Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Candy Store Generation

To have a successful self-published e-book ("successful" meaning good sales), what you need, according to Joe Konrath, are:
  • a great book,
  • a catchy title
  • a dynamite cover,
  • good promotion, and
  • a body of work that builds on itself.
Even while I cling to the dream of having something published through a traditional publisher, and do some things to go down that road, I'm looking for the next thing to self-publish. What that next thing should be finally came to me on Memorial Day.

Why not write The Candy Store Generation? I first thought of this during the 2000 election, watching the first presidential debate between Bush and Gore. They argued about how to spend a budget surplus expected to be 1 trillion dollars over the next ten years, a result of five years of Republican-led Congresses. It struck me that they sounded like children in a candy store who were given an unexpected windfall from daddy.

But it also struck me that these political animals, children of political families and of privilege, were simply reflecting what America had become. By 2000 the majority of Congress had flipped from what Brokaw called The Greatest Generation to the Baby Boomers. The Boomers were now calling the shots. The Boomers made up a huge voting block. I'm one of them, and I see things in the majority of my generation that bode poorly for our nation.

I let the idea gestate for some time, and in 2009 I wrote four blogs on friend Chuck's blog, "The Senescent Man'. I won't say I wrote them to rave reviews, because they generated no comments. I also rushed them a bit, and didn't develop them for the blog as much as I should have.

Last Monday I decided that I should try to expand them into what I wanted to do. I don't have a complete vision for the book yet, but I don't see it as a long book. Maybe 10,000 to 20,000 words. It will mainly explain what I see are the bad results of Boomer leadership in virtually all areas of American life. I'll also discuss some of the why—from my perspective—the Boomers became what we became. It will be a book mainly of my opinions, with some research, but not a whole lot.

On Tuesday night I went to the old blog posts and dumped them into a MS Word document. It begins as a little over 2,000 words. So I'm already 1/8 to 1/4 done. The smaller word count isn't much of a book, so I'll probably go for the longer one. I have to get the full vision first, and an outline, and maybe couple of chapters done before I decide.

The good news is that I don't start with a blank sheet of paper. I start with a concept that has been fermenting in my gray cells for a decade, and which saw the light of Internet day in small part. The blank sheet of paper is the hardest part of writing anything, it seems. Once that is overcome, it's all downhill. I remember the comic strip "Shoe". The editor asked the writer, "Is the article done yet?" to which the writer replied, "90 percent." He then trudged back to his littered desk, rolled a blank sheet of paper into his typewriter, and said, "The white part." I'm past that. May The Candy Store Generation come to fruition.

No comments: