Wave Your Flag: Publishing Americana, Historical and Political Writing

Filed in Author Inspirations by on July 2, 2013 0 Comments

Publishing Americana, Historical and Political WritingIn eighth grade, my American History class was required to memorize the preamble to the Declaration of Independence, and my teacher offered two points of extra credit for each word we memorized after that. I memorized the entire thing. Yes, you read that right. My fourteen-year-old-self memorized all 1,337 words of blissful Jeffersonian jargon in the Dec. of Indy. My love for Americana continued as a political science major in college, so it’s no wonder that few things get my nerd-nerves tingling like some good ol’ patriotic prose: Common Sense, The Federalist Papers…I know, I know, fight the inner urge to run outside yelling, “The British are coming!” It’s cool. We’re friends now.

I’m so excited to announce that all through July on the Xulon Press blog, we’ll be giving our expert tips and tricks for self-publishing political, historical and Americana writing. To kick things off, here are the fundamentals:

P: Pick your point, then stick to it. The most ineffective pieces of political and historical commentary ramble and get off point. You’ll lose your readers faster than Paul Revere on a derby-winning horse.

O: Objective. The most effective pieces of political writing have one thing in common: the writers remain objective. It lends credibility to your writing, and credibility is key. Think like Switzerland in WWII: provide support to the side you favor, but strive for neutrality. (Double points if you didn’t have to Wikipedia that!)

L: Learn. Learn the viewpoint of your opposition! To effectively convince me why I should believe something, you also have to convince me why I should not believe in something else. Borrow this old trick from my debate team days: when composing an argument, study the viewpoint of the opposition. Once you fully grasp why your opponents believe what they believe, you’re better able to argue your side. I’ve got the trophies to prove it!

I: Inspiration. Take a cue from this Americana buff and turn to other writers for inspiration. There are thousands of past and current books to get the wheels churning. I find these classic American books are best read at a baseball game while eating a hot dog…for totally scientific reasons, of course.

T: Test it out with your audience. Hand your writing over to the smartest friend in your circle. Have them underline all confusing, rambling, or weak points in your theories. If it’s confusing or pointless, dump it out like tea in a harbor. Shout-out to Boston!

I: Invest in your writing. Do the research necessary to present well thought-out points. Do you have statistics to support your movement? Examples of how that legislation failed in other countries? Verify your facts. Books are like cherry trees—you don’t want to get caught telling a lie. Right, George?

C: Call to action. The best generals will tell you that words must be backed by action. Make sure your readers have their orders at the end of your book! How can they support it? Prayer? Voting? Calling their representatives? Provide the troops with the websites, phone numbers and information they need to champion the movement.

S: Summarize. At the beginning of this post, We the People agreed to pick a point and stick to it. Now tie all those loose ends together! What does your premise mean for the future of legislation, socio-economic movements, or the future of this country in general?

Make Lee Greenwood proud today, and happy penning!



About the Author ()

Brittnee Newman, Marketing & Communications Strategist for Xulon Press, has been a blogger, freelance journalist and editor for just over half a decade. She joined Xulon Press as an editor in 2012, and now supports the company within the Marketing Department. Follow her on Twitter at @XulonBrittnee.

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