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  1. Venerable Nanda
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    Venerable Nanda New Member

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    Could need advice

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Venerable Nanda, Apr 5, 2014.

    Sorry I'm not sure if I post my concern at the right place ?

    Hello Everyone,

    I was searching on the Internet and found this page and so I hope to find some real help here.
    I have a few questions and could need some professional advice.
    First I need to tell you a bit more about me and what I'm planning to do, if you don't mind and would take your time to read it.
    I try my best to make it short as possible.

    First, yes I am a Venerable Nanda.
    I am a Buddhist Monk in Cambodia but, actually I'm German citizen.

    Before I became Buddhist Monk I was 16 years News Cameraman / Correspondent in six different war zones and after, many years Steadicam Operator, D.o.P. / Director and Producer for many different kind of film & video productions around the world.

    After a rocket attack in Afghanistan I got very badly injured and I died already for almost three minutes.
    What I have seen / experienced in these three minutes, changed after my whole life. I was very lucky to got a second chance to live again and I realized I have to do something better with my new life but, it still took me 16 years more until I made my final decision to become a Buddhist Monk for the rest of my life.

    I study Buddhism already since 26 years now and Meditation since around 15 years.
    After visiting more then one hundred countries and use to live in 39 different countries for a while, I found here and only here in Cambodia my real peace and decided to become Buddhist Monk but, it wasn't so easy to get this permission here as foreigner.

    I am now the first official foreign Buddhist Monk in Cambodia and I have the great honor to got ordained by the King of all Cambodian Monks.

    So far to this.

    I became very soon a bit "famous" and not just in Cambodia.
    Many people from around the world follow and belief in me as Monk and on the beginning, it scares me a bit.
    People / Friends who know me personal and many others from my Facebook pages told me again and again, I should write a book about my life and now I decided to do it, because now I have the time to do it.

    I never wrote a book and that's why I'm looking for any advice and help I could get and therefor I ask all of you, how I should start ? How can I find a book publisher and what else do I need to do ?

    Thank you for your time.

    [link removed]


    Your Venerable Nanda . . . 3*Sadhu _/\_
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Welcome to the forum! I recently (as in a few years ago) became interested in Buddhism and Eastern philosophy. Right now I'm reading the Yoga Vasishta, which is an incredible book and one of the must-reads of Eastern philosophy. I'm sure you've heard of it.

    Before worrying about finding a publisher, you first need to write the actual book. This includes editing and polishing it. Different writers take different approaches, but it might be helpful to first decide what you want to include in your book and write a brief summary or outline. I also recommend reading the autobiographies of other people and getting ideas from them.

    By the way, are you planning on writing the book in English? If you are, you'll need to improve your grammar. There are a bunch of grammatical errors in your post.
     
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  3. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    You first need to decide on what kind of book you want to write. Is it mainly biographical, presenting your life both before and after your conversion and the significant event that occurred during that time, or are you more interested in presenting your philosophy, and how you mentally and emotionally came to your current beliefs and way of life?

    Once you are clear what kind of book you are writing, since it will be biographical, start working on recording and describing the interesting and significant events that have happened in your life which you want to include.

    At the same time, you may want to read some guides to writing in order to develop and polish your writing style. I'm sure there are many people here who would be happy to advise you on that selection.
     
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  4. Venerable Nanda
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    Venerable Nanda New Member

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    Thank you. I know my English isn't so well :)
    I would like to write it first in German language but then translate to English from someone.

