So you want to write a book?

Everyone seems to be writing books these days. Politicians, movie stars, athletes, news anchors, physicians, military leaders, scientists — and even me.

Yes, me. I had my book released the first of this year by Page Publishing in New York City. The title is “Navy Grass,” a very personal tell-all memoir of the events and happenings not only to me but newsworthy occurrences of the time, mixed in with some humor. This all was surrounding me during the Cold War era during my enlistment in the U.S. Navy during the early 1960s.

I may add that the title has nothing to do about marijuana.

We all have stars in our eyes after the completion and publishing of our new book, expecting enough royalties to at least pay for our own self-publishing expenses and hopefully more. But trying to get your book out there is really a hard task to do, especially if you are an unknown author like myself.

The publishing company does a good job of publicizing your work, but don’t expect much of anything right off.

A book written by famous people such as Tom Hanks, Oprah or Bill O’Reilly is a different ball game. Just their very name as the author itself reaps high sales right away regardless of content — and the book sometimes is ghost-written. Their books fly off the shelves.

I have sold some books and given away some to family and friends. I have had some good reviews from some people and friends who have read my work, which is satisfying.

We all sometimes expect too much in our literary achievements and maybe should be just proud of being published. But keep those stars in your eyes for who knows what may happen. Disappointment only gives one the incentives to continue on new projects of book writing. I am planning a new book at present.

They tell me that all new authors tend to have unrealistic expectations of their latest work, which is maybe true. The thrill of it all is actually being published regardless of success. Having your name on the book jacket doesn’t hurt at all.

I designed the jacket myself, and am quite proud of that fact. The mere privilege of having my words so available to readers out there regardless of how many is exciting. There is some pride knowing that you stuck with it until published.

Promotion is probably the big key in being successful as an author after being published. This can be done at book signings and group outlets.

Since my book is a memoir about the Navy, there are many naval groups to look to, along with emails and websites. Sometimes this works well. In my case, this has been a passion of mine for more than 50 years to write this memoir because I always thought there was a good storyline to it. This is regardless of the personnel and personalities and incidents that seem interesting entering and leaving throughout, cover to cover.

Skilled editing plays a large part in the finished product as the English language itself can be abused by a first-time author like myself. There tends to always be typos and mistakes in the final product that you hoped would not be there. It is too late to correct anything after the publication.

It did take well over 50 years to gain the courage to write this little memoir of mine. The past came back to me in a flash, remembering all names and places, and was a good therapy for me, as sometimes a tear or two also fell during the writing.

If a plug is allowed, my book is titled “Navy Grass” and can be ordered through Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

Contact Whited at olebert1@aol.com.

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