchases. Here are four items that book buyers care about.

Specialized knowledge. If you write nonfiction, ask yourself what unique thing you offer. Is it a discovery you made yourself, or one you can explain better than the discoverer did? Have you made a link between two fields that others have missed? Are you using a different lens to examine your topic? Any or these factors could raise the worth of a book.

Insight. Related to special knowledge is special insight. Insight goes beyond the facts to underlying truths. When you write with insight, you may highlight what is significant and why. You may show how to solve a problem. These can be aspects of valuable books.

Use of language. Poetry probably comes closest to placing high value on powerful use of language. Even in poetry, I would not say that expressive use of language alone would make a book valuable, but it can definitely contribute to value that exists in the thoughts expressed.

Clear voice. Each writer, like each speaker, has a distinctive voice. Discerning readers want books that stand out because of the idiosyncratic way the writer expresses thoughts. If your book cannot be confused with a book by someone else, you have added to the worth of your book.

It can be hard to judge the worth of a book you write yourself. You naturally think your book is valuable. Why else would you take the trouble to write it? A good editor will work with you to create a book of great worth.

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2.Tickled my funnybone
War does not determine who is right; it determines who is left.

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3. Interesting Web site
When a book has served its purpose in your life, consider some of these options for passing it on.
http://www.home-storage-solutions-101.com/donate-used-books.html

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4. Writing prompt
Write a reply to this imaginary email. (First, fill in the blanks to suit your mood and expertise).

Hello, (Your name here).

You don’t know me, but a mutual friend gave me your address and suggested that you could help me. I don’t know how to (fill in the blank). With your background, you will understand my predicament. I hope you can help me. In exchange, I can offer (fill in the blank).

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Link on LinkedIn https://ca.linkedin.com/in/audreyowen (Email me first so I know how you know me.)

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