More than once, a want-to-be-wealthy author has come to me with a book idea. "I know it will make a million dollars," the person says. "With my brilliant ideas and your writing skills, we can make it happen." He went on to say, "If you write the book, I'll give you half the profit." At least seven times, I've received such offers.
I've never taken on one of those projects.
First, the brilliant idea seems exceptional only to them.
Second, I don't take on writing projects with the attitude of making money. I need to earn a living (and I'll discuss the financial aspects in a later blog), but I've never taken a project only because I expected to make a lot of money.
I have taken several projects and once I got into the book, I knew it would be big. When I wrote Gifted Hands for Dr. Ben Carson, I sensed that it would be a big-selling book. Published in 1990, in hardback, soft cover, and mass paper, the book has never been out of print, and has sold several million copies.
In 2004, Revell Books released 90 Minutes in Heaven. I predicted, "This will become a fantastic seller or a giant flop." That book started the craze for the outpouring of stories about heaven and near-death experiences.
In 2010, the publisher of Gifted Hands issued a 20-year printing; in 2014, there will be a 10-year anniversary edition of 90 Minutes. That means both books are still making money for the publishers—and for the authors and for me.
Money is a factor when I write—
but not a major one.