    I have read many autobiographies already and yes my book should become like a autobiography with all parts of my past and new life and of course, why I decided to become a Buddhist Monk.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    namaste, venerable nanda...

    i agree with all thirdwind had to say... it's good advice and well worth following...

    unfortunately, as your english is not up to publishable standards, it will cost you quite a lot of up front cash to either have your german ms professionally translated, or have a professional writer do the actual writing in english for you, to save time and effort... and, as you are a buddhist monk, i assume you do not have thousands of dollars available for a project that will most likely not generate enough income to recoup what was spent...

    i wish it were not so, but that is the way of the writing world... no one who is a good enough writer or translator to provide you with a marketable book will do it for free, or for promise of payment later, since there is no guarantee the book will ever be published or sell enough to pay their fee...

    so, as i see it, your only hope is to find a german publisher willing to take it on, publish it in german and arrange for the translation into english, for distribution in the UK and US markets... to that end, if your story has good sales potential and you can put a compelling book proposal together, it's possible that a publisher might be intersted enough to offer a contract and an advance before you complete the book... as a german citizen who led an exciting life, saw the horrors of war first hand, then chose to opt out of the material world and walk the humble path of the buddha, i can see there being a healthy market for your book in today's germany alone, plus great interest in the english-speaking world...

    as i am an anti-violence activist who has divested herself of 'self' and material possessions beyond what is needed to help others, i would be happy to help you put a book proposal together, and query agents and publishers... an inspiring story like yours is much needed in this sad, war-waging world we live in...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
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  6. David K. Thomasson
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    David K. Thomasson Contributing Member

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    If you're going to publish your book in English, I'd suggest you find a co-author who is fluent in English. Tell him your story, let him draft it, then the two of you collaborate on revisions. No offense at all intended, but you're just not up to writing a book in English. Or a similar process in German, if that's your language.
     
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  7. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    Ghost writer. :)
     
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  8. Venerable Nanda
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    Venerable Nanda New Member

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    Yeah guys you're right. I think it's the best for me and my book to find a ghost writer.

    Just the question how / where ?

    It needs to be a writer who understand at least something about Buddhism and not just how to write a biography !

    This book will not just review my past life and show how is my new life.
    It will explain and bring the people closer to the most peaceful religion.

    It isn't my goal to make "a lot" of money with this. I don't care about money anymore. I sold my film production company and my very successful restaurant already. I don't need anything luxury anymore.

    Every $ I would make, I would spent for my school where I teach the poorest street kids from Phnom Penh, to give them a education and a better future.
    That is ALL I want to reach.
    I reached almost all my goals in my life, but these kids have no future and yes, if I could make some money with my book and maybe change and open the mind of many people around the world.

    Yes I try my best with this book . . . 3*Sadhu _/\_

    Most people have no idea what happens after their death. I know what's gonna happen if you don't live your present life, let's say it simple as a good human being !

    I is not just my life story I want to write down, it is much more I have to say to the world. If I just change one mind one person, I am happy and I changed already hundreds of minds.

    Sounds crazy ? Yeah maybe, because you have no idea about my-experienced yet.
     
  9. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Hello, Venerable Nanda. It's good to have you here, and I hope we get to read what you write. :)

    Now, here is what I think: Write first. Write everything you know first, everything down before you forget it. Then, and only then, once it's down, then you can start worrying about publishing. You need to have something completed first before you can start worrying about the rest. :D Trust

    You said you were a German citizen? Well, you could write your book in German first, and get it published through the publishing companies located in Germany. I mean, I know you want to publish in English, but my thinking is that you can just write it in the language you're familiar with, then make it clear to your agents/publishers/whoever is dealing with this, that you wish to have it also translated into English for the English speakers to read this.
     
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  10. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    @Venerable Nanda, if making money isn't an issue, you could always post your writings online and make them available for free. You could also use that website to ask for donations for your school. Just an idea.
     
  11. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    Hello @Venerable Nanda,

    I respect your mission, really and truly. I think it is a worthy one. So far, mammamaia and thirdwind have provided the best advice, in my opinion. I really like the idea of posting your work online once you have your writing skills up to snuff. It may reach a decent audience with the right advertisement. Then there is self publishing in ebook format.

    If you want to publish traditionally, I think it may be better to write it in your own tongue and try to publish it in Germany, where, if the market is right, they may arrange for translation. Hiring someone yourself to write it for you would be very, very costly, and finding someone of skill who also understands Buddhism will limit your options drastically...

