1. Tom1955

    Tom1955 New Member

    Jul 3, 2017
    Likes Received:

    Need Help with Book on Economic System

    Discussion in 'Collaboration' started by Tom1955, Jul 4, 2017.


    I wonder if you folks could kindly help me with a special request.

    Any assistance you can provide would be deeply appreciated!

    I’ve compiled material for a book about the economic system for laypeople who consider economics to be a difficult and boring subject.

    The book describes economic concepts in easy to understand terms.

    The book details how capitalism is an unjust system, provides a history of the U.S. economy, discusses what a more just economic system would look like, and presents solutions to economic problems.

    I would like the title of the book to be “Understanding the Political Economy: A Guide for the 99 Percent.”

    I believe the book is unique partly because it doesn’t focus too much on economic principles but rather examines the historical developments and political issues that have shaped the economic system into a system that benefits the few and does little for the mass of people.

    I believe the book can help people understand how and why the economy fails to work for ordinary people and what an alternative economic system would look like.

    I have written over 350 pages, (using Times Roman 12 point font).

    I believe the book has a reasonable organizational structure and interesting content.

    However, a lot of the material needs to be rewritten, edited, some material needs to be discarded, other material needs to be added, some material needs to be reorganized, etc.

    So a lot of work still needs to be done.

    Unfortunately, I’m not a writer and I don’t have strong writing skills.

    To make matters worse, I’m suffering from neurological issues that have limited my ability to focus and work.

    So I need help in finishing the project.

    I placed an ad on Craigslist seeking a Co-author.

    I mentioned in my ad that I couldn’t pay the co-author but that I would gladly give him or her 50% of the profits, i.e., if the book made any profits. However, I didn’t receive any response to my ad, which is understandable since most people are looking for paid employment.

    I therefore placed another ad on Craigslist stating that I was willing to pay $15 per hour for 80 hours of work.

    Although I would like to find someone who can review and rewrite the entire book, since I have been out of work for over 5 years – due to neurological issues – I don’t have the funds to do that.

    I therefore figured I could possibly find someone who could review and rewrite only certain, limited sections of the book.

    I don’t know if my strategy will work, but my plan is to give the writer 80 hours of work now, see how this person does, and then give the writer another 80 hours of work later.

    After that, I will have to finalize everything on my own since I don’t have a budget to seek any further assistance.

    In response to my recent ad on Craigslist, I’ve received about 20 resumes from people who have expressed an interest in helping me.

    I would like to ask for your kind help regarding the following issues.

    1. How can I ensure that the writer who works with me does not use some of my material and publishes it on his own?

    Would I have to sign some sort of contract with him specifically addressing this issue?

    If so, is there a sample contract that I can find on some website or reference book that I can use for this purpose?

    2. If I’m able to eventually find a publisher for the book, would they have a writer on staff who could help with the writing?

    At this time, I need someone’s help to finish the book and rewrite portions of it so that it will be in an acceptable form so that a publisher would be willing to consider it.

    But since I lack strong writing skills and the writer I hire won’t be able to rewrite many sections of the book due to my limited budget, I think I will need someone else to review the material and improve it.

    I would greatly appreciate it if you could kindly provide me with any guidance, advice and assistance.

    Thank you very much for your kind attention, time, patience and help!

  2. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

    Aug 27, 2014
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    Hi @Tom1955

    You've chosen a tough gig.

    Non-fiction is a tough market to get published in. You generally need to have some qualification to convince a publisher that you actually know about your chosen subject.

    A book on economics is probably one of the toughest gigs. Unless it's for a college course, you're unlikely to get many buyers (even for a college course it won't be Harry Potter!) so few publishers are likely to play, especially as you've chosen to discredit the US economic model. Essentially, you appear to be rewriting Karl Marx's Das Kapital.

    So I'm not surprised that you got no takers to a co-author request at 50% of the profits. $15 p.h. was obviously more appealing (there goes that damned capitalist model again!) but still not compelling. Assuming 100k words, at 50 wpm you could type that in 33 hours, so only half of your 80 hours on offer, but that allows zero time for review, redrafting and editing. Frederick Forsyth wrote the 140k Day of the Jackal in 35 days, probably working around 400 hours to do so; but he was an experienced journalist, accustomed to long stints of writing and of proven competence with the written word. What I'm getting at is that your 20 resumes probably don't have a lot to recommend them. There's little guarantee that they'll do you a decent job.

    1/ As far as tying them to a contract...if you're struggling to afford to pay them, how in the hell are you going to find the money to sue them for stealing your work? (One of our members is a published author, and has had her copyright breached. All she could do was to get the website publishing the plagiarized work was to get them to take down their content - no damages.)

    2/ I can't be certain, but the idea of a publishing house having a staff writer whom they would use to rewrite your draft to publishable standard sounds unlikely.

    I'm sorry to be so negative, but I'd hate for you to spend money that you can ill-afford to find this out the hard way.
  3. Tom1955

    Tom1955 New Member

    Jul 3, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Hi Shadowfax.

    Thank you so much for your thoughts and advice. I greatly appreciate it.

    My book isn’t really a textbook about economics.

    In fact, I don’t even think that it’s a book about economics.

    Rather, it’s a book about the political and historical events that have helped shape the economic system.

    So for example, on the chapter about unions, instead of talking about how unions brought us the 40 hour work week, etc., I discuss the Ludlow Massacre, the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire, the Haymarket Square Riot, etc. and how these events eventually led to labor reforms.

    I’m hoping that presenting the historical and political context of economic developments will make economics more interesting and easier to understand.

    But I may be dead wrong about that.

    Thanks for your calculations about how much time you guesstimate it may take to write and edit the book.

    As a novice with limited writing skills, I was totally unaware as to even how to start to perform any calculations.

    I realize that your simple calculation may not be accurate but at least it gives me something to go on and a rough idea as to how much time it may take to complete.

    Thank you for warning me about how my material can be appropriated by the writers. It’s good to know that and I’ll try to be very careful.

    I appreciate your being frank and honest about the poor prospects my book has for getting published. You may well be right about the fact that it will be extremely difficult to publish the book.

    But even if it doesn’t get published, I think the effort has been worthwhile.

    I’m not an economist and so by working on the book, I’ve learned a lot.

    And I hope as a layman I can communicate the ideas in the book in a manner that other layman can easily understand and find interesting.

    If worst comes to worst, and I’m unable to publish the book, I will try to post the entire material on a website so that people can access it and read it for free.

    I honestly think it can make a difference in people’s understanding about how the economy “works.” And if it does, then I think the effort will have been worthwhile.

    Thank you once again for taking the time to read my post and for being kind enough to help me. I really appreciate it!
  4. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

    Aug 27, 2014
    Likes Received:
    As a module of my degree, I studied Comparative Politics (Google that for some more reading), and am particularly struck by how much one of the course books ( Barrington Moore
    In Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World (1966) Moore compares revolutions in countries like England, Russia and Japan (among others). His thesis is that mass-led revolutions dispossess the landed elite and result in Communism, and that revolutions by the elite result in Fascism. It is thus only revolutions by the bourgeoisie that result in democratic governance. For the outlier case of India, practices of the Mogul Empire, British Imperial rule and the Caste System are cited.)

    resonates with your stated aim.

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