Received this announcement for a book writer today:
The Tyneside Cinema is a Newcastle institution and one of the city’s favourite buildings. As the Tyneside comes to the end of a successful heritage regeneration project that sees new screens and new resources in place, it would like to celebrate its rich and diverse history by producing a book. The book will not be a straightforward, historical telling of the story of the Tyneside, but a creative undertaking that will tell the story of the cinema through the examination of the characters that have shaped the history of the building and of the company. We are looking for a writer who can produce a quirky, fun book.
The starting point will be a series of short essays that focus on interesting people and moments from the cinema’s history. For example, the writer might use the perspective of some of the cinema’s usherettes to tell the story of the Tyneside from their perspective – bringing to life the working conditions and lives of these remarkable women. The cinema has lots of information to get the commissioned writer started on the project, so finding the material won’t be a problem: shaping the book and knowing where to draw the boundaries might be. The writer undertaking the job will most likely have a basic grasp of Newcastle’s cultural history which they can bring to the project. They also need to be able to demonstrate their writing ability by providing supporting material that shows their creative writing style and which demonstrates their talent.
In essence, we are looking for a writer who can write creative non-fiction that will appeal to a wide and varied audience and who can pinpoint and bring to life some great stories.The commissioning fee for the project is £2,250. The book will be produced as an e-book and a print on demand book, sold via the Tyneside’s website. The work will need to be undertaken between March and the end of May. Submit a cover letter which explains your interest in the project and outlines your writing track-record and published work; an example of your writing that you think suitably supports your application (no more than 2,500 words). Send this information by Wednesday 17 March 2010 to email@example.com
Okay, so you might not know where Newcastle is, but doesn't this give you ideas? This theatre needs a writer to pen its history, to create a commodity to be sold in the giftshop. How many places have giftshops or bookstores?
Bigger yet, how many landmarks, businesses, nature sites, cities, towns, counties, councils, charities, clubs, geneology groups, family reunions, churches, schools, theaters, restaurants, banks, etc. have a history? How many of those entities could use a book to sell to its members, fans, visitors and clients?
My mother just read a book penned by her high school buddy, who helped found a bank many years ago in a small rural town. The book not only told the history of the bank, but of the town as well. Mom devoured it, recognizing all the people and places of reference. The banker wrote the book himself, but how many businesses have a person able to write such a product? How many have the time?
If you can research, if you can write history, this is an untapped market. Write for a flat fee (work-for-hire) or negotiate royalties. These are self-pubbed products, with the entity you're writing for in charge of sales and production since most of them already have gift shops, mailing lists, regular customers and advertising in place.
For the person who loves research, this is ready-made goldmine. Once you produce one, word-of-mouth does a glorious job, and you probably won't have to leave a hundred-mile radius of your computer keyboard.
Just a thought.