    I wish you the most luck, and I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help.

    Best,

    Andrae
     
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  12. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    You could call the site "The Blogging Monk" and plenty of Westerners would read it.
     
  13. Venerable Nanda
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    Venerable Nanda New Member

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    Thank you really a lot for your advises. I truly appreciate it.

    JetBlackGT, how and where I should do this with "The Blogging Monk" site, did you mean here ?

    Sorry if I ask so stupid.

    So, should I write my book in my "bad" English, or in German but in German, not many people could read it and in English they would say. Oh nice life story but his English :)

    I wrote already a lot of my life down in German, just to remember everything and get it sorted.

    I see it isn't so easy to start to write a book but it is a new challenge for me and I'm sure some how I can do it and I will.

    You guys are all right with your advise. I just still don't know what is the best way.
    Writing in my own German language or in my bad English ?
    Publish it in a "The Blogger Monk" ? How ?

    Did anyone of you check my open Facebook page yet ?

    Unfortunately I can't post a Link to it here but it would help you guys to understand me a bit more, what I actually do.

    Or if someone like, just search for Venerable Nanda and add me.

    Hope the Admin don't mind I post this ?


    3*Sadhu _/\_
     
  14. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    No, not here. There are many places that allow you to create your own website for free (just search for "free website" or something similar in Google). If you're new to creating websites, ask someone you know and trust to create and maintain it for you. Since you write better in German, maybe you could post your writings in German on the website and then have someone translate it later on. That way your website will have content available in both English and German.
     
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  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i agree with thirdwind, that your best option would be to make your story available to all via a blogsite you set up for it... if it becomes popular in germany, you may then find a publisher willing to put it into print and have it translated into english...

    and also to prepare a book proposal for german and US or UK agents/publishing houses, in hopes one will offer an advance to pay for writing/correcting your english version...

    i would be happy to help you with either or both endeavor/s...

    finding a co-author who's a professional and able to turn out a marketable ms is a non-starter, as no one will do it for free, or for payment after publication, since there is no guarantee the book will ever be published, or if it is, will earn back the thousands of dollars a pro would have to charge... and

    as for hiring a ghostwriter or an editor/rewriter, since this comes up so often on the 3 writing sites i post on daily, i've had to prepare a stock post, to save typing time... hope you won't mind:

    in re hiring an editor [i provide editing services, though i caution against it], you need to accept the fact that the money you spend on having someone else do what writers must be able to do on their own will most likely never be recouped from the sale of your work... so, if you do go ahead with it, be sure you don't need to make it back, because not even the best editor in the world can ever guarantee the work will be accepted by a paying publisher, or will sell well enough to come close to equalling what you paid, if it is... same goes for if you self-publish...

    also, no editor who can do a good enough job for you will be cheap... it will cost many hundreds, to several thousands of dollars [US] for a good, professional editor to bring your book up to publishable/readable standards, depending on how much work it needs, as there are several levels of 'editing'... from simply correcting typos, punctuation and minor grammar glitches, all the way up to a complete rewrite, if the writing quality is poor...

    those who offer to do it cheaply, will not be able to do much [if any] better than you could do on your own... anyone can set up shop and call themselves 'editors' these days, but few will actually be worthy of the title, so vet any you consider using very carefully and be sure to get a sample edit before entering into any agreement for services...

    hope this helps clarify your options...
     
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  16. Venerable Nanda
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    Venerable Nanda New Member

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    That was really very helpful. Thank you guys. Now I need to think what exactly I'm going to do.

    I'll be back soon with some decisions . . . 3*Sadhu

    Your venerable Nanda
     
  17. Venerable Nanda
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    Venerable Nanda New Member

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    Thanks a lot. I appreciate very much . . . 3*Sadhu

    Your Venerable Nanda
     

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