Advice from the Masters: Malcolm Gladwell

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Malcolm Gladwell is staff writer for the New Yorker and the author of several books, including two of my favorites, The Tipping Point and Outliers. Here’s his advice to you, if you’re thinking about writing a book.

“When you write a book, you need to have more than an interesting story. You need to have a desire to tell the story. You need to be personally invested in some way.  . . .  If you’re going to live with something for two years, three years, the rest of your life, you need to care about it”

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What People Are Saying

Jackie Bailey   |   14 Dec 2011   |   Reply

I’m writing a book, and I fit your scenario! Thank you!

Melinda   |   14 Dec 2011   |   Reply

It took me FOREVER to write my book because I cared so passionately about the stories that I couldn’t release it until I was satisfied that it was a great read. Unfortunately for me, because my book is about the Clinton White House, it should have been released in January 2008, in time to take advantage of Hillary Clinton’s primary campaign. If it had, I would have sold a million books. But it was just not ready, not a good read, not something I could be proud of, so it was not released until December that year, long after interest in the Clintons had died a natural death. That cost me an awful lot of money. So, if your ideas are timely, write FAST!

Wally   |   14 Dec 2011   |   Reply

Thanks for your comment, Melissa. I think it’s more accurate to say that if it was as good as it could be AND ready in time it might have sold a million copies. In these days of reader reviews and “look inside the book,” people catch on to poorly written books more quickly.